Startup Weekend Fashion & Tech NYC

    Friday, September 5 - 7, 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 Fashion & Tech NYC

Friday, September 5 - 7, 2014

Friday, September 5 - 7, 2014
Event starts at 7:00 pm

LIM College Maxwell Hall
216 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017

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Announcing the first ever NYC Startup Weekend Fashion Tech Battle!

For press inquiries, please email 

This Startup Weekend program will take place during the highly coveted New York Fashion Week.
  We will be concentrating on building out ideas that lend towards the Fashion and Retail industry.  Fashion Innovations can represent anything truly new, disruptive and high-growth in the fashion vertical.  Often this means employing new materials in new ways, finding a way to automate manual processes, creating methods to aggregate and analyze useful information, or establishing a new product category.  How will you use technology to shake up the fashion market?

Oh wait, the opportunity (and fun) doesn't stop there!  We are coordinating with teams in London, Milan, and Paris to host Startup Weekend Fashion Battles during their respective Fashion Weeks.  The winner from each city will compete against one another on October 18th on a global stage!  Welcome to STARTUP WEEKEND'S GLOBAL FASHION BATTLE!


Q. Is this program a good fit for me?
A.  If you're passionate about innovating within the fashion and retail space, this is for you.  Whether or not you work within the industry, your experience, passion, and perspective can lend towards the development of a successful idea.  Programmers, marketers, strategists, creative professionals, and all around driven people will come together in this weekend of connections and innovation.

Q. I’m a web developer…what do I have to do with fashion? 
A. Anyone can help disrupt an industry, regardless of what their skill set is.  If the product is software related, then you are integral to production of the product (think Pinterest, Polyvore, Etsy, Piperlime, ASOS, Gilt, etc.).

Q. I’ve got a fashion idea but I have no idea where to start.  
A. We know...this is not a question, but we want to comment on this.  Startup Weekend Fashion Innovations is the perfect opportunity to pitch your idea, gather a team and see if you can turn your idea into a business! We’ll give you the tools to get your idea produced in an incredibly short amount of time, test it with your would-be consumers and pitch the business to a panel of judges.


A little bit more about Startup Weekend:

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!


Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday September 5th

7:00 pm
Doors open! Check-in!
Venue opens and check in can begin!

7:10 pm
Eat a simple dinner, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants.

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally 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 as late as the venue will allow

11:00 pm
Venue closes
Done for Friday! Time to go home and rest!

Saturday September 6th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

1:00 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!

6:30 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

11:00 pm
Saturday Night Drinks
Location TBD. Just chill, meet the other participants and reminisce about the day.

Sunday September 7th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:00 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Bradford Shellhammer
Founder of and Founder of Bezar

Bradford Shellhammer has been named one of the ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ by Fast Company and coined the ‘King of Quirk’ by Forbes Magazine and the ‘Eames of E-Commerce’ by USA Today. Bradford is an entrepreneur with significant experience in creative direction and brand consulting. His unique vision is driven by his passion for design, fashion, and the arts. Most recently, Bradford served as Founder and Chief Design Officer for Fab was born from Bradford’s colorful outlook on life which was the driving force behind the company’s spirit and aesthetic. His direction across all parts of the business contributed to Fab’s instant global success. He led and inspired diverse teams including merchandising, editorial, graphic design, photography, UX, technology, and customer service. He was often times called the heart of the company - its culture formed from his passions and point of view. Prior to Fab, Bradford was a leader at both Blu Dot and Design Within Reach, launching retail concepts for both brands. And during the past 13 years Bradford has led project-based work with SHELLHAMMER (previously Bradford Shellhammer Creative Workshop), a consultancy and design house specializing in creative direction, retail strategy, brand development, interior design, and editorial voice. Bradford was also the founding editor of the popular LGBT blog Queerty. His homes have been featured in Architectural Digest, Dwell, Hypebeast, Lonny, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The South China Morning Post, Time Out New York, and The Times of London. He's been profiled in various publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Wallpaper*, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Wired, etc.. Bradford is the recipient of the Webby, Crunchie, Wowie, and Bloggie awards. He sits on the Advisory Boards of 72Lux and Heartwork. Bradford is a graduate of Goucher College and Parsons.

