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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 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

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. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

 

Schedule

Friday

Apr 11
  • Workspace Stamford Open for all participants
  • Registration Starts
  • Networking & Pizza!
  • Kate Berg on the Startup Experience
  • Introduction, Pitchfire!
  • Vote on top ideas, form teams!
  • Start working!

Saturday

Apr 12
  • 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

Sunday

Apr 13
  • 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
  • Dinner
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors
Speakers

Kate Berg

Keynote Speaker   |   LinkedIn

With more than two decades of strategic communications and executive management experience in technology, publishing and media, Kate was most recently President of Collective Bias, a social media start-up in the shopper marketing space recently named one of Forbes 100 Most Promising Companies. As president, Kate directed the early development of the company and laid the foundation for rapid growth, achieving 100/130% revenue growth in 2011-2012. She also led the company’s fund raising efforts which concluded in a $$11MM Series A round in March 2013.

Kate has also held leadership positions at Gartner, KPMG, Jupiter (now part of Forrester) HFMUS (now part of Hearst) and Mojiva Mobile. Her early career accomplishments include building the global PR division for Gartner, Inc. and creating the analyst relations function for KPMG Consulting to market the firm’s expertise to the technology analyst community.

Gold Sponsors
Judges

Janis Collins

Startup Judge   |   LinkedIn

Janis is Entrepreneur in Residence at the Stamford Innovation Center where she mentors entrepreneurs and connects them to needed resources. She started and leads a women’s entrepreneur forum, Founder’s Connect, to help provide women entrepreneurs of Fairfield County more access to capital, networks and knowledge. A committed and passionate advisor to startups, she recently created Juice, an event to connect food innovators, mentors and investors. Janis coaches dozens of regional startups, using her proven methodology to help them develop their pitch, refine their business models, and create their go-forward plans.
She has been helping companies innovate, create and quickly launch new businesses for more than 25 years. First, through her own company, which focused on helping high tech startups and then later advising and funding new financial service companies. Janis has helped found and launch several companies including two non-profit organizations.
Dedicated to community service and always an innovator, Janis is a member of Westport’s Board of Finance, where she developed a new budget reporting format to create more transparency. Previously, as Chairman of Westport’s Parks and Rec, she created an innovative public/private solution to continue the investment in the Town’s parks and recreation facilities.

J. Skyler Fernandes

Startup Judge   |   LinkedIn

Skyler Fernandes is the founding Managing Director of Simon Venture Group (SVG), the venture capital arm of Simom Property Group, which invests in the future innovation of retail, including in-store and online/mobile shopping technology, logistics, internet of things, and data analytics. SVG makes investments between $250K-$5M+ in early stage to high growth companies (Seed through Series C+ rounds) that are both directly and indirectly strategic to Simon Property Group, an S&P 100 company, and the largest commercial real estate company in the US.
Previously, Mr. Fernandes was a Partner at Centripetal Capital Partners, a multi-stage venture capital fund, focused on consumer internet, online services / marketplaces, enterprise SaaS, and commercializable high-tech. Mr. Fernandes is also an active angel investor and has a blog, One Match Ventures, where he shares key insight and entrepreneur resources.
Mr. Fernandes gave the first Ted Talk on Venture Capital: Innovating the Financing of Innovation, and has developed a number of key entrepreneur resources, such as The "Best" Startup Pitch Deck, and Top 10 Lies Entrepreneurs Tell Investors.
Mr. Fernandes leads a number of global initiatives, including the Missing Middle Initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, focused on creating funds that invest $100K-$3M, a critical financing gap for early-mid stage businesses globally. Mr. Fernandes graduated a year early from New York University summa cum laude, due to his studies at Harvard University in Quantum Physics.
Mr. Fernandes is a frequent speaker on venture capital and entrepreneurship at such venues as, Harvard Business School, NYU, Columbia University, Wharton Business School, FundingPost, CROWDFUNDx, The Stamford Innovation Center, New York Venture Summit, The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ, and The United Nations.

