Geekend 2018 delivers inspiration

Posted on February 20, 2018 By Aleshia

It’s the morning of Friday, February 2. The Guild Hall is standing room-only, the buzzing crowd sipping specialty PERC coffee from paper cups. This is it. The beginning of another year at Geekend.

A jock jam announces the arrival of Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas baseball team and author of Find Your Yellow Tux and Business Done Differently. Clad in a yellow tuxedo complete with top hat, he sprints down the center aisle, leaps onto the stage and launches into his story of revolutionizing baseball in Savannah.

This is what Geekend is all about.

Attendees at Savannah’s 8th Geekend conference on February 2-3, 2018 enjoyed a two-day program of movers and shakers building products, companies and experiences.

The annual showcase for tech and innovation brought back old favorites, like Friday evening’s Pitch Circus, where six local founders competed for cash and in-kind prizes, and offered new perspectives with sessions on emotional intelligence, video game development, and emerging technologies like machine learning and cryptocurrency.

Missed the action? Check out the event feed on Twitter, the Geekend Facebook page and YouTube channel, which will continue to be updated with additional content in the coming weeks.

Bite-sized tidbits for data lovers:

453 attendees

63 presenters

25 sessions

35 sponsors

## games featured in the Indie Game Arcade

2 crowd favorite winners at ProjectMQ Indie Game Awards

6 startup founders pitched at Pitch Circus

$5,500 in cash awarded to the Pitch Circus winner, Green Badger

4 AR/VR projects on display

10 local kids got an introduction to coding (with a waiting list of 32)

57 mentions in the media

14.6 million reached through media

3,308 Facebook likes

3,215 Twitter followers

Infinite possibilities for the future of our community

Geekend video game, AR/VR tech showcases open to the public

Posted on January 24, 2018 By Aleshia

Geekend will stop at nothing to bring the next generation of technology to our community.  We’re excited to offer the following events and exhibits, free and open to the public, on Friday and Saturday, February 2 & 3 on the Guild Hall Campus.


@ 8-Bit Donuts
518 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Savannah GA
Friday, Feb 2: 8am-5pm
Saturday, Feb 3: 12:45-5pm

Move over, Pac-Man! Geekend’s Indie Game Arcade features high-quality and critically-acclaimed video games created right here in the Southeast by talented independent game developers. Play them all, vote for your favorite and stick around for the ProjectMQ Indie Game Awards at 5pm to see who comes out on top!


@ Jolly Goblin Games
518 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Savannah GA
Saturday, Feb 3: 12:30-5pm

Back by popular demand, the Geekend AR/VR Showcase is where you can test drive cutting edge augmented and virtual reality experiences that span a variety of disciplines and technologies.


@ Jolly Goblin Games
518 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Savannah GA
Saturday, Feb 3: 1-2pm

With technology changing every industry on the planet, computing knowledge has become part of a well-rounded skillset. But fewer than half of all schools teach computer science! Good news is, we’re on our way to change this. 100 million students have now discovered how accessible and fun computer science can be by doing just one Hour of Code.

This Hour of Code workshop is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

Ages 6+, free and open to the public.  Advance registration strongly recommended, as space is limited. Parents should plan to accompany young children.



@ The Guild Hall Arena
615 Montgomery Street, Savannah GA
Saturday, Feb 3: 5pm

Modern gaming isn’t just about the tech. It’s about telling stories, communicating points of view, and breaking barriers. It’s about creating new ways to interact with our world and one another. It’s about the lifelong process of learning and discovery.

Join us for the ProjectMQ Indie Game Awards, where we’ll celebrate the indie games from the Geekend Indie Game Arcade and the talented local and regional developers who made them. ProjectMQ’s Malcolm Howard will present the People’s Choice Award, and attendees will have a chance to win games, merchandise, and even a Nintendo Switch, sponsored by Savannah-based Avant Games.

Six technology startups selected to present at Geekend’s Pitch Circus in Savannah

Posted on January 23, 2018 By Aleshia

Pitch Circus winner to receive $5,500 in prize money.

Six technology startup companies will be vying for $5,500 in prize money plus in kind services as contestants in the Geekend 2018 Pitch Circus.

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the state of Georgia’s technology incubator, is sponsoring the Pitch Circus and has selected the six startups that will present to judges and angel investors at Geekend, which is Feb. 2- 3 in Savannah (tickets available here).