Event Judges

David Freschman
CEO-FashInvest/Managing Principal-Innovation Capital Advisors MBA, CPA, CGMA

David J. Freschman CEO and Founder-FashInvest Managing Principal-Innovation Ventures, LP Founding Member-ARC Angel Fund

Liz Bacelar
Founder, CEO Decoded Fashion

I created Decoded Fashion - the world's top event series connecting Tech founders to decision-makers in Fashion, Beauty and Retail. We produced the World's First Fashion Hackathon with Conde Nast in 2013, and the first hack in a shopping center with Westfield London.

We also have a Meetup group in 10 countries with close to 3,600 members.

I became a techie, after 10 years in journalism and an Emmy-nomination as a network TV producer at CBS News. Prior to Decoded Fashion, I was the Global Communications Director for a public technology company, with offices in the US, England, Israel and Australia - and the executive producer of the Singularity Summit.

Kay Koplovitz
Founder, Springboard Enterprises Co-Founder, New York Fashion Tech Lab

Kay Koplovitz is the Founder of USA Network, Chairman of the Board of Kate Spade & Company and Board Member of Time Inc. She is the first woman to head a television network and one of the first venture-backed females. She is one of the partners behind the 2014 New York Fashion Tech Lab, fostering early and growth stage companies innovating at the intersection of fashion, retail, and technology, collaborating with Macy’s, LVMH, Ralph Lauren and more. President Clinton appointed Kay to chair the National Women’s Business Council where she launched Springboard Enterprises, a venture catalyst and expert network specifically for women entrepreneurs. Springboard companies have raised over $5.5 billion and have had positive liquidity for investors, including eleven IPOs. She is the author of Bold Women, Big Ideas (2002). As a visionary of what sports television would become, Ms. Koplovitz launched major professional and collegiate sports on cable television by. She led USA Network to first place in cable prime time ratings and it remained there for 14 year. In 1992, she launched the Sci-Fi Channel (now The Syfy Channel) which has become a top ten rated cable network. In 1994, she launched USA Networks International, including The Sci-Fi Channel into 60 countries worldwide. She has served on the boards of CA Technologies, ION media, Instinet, Oracle, Nabisco and General Re.

Deanna Clark-Esposito
Principal Attorney at Clark-Esposito Law Firm, P.C.

Deanna is the Principal Attorney at the Clark-Esposito Law Firm, P.C. where she helps companies streamline their business operations through the strategic navigation of complex federal laws in relation to commodities including wearing apparel, textiles, hemp, and tobacco product accessories. She is also an Adjunct Professor at NYCs Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) and LIM College where she teaches International Business Law from a fashion perspective. Deanna is an avid speaker with the US Small Business Administration and the NYC Public Library, among other notable platforms and participated in a film by the USAID East Africa Trade Hub in relation to the textile and manufacturing industries. Deanna is the recipient of an international Junior Faculty Award for her essay on "Fashion Beyond Borders: A Fusion of Technology and Free Trade Agreements Pave the Way into the Largest Economy in the World - A Case Study on the African Fashion Industry & the AGOA Agreement” (African Growth and Opportunity Act), and has been featured in articles in various magazines, including Lucky Magazine and Ecouterre for her 2017 Eco-Fashion Predictions. She formerly served as an advisor to Africa Fashion Week New York and has a fashion law textbook scheduled for publication in January 2018 entitled, “A Practical Guide to Fashion Law and Compliance,” with Fairchild Books of Bloomsbury Publishing. Deanna received her B.A. in Peace & Conflict Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and her J.D. from Tulane University Law School. Prior to law school, she received her M.A. in Diplomatic Studies from the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at the University of Malta. Deanna has been involved in the legal profession for over 15 years. She is a San Francisco native and resides in New York City. Current affiliations include: - President: NY Chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade - Advisory Board Member, Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce (Harlem, NYC) - Executive Member, Fashion Group International

