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The Iceberg

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Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur? The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.



Nov 15
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 16
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 17
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS at the Iceberg
  • Judging & awards at the Iceberg
  • Dinner
  • Wrap up at the Iceberg
  • Go home!
Top Tier Sponsors
Our Backers

Clete Brewer

BlueInGreen - CEO   |  

Mr. Brewer has been Chairman and CEO of BlueInGreen, LLC since March, 2010. Mr. Brewer is also co-founder of NewRoad Ventures, LLC. Prior to that Mr. Brewer was President and co- owner of Sport Clips, Inc. Mr. Brewer was with Sport Clips from 2002 through January 2010 where during his tenure there, Sport Clips grew from 42 franchised stores to over 675 stores across the United States with revenues of over $250 million. From 1988 to 2002, Mr. Brewer served as President and CEO and was co-founder of StaffMark, Inc. and led the IPO in 1996 (STAF:NASDAQ). Mr. Brewer was also Chairman of StaffMark and then later Edgewater Technology (EDGW:NASDAQ). Mr. Brewer serves on the Board of Virtual Incubation, Biologics MD, Car-Daddy, and the Executive Advisory Board at the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. Mr. Brewer is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a BSBA in Finance in 1987.

Karridy Askenasy

Mary Kay Inc. - Global Digital Marketing Innovation

Karridy joins the panel, bringing over 16 years of Digital, Marketing, and Creative Technology experience. He co-leads the Digital Innovation practice at Mary Kay, helping to empower over 3 Million independent start-ups. As a part of the Global Digital Marketing team, Karridy helps to develop web, social, and mobile strategies for Mary Kay's 35 international markets. Prior to joining Mary Kay, Karridy lead Emerging Media at the agency, RAPP, where he leveraged his previous tenures as a Sr. Application Developer and Creative Director to produce complete digital strategies for premiere brands. Karridy is a serial entrepreneur, poker player, and a formidable Master Chief.

Rick West

Field Agent -CEO/Co-Founder

Rick West is the Co-Founder & CEO of Field Agent™, a mobile research agency located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has co-founded multiple start-ups that include JOYN , CORE4 Research and the Northstar Partnering Group. Rick formerly worked for Procter & Gamble within the roles of finance and business development. Rick’s global P&G experience has spanned from the United States, to Hong Kong and Thailand. He is married to his wife Kim and they have 3 children. In Rick's free time, he enjoys watching Kentucky Basketball and tries to work in a round of golf whenever he can.

Brent Cryder

Dillard's - CTO

Brent Cryder is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Dillard's Inc. Previously, he worked at Thoughtworks, as a developer, project manager and Principal Consultant. He has over 12+ years of experience working with implementing technology solutions for many clients including a Texas Based EMR Startup, Large Atlanta Based Automobile Auction Company, Major Texas Based Business Information Provider and a Large Texas Based Hosting Company. Brent brings not only a true passion for developing & building new business solutions, but also broad experience from all aspects of business & technology, including development, sales, technical architecture, strategic planning and tactical execution.

Permjot Valia - Chairman and Lead Private Investor

Permjot started angel investing after having served as Sales and Marketing Director for Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Services in London. Having organized the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year competition for 2004, Permjot was able to learn first hand what it took to be a successful start up and the problems they encounter along the way. He has now invested in over 25 start ups in three countries (Canada, UK and South Africa). Permjot regularly mentors companies from around the world.

Permjot co-founded a fund management business called Flight & Partners Ltd which now has around $20m under management. The fund, which started in early 2008, currently invests in distressed situations. In 2010, following his work at Permjot was nominated as one of the Best Mentors to Start ups in Europe by Techcrunch.

In-Kind Sponsors

Atlas Technology Group, Inc.

Retail Analysis Software   |   LinkedIn

ATLAS is an analytics and software technology provider located in Northwest Arkansas. ATLAS was a "start-up" in NWA that has quickly grown to become the walmart industry leader for data tools and analytics technology, with over 70 customers, 20+ engineers, and explosive growth in the past 3 years.

For the Startup Weekend, several of the ATLAS team members will work together to be a "coach". Nick Dozier, President, will be there for leadership on tech startup knowledge and insights. Chris Oswald, VP Engineering, will be on site as well to assist with any technical/software architecture needs (including coding/database).

