Friday, Jan 23
Saturday, Jan 24

45-minute sessions 

UMD Classrooms

Workshops at Collaborate will be attendee-focused, outcome-based sessions. Instead of focusing on learning new concepts, the goal of Collaborate workshop is to facilitate pitch and product workthroughs among our attendees.

If you’ve attended a Startup Weekend event, a product-based meetup, or even a writers’ workshop, the concept will be familiar.

Bring your dreams, leave with your first iteration.


Featured Workshops



Doing Agile is more than just the summation of all the roles, ceremonies and artifacts of a method like Scrum. Agile only works when one has the courage to really realize the concepts, values and principles at its core. The secret is in "being" Agile in thinking so that it manifests in the "doing." 

The session will present common patterns observed in organizations and teams thinking they are "doing" Agile, whereas their practices are very "Fr-agile". These patterns are signs of Agile being practiced in an unhealthy way leading to complete failure  or a less-than-expected outcome with unfulfilled expectations. 

This workshop is aimed at both experienced Agile practitioners and those who are brand new. 

Manjit Singh, President, Agilious, LLC 

How to grow sales as a Software as a Service company

This workshop is designed for Software as a Service companies - and explores key strategies and milestones that you need to achieve to prepare your product for scale - from the sales perspective.

In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to create a one-page blueprint that you can use and refer to as your grow your business. We'll look at B2C and B2B (Business to Consumer and Business to Business) SaaS case studies, with a focus on B2B enterprise sales - longer sales cycle, higher dollar transactions.

At the conclusion of the workshop, you will gain an understanding of the key metrics you need to be tracking in your SaaS business, some great strategies for finding and qualifying leads, and ideas you can implement immediately to help you start to scale your business.

Jeb Ory, CEO, Phone2Action


In this workshop we introduce thinking like a data scientist and provide you with several frameworks for taking a data driven approach to solving problems. We broadly cover several topics relating to social media data mining and walk you through accessing data from Twitter's API through the R statistical language program as well as downloading your Linkedin network structure from apps available online. 

We demonstrate how to leverage data derived from Twitter to analyze public perception of brands through tweets, understanding differences between groups through word analysis and show you how to discover hidden connections between ideas, people and events through word clustering. We also demonstrate how R easily finds clusters in a network and how to visualize the spread of a message in a network based on its structure.

Dmitri Adler, Founder and Joshuah Touyz, Advisor, Data Society  

What you need to know as an entrepreneur about non-competes, NDas, employee contracts and funding documents 

Let's be honest, the legal system as it pertains to business can be confusing, daunting, and complicated. This workshop is designed to help innovators and entrepreneurs gain a high level understanding about non-competes, non-disclosure documents, employee contracts, and funding documents.

Evan Smith, Attorney At Law, Paxton Law Group, LLP


How to get in on the $2.5 Billion dollar SBIR/STTR government grant program for startups

Congress established the SBIR program in 1982 and the STTR program ten years later to assist small business concerns (SBCs) in obtaining Federal research and development (R&D) funds to build a strong economy and support technological innovation. Attend this workshop and you'll learn how to take advantage of the $2.5 billion dollar SBIR/STTR government grant program for startups.

Eric Adolphe,CEO, GovProp and Nareg Sagherian, Presidential Fellow, Small Business Administration

Digital Citizen Engagement

Reddit's Ask Me Anything (AMA) is a transparent, open way to engage with your community to answer their questions and share ideas. Reddit’s unique culture requires organizations to approach these valuable sessions correctly, though, or there can be unintended consequences. Join Victoria Taylor, Director of Communications at Reddit, who will walk you through Reddit’s features and answer your questions about how to approach AMA’s and the vibrant Reddit community. You'll leave with an understanding of how to use Reddit as an engagement platform, the benefits and potential risks of your agency doing an AMA, and examples of how to get to know the community by listening to forums already underway.

Victoria Taylor,  Director of Communications, Reddit

What The Fastest Growing Companies in the World Have in Common

In 2007, Uri Neren of Innovators International was commissioned by The Mayo Clinic to research the best practices of companies that most often succeed at innovation. His challenge was to build a curriculum for improving Mayo’s own innovation process. Along the way, it became much more than that. This workshop will focus on the evolved and continued research as well as actionable methodologies shared by leading innovators around the globe.

Uri Neren, Chairman, Innovators International


Tired of people not doing what you want them to? Learn to understand and align with how the human brain processes new information. Use that knowledge to drive others to action with your communications.

