Startup Weekend New Haven

    Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Coaches and Mentors
  4. Sponsors
  5. Organizing Team
  6. Blog
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Startup Weekend New Haven

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015
Event starts at 5:00 pm

Evans Hall at Yale
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06510

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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 events in over 100 countries and 580 cities around the world.  

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 Fredericksburg to 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!


Friday November 13th

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

5:05 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:30 pm
Welcome Presentation

7:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 pm
Lean Startup Talk

9:30 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 November 14th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

12:55 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

6:00 pm
Happy hour
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

6:30 pm

8:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finalize nights work
Finalize nights work

Sunday November 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Work begins

12:00 pm

12:15 pm
Check in

1:00 pm
Back to work

3:00 pm
Tech Check at SOM

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Keynote Speech

5:45 pm

6:00 pm
Presentations guidelines & Judges intro

6:30 pm
Judging and Awards

8:30 pm
Wrap Up

Coaches and Mentors

Onyeka Obiocha

Onyeka Obiocha is the President of A Happy Life, a social enterprise dedicated to building a happier world for all. An avid traveler and bicycle enthusiast, Onyeka holds a degree in Economics from the University of Connecticut. 

David Salinas

David Salinas is an entrepreneur, investor and marketing executive passionate about working with innovators, startups, mavericks, and thought leaders.      Inspired by the blurring intersection of our offline and online worlds, David and business partner Pete Sena co-founded New Haven based Digital Surgeons, a world-class digital-first design and innovation firm. With an impressive roster of clients ranging from Fortune 100s to venture capital funded start-ups and early stage companies, they’ve produced award-winning results for the likes of Lady Gaga and Barneys, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Arccos Golf, Sharp Electronics, and Unilever, to name a few.   As CEO, David continually pushes his team beyond the strategy and tactics of traditional and digital agencies, spreading his love for building businesses and creating memorable brand experiences. David’s extensive marketing experience ranges from digital media planning and buying to search engine optimization, social media, and other digital communications. Notable successes include directing the US Open media plan that has led to two consecutive years of record breaking return on investment and ticket sales, as well as leading the recent IoT startup launch of Arccos Golf which quickly rose to the hottest golf technology in the world.      David is a steadfast and ambitious entrepreneur, inspired to build businesses that through an advanced approach to design, technology and innovation provide consumers creative ways to get inspired, engaged, and improve their lives.   David is proud to announce Digital Surgeons as the developer of a forward-thinking technology and creative campus in New Haven called DISTRICT, which will also become their new headquarters.   In addition to Digital Surgeons, DISTRICT will be home to numerous high-tech start-ups and young businesses, a local maker space, and an investment firm co-founded by a Yale School of Management graduate.   A fierce believer in the positive impact of community engagement, David sits on the board of the United Way of Greater New Haven, the New Haven Economic Development Corporation, and the Motivational Edge, a non-profit organization that uses culturally relevant music and arts as a motivational platform to inspire inner city youth toward academic achievement and increased self confidence. He also serves as a mentor to Yale University’s Entrepreneurial Institute.   David is a bonafide “foodie,” owns a deep collection of bourbons, and most importantly, is the proud father of six year-old daughter Brooklyn. He considers her, and his father, an immigrant from Peru, to be his heroes and the inspiration for his life.

Peter Sena

Peter Sena II is a “40 under 40” entrepreneur, Angel Investor, and Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Venture Mentor with a love for how design can change the world.   A desire to fuse his love of design and technology to help brands and businesses of all shapes and sizes evolve led Pete to co-found Digital Surgeons with his business partner David Salinas. In the decade since, it’s grown into a global experience design firm that has moved forward some of the world’s top brands.   Equally adept at creative strategy, design, and technology, Pete has built and led cross-functional teams delivering a number of successful, award-winning, multi-channel programs and activations for leading global brands, including LEGO, Sabra, MTV, EMC, Camelbak, Guess, Fender Music Corporation, HRC, Lady Gaga and Barneys New York, USTA, and United Technologies Corp.   A holiday campaign partnering Barney’s and Lady Gaga drove a 70% increase in sales and was awarded a Webby for Best Celebrity Social Campaign.   Pete is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council.

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

Mark Donne

Mark Donne, Co-Founded diffr3nt a premium American-made accessories company. Their first products were the diffr3nt wallet and the diffr3nt slim. Mark helped to market and sell the products to 8 countries, and created a campaign on Kickstarter which was successfully funded. Mark left diffr3nt to become a partner at Squirl House a short lived videography and photography businesses creating content for the Electronic Dance Music scene. Since closing Squirl House Mark has begun his journey into tech where he is currently building an App named Burn, with two epic co-founders.

