Startup Weekend Long Island

    Friday, April 21 - 23, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Long Island

Friday, April 21 - 23, 2017

Friday, April 21 - 23, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Hofstra University
1000 Fulton Avenue
Hempstead, NY 11549

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Build a Business in Just a Weekend!

Startup Weekend LI will be held at the Axinn Library at Hofstra University.

Friday and Saturday are going to be on the 10th floor and Sunday is at the IdeaHUb on the 2nd floor.

Please park by the student center on the north side of campus, walk through the student center, and then cross over the unispan. The library will be on your right. Take the elevator to the 10th (or 2nd) floor. You can see the campus map here.

What is Startup Weekend?

Have you ever seen a new product, app, or business and thought to yourself, "that was my idea a few years ago"?  If you have, that means you did not have a process for taking that idea from concept to creation.

Startup Weekend is your chance to learn how to take any idea from concept to creation within a matter of days!  Whether you are looking to...
  • get introduced to the world of startups and entrepreneurship
  • learn the process for going from concept to creation
  • meet experienced, talented, and passionate entrepreneurs
  • join or build an all-star team
  • learn and practice new skills to take back to your job or
  • take your own idea from concept to creation
Who is Startup Weekend For?

It doesn't matter what you do or where you come from, Startup Weekend is designed as an inclusive event and program that brings all sorts of people together including...
  • aspiring & experienced entrepreneurs
  • developers and other tech-related professionals
  • designers of all types
  • non-technical talent (i.e. business, sales, finance, legal, etc.)
  • students from colleges, universities, and even high schools
  • professionals looking to switch careers or build new skills
  • passionate visionaries
  • and many more!
Your ticket includes:
  • Access to the full weekend-long event
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea on Friday night @ Pitch Fire
  • Mentoring by all-stars from the tech startup community
  • Tasty meals all weekend
  • Collaboration with awesome technical professionals
  • All-star judges panel lead by startup leaders
  • Membership in the Startup Weekend Community (>200K alumni)
  • A process for taking any idea from concept to creation in a matter of days, and
  • Over 50 awesome new friends!
  • Scholarships Available! Can't afford a ticket? Apply here for a scholarship.

Do I need to come with an idea?

If you have an idea for a startup, then great!  We hope you pitch for the weekend.  If you don't have an idea, that's quite all right!  Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something strikes your interest!  The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and from your peers.  If you have more questions, check out the Startup Weekend First Timers FAQ!

Come join us for a very special weekend!

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday April 21st

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

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

7:30 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.

11:00 pm
Wrap up
Finished for the day. Go home and get some sleep.

Saturday April 22nd

8:30 am
Doors open

9:00 am
Bagels, fruit & coffee sponsored by Capital One

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

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!

6:30 pm

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

11:00 pm
Finished for the day. Go home and get some sleep.

Sunday April 23rd

8:30 am
Doors open

9:00 am
Bagels, fruit & coffee sponsored by Capital One

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

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Dave Calone
CEO of Jove Equity Partners

David Calone is the CEO of Jove Equity Partners, LLC, a venture capital firm that helps start and build technology companies located throughout the United States. He has served on the boards of ten privately-held companies in connection with his entrepreneurial and investing activities.  He is the co-founder and Board Chair of a technology-enabled health care company that has been recognized four times by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country.  He is a co-inventor on 19 U.S. patents relating to internet data aggregation and to health care data and consumer choice.

Keith Engley
VP Business Banking at Capital One

Keith is a financial professional currently working at Capital One Bank. He specializes in relationship management & business lending on Long Island and New York City.

Mark Lesko
Executive Dean

Mark Lesko is the former Executive Director of Accelerate Long Island, a collaboration of Long Island research institutions to accelerate the formation of a regional innovation-based economy. As Executive Director, Mark oversaw the $1 million Accelerate Long Island Seed Fund/Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund that invested in nine technology-based startup companies. Under Mark’s leadership, Accelerate Long Island also offered mentorship support for startup companies and engaged in a variety of activities that supported the growth of Long Island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Prior to joining Accelerate Long Island, Mark Lesko was the Supervisor of the Town of Brookhaven – New York State’s second-largest Town with 486,000 residents – for over three years.