Jessica Mercedes Kirschner
Fashion blogger Jessica Mercedes Kirschner is the editor-in-chief of, a Glamour Magazine columnist and fashion blogger. Each month, over a million women from around the world visit her website to go on an exclusive journey behind the scenes of the fashion world and to be inspired by Jessica's unique style and insights. Her style is regularly featured in magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar and followed by fans - 158 000 Instagram followers, 126 000 Facebook fans and over 1 million users per month visiting Jessica is the winner of numerous fashion awards, and has been selected to be a brand ambassador and contributor for campaigns of many brands, such as River Island's Sweatshirt Ss14 Bloggers collection for which she was a co-designer.

Coaches and Mentors

Jade Huang
CEO & Co-Founder of StyleSage

Ex-fashion designer turned technologist, Jade Huang has 12+ years of award-winning digital strategy, design, and technology experience, with 8+ years managing cross-functional teams. Her accomplishments include launching a knowledge-sharing and social collaboration portal for the United States Treasury, for which she received an Innovation Award from the Treasury CIO. Jade studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design, and has a Bachelors in International Trade from Fashion Institute of Technology. She also has a MPA in International Economics from Columbia University, and a MBA from INSEAD where she was awarded the L’Oreal Scholarship for Creativity & Entrepreneurship Spirit. Always up for a challenge, Jade has played rugby in France, Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Sumeet Shah
Senior Associate at Brand Foundry Ventures

Principal, Brand Foundry Ventures

Sumeet handles sourcing and managing new opportunities at Brand Foundry Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm focused on low-tech and high-tech consumer products and devices. He has over 6 years of experience across the startup and private equity industries, formerly running new business strategies at Gist Digital and handling business development and project work at Gotham Consulting Partners. He also assisted in the creation of XRC Labs, a consumer and retail accelerator run by Kurt Salmon and Parsons, as the Program Manager for their inaugural class and was Head of Strategic Partnerships for their second class. 

Christina Lila Wilson

Christina Lila is Director of NYCs working with MIT Enterprise Forum solving international development challenges through entrepreneurship. She was on the launch team of New York Fashion Tech Lab, selecting disruptive fashion tech concepts for collaboration and iteration with LVMH,, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs and more with Springboard Enterprises and the Partnership Fund for NYC. A Former MidEast nonprofiteer, she has worked with entrepreneurial women in Turkey, Afghanistan and Syria. She specializes in investor decks, UX & is on the team for a soon to be launched female mentorship platform mentHER and skills barter exchange service: Karma. 

Bob Bland
CEO + Founder of Manufacture New York

Bob Bland is a Brooklyn-based fashion designer, entrepreneur and local manufacturing advocate. She is also the CEO + Founder of Manufacture New York, a fashion incubator/factory hybrid dedicated to providing independent designers with the resources & skills to streamline their production process & transform local manufacturing into the most affordable, innovative option for all. For more information, go to

Robert Sanchez
Chief Strategy Officer at Manufacture New York

Rob Sanchez is the Chief Strategy Officer at Manufacture New York, where he is responsible for strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and development of new business ventures as well as designing and executing the operating strategy, business plans, and strategic goals for the company. Previously, Rob founded Fashioning Our Industry, conference on law, business and finance for fashion designers and launched a fashion-focused pitch event that resulted in the successful funding of two companies. He also founded Crosby Street Gallery, an online gallery that hosted popups in vacant storefronts throughout the tri-state area. He has a J.D. from Fordham Law School where he focused on Business Law, Fashion Law, and Entrepreneurial Law and holds a BA in English and Psychology from Yale University.

Erika Miller
Content and Search Marketing Analyst at Adobe Systems Inc

SEO analyst for Adobe Systems Inc. The background is related to publishing, content strategy and search optimization and productionization of content.