Luke Weinstein

Luke Weinstein is a successful serial high-tech entrepreneur. Luke has co-founded 4 ventures, been an early stage employee in 4 other ventures, is an angel investor, a former VC venture partner and served on the boards of several IT, web and life sciences ventures, and was a mentor for Connecticut’s TechStart program.  After selling his last venture to Fujitsu, Luke taught entrepreneurship for 5 years at UConn and was the founding Director of UConn’s CCEI/Innovation Accelerator where he mentored over 40 hi-tech early stage ventures.  He currently teaches at the US Coast Guard Academy and runs an aviation services business. Luke focuses on web, software and hardware technology but also has experience in bio-tech and medical devices.  Luke also has strong international business experience having lived and worked in seven countries on four continents.  Originally a computer operating system and database developer, Luke understands both technology and business and how they inter-relate in successful ventures.  Luke is considered to be a visionary technology entrepreneur. He has a PhD from UConn, an MBA and MS Engineering from U. of Pennsylvania, and a BS in Mathematics from Carleton University.

Elinor Slomba

  Elinor Slomba combines 20 years’ fundraising and management experience with training in Agile project management frameworks.  Her company, Arts Interstices, helps organizations in the arts and start-up worlds share each other's models and build value across domains.  Current clients include New Haven Festivals, Inc., for whom she manages the award-winning program Project Storefronts, and the International Consortium for Agile.  She is certified in Agile Coaching and speaks internationally at conferences. Recent engagements have included Agile India, TriAgile, Spark the Change, Agile Tour London, and Agile Prague.  She curates art exhibitions in a virtual gallery sponsored by and at The Grove in New Haven, Connecticut.

Art Baron

Art provides advisory services to help companies drive sales growth for their technology-led initiatives. Focus areas include strategic projects, business development, branding & demand generation via twitter, channel strategy, alliance development, and go-to-market planning. Art's experience includes over 25 years at IBM and Rackspace Hosting where he launched emerging technology programs, and developed alliances with leading global systems integrators and software companies. Art's activity also includes support for Connecticut Innovations' mentoring programs, and a social technology project to promote innovation in the technology sector.   Art can provide mentoring support on business development, social media marketing, new market development, strategic alliances, and go-to-market planning for companies focused on the Enterprise and SMB markets.

Randye Spina

Randye has held senior level marketing and communications positions in corporate America for almost two decades and since 2007 runs Affordable Marketing Solutions, LLC ( – a small business marketing consultancy. She has a BS in Marketing from Pace University and an MBA from the University of Dallas. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association of Orange County, CA as their Membership Chair. And, she is the author of, "Affordable Marketing Solutions: Proven Techniques to Profitably Market Your Small Business,” & is the co-host/co-creator of the podcast Show Us Your Business - a fun, fast-paced commentary on the wild world of small business. When not working with clients, she teaches marketing and communications courses at colleges in the New York City Metropolitan area and conducts marketing seminars for entrepreneurs.

Alan Tan
President and CEO

Alan Tan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The TAN2000 International Regulatory Corporation (TANRC). TANRC is the final pivot for a computer club that Alan founded in elementary school to help others improve their knowledge and opportunities. Through 2015, the Connecticut-based Benefit Corporation operated as TAN2000 International, developing a highly structured entrepreneurial marketplace that assisted many aspiring entrepreneurs in honing their concepts and connecting with needed service providers, including investors. In developing the processes that allowed them to run the marketplace, the founding team realized that those same processes were also able to spot fraudulent marketplace activity within the private equity market. The team was able to use those processes to remediate some, but not all, of the fraudulent case activity.   Fast forward to December 2015 when the SEC published a report that indicated that they were evaluating multiple paths to reduce the high level of fraudulent activity in the start-up ecosystem. Having already developed a well-articulated and documented process needed for accountability and trust, Alan and his founding team decided to pivot and work to become the recognized voluntary self-regulatory organization for the private equity markets. TANRC wants to give the SEC and state securities agencies, consumer protection agencies, attorneys general, and the labor agencies the tools they need to address cheaters in the marketplaces and give the startup world the ability to regulate itself.  The marketplace blueprint they developed is available to any entrepreneurial group who would like to create an opt-in system that promotes trust and accountability. TANRC is working to function as the interface between the markets and the regulators. Thus, the markets will remain confidently focused on innovation, filling the economic pipeline with many start-ups, some of whom will be the publicly listed companies of tomorrow.  

For his community work, Alan was appointed by the House Majority Leader of the Connecticut House of Representatives to the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission in 2015, elected its Treasurer in December 2015, and continues to serve on its successor state agency, the Commission on Equity and Opportunity.

Supriyo Chatterjee

Supriyo "SB" Chatterjee is a Healthcare tech entrepreneur. He has worked for companies like Aetna Healthcare, US Army Medical Corps, UNICEF, Mass Mutual, Microsoft, IBM & NASA. He received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award from 2008 to 2013. Since 1999, he has been active as a coach/mentor to several local startups and at Hackathons & Startup Weekend events. He was a judge at the Annual Yale SOM Healthcare Case Competition (2016 & 2017) and also in the 2015 Hartford SC2 Business Challenge contest. He holds graduate degrees in Business, Computer Science and Economics. He is a Connecticut Health Foundation Healthcare Leadership Fellow.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend New Haven 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


Organizing Team

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

  • Vishal
  • Adam
  • Judd
  • Kevin
  • Randye
  • Alan
  • Christy
  • Christina
  • Tambira
  • Becca
  • Lee


Krishna Sampath
Program Director, Apprentice100

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