David Baker

Moxy Ox - Chief Brand Officer   |  

My education and experience in design inform many of the decisions I make. I have a passion for building brands, improving experiences and creating incredible products. As Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at Moxy Ox I focus on our business development, advertising, product, and web strategies. I enjoy connecting with people and ensuring the consistency of our message. When I'm not working at Moxy Ox I like to spend quality time with my family and help build the creative community as a Co-Founder of Creatives United.

Joe Payne

Moxy Ox - Chief Creative Officer   |  

I am passionate about people, design, typography, and business. The things that make the world go ‘round. Outside of those things, I have a keen interest in helping people look beyond the romance of the startup world by focusing on adding real, sustainable value. As Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Moxy Ox, my focus is on managing and developing our creative and web teams to create killer work for our clients. I am also a co-founder of Creatives United, a community of creative pros and hobbyists in NWA.

Nicole Chapman


Nicole Chapman is an attorney at Smith Hurst, PLC. Her practice focuses on entrepreneurial services including business formation and taxation, governance, contracts and transactions

Luke Irvin

Irvin Media - Founder   |  

Luke Irvin is the Founder of Irvin Media and a Startup Arkansas Champion. In 2010 he interned at Clarovista were he started learning Objective-C and the process to build apps. After his internship he spent some time at Dillard's consulting with their mobile team and then went to PrivacyStar where he worked on the Operations side as well as helping with Development and Marketing. Now, Luke is a contract iOS Developer for 52apps and working on his Startup.

Lee Watson

Clarovista - CEO   |  

Lee leads an exceptional team at Clarovista, working with brands to drive brand engagement through digital opportunities. Clarovista focuses on mapping social and mobile data and integrating the two on a big data project.Outside of Clarovista, Lee supports Arkansas starups by mentoring founders, organizing , and promoting events and organizations such as UCA Data Class, Conway Downtown Partnership, Conway Startup Space, G60, UCA CS Advisory Board, and Tech Cocktail Hour.

Joe Saumweber

RevUnit - CEO   |   LinkedIn

Product focused, digital leader and tech CEO. Deep background in digital and mobile strategy, large enterprise solutions, and consumer facing applications across web, mobile and social platforms. Passionate about building high performance digital teams that crank out innovative work. Relish the fact that I rarely do the same thing twice. Love working with start-ups because we're the same kind of crazy.

Michael Paladino

RevUnit - CTO   |   LinkedIn

Tech leader with deep software development background across numerous platforms. Extensive startup experience building and/or leading technical build-outs of Overwatch, Btiques, a Twitter moderation platform, and more. Heavy experience working with large clients to identify the most efficient yet scalable tech solutions. Surround myself with and build teams of passionate, highly-capable digital talent.

Dustin O. Williams


Dustin started life as a developer, which influences his design. He draws on keen understanding, experience, seeing, and confidence to design with clean lines and strong user focus. Dustin has worked for many Fortune 500 companies, often employing user research to focus on usability. Dustin was recruited to work with Microsoft (Pioneer Studios Seattle) to help develop the User Interface for Microsoft’s KIN Mobile Device.

Dustin’s many specialties all have user experience at their core. They include Branding, Interaction Design, User Interface Design, Website Design, Website Development, Usability and Testing. His other skills also include: User Interface Prototyping, Storyboarding and Wireframing Scenarios, Information Architecture, Mobile Device Interaction and Social Device Interaction. Dustin is well-rounded, an intelligent creative director and truly believes in being a servant leader. With a strong user experience background and deep understanding of the production process, Dustin is well equipped to conceive innovative design, but also manage the execution of those ideas down to the pixel.

Arlton Lowry

Designer / Founder, Made by Few / Adjunct Professor of Art, UALR   |  

Arlton has been making websites since 2005. He's a graduate of the University of Arkansas - Little Rock. He's worked with numerous local, national, and global organizations, like the Mozilla Foundation and LessEverything. In 2010, he helped start the annual BarCamp Conway community tech event and in 2012 he founded the annual Made by Few tech conference. Currently, he works as a Designer for Artletic, a craft design studio specializing in user interfaces for applications out of Colorado, and is an Adjunct Professor of Art at the University of Arkansas - Little Rock.

