Startup Weekend Hartford: Education

    Friday, September 26 - 28, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Hartford: Education

Friday, September 26 - 28, 2014

Friday, September 26 - 28, 2014
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Historic CL&P Northeast Utilities Building
410 Sheldon Street
Hartford, CT 06106

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Have you ever had an idea for improving education?

Here’s your opportunity to transform your education ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complementary skills & the passion to build an education product in one weekend. Design for learning, conduct user tests, receive coaching from experienced education designers & industry professionals and win prizes that will help take your idea to the next level!

We had an AMAZING weekend! Thank you to everyone who came out, pitched ideas, worked together, learned a few things and had fun!

Make sure to check out the photos on Facebook!

1st Place Winner - We Studee
reSET Social Impact Award - Quiz My Tween
People's Choice - URise

Startup Weekend Hartford 2014 Businesses:

Educational sports system that teaches match through athletics. Mathketball, a basketball with a tracking device to teach kids about physics and math while playing the game.

Mentor You

Online resource for high school students to find information about careers, and to find internships, which will help them be more informed about future careers.

Psst.. (Private School Selection Tool)
Online platform that enables prospective families to make informed decisions in selecting a private school for their child. Accumulates and organizes school information, and allows for feedback from families.

Quiz My Tween

An app which allows parents to quiz their teenagers about online safety, with information to help parents speak to their children about being safe online.


Internet based solution for educators that is a hub of peer-rated links for instructional and educational materials. 

An educational app that expands upon the game Minecraft, to teach kids about math, science and technology.

Educational technology game called Seed Money, an engaging way to teach entrepreneurship to urban youth through a gaming platform.


An online web-based application to help students match up with other students. Geared towards commuter students, international students, and new students.

"Thank you to everyone who was a part of this event and congrats to all winners, what a tremendous 54 hours we've had!" - Erin

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday September 26th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speaker - Gordon Smith
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce our featured speaker, Gordon Smith, our coaches, and community leaders

8:15 pm
Pitches Start
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 until Midnight

Saturday September 27th

8:00 am
Breakfast and Work
Arrive, enjoy simple breakfast & coffee from Panera Bread, and get to work!

12:00 pm
Enjoy a delicious lunch from Bear's Smokehouse!

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
Enjoy a delicious dinner from Scott's Jamaican Bakery

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

11:30 pm
Finished for the day. Wrap up your work, the venue closes at Midnight

Sunday September 28th

8:00 am
Breakfast and Work
Arrive, enjoy simple breakfast & coffee from Panera Bread, and get to work!

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

12:00 pm
Enjoy a delicious lunch from Hot Tomato's

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

4:00 pm
Enjoy a delicious dinner from Ted's Montana Grill

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Great job to everyone, but only one team can walk away winners

7:30 pm
Congratulations, you made it!


Gordon Smith
SPEAKER: Founder & CEO, Codesters

Gordon Smith is the founder and CEO of Codesters, a social startup bringing computer programming classes to middle and high school students. Prior to founding Codesters, Gordon was the co-founder and co-president of Tutor Associates where he spent 13 years exploring how kids learn while training and supporting educators. Gordon's focus is on developing innovative methods for reaching students and tools that support dynamic learning.

Event Judges

Revell Horsey

Revell Horsey has spent 25 years helping companies realize their potential. As a corporate finance specialist on Wall Street, Revell was directly responsible for over $40 billion of equity capital financing by companies across a broad range of industries. While financial technology companies are a primary area of focus, Revell is also involved in the education sector where he is currently advising a SaaS provider of coding curriculum and teacher support services to teach Middle School students the fundamental literacy of the 21st century. Codesters is addressing the significant skills gap in the US economy which is estimated to result in over 1MM more programming jobs than computer science majors over the next 10 years.

Marlene Ibsen
CEO and President, Travelers Foundation

Marlene M. Ibsen is chief executive officer and president of the Travelers Foundation and vice president, Community Relations, for The Travelers Companies, Inc. In her role, she manages the company’s giving practices, overseeing the distribution of approximately $20 million in charitable and civic support each year. She is also responsible for the company’s community-related employee engagement and development activities. Ms. Ibsen took on her current responsibilities in November 2007, and since then has developed a strategic approach for the company’s charitable giving, with a significant emphasis on increasing educational opportunities for underrepresented students.

