Startup Weekend Lehigh Valley

    Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Lehigh Valley

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Ben Franklin TechVentures
116 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015

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Build and Launch Your Dream Right Here

Do you have a business idea that you're passionate about? Not sure if anyone else think it's worth paying for? Have no idea how to start building a working product? Then Startup Weekend Lehigh Valley is just for you!

In just 54-hours, you will pitch your idea to the crowd, recruit a team of passionate and skilled members and start building a rapid prototype of your dream. It's not about having a finely tuned product. It's about having a rough prototype that people can see, touch, and play with so that you can get valuable feedback on if its what you customer is looking for. But more importantly, will they pay for it?

Our previous Startup Weekend Lehigh Valley winners have launched their companies, participated in accelerator programs, become part of the region's business incubation programs, and travelled around the country telling the world about their idea. The best part is that these people are living their dreams - all because they participated in Startup Weekend!

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Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday November 14th

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

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:20 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
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

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. Get ready for tomorrow!

Saturday November 15th

8:30 am
Eggs, ham, and potatoes.

9:00 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

9:10 am
Technical Coaches
Time to figure out the 'how'.

9:30 am
Let everyone know what you're working on. Straglers, find a team!

12:30 pm
Sandwiches, chips, and cookies.

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

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

5:30 pm
Baked ziti with salad. And pies, many pies.

7:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

8:00 pm
Special Break
You'll want to stick around for this.

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

Sunday November 16th

8:30 am
Bagels, scones, and coffee.

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

12:00 pm
Quiche and tossed salad.

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Good time to get presentation tips.

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
Light Dinner
Assorted appetizers.

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm
Pack-up / Clean-up

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Lisa Getzler-Linn
Co-Executive Director

Lisa Getzler is Co-Executive Director of Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, which is designed to create a culture of entrepreneurship across the university, promote innovative thinking, and foster the realization of entrepreneurial ideas in any field. Since 2001, she has served as Associate Director of Lehigh’s award-winning Integrated Product Development (IPD) program in which business, engineering, and arts & sciences students work together to produce and market new products. Lisa also directs both the EUREKA! student entrepreneurship competitions and the Lehigh Entrepreneurs Network.

Stephanie Olexa

A scientist, entrepreneur, business executive, teacher, executive coach, angel investor, business consultant, professional speaker, facilitator, and author - she is a founder and past President of the Lehigh Valley Angel Investors and a member of Delaware Crossing Investor Group. Dr. Olexa is a Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors and serves on several Boards of Directors, for both profit and non-profit organizations.

Bob Thomson
Regional Manager

Bob’s responsibilities at Ben Franklin include planning and implementation of Ben Franklin’s strategy, targeted assistance to both early stage and established technology firms, investment of funds in support of these firms, and interfacing with local angel networks and venture capital organizations.

Coaches and Mentors

Wayne Barz
Manager of Entrepreneurial Services

Manager of incubator awesomeness at Ben Franklin Tech Ventures in Bethlehem, Wayne mentors and connects tech startups with what they need (other than him of course). 

Patrick Clasen
Director of Finance

A founder of EcoTech Marine, makers of a better aquarium pump - not a mouse trap. Entrepreneurially savvy Pat Clasen is an alum of Lehigh's IPD program.

Rita Chesterton

Winner of the first Lehigh Valley Startup Weekend, you'll want to pick Rita's brain about more than just your idea, like how to survive until Sunday night.

Lisa Glover

Paper folding genius, and Kickstarter success, Lisa just finished shipping foldable dinosaurs around the world. Manufacturing? Design? Crowdfunding? Papercuts? Ask her anything.

Mike Hawkins

There's nothing funny about cyber security - especially when it comes to the government. So make sure you save the serious questions for Mike.

Jeff Minton

Current president of MakeLV, software developer, tinkerer, python lover (the language, not the snakes) - throw your best technical questions at Jeff.

Jared Steckel
Technical Manager

Former president of MakeLV (still friends with Jeff) Jared's been know to wield a soldering iron while writing code one-handed. Hitting a virtual wall? He'll find a ladder.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Lehigh Valley 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

A community of start-ups, entrepreneurs, hackers, and technology enthusiasts in the Lehigh Valley - sharing what they are working on.

Visit Website


Prize Sponsor


Organizing Team

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

  • Mark
  • Max
  • Tim


Anthony Durante

Event Blog

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