Startup Weekend: Blockchain Edition

    Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend: Blockchain Edition

Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018

Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

75 Binney St
Cambridge, MA

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Your idea in 54 hours

Startup Weekend Blockchain Edition!
All of the awesomeness of Startup Weekend combined with all the mystery and possibility of Blockchain Technology. Let's do this!According to Blockchain Revolution author, Don Tapscott, "blockchain technology – a truly open, distributed, global platform – will fundamentally change what we can achieve online, how we do it, and who can participate."
Check out his TED Talk on How the Blockchain is Changing Money and Business.Harvard Business Review Article: The Blockchain Will Do to the Financial System What the Internet Did to Media

What is Startup Weekend?Have you ever seen a new product, app, or business and thought to yourself, "that was my idea a few years ago"? If you have, that means you did not have a process for taking that idea from concept to creation.

Startup Weekend is your chance to learn how to take any idea from concept to creation within a matter of days! Whether you are looking to...
  • get introduced to the world of startups and entrepreneurship,
  • learn the process for going from concept to creation,
  • meet experienced, talented, and passionate entrepreneurs in Boston,
  • join or build an all-star team,
  • learn and practice new skills to take back to your job, or
  • take your own idea from concept to creation
Check out this short video of last fall's Startup Weekend Music Tech Edition! Many thanks to Sony Music for producing the video. 

Who is Startup Weekend For? It doesn't matter what you do or where you come from, Startup Weekend is designed as an inclusive event and program that brings all sorts of people together including...
  • aspiring & experienced entrepreneurs,
  • developers and other tech-related professionals,
  • designers of all types,
  • non-technical talent (i.e. business, sales, finance, legal, etc.),
  • students from universities and even high schools,
  • professionals looking to switch careers or build new skills,
  • passionate visionaries, and
  • many more!

What's the twist? 

Blockchain edition means we will be focusing on ideas that utilize the power and potential of blockchain technology and design to solve problems. Blockchain technology gives us an opportunity to reimagine how we move, transact, share, and track goods and services. Some argue that blockchain technology is like the next internet. That is, the internet was the enabler and delivery mechanism for some of the greatest ideas of the last 2 decades. Blockchain can do the same for the next couple of decades and this is our chance to be the first ones to embrace and build on it. Don't miss this opportunity to get in on a new pioneering technology, early in the game! 

Whether you are interested in the blockchain or not, the ultimate objective of the event is to empower you with a powerful process for taking any idea, blockchain-related or not, from concept to creation! 

Your full-price ticket includes:
  • Access to the full, weekend-long, event
  • Access to the educational pre-events
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea on Friday night @ Pitch Fire
  • Mentoring by all-stars from the blockchain world and the tech startup community
  • 7 meals plus coffee throughout the weekend
  • Pre-event Workshops on understanding blockchain
  • Collaboration with awesome blockchain professionals from throughout Boston
  • 1 awesome Startup Weekend t-shirt
  • All-star judge's panel led by tech, startup, and blockchain leaders
  • Membership in the Startup Weekend Community (>200K alumni) #SWMafia
  • A process for taking any idea from concept to creation in a matter of days
  • Over 100 new awesome Facebook friends!

Do I need to come with an idea?

If you have an idea for a startup, then great! We hope you pitch for the weekend. If you don't have an idea, that's quite all right! Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something strikes your interest! The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and learning from each other. If you have more questions, check out the Startup Weekend First Timers FAQ!

Join us for a very special weekend! 

Questions? Press inquiries? Please email us at

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday February 23rd

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
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

Saturday February 24th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Saturday Morning Kick-off
Our facilitators will kick off the event and remind you of some of the essentials of solving a problem!

12:00 pm
Lunch & Learn Design Thinking Workshop
This workshop will help you start defining the user of your product and your target customer.

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm
Dine & Learn: Pitch Workshop
Join us for a workshop with Michael McCarthy, Executive Coach Harvard Advanced Leadership, to learn how to prepare your pitches for Sunday.

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday February 25th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:00 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
After party!!!!


Tristan Thoma

Tristan is the Founder of Impera Strategy, a consulting firm that specializes in Blockchain & Cryptocurrency applications.  He has worked with corporations like General Electric and SwissRe on international Blockchain projects, as well as many ICO’s on entity structuring, technical architecture, and business growth. He is also a founding member of a social-impact cryptocurrency project, recently presented at The World Bank Annual Conference in DC. Tristan's focus on Systems Development stems from his dynamic work background in IT Management and Personal Development Coaching, together with his formal education in Organizational Psychology.