Mark Scheinberg
Founding President, Goodwin College

Mark Scheinberg is the founding president of Goodwin College in East Hartford, Connecticut. In this role, he has provided the leadership and financial support to convert a private, career school into a nonprofit, four-year collegiate institution. Situated on a scenic campus on the banks of the Connecticut River, Goodwin College is dedicated to what Mr. Scheinberg calls “the undiscovered student” — working adults, first-generation college students, and learners who come from diverse backgrounds. A school that focuses on programs that lead to emerging careers, Goodwin College has built some of Connecticut’s largest programs in registered nursing, respiratory therapy, histology, and paramedic training. In recent years, the College has extended its mission by developing an innovative magnet school system on its campus. The Connecticut River Academy, which moved into its new state-of-the-art building in January 2014, offers a unique high school environmental science curriculum. The Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, which opened in September 2013 and is based on the Emilia Reggio model of student-centered education, provides prekindergarten and kindergarten instruction to children in the Greater Hartford region, free of charge to the families served. Mr. Scheinberg has committed himself to serving the broader community. He has served on the board of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education since 2005 and served as its chair from 2010 to 2011. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Connecticut Council of Independent Colleges and Connecticut Campus Compact.

Beth Schiavino-Narvaez
Superintendent, Hartford Public Schools

Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez is a visionary and creative leader who brings twenty years of experience as an educator to her role as superintendent of Hartford Public Schools. She joined the Hartford Public Schools community July 1, 2014 as a result of an extensive national search. Dr. Narvaez’ expertise is in the areas of leadership development, school improvement, and professional learning. She has been recognized for her leading-edge work in central office transformation, strengthening central office service and support to schools. Known for her collaborative and engaging style, she is a proven instructional leader who has led turnaround work as both a principal and central office leader.

Eric Soares
Director of Web & Application Development, Zag Interactive

Eric is an expert application developer whose analytical and problem-solving skills lead to supremely effective solutions for our clients. He is fluent in a variety of programming languages such as .NET, PHP, JavaScript, C# and many more, and he has developed on multiple content management systems, including Sitefinity, Ektron and ModX. He brings extensive experience working with MySQL and MySQL Server along with Linux, Windows and OSX operating systems.

Nicholas Parian
Lead Software & Systems Architect, CoreLogic

Nicholas Parian has over 10 years of professional experience designing and implementing high availability web based software solutions. Currently, Nick is the lead software and systems architect for CoreLogic’s RiskMeter platform. RiskMeter, a software as a service solution, delivers natural hazard risk data to underwriters, agents, and brokers giving them the ability to accurately determine property risk information. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics and B.S in Computer Science from Keene State College. In 2010, he earned a Master’s of Computer Science degree from Northeastern University. Additionally, he is currently enrolled in UConn’s EMBA program and expected to graduate in 2016. In October of 2013, Nick participated in Hartford’s Startup Weekend event, an event which yielded an experience he considers life changing. Along with team members Barbra Glassman Dell, Kristen Williams, Diana Chiu, Perry Wasserbauer, and others, Nick was a part of the winning team Special Care. Special Care was inspired by Barbara’s call to action requesting help. Barbra, whose son Gabriel has Angleman Syndrome, struggled with the organization of her son’s complex daily life. She envisioned a web and mobile based solution, however, was unable to find an existing product that was able to satisfy all of her special needs. After the event, five of the original Special Care members went on to establish the company Quillible, LLC. By developing an interoperable healthcare and education centric platform, Quillible’s mission is to empower caregivers of special needs individuals with the ability to analyze, comprehend, organize, track, and communicate the special care information encompassing their daily lives.

Coaches and Mentors

Makaela Steinberg Kingsley
Director, Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Wesleyan University

Makaela advises social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and changemakers across generations and in all fields of work. At Wesleyan, she runs grant, training, and mentoring programs for undergrads who want to make the world a better place. She is especially interested in ways that academic rigor and interdisciplinary critical thinking skills can lead to success for innovative and action-oriented people. Her own activism is centered around learning by play, natural parenting, and collaborative consumerism. Makaela graduated from Wesleyan in 1998 and lives in Hamden, CT, with her husband and two children.

