Techstars Startup Weekend Stamford

    Friday, September 20 - 22, 2019

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

Friday, September 20 - 22, 2019

Friday, September 20 - 22, 2019
Event starts at 5:00 pm

Ferguson Library
96 Broad Street
Stamford, CT 06904

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with? 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve 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. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • 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, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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Friday September 20th

5:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:15 pm
Opening presentaion
Craig Mullett, President of Branison Group (an M&A advisory firm) and Director of the Angel Investor Forum shares insights all startups need to launch.

6:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

7:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 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

9:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

Saturday September 21st

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:00 am
Coaches available for consultations.

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

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

6:00 pm

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 September 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions. Help with final presentations.

12:00 pm

2:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:30 pm
Joe O'Connor, Senior VP of Channels
Joe O'Connor shares strategies for successful business development.

4:00 pm
Final Presentations

4:30 pm
Judging & Awards

5:00 pm
Closing reception

6:00 pm
The end
Go home! Get some rest! You have a startup now.


Craig Mullett
Director of the Angel Investor Forum

Craig Mullett is President of Branison Group (an M&A advisory firm) and also an active angel investor as a Director of the Angel Investor Forum. Craig was previously Director of Corporate Development for Amphenol Corporation (at the time a KKR portfolio company) and following this he was a non-executive director of Volex Group. In South Africa, Craig founded and sold HomeWorths and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte. Craig is a founder of AngelHub, Africa's first angel group and helped in establishing SA Business Angels Network as well as Trident Angels, the first Caribbean angel group. He has many active seed stage investments that include artificial intelligence, cloud computing software, mobile digital security, consumer goods and medical devices. Craig has been interviewed on startup investing by the New York Times, Forbes, Financial Mail and Inc. He is a Venture Advisor at Yale University and has an MBA from Nyenrode (Netherlands), a BCom(Honors) from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and is a graduate of the International Leadership Academy of the United Nations (Jordan).

Joe O'Connor
Senior Vice President of Channels

Top-producing and customer-focused global business executive with an extensive background in generating revenue through world-class business development strategies and solutions.

Event Judges

Brenda Lewis
Principal Transactions Marketing

Brenda is an entrepreneur with 36 years of venture management and tech start-up funding experience in enterprise software, systems and services. She has launched 20 ventures, mostly mobile. In 2017, she co-founded TechXel Stamford, LLC, the first B2B tech accelerator in Fairfield County. Prior to Transactions Marketing, Inc., Brenda spent 15 years in enterprise systems and marketing with Exxon, Marine Management Systems and Howmet Aluminum, a subsidiary of Paris-based Pechiney Ugine Kuhlmann. Brenda graduated cum laude from Smith College in economics and received her MBA from the University of Connecticut. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development and holds a certificate in Telecommunications Management from NYU .Brenda is on the Steering Committee for Innovation Stamford and is a charter organizer of One Million Cups /Stamford. She is a judge for the CT New Venture Challenge, the CT Collegiate Business Competition and the Draper competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs.

Richard Guha
Entrepreneur in Residence

Richard has over 45 years business experience in Finance, Operations, Marketing and General Management within both technology and consumer industries. He has been CEO of a Fortune 100 company (Reliant Energy), several start-ups, consultant to about one third of the Fortune 500, Board Member and active investor in startups. He has been most recently an Entrepreneur in Residence at CTNext.   He has been engaged with startups for 26 years – as founder, board member, CEO, mentor and investor. In addition to the 2,000 with which he has been involved, he has been an investor or founder in over ten which achieved successful exits in the tens of millions of $$ or more, with one currently at a $1 Billion valuation.   He has a Bachelors’ degree in Math, Physics, Chemistry and Fluid Mechanics from the University of Cambridge, and also a Masters in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge.   Joined Procter & Gamble, (following a period as a Chemical Engineer at ICI Plc), in Consumer Marketing, before moving to Mars, Inc., in the UK, and several other countries. He worked in multiple countries. He then went into Strategy consulting at Marketing Corporation of America, where he worked largely for F500 companies in CPG, Financial Services, High Tech, and Telecommunications. He re-entered corporate life as CMO of US West and its cable business, where he named and launched the first “Broadband” product offering. He has been the SVP Marketing and Business Development of Remedy/BMC enterprise software, and President of Reliant Energy, a Fortune 100 company. Richard has also been involved in almost 2,000 startups in Fintech, Insurance, Healthcare, Biotech, High-tech and Consumer Products, since 1990. His roles have included founder, CEO, investor, Board member and Mentor. He has lived in ten countries on four continents and worked in many more via global responsibilities on several occasions.