David Berger
CTO @ Integra Legal Ledger

David Berger is a computer technologist with extensive experience focusing on Mobile/Social content delivery. He has worked with numerous large and small clients including Sun, Oracle, IDG books, Pogo and NBC. David previously founded Scientia, acquired by the Princeton Review, and then co-created He followed that with work in Pharma marketing/education and then co-founded SciMediMedia servicing Merk, BMS, and Aventis. Currently, he is CTO of Integra, where he is the principle architect of the Global Legal Block Chain.

Event Judges

Clement Cazalot
Managing Director of TechStars

Clement Cazalot is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and startup advisor, and now focusing on working and advising early stage startup. 

Clement Cazalot is currently Managing Director of Techstars Boston, leading the expansion of one of the most prestigious, impactful and founder-friendly startup accelerator and early stage investor in the world.

Clement Cazalot is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and startup advisor. 
He is currently Managing Director of Techstars Boston, leading the expansion Techstars' accelerator program. 

Cazalot was the co-founder of docTrackr and went through the TechStars accelerator himself in 2012!  DocTrackr was acquired by Intralinks and Cazalot become the VP of Technology.
Cazalot is recognized as a information security expert. He holds a both Master of Science in Intelligence & Innovation from Universite Aix-Marseille (France) and a Master of Business Administration and Management from Ecole de Management de Marseille (France).
Before Intralinks, Cazalot was the co-founder and CEO of docTrackr (accelerated by TechStars Boston in 2012) that was acquired by Intralinks in 2014, after having partnered with industry leaders among which Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, and Box. He built the company from its inception in the south of France, until the point where their technology was deployed to 99% of the Fortune 1000 in the US, four years later.

Cazalot has been featured in a number of publications, conferences and recognized by peers and media alike for his information security expertise. He holds a both Master of Science in Intelligence & Innovation from Universite Aix-Marseille (France) and a Master of Business Administration and Management from Ecole de Management de Marseille (France).

Dazza Greenwood Consultancy, Founder and MIT Media Lab, Visiting Scientist

Daniel “Dazza” Greenwood heads, a consultancy on digital identity and technology policy. Dazza is a Lecturer and Researcher at the MIT Media Lab, focusing on public policy, information technology and innovation focusing on big data, identity federation, personal data sharing and trust frameworks. Dazza consults to fortune 100 companies, including the insurance industry and financial services sector, architecting the creation of trust frameworks. As an attorney, Dazza served as both general and special counsel for technology law, representing corporations and governments and as intellectual property litigation expert.

Federally, Dazza has testified several times on eCommerce before the US House and US Senate and other legislatures and has consulted to NASA as an Online Identity expert, GSA as a multilateral rules drafting expert, Homeland Security as a multistate federated governance expert, the UK Cabinet Office GDS facilitating and authoring identity federation rules and many other public and private sector organizations. 

Dazza is the elected Vice Chair of the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group’s Plenary, which is developing a framework for federated identity and privacy at the international level, implementing NSTIC. Dazza Chairs the Forum on Law of Identity and Personal Data of the ID Commons. Dazza chaired the eContracts Committee of OASIS/LegalXML, which approved and published the Technical Committee Specification for eContracts in 2007.

Gari Singh
IBM Blockchain CTO

Versatile technologist and proven technical executive with over 23 years of experience in all aspects of product delivery including architecture, development, product and cloud delivery, product management, technical sales and consulting.

Currently the CTO for IBM Blockchain with responsibility for the IBM's core blockchain platform as well as IBM's blockchain as a service offerings.

Barbara Piette
Managing Principal

Barbara joined Knightsbridge after spending more than twenty years as a venture capitalist, holding partner positions with both Charles River Ventures and Schroder Ventures. Barbara works as an advisor with three emerging venture capital firms, focused on AI, materials, and the cloud, the research firm Sports Innovation Lab, and several early stage companies spanning industry sectors such as robotics, blockchain enterprise software, and diagnostics.

Barbara has been managing VC portfolios since 1986 and served on the board of several companies. From 1992 to 1999, she invested with a life sciences focus as a Partner of Schroder Ventures.  She serves as an Overseer of Boston Children’s Hospital and as a Boston Advisory Board member of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. She serves on the Board of the Alliance for Advancement and Diversity in the Sciences, is a member of the Massachusetts Women's Forum.  Barbara received an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School and holds a BS summa cum laude from Boston College where she graduated first in her class.

Navroop Sahdev
Research Fellow, Center for Blockchain Technologies, UCL

Navroop holds a host of leadership roles in the DLT space, both as a practitioner as well as a researcher. ​An economist by training, Navroop is currently building a FinTech company that seeks to leverage blockchain technology. She is a Research Associate at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT) at University College London and Centre d’économie de l’Université Paris Nord (CEPN) and holds three masters in IP Management, Economics of Innovation and Applied Economics.