John Lim

Startup Judge   |   LinkedIn

John Lim, a mobile telecommunications veteran, is a consummate entrepreneur with a proven track record in the promotional, marketing and technology sectors. He has continually relied upon his varied and valuable experiences to build and sustain a successful 16-year professional career in mobile telecommunications and marketing strategies. Building on his technical expertise and marketing intuition, John has developed cutting-edge interactive and innovative business technology that bridges the gap between traditional advertising and executing the sale.
John has always been on the leading edge of mobile technology, thinking outside the box and capitalizing on the power of mobile. He has spoken at events both domestically and internationally, providing expertise on how to mobilize and monetize. All of John’s endeavors have solidified his position as a true visionary in the mobile space.

Mark Wachen

Startup Judge   |   LinkedIn

Mark Wachen is the Founder and Managing Director of Upstage Ventures. Additionally, Wachen is a Managing Director of Dreamit Ventures, one of the world's leading startup accelerator programs.
Mark is the founder of Optimost, the company that pioneered multivariate testing and optimization on the Internet, and he served as CEO for the company up until its acquisition by Interwoven in November 2007 for $52 million.
Before his entrepreneurial successes, Mark worked for seven years at Sony overseeing a variety of Internet initiatives. He was the CEO of Indimi, a company majority-owned by Sony. While there, he spearheaded the acquisitions of InfoBeat, AdTools, and DailyRating. He was Vice President of Online Ventures for Sony Music, where he directed online initiatives, including Sony Music’s investments in Spinner (acquired by AOL for $300 million), and the launch of the Sony Music Online Website in 1994.
Mark has an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College.

Silver Sponsors
Coaches

Dave Tomczyk

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Dave is an assistant professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Quinnipiac University. His research includes the impact of video games on entrepreneurial skills and abilities, intellectual property issues facing students in the classroom, and entrepreneurs as social deviants, among other topics.
He worked at NASA in a variety of capacities including doing audits the size of the astronaut corps, assessing NASA's IT security state, and building a system to disposition the Space Shuttles and Space Shuttle components upon their retirement. He was also the U.S. Representative of Science and Technology to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperate (APEC) at the U.S. State Department.

Scott Lichtman

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Scott Lichtman is a marketing and operations executive who has led numerous products and companies at the intersection of software, collaboration and analysis. He has been at the forefront of trends including online communities, crowdfunding/crowdsourcing, expert research networks, offshoring, early secure IM platforms, and artificial intelligence in business. Scott's career includes experience at Deloitte in management consulting, Oracle in corporate strategy, project oversight for banks, and a number of startups. Scott holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a B.Sc. from MIT in Computer Science.

Bill Kenney

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Bill Kenney is the founder of Test My Pitch, an online community that helps entrepreneurs draft and get feedback on their business idea pitches...think Toastmasters online. A serial entrepreneur, Bill has started 6 companies from a large regional business networking organization to retail ice cream shops, to a speakers bureau for professionals who speak and everything in between. Bill is passionate about delighting customers and empowering entrepreneurs

Jonathan Yarmis

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Jonathan Yarmis (aka Doctor Disruptive) has been a leading voice in the technology industry for over 30 years, with a variety of experience in industry analysis, end-user computing, and public and analyst relations. His research focus has always been on “disruptive technologies,” which these days focuses on “social business,” which is a combination of social media, mobility, cloud computing and big data, with a dose of augmented reality for good measure.
Jonathan has worked at leading analyst firms including AMR, Ovum, HfS Research and a 10 year stint at Gartner. He currently serves on the advisory boards of the Stamford Innovation Center and Cava Capital, and is a member of the Internet Oldtimers Foundation.

Patty Meagher

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Patty's career includes 20+ years as a Business Development Professional, Investor and Executive Coach in the Venture Capital, Investment Banking, and Technology industries. For the past several years she has immersed herself in Connecticut's Innovation Ecosystem (CTNEXT), and has added 'Entrepreneur' to that list...
Patty is a Founder of the Stamford Innovation Center and on the NY Advisory Board for Astia. In October 2013 she joined the Connecticut Small Business Development Center, and is finally able to devote herself full-time to advising entrepreneurs, helping them improve their Access to Capital and connect with the many resources they need to grow their businesses and create jobs. She is based at UConn/ Stamford.