Charles Brun
Director of Sales at Dynamic Yield

Charles Brun is a technologist, entrepreneur and sales leader at Dynamic Yield, the next generation personalization OS. Previously, Charles Co-Founded Now In Store, a SaaS marketing solution for brands which he grew to 30,000 SMBs. Before that he Co-Founded Juliette & Chocolat, a chocolate retail chain considered a dessert landmark in Montreal and voted “best chocolate” by Montrealers. During his time at Juliette & Chocolat he was instrumental in scaling the business to several locations and launched the company’s production factory. Charles is also the Founder & Organizer of NYC + ECOMMERCE & MTL + ECOMMERCE, two retail tech events in New York an Montreal.

Dan Rosenbaum
President and editor-in-chief of Center Ring Media

Dan Rosenbaum, president and editor-in-chief of Center Ring Media, is a pioneer of online publishing, putting his first newsletter, Wiretap, online in 1986. Along the way, he led the print and online presences of well-known publications including NetGuide, Time Digital, Internet Shopper, Mobile Office, and fireEMS. he also has been a frequent cable news commentator on all things Internet. Dan headed 3Ships Communications, a New York-based editorial agency with a clientele among the first boom of Silicon Alley. He spent six years as a reporter and editor for United Press International, has been a freelance writer for more than three decades, and is an alumnus of Ziff Davis, CMP, Time Inc., Pennwell, and MecklerMedia. His byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. Deeply knowledgeable about search, Dan was the SEO lead at iVillage — at the time, the largest women’s site online — and Associate Search Director at Sapient, where he had large clients in the technology, finance, and consumer goods industries. His private clients have included GE Corporate Marketing, NYSE Euronext, the Linux Foundation, Makeover Solutions, and He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two kids.

Matthew Capala
Founder of, NYU Prof

Matthew Capala (@SearchDecoder) is a growth-focused Internet marketer and entrepreneur. With over a decade of digital marketing experience working with some of the world’s largest brands (Apple, Western Union, Avon, Smirnoff, TRESemme, Dell, LG, Prudential) and start-ups, Matthew has leveraged the Internet in unprecedented ways to spur growth. He is the founder of, Adj. Professor at NYU, consultant, dynamic speaker, trainer, blogger and author.

Meng He
Chief Product Officer,

Meng is Chief Product Officer at, a platform that bridges the gap between your online experience and real world visit. She has led product strategy and design at early and mid-stage startups in e-commerce, social media, travel, security, mobile payments, and dating—one of which appeared on Shark Tank. Recently, Meng was part of a 5-person UX special ops team during the 2014 TED Conference. She graduated as valedictorian from Parsons The New School for Design and hopes to one day have a corgi.

Vivian Weng
Consultant at McKinsey

Vivian Weng is an Engagement Manager in the New York Office of McKinsey & Company, where she focuses on digital strategy and marketing topics in the retail space. Prior to McKinsey, Vivian was the founder of FashionStake, a VC-funded online marketplace for independent fashion, which was acquired by flash sales site in early 2012. Vivian was previously an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Vivian is a blogger for the Harvard Business Review and Huffington Post on retail and digital topics. She graduated from Princeton University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Nikunj Marvania
CEO/ Founder of Awl & Sundry

Nikunj Marvania is the founder and CEO of Awl & Sundry, an online fashion brand that allows men to create made-to-order shoes through web. Prior to founding Awl & Sundry, he was in the financial services industry for over two years. Besides this, he likes to dabble in outdoors sports and meditation.

Matt Iles
Founder of Tycoon

Matt Iles is the co-founder of Tycoon, a simple analytics app for retail ecommerce brands. He believes that it should be easier to make data-driven marketing decisions. Matt is also the co-founder of Nine Lines, a digital marketing boutique that's worked with clients such as John Varvatos, Fila, Foxcroft, Lolly Wolly Doodle, Anne Fontaine and Jack Erwin. He started both businesses with his wife, Katie. Matt was recently named Head of Digital Marketing Instruction for General Assembly's global institute. He creates and manages the course curriculum for dozens of students in several different major markets around the world while coaching and training the instructors who teach there. His classes have reached thousands of students, and he's had the privilege to speak at TechStars, Parsons, Business Insider and the New York City government.