A United Nations Youth Delegate for 2017, Navroop has co-authored Hyperledger’s Blockchain for Business online course. She speaks regularly at FinTech and blockchain conferences and currently serves on the advisory board of a host of blockchain companies, across industries. Previously, she has worked at Harvard University and United Nations Environment Programme. Her research interests are focused on Distributed Ledger Technologies, Game Theory, Networks Theory and Complex Systems Science.

Havell Rodrigues
CEO and Co-Founder of Adjoint Inc.

Havell Rodrigues is CEO and co-Founder of Adjoint, the Boston- and London-based developer of smart contracts that leverages distributed ledger technology for the financial services industry. Havell previously spent eight years at an emerging markets hedge fund managing fund-of-fund investments, structured products, risk management, and business development. Earlier, he served as CFO and Board Member of Greenbean Recycle, a payments/cleantech company acquired by TOMRA Systems. He holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Babson College and a BS in Statistics from the University of Mumbai. He is a NextGen Venture Partner and a co-founder of the Babson Entrepreneurship Forum.

Coaches and Mentors

Tim Simard
CEO & Founder of Anthurium Solutions

I am a seasoned, results-driven Fortune 1000 executive and entrepreneur who enjoys building market-driven products and solutions, creating value through innovation, and developing creative go-to-market strategies with inspired teams. 

Industry Experience: Healthcare, Pharmacy, Technology, Manufacturing, Energy, Aerospace, Consumer Products, Education

Rakesh Kamdar
Founder and CEO of DB Healthcare, Inc

Founder and CEO of DB Healthcare, Inc - DB Healthcare is specialized in staffing and consulting for hospitals, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, Clinical Research, Genomics and medical devices companies. We provide contract, contract-to-hire and permanent staffing. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest level of personal service to all our customers, and consultants. Our number one goal is delivering attainable solutions for your workforce challenges.

DB Blockchain, a division of DB Healthcare IT, is a leading and innovative consulting organization providing blockchain expertise and solutions to the financial, healthcare and life sciences, supply chain and IoT industry. Our Blockchain certified team provides the best-quality service to our clients and enables them to build and implement cutting-edge technology to accelerate innovation in their enterprise.

Featured in Wall Street Journal

John MacKenna
Editor of Blockchain Informed

John MacKenna is Editor of Blockchain Informed, a publisher/marketing advisory/custom publishing agency, based in Arlington, MA. “Blockchain practitioners that educate their constituencies about blockchain most effectively will accelerate their rise,” he says. A business and technology writer since 1997, he believes that blockchain will reconfigure marketplaces everywhere and transform customer expectations for transparency and identity control. Follow him on LinkedIn.

Jennifer Jordan
Venture Capitalist and Board Member

As an early stage investor I am passionate about teams, opportunities, and differentiation of technology, strategy or model. Throughout my 20 years in technology and financial services, I have worked on everything from early internet search solutions and web analytics to robotics and software used to design semiconductors. My most recent investments leverage the power of data and automation to transform industries and provide clear business advantage. They span synthetic biology (Ginkgo Bioworks), data transparency (ClearGov), Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for sales optimization (, and industrial IOT for advanced manufacturing (MachineMetrics).

Nick Myers
Techstars Associate

Nick graduated with his undergraduate degree in Physics from Saint Michael's College in Burlington, VT. He spent time designing and manufacturing plastics for Rochester 100Inc, following which he pursued an MBA from Northeastern University and worked in Change Mangement at Santander Bank. Moving away from traditional banking, Nick worked at Tengu, a crypto company as a Finance associate building out the crypto-economy for the coin. He now works at Techstars as a lead associate helping the program grow in Boston. Nick is very passionate about blockchain technologies and how to create a successful business utilizing crypto-currencies. 

Manasi Vora
Finance Professional | Blockchain Enthusiast

Manasi is inspired by the potential of blockchain technology to transform the financial industry. She designs Crypto funds and is also a project manager at Santander Bank. Manasi founded Boston Women in Blockchain meetup to connect women passionate about this technology. She is an active member of Boston blockchain community, MIT Bitcoin club and is part of MIT Bitcoin Expo organizing committee. Manasi has received her MBA and is a member of the CFA Boston society. She has also worked in corporate banking and managed assets worth $200 million at a boutique wealth management firm. 

Jarrett Goetz
Chief Product Officer @ C-4 Analytics

I'll probably ask you the same 3 questions I ask myself couple days: 

1) Am I doing or building something awesome? 
2) Am I having fun doing it? 
3) Will it innovate or change the world? 