James Eldridge

James+James - Co-Founder

I am a Co-Owner and Founder of James+James, a furniture manufacturing company located in Northwest Arkansas that has successfully penetrated the market in 35 States and counting. From the garage two years ago to over a million in sales annually, I am passionate about the big vision, operational management and leadership it takes to achieve ambitious goals. My talents are in networking, building successful teams, challenging individuals, motivation, and highlighting the steps needed to achieve practical benchmarks.
I believe in capitalism, small business, and the right to completely annihilate an existing market with innovation, creativity and drive.
I'm an Air Force Reserves Medic, husband to a beautiful wife, and unashamed Lego fanatic.

Krista Hinson

Explainify - Co-Founder

Krista's love for art, design and storytelling made her a perfect fit to co-found Explainify with her husband Eric. She was raised in an entrepreneurial family and from a young age, she's been immersed in business, marketing and events. Krista loves the startup scene in Arkansas and enjoys learning what makes fellow entrepreneurs tick. She's also heavily involved with branding, design and marketing for her family business, Savoy Tea Company, and non-profit organization, Self Destruct.

Eric Hinson

Explainify - Co-Founder

Eric has a passion for telling great business stories. He got his start in the agency world creating a successful video department at Rockfish in Rogers, Arkansas. In 2012 Eric ventured out on his own and created Explainify, a studio that creates remarkable animated explanation videos for businesses. He loves the thrill of entrepreneurism and enjoys learning more about emerging businesses. He also sits on the executive board of a non-profit skate ministry, Self Destruct, and dabbles in extreme sports and drumming in his free time.

Joey Nelson

BLKBOXLabs - CEO   |  

I’m the founder of BLKBOXLabs, a digital creative agency in Fayetteville, Arkansas that works with global brands to create digital campaigns. I’m also the founder of Southern Swim, an e-commerce company, where we put the brand and content first and practice what we preach in this space. Prior to BLKBOXLabs I co-founded MobileFWD, where I designed and built the app, before selling it to a California based gaming company for an undisclosed amount. I’ve also been a huge supporter of the growing startup culture in Northwest Arkansas by serving twice as a mentor for the Ark Challenge and was the Creative Director for Mobile and Emerging Platforms for Rockfish Interactive for 6 years. I’m actively involved in other businesses and boards and love creating things that have an impact.

Mike Smith

Advisor at Innovate Arkansas

Mike Smith Jr. brings more than 20 years of business advisory experience to the Innovate Arkansas team. Mike is a former senior vice president in the Corporate Finance Group of Stephens Inc. He completed more than 50 merger and acquisition, public offering and private placement transactions for privately owned and publicly traded middle market companies during his 13 years there. He also sourced and executed principal investments for the Stephens family. Mike is actively involved in venture capital and entrepreneurial development in the region, speaking on venture capital and early stage business development topics and serving on several private company boards.

Ted Dickey

Advisor at Innovate Arkansas

Ted Dickey received a BA from the University of Arkansas, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Thereafter, he earned a Juris Doctorate and was admitted to the Arkansas Bar. He spent over six years at Stephens Inc. in their Corporate Finance Department employed as a financial analyst, an associate in the Financial Services Group and then as a vice president in the Private Placement Group. During this time, he was responsible for placing debt and equity securities with institutional investors for public and private companies.

Mr. Dickey is an advisor to Innovate Arkansas, a general partner of CDFP Capital and CapRocq Core funds, a Chartered Financial Analyst, a board member of Virtual Incubation and the University of Arkansas' Technology Development Foundation, a founder of Gravity Ventures, a 2004 Arkansas Business selection to the "40 Under 40" list of business people in Arkansas, and is the former chairman of the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

Ryan Frazier

Data Rank - CEO   |  

Passionate about Big Data, Digital Commerce, and Retail Insights. Co-Founder and CEO of DataRank, Inc., a VC backed startup, and graduate of the Y Combinator Accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Mike Steely

Startup Advisor

Mike has 25+ years of experience in technology, finance and entrepreneurial pursuits in Arkansas including serving in corporate internet strategy for Alltel Information Services during the original dot-com era. A CPA by degree and technologist at heart, his primary focus is on taking new ideas and developing innovative and profitable products for his or client companies ranging from online services and ecommerce, electronic payment infrastructures to bathtub safety systems and diaper rash creams. Recently through Arkansas Capital Corporation he successfully completed a federal grant driven project to develop and implement a high school innovation and entrepreneurship program encompassing over 2,400 students in rural areas of the state of Arkansas.

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Emily Reeves

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