Geekend is an annual conference that brings the most innovative technology leaders and creators to Savannah. Other sponsors for this year’s event include the City of Savannah, the Foram Group, Mallabo Communications, and HunterMaclean.

ATDC, which runs its ATDC @ Savannah educational curriculum in the city, is sponsoring the Pitch Circus, which takes place on Feb. 2. The Pitch Circus is a curated event aimed at highlighting Georgia’s best and most fundable startups and having those founders pitch to investors.

The six startups selected are:

  • Corstrata: Providing healthcare payers, providers, and patients access to scarce wound care clinicians through telemedicine and mobile health technology in order to heal wounds faster and at a lower cost.
  • Green Badger: Its collaborative, cloud-based solutions help streamline and automate the $150 billion green building construction market.
  • Kugobi: Kugobi provides online personalized learning for students so they can maximize their learning potential.
  • Project MQ: This social media app serves indie game studios and fans by curating the best indie games from around the world.
  • Skyraider Aeronautics: Utilizing the latest technology in unmanned aerial systems and agriculture, the company helps farmers identify stress in their crops resulting in higher yields.
  • McFinney: The company uses a patented process to convert carbon feedstocks found in waste material into fuel.

“We had a strong and impressive roster of candidates and had to make the difficult decision of selecting six from more than 30 applications from entrepreneurs here in Savannah and nearby in Beaufort, S.C. and from as far away as Athens and Atlanta, and even Houston,” said José Mallabo, ATDC’s startup catalyst in Savannah.

The industry sectors represented included healthcare, drones, education and medical technologies, gaming, and commerce, he said.

Cindy Hill, host of the Savannah and statewide broadcasts of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” on Georgia Public Broadcasting Radio, will emcee the Pitch Circus. The Pitch Circus will be live streamed via Facebook Live on the ATDC Facebook page. The Pitch Circus launches at 5 p.m. and runs through 6:30 p.m.

The judging panel is comprised of:

  • Susan Catron, executive editor of the Savannah Morning News and
  • Cres Ferell, partner, BIP Capital.
  • Greg Kolovich, co-founder and chief medical officer of Micro C Imaging.
  • Jonathan Lambright, professor of engineering technology at Savannah State University.
  • David Nelems, CEO of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation.
  • Kelly Shaver, professor of entrepreneurial studies at the College of Charleston.

Immediately after the final company pitches, we’ll Mary-Cathryn Kolb, founder and CEO of brrr° will have a can’t-be-missed fireside chat with the Pitch Circus emcee.

Savannah Bananas Owner Jesse Cole Named Geekend 2018 Opening Keynote Speaker

Posted on January 11, 2018 By Aleshia

Cole will show technology innovators how they can create the “Ultimate Customer Experience.”

Geekend, the annual tech conference that draws the brightest and most creative minds to Savannah, Georgia, announced that Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas summer collegiate baseball team, will serve as the event’s opening keynote speaker.

Geekend 2018, scheduled for Feb. 2-3 (tickets available here), brings makers, hustlers, hackers, and designers together with other entrepreneurial innovators in the technology and creative spaces — to foster new partnerships, pursue networking opportunities, and kick start the launch of new ideas.

Cole’s Bananas have been featured nationally on CNN, ESPN, and MSNBC and have sold out 32 straight games. Cole is an in-demand speaker and has spoken all over the country. His first book, “Find Your Yellow Tux – How To Be Successful by Standing Out,” is slated for release in January 2018.

Cole’s keynote at Geekend will be on how to create the “Ultimate Customer Experience.” He will share the “Bananas Fans First, Entertain Always” mentality that is designed to create fans for life.

“I couldn’t be more excited to kick off this event,” Cole said. “The opportunity to connect with some of the most innovative and creative business minds and share ideas is what this conference is all about.

“I look forward to sharing our story of how we were able to design a unique fan experience to sell out every game and create a waitlist in the thousands. The lessons we’ve learned are endless and my goal with any presentation is to spark ideas and hopefully inspire attendees to think differently.”

Cole, who owns six yellow tuxedos, believes everyone has something that makes them stand out in business and in life. On his website,, Cole shares his secrets to success as well as tips from the best entrepreneurs in the world.