Alex Higuera
Software Architect and Developer

Alex in interested in the intersection of technology and society. Currently, she is the software architect at Level K, where she designs and creates blockchain applications using Ethereum smart contracts. At Level K, Alex helps customers and partners design and build decentralized networks, services, and communities. Previously, she worked at the Human Dynamics Group and the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, both at MIT, on blockchain-related projects, implementing design and web architecture in ReactJS on Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains. Alex is also the Founder of NeuroTechBOS, a network of engineers, designers, scientists, and hackers. With over 700 members in Boston, NTBOS hosts talks, panel discussions, and hack nights to engage the public with leaders of the neurotech community. She studied Electrical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Anthropology at Boston University 

Prasanna Gopalakrishnan
Executive Vice President, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Boston Private

Prasanna is a fintech executive with 20+ years of experience. She has deep expertise in leading and specializing in Digital Transformation centered on Client Experience and Operational Excellence. She works closely with her Board and CEO to drive growth and new business model centric strategy through Digital Transformation. She also sits on the Advisory Board of a number of startups focused on Blockchain and Cyber Security.

Chris Swenor
CEO/Founder of East Coast Product

Chris is a tech entrepreneur, passionate about all things software. At East Coast Product, Chris leads his team to build the right digital product to get early and seed stage startups to their next milestone. Prior to East Coast Product, Chris was the CTO at Vsnap, where he was responsible for all company efforts on product and technology, in addition to recruiting, hiring, and managing the personnel in those areas. In his free time, this tech guru advises students at Harvard Business School, coders at Resilient Coders and budding entrepreneurs at Techstars. 

Philip Greenwald
CEO, Code Undercover | Assistant Director Of Technology at Harvard Innovation Labs

Philip is the assistant director of technology at Harvard Innovation Labs. He runs their Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality Studio and Maker Studio and advises student and alumni entrepreneurs on software development and building new technologies. He is passionate about business empowerment and enabling people to bring an idea to reality without outsourcing every aspect of the development and details.

Phil has worked with aspiring CEOs and young professionals from Boston to Korea to bring minimum viable products (MVPs) to realization, secure business funding, and get accepted into accelerators such as Y Combinator and MassChallenge. Prior to teaching, Phil was the chief software architect on several large-scale web and mobile applications. 

Gavin Nicol

Gavin has been a technology leader and innovator for 25+ years working at corporate research centers in Japan, and corporations and startups in the US and the Netherlands.  His work at Context Labs focuses on scalable blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, security models, identity models, large scale data analytics, graph analytics, and on applications of these technologies within verticals.

Howie Hecht
Co-Founder & Principal at Appanite, Inc., and Angel Investor

Howie is an MIT/Sloan trained entrepreneurial start-up executive, advisor, and angel investor with 21+ years of product management, business development, marketing and consulting experience successfully launching new and improving existing businesses, products and services. 
Based in the Boston area, Howie is one of 3 principals and co-founders at Appanite, Inc., creators of AdsSciences. AdsSciences is a digital advertising optimization service integrated with the Facebook and Instagram ad platforms and typically yields 2x-10x more results than other campaigns (and sometimes as much as 30x-50x). It achieves this by treating the campaigns as scientific experiments and utilizing the proprietary algorithms, methodologies, and tools developed in-house. AdsSciences is ~3 years in the making and works for both B2B and B2C marketing, across every vertical, and has tens of millions of dollars of ad spend under management.
Howie is passionate about solving problems and supporting other entrepreneurs and does so by both advising them as well as by backing promising founders with seed-level angel investments. After a few years of management consulting and software development, Howie entered the startup scene by becoming one of the first product managers at Akamai Technologies, and later went on to head product, engineering, marketing, and business development at a variety of startups in many different verticals including content delivery, networking, data storage, IT security, compliance, financial services, mobile, and most recently, ad-tech. Howie earned his undergraduate degree from MIT's Sloan School of Management combined with extensive studies in computer science, psychology, and cognitive science. When he's not working on new ventures, Howie enjoys boating, photography, and volunteering and mentoring with various organizations -- including of course, Startup Weekend!

Ignacio Castro

Corbin Pon
Cofounder of Thesis

 is a software developer and a graduate from the Computer Science program at Georgia Tech. He's been running a company in the blockchain space for over 4 years that has products ranging from consumer payments to fundamental infrastructure. As a serial entrepreneur, he has been through the full gamut of the startup experience, with time spent building apps with friends in school, participating in accelerators, bringing in those first exciting customers, and pitching in front of high profile venture capitalists. Most of all, he enjoys building products that solve real problems for real people, and he hopes that some of that experience can be used to help others. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend: Blockchain Edition team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.



Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Boston is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Zuzana
  • Kristofer
  • Pooja
  • Laura
  • David
  • Roger


Roger Osorio
Entrepreneurship Program Leader @ IBM

Entrepreneurship program leader at IBM by day, math coach by night, and Startup Weekend global facilitator by weekend.  I deliver a powerful cocktail made up of education, psychology, neuroscience, leadership, and entrepreneurship.  I facilitate events to maximize the experience and learning for all participants.

Zuzana Giertlova

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