David Noble
Director of the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Former attorney that transitioned into a faculty, I build the future by working with partners across the University of Connecticut.

Joe O'Connor
Senior Vice President of Channels

Top-producing and customer-focused global business executive with an extensive background in generating revenue through world-class business development strategies and solutions.

Coaches and Mentors

Steven Semaya
Entrepreneur in Residence

Steven L. Semaya is an executive, management consultant and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in strategy development, operations management, process and organizational design, and business development. He has led operations, administration, and business development, for several start-ups, as well as small and large businesses.  As an entrepreneur, Steven developed the concepts, strategy, business plans, designs and financing for two businesses that he owned and managed for 10 years. He led a staff of 50 employees and managed budgets, administration, contract negotiations, infrastructure, and day-to-day operations.   Steven currently works with the Business Council of Fairfield County helping to lead programs focused on helping start-ups and growth companies including The Center for Growth Resources, The Connecticut Supplier Connection and The Growth Network. He is also the founder and principal consultant at Optimum Partners, LLC, a management consulting firm focused on helping start-ups, growth companies and other small businesses and non-profits to grow efficiently, effectively and profitably.

Doug Campbell
Entrepreneur in Residence

Douglas Campbell III is the CEO of The Success Coach, which works with business owners to accelerate growth, build strong management teams, and plan for a business exit or succession. Doug has started five businesses, and served as marketing director for a Fortune 100 with 23 locations nationwide. He has also served as a judge for business plan competitions through Connecticut Innovations, is a member of The Business Council of Fairfield County's Growth Council, and a board member of the Entrepreneurship Foundation. Doug is also a Small Business Expert for Wells Fargo Bank and a member of the Brain Trust for Jim Blasingame's Small Business National Radio Network and has been recognized in the Top 30 Global Gurus 3 years in the Coach category. Doug has been a Small Business Expert for Wells Fargo Bank and is a member of the Brain Trust for Jim Blasingame's Small Business National Radio Network. He has written 2 books on business and career reinvention, has been a member of the National Speakers Association, and has been recognized as a Top 30 Global Guru for the past 4 years. He speaks Spanish and has been involved in microlending projects in Central and South America for the past 20 years.

Nick Johnson
Hardware Startup Guru & Founder of Proto.Ventures: a startup incubator in Stamford, CT

A multidisciplinary engineer and serial tech entrepreneur, Nick is an innovation guru who loves helping creators start new startups. After developing several industry-leading products as a design engineer at Bose, Nick took the role of CTO at ShiftWear where he developed futuristic products from the ground up. He has since leveraged his vast knowledge of product development and lean business strategy to help 20+ startups bring their concepts to life.

Mary Abbazia
Managing Director of Impact Planning Group

Mary Abbazia is Managing Director of Impact Planning Group and Co-Author of The Accidental Marketer. She is known for her ability to infuse enthusiasm for the discipline of marketing. She is a strategic marketer who helps Fortune 1000 clients (such as GE, Pfizer and Marriott) grow their business by developing marketing skills and dynamic market strategies. She also teaches marketing to executives at Columbia University and at California Institute of Technology. Mary is originally from the California where she started her career at Intel, and later joined The BASES Group, as a Vice President forecasting new products & services. Over the past 25 years, her vision to galvanize professionals has resulted in successful marketing strategies across a variety of sectors and markets. She is a renowned speaker, an executive educator and business coach. Her practical approach and proven frameworks enable clients to transform their business challenges into innovative marketing strategies. Mary earned a Bachelor of Science in managerial economics from the University of California at Davis and received an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA. She loves to travel and explore different cultures. Mary now resides in Connecticut with her husband and two amazing children.

Shannon Daniels
Founder & CEO

Shannon Malkin Daniels believes anything is possible with creativity, hard work and perseverance. The once sales and marketing executive has parlayed her corporate experience into success as an entrepreneur, author, TEDx speaker and communication coach. In 2017, Shannon founded encaptiv, an award-winning interactive presentation and sales platform that promotes audience engagement and helps presenters achieve presentation goals. Shannon has been honored as one of Fairfield County's 40 Under Forty and is the Chair of Stamford Innovation Week. She holds a master’s in interpersonal communication from the University of Central Florida and has served on the faculty of Columbia University and Iona College.  

Stephen Walton

Stephen Walton is the founder of Walton altEnergy, a management consulting and energy services company that helps burgeoning clean tech and alternative  energy companies navigate the critical path to market.  Walton altEnergy is focused on agile Power Grid Modernization and the decarburization of the Worlds energy supply.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Elizabeth
  • Doug
  • Steven


Alejandra Jimenez
Program Manager

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

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