Eli Murphy, SVP, Oratium



Building to Think

"Building to Think" How often do we get stuck inside our own heads [or our computers] when trying to tackle huge problems that we face each day? Well the refreshing thing is that we don't have to stay there. Leaning upon the Design Thinking principle of prototyping - or 'build to think & learn’ - this workshop will introduce participants in the role of highly simple prototyping as a way to get ideas out of your brain and into a tangible form that people can interact with. Through this experiential process participants learn will how our thought process evolves as we build, and will understand the power of feedback and user input to drive new insights and better solutions for the work we do every day.

Allie Armitage, Founder and CEO, Mind Into Matter


Rock Your Content Is your marketing selling something? If so, stop right now. People don't buy because they're sold. They buy because you make them feel something. You have content at your disposal that can help tell your story and make your customers want to give you money. This talk will get you to stop selling and start engaging with content marketing. We'll find your branded voice, match you up with the best platforms, and get you started on a content marketing campaign. It's up to YOU to rock your content. You'll get: examples of great content marketing what your brand really stands for help creating a plan for your organization the motivation to get your whole organization on board

Melanie Spring, Chief Inspiration Officer, Sisarina
Jason Nellis, Chief Executive Overachiever, Overachiever Media

Online Buying, Selling and Financing

In this workshop, we will share with you the legendary story of Alibaba. You will learn how to buy and sell your products worldwide by leveraging platform. You will also be the first few businesses to gain insight of new products from that including e-Credit Line and Trade Assurance. Our partner Lending Club will discuss a range of credit options that small business have. We’ll focus on newer sources of financing, including online credit marketplaces and other online funding, as well as traditional sources like bank lending, credit cards, nonprofit lending, and more.

Amy Yang, Senior Manager,


Why Innovation is hard, and how we can make it easier

Leading a team in the context of innovation is very different from leading a team in the context of operations and execution. The level of uncertainty in a new venture can cause all kinds of problems that we’re not used to dealing with. Without a clear yardstick for gauging success (except at rare intervals), managing your personal psychology and the mental health of your team becomes a crucial task, not only to prevent the productivity drop-off at the half-life of enthusiasm, but to avoid falling prey to cognitive biases and misapplied mental heuristics. We’re all vulnerable to cognitive biases: traps in our thinking that lead us astray. We’ll examine some of these, and then tackle a team challenge to put our new knowledge to immediate use.

Teague Hopkins, Founder, THG


Tired of people not doing what you want them to? Learn to understand and align with how the human brain processes new information. Use that knowledge to drive others to action with your communications.

Eli Murphy, SVP, Oratium

Paving the Way for Global IoT, How Government and Private Industry Must Work Together

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next wave of the mobile explosion, with 50 billion Internet-enabled devices predicted to be online by 2020. With this fantastic opportunity comes the responsibility to standardize, and not repeat previous failures to standardize mobile technology.

In the 1990s, European governments, carriers and technology providers standardized on GSM and today enjoy ubiquitous 100% coverage and interoperability. However the United States did not standardize and today we continue to struggle with achieving 100 percent carrier service coverage today across multiple technology platforms. 

This workshop will discuss how IoT needs the private and public sectors to collaborate to establish industry standards, providing the government with an ideal opportunity for leadership to benefit agencies, the citizenry and the economy. Just as Vivek Kundra’s Cloud First Initiative presented the cost savings of cloud and Steven Roekel’s Digital Government Strategy presented the roadmap for mobile adoption, a new government-led standardization initiative for IoT can deliver high impact results that the country needs. 

From this session, attendees will learn:

  • Real-world applications of IoT within the public and private sectors today and predictions for the future
  • Ways the private and public sector can collaborate on IoT so that citizens, government and industry don’t repeat the problem of lack of cellular standards
  • What a federal IoT initiative could look like to ensure security while making global IoT adoption ubiquitous and interoperable

Brian Reed, Chief Mobility Officer, Good Technology

Going from 0 to 60 while Maintaining Productivity and Encouraging Excellence

Finding technical talent is hard - they're introverted, talk in another language, and the good ones have six other job offers on the table. And that's only the start. Managing an engineering team is often an exercise in frustration, with constant delays, and no obvious metrics for productivity.

In this workshop we want to relieve these headaches by helping you find the people you're looking for, and then how to integrate that talent and encourage a culture of excellence and productive growth. We'll tell you where to look, how to judge skills you know nothing about, and how to make sure they fit in the culture. After bringing them on board, we'll help you judge the success of the hire, ensure productivity, and cultivate personal growth. All with the end goal of creating amazing products.

George Yates, CTO, Crowdskout
Matthew Whittemore, Director of Engineering, SocialTables