“Jesse has a compelling perspective as a team owner and can teach our attendees a lot about engaging and retaining customers for their technologies and creations,” said Aleshia Howell, CEO of Codebase and one of the Geekend organizers. “He’s also an inspiring and motivational speaker who represents what Geekend is all about for tech entrepreneurs and that is bringing about creativity and ideation to life.”

Cole is also the host of the “Business Done Differently” podcast that is released every Monday and Thursday. The podcast shares stories from people who have gone from ordinary to extraordinary and found their greatness. Cole interviews authors, entrepreneurs, and business owners who have found a way to stand out in the world.

Geekend Unveils Geekend Scholars Program

Posted on January 10, 2018 By Aleshia

Geekend, Savannah’s annual tech and innovation showcase, is offering scholarships to underrepresented groups in the tech and innovation community through the Geekend Scholars program. Individuals who wish to attend Geekend 2018 and are members of underrepresented groups are eligible to apply. Geekend is a two-day conference where Savannah’s hackers, hustlers, designers and makers converge. It has been held annually since 2009 and showcases the best and brightest innovators from tech, education, design, engineering and business in Savannah and beyond.

The goal of Geekend Scholars is to encourage more inclusivity in the local community by incentivizing attendance by people who would not normally attend. The program offers the opportunity to meet leaders in the local innovation community. Minorities, women, people with disabilities, people from low-income backgrounds, and individuals from the LGBTQ community are encouraged to apply.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • A free ticket for admission to Geekend 2018
  • Direct contact with a Guide who can help you integrate into the conference
  • An invitation to a welcome event to meet fellow Scholars and the Guides the night before the conference
  • An invitation to the #TechSAV slack channel where you can interact with local professionals
  • A chance to learn about industry innovations and the opportunity to interact with thought leaders from all over the world


  • Applicants must be 13 years old or older, and must belong to a group that is underrepresented in the technology industry. This includes Black, LatinX, women, people with disabilities, people from low-income backgrounds, and individuals from the LGBTQ community.
  • Participants must attend Geekend Scholars Meeting

“Inclusion and diversity are very important to me as it relates to the tech community,” says Patrick Bentley, lead for the Diversity and Inclusion initiative for Geekend. “Having some type of inclusion program is vital to exposing more people to tech and innovation. Being able to interact with folks in the tech community was vital for my own development.Without key introductions and interactions, I doubt that I would be a software developer today.”

A limited number of tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Apply Here

ProjectMQ Indie Game Arcade Now Accepting Submissions

Posted on December 9, 2017 By Aleshia

The ProjectMQ Indie Game Arcade is now accepting submissions for Geekend’s annual conference on February 2nd-3rd, 2018. Game submissions are due January 5, 2018

The Indie Game Arcade is a showcase of high-quality, independent video games created by local and regional developers at Savannah’s annual tech and innovation conference. Because the Indie Game Arcade is a community-oriented event that seeks to foster curiosity and innovation across disciplines, we value games that are engaging for a diverse audience.

The Indie Game Arcade is sponsored by Project MQ, a discovery platform for indie video games, and will be hosted by 8-Bit Donuts. The event is open to the public.

Selected applicants will be contacted following the submission deadline with next steps.

Apply Here

Geekend 2018 announces schedule of events and topics

Posted on December 8, 2017 By Aleshia

Topic highlights include the business of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the art of the user experience.

Geekend, Savannah’s annual tech and innovation conference, has announced its schedule of events for 2018.

The conference, which will be Feb. 2-3 (tickets available here), allows makers, hustlers, hackers, and designers to collaborate, share ideas and forge new partnerships.

Among the conference highlights and panelists are:

    • Max Howell, Making Homebrew: Howell shares his experiences building the Homebrew package manager and its unexpected, explosive success. Homebrew is free and open source. In 2013, it had the most contributors of any project on GitHub. It continues to be used by developers all over the world.
    • Kevin Dewalt and Kevin Lawver, AI & Machine Learning Demystified: Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to radically redefine how we solve problems and deliver products. These dual presenters — Dewalt is founder of Prolego and Lawver is chief technology officer of Planted — will discuss how they are using machine learning to solve everyday issues in business.
    • Alyssa Greenman, Christopher Via, and Olivia Rado, The Art of User Experience: At the core of the user experience is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. It’s not something that’s given much thought unless the process is broken and it is not easy to use a particular product. This panel of user experience experts will discuss projects ranging from video games to mobile apps to B2B sites and share their methodologies in designing human-centered experiences and products.