Anoop Kansupada
EIR/Venture Associate

Anoop is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Associate at In 2011 Anoop went to Startup Weekend Baltimore and won 2nd place for his men's fashion app Dapprly. The app failed (really well) but the blog grew to be syndicated to AOL, Details, and top of Tumblr. Anoop did a brief stint as a consultant helping various menswear brands which ultimately led him to a roll with Frank and Oak and then Men In Cities.

Kathleen Ong
Evangelist at Wantering

Kathleen Ong is a self-described frequent flyer, all-day tweeter, and incessant shopper. Find her working in marketing and social media at Wantering, a fashion search engine that allows you to search and shop from across over 125 e-commerce stores all in one place. Tweet her @itsmekathleeno and @wantering

Matt Friesen
CEO, cofounder of Wantering

"Part Time Entrepreneur, Full Time Dreamer Serial technology entrepreneur with two exits under his belt. A builder of teams, businesses, and ideas. "

Katie Iles

Katie Iles is the co-founder of Tycoon, a simple analytics app for retail ecommerce brands. She believes that it should be easier to make data-driven marketing decisions. Katie is also the co-founder of Nine Lines, a digital marketing boutique that's worked with clients such as John Varvatos, Fila, Foxcroft, Lolly Wolly Doodle, Anne Fontaine and Jack Erwin. She started both businesses with her husband, Matt. Katie was recently named Head of Digital Marketing Instruction for General Assembly's global institute. She creates and manages the course curriculum for dozens of students in several different major markets around the world while coaching and training the instructors who teach there. Her classes have reached thousands of students, and she's had the privilege to speak at TechStars, Parsons, Business Insider and the New York City government.

Paul Farkas
Co-Founder/CEO, Accessory2

Paul is co-founder/CEO of ULN lifestyle network. Featured properties include Accessory2 styling and placement house; Accessory Agenda media; and a stealth shopping project. He is also co-founder/CEO of an upcoming fashion label launching soon, with Kimmie Smith, @AccessoryExpert. Paul started and organizes Wearable Wednesday NY, affiliated with Wearable World. He co-founded SoCin, the first Social TV conference in the US, and is on the board of 2nd Screen Society. Paul has a knack for especially predicting future market trends and growth through multi-disciplinary combinatory play. He lectures frequently, with an array of respected engagements, including AWE, Brand Innovators, FIT, Flash Fwd, ICANN, NYFW, S3 Second Screen Summit, #Shift, ShoeWeek, Social Media Week NY, SoCin, Sound Ctrl, SVG League Tech Summit, SXSW Interactive and Music, and TV Goes Social. Paul regularly contributes to Luxury Daily. He graduated from Lafayette College and holds a J.D. from Hofstra Law School.

Julie Matos
Fashion Director/Editor/Stylist/Creative Director/Consultant

Julie Matos has become one of the most in demand celebrity stylists in the fashion industry. Her skillful ability to interpret today’s top trends in conjunction with her clients’ varied styles always keeps her on top of her game. Her A-List celebrity list includes Jennifer Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, Julianne Moore, Denise Richards, Maria Menounos, Jane Lynch, Alyssa Milano and country music superstars Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum. Born and raised in Boston, Julie launched her career producing and styling fashion shows for May Department Stores. She collaborated with major fashion publications on trend direction as well as launching new collections for May Company. She quickly moved to styling their national advertising campaigns and became the youngest Creative Merchandise Manager in the company’s history. With Julie’s move to New York City, she quickly established herself as a freelance fashion editor for Cosmopolitan Magazine and advertising campaign stylist. Her show styling experience took her around the world to the runways of New York, Milan and Paris.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Fashion & Tech NYC 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 New York City is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

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