Startup Weekend Central PA

    Friday, October 26 - 28, 2018

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

Friday, October 26 - 28, 2018

Friday, October 26 - 28, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The Candy Factory
Candy Factory, 342 N Queen St,
Lancaster, PA 17603

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Build Your Dream Business in 54 Hours

Do you have a business or product idea, but don't know where to start? 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to start. It's the place to build a team, create a prototype of your business or product, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend. 

No experience is necessary, and everyone is welcome to participate.

What do you need to bring?

Bring energy, enthusiasm and ideas. You can pitch your own idea or join a team. Participants vote on the ideas that teams will pursue during the weekend. After the product pitches, participants break down into teams and get to work. 

Your idea cannot be something you have already worked on. All ideas are welcome. Product pitches can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. 

At the end of the weekend, teams will make five-minute presentations to a panel of judges, who will decide the weekend's top business ideas.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a weekend-long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals 
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.
Watch the video below to see what you can expect. We're certain it will inspire you to click the "buy ticket" button!

Still have questions? Reach out to us at “”.

Your idea can't wait. Sign up today for a weekend of no talk, all action.

See what it's all about

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Friday October 26th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and check in with an ID.

6:20 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants.

6:45 pm
Welcome to Startup Weekend!
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders.

7:00 pm
Featured Speaker
This is more than just a weekend.

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
We'll explain the fundamentals of making a pitch and then (optionally) line up to give a 1 minute pitch.

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches.

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming around the most popular pitches.

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 October 27th

8:00 am
Arrive early and enjoy breakfast and coffee!

8:30 am
Begin Work
Teams set up workspace for the weekend...then get working!

9:00 am
Breakout Session #1
(Optional) Take a 15-minute break to learn about teamwork, delegation, and selling your team to investors with Lisa from Lisa Murray Consulting!

10:00 am
Breakout Session #2
(Optional) Take a 15-minute break to learn about triple bottom line business strategies with Jonathan from ASSETS of Lancaster!

11:00 am
Breakout Session #3
(Optional) Take a 15-minute break to learn understand the value and methodology behind user feedback and usability testing as a part of your solution development life cycle with Lauren from Catamaran!

11:30 am
Come grab some food and network with other participants!

12:00 pm
Breakout Session #4
(Optional) Take a 15-minute lunch break to learn about the basics of branding with Matt Hannigan from GoodThree.

1:00 pm
Breakout Session #5
(Optional) Take a 15-minute lunch break to learn about tools for successful pitches / presentations with Greg Orth from Sandler Training!

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help. Sign up for coaching if you need it!

2:00 pm
Release the Coaches!
Coaches help teams one-on-one. Ask questions. They are here to help!

6:00 pm
Enjoy a meal and connect with fellow participants!

7:30 pm
Let's have an after-dinner check-in and share status reports.

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

Sunday October 28th

8:00 am
Arrive early and enjoy breakfast and coffee!

10:00 am
Final opportunity to ask questions and sign up for coaching.

12:00 pm
Come grab some food and network with other participants!

3:00 pm
Presentation Tech Check, & Group Photo
Come down for a tech-check for final presentations. While you're there, pose for your group photo!

4:00 pm
Dinner & Tips
Grab some food and hear some last-minute tips for a great pitch.

4:45 pm
Doors Open to Public
We invite Central PA to join us for the final pitches

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:00 pm
Judging & Awards
While the judges deliberate, let's hear some announcements.

6:30 pm
Thank You & Next Steps
This weekend is only the beginning. Here are resources to keep going!

7:00 pm
Head Out or Head Home!
Cap off the weekend with a drink at a local bar and decompress with fellow participants...or just go catch up on sleep!


Tara McMullin
Founder, CEO, Super User at CoCommercial + Host of What Works Podcast

Tara McMullin is on a mission to turn today’s small business owners into tomorrow’s economic powerhouses. She’s the founder of CoCommercial, a support network where small business owners trade notes, share what’s working for them, and connect for support, opportunities, and camaraderie. She’s also the host of What Works, a podcast that takes you behind the scenes of successful small businesses and shows you what’s working in marketing, operations, time management, product development, and more. Entrepreneur named it one of 24 top women-hosted podcasts for business owners. Tara is also a sought after speaker, educator, and a bestselling Money & Life expert on CreativeLive. Tara’s work has been featured in Fast Company, Inc, DailyWorth, Forbes, and The Huffington Post.