Coaches and Mentors

Craig DiFolco
The Pitch Doctor

Craig, The Pitch Doctor, is a public speaking and media coach dedicated to the art of narrative, film & video, and communication. Since receiving his MFA from Columbia University, he has served as a presentation coach for over ten years, as well as a producer for Sunnyside Films.

James Droskoski
Co-Founder at WorkRails

James is a passionate life-long entrepreneur, visionary, and technology enthusiast. Having started and been involved with many start-ups and companies that have experienced exponential growth, he is intimately familiar with the challenges and successes that are unique to start-ups and fast growing companies while consistently being able to deliver enterprise-level business solutions to Global 500 companies.

Chris Erckert
Founder, CGE Ventures

Chris Erckert is founder of CGE Ventures. He's a tireless advocate for entrepreneurship and startups.

Nicola Hawkinson
CEO at SpineSearch

Since 2008, Nicola has served as the CEO/ Founder of SpineSearch, a full service recruitment, education and consulting company dedicated to orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons and pain management physicians. SpineSearch is based in New York City and services hospitals, ambulatory centers and practices nationwide.

Kevin Hesselbirg
Board Member/Advisor

Kevin Hesselbirg is the former Chief Executive Officer of Primatics Financial, a leading SaaS provider of finance and risk solutions for the banking sector.  Previously, Mr. Hesselbirg was the CEO of OpenLink Financial Inc., the global leader in trading and risk management solutions for the financial services, corporate, energy, and commodities industries, where he led the business from generating revenues of less than $10 million to over $300 million in revenue and 1,200 professionals located in nine countries, during a 14 year tenure as the company’s CFO, COO and finally as CEO. Mr. Hesselbirg led OpenLink through three successful private equity buyouts between 1999 and 2013 and led the sale of Primatics to SS&C Technologies.

Peter Kestenbaum
Advisor, Investor, Mentor to Emerging firms

Peter Kestenbaum has served as a mentor, advisor and investor for emerging companies since exiting the corporate world.  He has worked with firms ranging from domestic startups to international technology firms seeking assistance in advancing their US presence.   He is on the adjunct faculty at both Rutgers and Montclair University focusing on entrepreneurship.  He is the Managing Partner at 1099Partners (a network of senior leaders who assist emerging technology firms).

Chris Lopinto
Travel Expert, Founder, Advisor, Investor

Chris Lopinto is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. Since founding ExpertFlyer in 2004, Chris Lopinto has been a pioneer in providing airline data transparency to consumers.  Prior to ExpertFlyer, Chris founded, built, and then sold an IT consulting company in Long Island New York. Prior, he served as the Director of IT at ProductivityNet, a network management software startup. Chris is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Peter Papagianakis
Managing Member at Business Law Firm LLC

Peter Papagianakis is an attorney whose 20+ year legal career has focused exclusively on advising entrepreneurs and business owners with the various contracts, transactions, and related issues that arise during all stages of the business cycle.

Max Ringelheim
Serial Entrepreneur

Max Ringelheim is a 26 year old seasoned, successful, and as many others before him failed entrepreneur.  After graduating college Max co-founded and bootstrapped his own video conferencing technology company called  After 3.5 years and seeing many accomplishments such as raising over $150,000 in angel funding, and having his software utilized at the United Nations, he decided to put Vonvo on hold. He then transitioned into a consulting role for various startup companies in NYC.

Barbara Roberts
Entrepreneur in Residence, Columbia Business School

Barbara Roberts got her start on Wall Street and was the first women to hold numerous senior positions in IPO marketing and securities research. She concluded this chapter as the first woman to serve on Dean Witter's Board of Directors. After Wall Street, she transitioned to entrepreneurship. As President of the stock photography agency, FPG International (now Getty Images), she championed the use of non-white models in commercial photography and received the Business Enterprise Award from President Clinton. Following the sale of FPG, she lead and built the museum audio tour company, Acoustiguide. She currently serves on the NY Suffolk County Planning Commission and previously was Chair of the Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Long Island 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

  • Aaron
  • Sharon
  • Stacey


Roger Osorio
Entrepreneurship Program Leader @ IBM

Entrepreneurship program leader at IBM by day, math coach by night, and Startup Weekend global facilitator by weekend.  I deliver a powerful cocktail made up of education, psychology, neuroscience, leadership, and entrepreneurship.  I facilitate events to maximize the experience and learning for all participants.

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