Mark Lassoff
Founder, LearnToProgram

Mark Lassoffs’ parents frequently claim that Mark was born to be a programmer.  Starting, in the mid-eighties at age 11, Mark was hard at work on his Commodore 64 writing games in the BASIC language.  After completing a computer science degree, Mark developed software for several well-known internet startups during the initial internet boom of the mid 1990’s.  Three years ago Mark parlayed a two decades of software development experience in to his latest entrepreneurial venture, LearnToProgram Media.   LearnToProgram Media publishes online courses that teach mobile, web, and game development. Over 200,000 people have learned programming from Mark through online classes he has either authored or published. In addition to publishing popular courses and books LearnToProgram Media operates an internet video network which produces several programs on software development.   Previously Mark founded PowerPlant Marketing, which created marketing automation software for REALTORS™.  After the sale of PowerPlant, Mark went on to found Internet Broadcasting Group which counted among it’s launch clients Nike, Blue Moon Brewing Company and Opubco.   Mark lives in Connecticut and speaks worldwide on software development, entrepreneurship and online learning.  He has spoken at TechWeek NY, TechWeek LA, and SXSW, among other large conferences.  In his spare time he he enjoys aviation, mentoring new business owners and spending time with life-long friends and family. Description httpssslgstaticcomuiv1iconsmailimagescleardotgif

Ira Yellen
President, First Experience Communications

Ira Yellen, president of First Experience Communications, provides marketing, public relations and strategic business counsel for clients who are in the health care, education and technology fields. He recently created in response to the need for consumers to have a transparent referral website which matches their home care needs to agencies that provide professional caregiver service. He has mentored dozens of start ups, and is currently mentoring emerging companies at MassChallenge 2012.

Fred Wergeles
Principal, Fred Wergeles & Associates LLC

Fred Wergeles is the founder and Principal of Fred Wergeles & Associates LLC, a consulting practice that specializes in Strategic Planning and Competitive Intelligence process improvement. He has over 25 years experience in the intelligence field, and has consulted to companies, both large and small, in a diverse array of industries. Fred is an 18-year veteran of the CIA, where he analyzed worldwide technology developments. He was a senior analyst at the White House Situation Room, the National Security Council, and the Pentagon. Fred is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hartford, teaching a Market Intelligence course in their MBA program and undergraduate classes in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is the President of a non-profit organization that provides business analysis to entrepreneurial start-ups. Before starting his own practice, Fred was the Manager of Competitive Intelligence/Corporate Strategic Planning at Pratt & Whitney (a division of United Technologies). He is the Connecticut Chapter Chair of the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals, an industry association. Fred is a SCIP Catalyst Award winner and in 2012, he received the SCIP Fellows Award for significant contributions to the profession. He was a member of SCIP’s International Board of Directors from 2005-2008.

Daniel Gottfried
Partner, Hinckley Allen

Dan's practice encompasses structuring, negotiating, and documenting business deals and investment transactions throughout the United States and around the world. This includes federal, state, and international tax planning, including corporate mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, partnerships and S corporations. In addition to tax work, Dan represents a variety of business entities, particularly entrepreneurial businesses private investment funds, and family office investors, in general corporate matters, investment and financing transactions, private securities offerings, and mergers and acquisitions.

William Bouton
Partner, Chair Corporate Department at Hinckley Allen

As chair of the Firm's Corporate and Business Law Group, Bill’s practice is focused on corporate and business law matters, with particular emphasis in the financial institutions industry. He has extensive experience handling mergers and acquisitions, securities law issues, and corporate governance matters. Bill serves as outside general counsel to a wide range of public and private business concerns, where he is actively involved in providing legal advice and strategic planning.

MIchelle Brown
Director of Marketing, Zag Interactive

As ZAG’s director of marketing, Michelle has developed a unique perspective of the client-agency relationship from both sides. Her marketing career began at a small interactive agency that specialized in B2B and B2C websites. She then joined one of the world’s largest banks as a senior vice president of digital marketing and managed its public digital presence for the commercial and institutional segments. Michelle specializes in guiding clients with their digital strategy, managing marketing programs to drive quality visitors to a site, and integrating all aspects of a digital program to result in a surround-sound brand experience.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Hartford: Education 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




Supporting Sponsor

Prize Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Martin
  • Camielle
  • John
  • Caitlin
  • Laura
    Dinan Haber
  • Mia
  • Rich


Derek Koch
CEO and Founder, Independent Software

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