Clint Warren

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Clint Warren left a job in finance 4 years ago to pursue a career in personal training, getting sidetracked by web development while studying for his certification. As his WordPress freelance business grew, he became actively involved in local Meetup groups, began to write online, and speak whenever possible, sharing everything he's learned in order to help others. He is the founder of IIlluminate WP, co-founder of Stacked Agency, and organizes 4 local Meetup groups. His biggest passions are teaching, helping others, and adding value wherever possible

Matt Terenzio

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Matt Terenzio is a web developer with Digital First Media. He has launched Localeaks, a service for citizens to provide anonymous news tips to local and state news organizations. He also launched Knight-Mozilla FollowThis project and was a finalist in the news category at the 2012 SXSW Startup Accelerator .
He has built news sites and services for companies like New York Newsday and was a member of the Tribune Company Interactive Product Development Committee.
Matt holds a Master of Science degree in Internet Engineering and has done some data modeling and J2EE application development for The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School pertaining to the Public Radio Exchange. His work on Instant Messaging and RSS was featured in the popular O'Reilly Media book PHP Hacks.

Scott Fuller

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Scott Fuller is a senior marketing executive with a track record of building global brands in start-up, expansion, late stage and Fortune 100 companies. He has held senior positions with The Walt Disney Company, Cablevision, Scholastic Media and General Mills. Currently, he serves as an advisor to emerging digital, mobile and social media companies, with a focus on business planning and development and marketing strategy. Scott holds a business degree from the University of Minnesota.

Brett Bradanini

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Brett is a former athlete who found his passion in finance and marketing. He has designed and developed multiple websites but would much rather spend his time talking and reaching out to customers. As a recent graduate of Quinnipiac University's MBA program, Brett has worked as a consultant to multiple businesses before working full time with AppThisLife.

Jeff Hanson

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Jeff founded AppThisLife in 2012 with the goal to make mobile solutions easy to grasp for small businesses. As a former professional baseball player, Jeff found himself playing around on his computer for the duration of his ten hour bus rides. After his playing career ended he took his computer skill to the sports industry, did some consulting, then founded his own company to utilize this talent. Jeff is a graduate of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT with an MBA from SHU's Jack F. Welch school of business.

Bob Kahn

Startup Coach   |   LinkedIn

Bob Kahn is a well known leader in branding, marketing and advertising, in a career that spans over 25 years.
For the past eight years he has been President of Khan Consulting, Inc. in Stamford, and has also served as Chief Marketing Officer for NetJets, Managing Director at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising
and was a founding partner at FutureBrand, one of the leading brand consultancies. No stranger to start ups, Bob is currently on the advisory board of three early stage companies in nano-technology, digital music and aerospace

Sharland Blanchard

Startup Coach   |  

Sharland Blanchard founded Launch Unlimited LLC, a Marketing Agency that helps businesses Start Soaring. They’ve consistently helped luxury brands and financial service businesses achieve 30% growth. From finance to fashion, they’ve created media campaigns and online tools that help multi-billion dollar hedge funds strengthen client relations and international beauty brands build US presence. They use brand positioning and omni-channel marketing strategies to help businesses reach, retain and grow customer relationships.
While her business primarily serves mid to large size companies, Sharland is personally passionate about helping entrepreneurs and coaches them on brand definition and early marketing strategies to engage customers quickly so they can Start Soaring.
Prior to launching her own business, she has over 15 years experience in roles from marketing and branding to creative design and copy, from PR to HR for corporate finance companies (GE Capital/VISA), ad agencies and consumer brands (Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Ponds). A few of her own clients have included Beiersdorf consumer brands NIVEA, Eucerin, Aquaphor, as well as premium brands Decléor and CARITA among many others.

Media Sponsors
Organizers
Peter Propp
Will & Ivonne Haire
Sarah Robinson
Zishan Ahmad
Brien Buckman
Alan Tan
May L. La
Alexa Santos
Emily Feldman
Richard La
Alex Lubka
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