“This conference is jam packed with interesting topics and panel discussions led by people who have had significant impact in their respective industries and sectors,” said Aleshia Howell, CEO of Codebase and one of the Geekend organizers. “Attendees will learn a lot and gain deep insight and knowledge on how these topics are already shaping how we think about technology and the possibilities these innovations bring.”

The full schedule will continue to be updated as Geekend approaches.

Geekend Pitch Circus Now Accepting Applications

Posted on November 28, 2017 By Aleshia

Pitch Circus is Savannah’s premier startup pitch event and features the brightest
entrepreneurs from the most fundable technology startups in the region.

The event will be hosted by ATDC, Georgia’s technology incubator, on Friday,
February 2, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Startup founders and CEOs will pitch to judges in front of angel
investors and conference attendees from the region. Judges, prize money and in-kind
services from our sponsors will be announced soon.

Each company will be given 6 minutes to present and will answer questions from our
judges immediately after.

ATDC entrepreneurs in residence and startup catalysts will provide the companies
pitching with pitch preparation and coaching in mid-January.

Those interested to participate in Pitch Circus should submit an application on or before January 4, 2018. Selected entrants will be contacted with next steps.


Devin O’Bryan to be Geekend 2018 Keynote Speaker

Posted on November 21, 2017 By Aleshia

An expert cultivator of workplace talent, O’Bryan will discuss how emotional health can foster innovation and creativity.

Geekend, the annual conference that draws the brightest and most innovative minds in technology to Savannah, Ga., announced that Devin O’Bryan, design advocate and facilitator of IBM’s Strategic Talent Program, is a keynote speaker.

Geekend 2018, scheduled for Feb. 2-3 (tickets available here), brings makers, hustlers, hackers, and designers together with other entrepreneurial innovators in the technology and creative spaces — to foster new partnerships, pursue networking opportunities, and kick start the launch of new ideas.

O’Bryan is a designer-educator and currently serves IBM’s Strategic Talent Program as design advocate and facilitator. His past four years have been filled with guiding and co-creating within IBM Corporate HR and IBM Design’s global education efforts with programs like IBM Design Bootcamp Experiences, IBM Designweek events, and building the immersive and award-winning, Maelstrom internship program.

As part of his keynote address, titled “Open for Business: How Emotional Intelligence spurs innovation and creativity within teams,” O’Bryan will detail what it takes to create and sustain an emotionally healthy dynamic that fosters innovation and drives outcomes entrepreneurs and their teams.

He also will share his experiences and lessons learned through Maelstrom as it grew to become the prime IBM’s premier software design experience.

“Dylan’s success in building the IBM Maelstrom program embodies what Geekend is all about: people building products, experiences and companies,” said Aleshia Howell, CEO of Codebase and one of the Geekend organizers. “His keynote will be an inspiration to everyone who is passionate about building something new.”

In addition to O’Bryan’s keynote, Geekend 2018 will feature a number of speakers who will be leading various breakout panels and sessions that will explore several themes including:

    • Building experiences using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
    • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
    • Building immersive video game experiences
    • Building and scaling consumer brands
    • Marketing automation and eCommerce tools
    • Angel investments
    • Founder success stories

These featured speakers hail from Savannah and across the nation, and represent leading designers, technologists, CEOs, and other cutting-edge thought leaders. Geekend attendees will also be able to participate in several interactive experiences, including an AR/VR exhibit, a Pitch Circus, and video game arcade to showcase games built by local developers.

AR/VR Showcase

Posted on November 14, 2017 By Aleshia

Geekend’s AR/VR Showcase, a public event in conjunction with Savannah’s 2-day tech and innovation conference, is dedicated to putting new and interesting tech into the hands — and minds — of a broad public audience. From the afternoon of Friday, February 2, through Saturday, February 3, Geekend’s doors will be open to those interested in experiencing different applications of AR and VR technologies firsthand.

Exhibiting in the showcase is an excellent way to reach a diverse population, receive feedback or test your user experience. Want in? Please fill out the form below. A member of the Geekend executive team will be in touch!

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