Event Judges

Annie Hughes
Director, PSU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Annie Hughes is the Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Penn State Harrisburg, where she supports student, faculty, staff and community entrepreneurs with education, inspiration and resources.  Prior to joining Penn State Harrisburg, Annie was a Manager of Disruptive Innovation at the Hershey Company, and a Director of Sales and Marketing at Eco Lips, Inc.

Oliver Feakins
Serial Entrepreneur, Speaker, Digital Marketer and Educator

Oliver Feakins is a serial Entrepreneur, speaker, digital marketer and educator. Oliver has launched several startups in the tech space including Track5Media and Web Talent Marketing. When not launching startups or building out teams, Oliver can be found teaching Entrepreneurship at Millersville University, hanging out with his new born son or completing is private pilot's license. Oliver is also an immigrant right's advocate and launched "The Feakins Foundation" , a non-profit which helps dreamers pursue their goals of a post secondary education through college scholarships and guidance. 

Eva Dombrowski
Executive Director, Clare House

Eva earned her BA in Psychology from Messiah College, and won’t stop being surprised that she ended up as the Executive Director for a homeless shelter (even 5 years later). She was the recipient of the 2017 SCORE Small Business Development Award and a nominee for Lancaster Young Professionals Young Influencer award, but really just likes volunteering her time toward causes involving books, bikes, booze, and justice. She also enjoys watching Vine (RIP) compilations on YouTube, and spending time with her nieces.

Coaches and Mentors

Greg Orth
Owner & President at Sandler Training and Craft Tastings

As a business executive driving sales, marketing and corporate strategies, Greg has spent the last 20 years working closely with Fortune 500 businesses utilizing unique approaches to business processes as well as innovative thinking to drive improved results.  Prior to Sandler, Greg worked with McKinsey and Co. and Henry Rak Consulting Partners. Prior to his work in the consulting field, Greg honed his business sense spending nearly 15 years with The HersheyCompany serving in a variety of roles in sales, customer marketing, category management and finance.  Looking back on a successful career, Greg decided to leave the corporate world behind and take his skills and experiences to work with local businesses to help them achieve their business development and financial goals.

Christopher Felpel
Systems Architect, Founder

Christopher Felpel is veteran software engineer with extensive experience designing and developing software platforms used in the online marketing and Fintech verticals.  He has been featured on CNN, consulted with editors of industry periodicals and Fortune Global 500 corporations.  Over the past decade; Christopher has been applying his design experience towards building cutting-edge AI bots used in automated trading platforms.

Alison Pidgeon
Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling LLC

Alison Pidgeon, MA, LPC is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling LLC, a boutique mental health private practice for women located in Lancaster, PA. She was the winner of the Central Penn Business Journal's "Best Emerging Business of the Year" Award in 2017. Alison's other passion is working as a business consultant helping therapists who want to start or grow their own private practices.

Ryan Harris
CEO at Noodigs

Ryan Harris is the founder and CEO of Noodigs, a software platform providing the tools and information needed to execute every step of a home sale transaction at a fraction of the cost of the traditional model. Noodigs recently won the Ben Franklin Technology Partner's Big Idea Contest.

Jonathan Coleman
Co-Executive Director of ASSETS and Co-Founder of Intentional Tours

Jonathan is the Co-Executive Director of ASSETS, a Lancaster-based organization with a vision of creating an equitable, ethical, and prosperous economy that works for everyone.  ASSETS supports entrepreneurs and established business leaders to help them grow their businesses and their community impact.  He is also the Co-Founder of Intentional Tours, a social enterprise travel company.

ASSETS creates economic opportunity and cultivates entrepreneurial leadership to alleviate poverty and build vibrant, sustainable communities. They offer programs focusing on small businesses and social enterprise. This includes business start-up trainings, Lending Circles (micro-loans for small businesses), Women’s Leadership Circles and the Great Social Enterprise Pitch.

Lisa Murray
Founder of Lisa Murray Consulting LLC

Lisa Murray provides executive coaching, company trainings and consulting to a variety of businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. Her areas of expertise are in emotional intelligence, leadership, communication, assertiveness, and resiliency. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Central PA 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.

Signature Sponsors

The Candy Factory in downtown Lancaster, PA will be hosting Startup Weekend Central PA. They are the premier coworking space in Lancaster with an office of Ben Franklin Technology Partners housed in their downtown building.

Visit Website




Organizing Team

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

  • Layla
  • Zanetta
  • Christopher
  • Correll


Alejandra Jimenez
Program Manager

Global Facilitator @startupweekend | Interpreter, translator and editor | Program Manager @StartupBoost NY | Latinx

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