Startup Weekend Social Impact New York

    Friday, June 23 - 25, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Social Impact New York

Friday, June 23 - 25, 2017

Friday, June 23 - 25, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

315 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10003

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Taking ideas that have social impact from concept to creation in a matter of days!

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 put your idea into action 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 in NYC
  • join or build an all-star team
  • make meaningful connections and become part of a global community
  • learn and practice new skills to take back to your job or beef up your resume
To get a feel for the event, check out our awesome wrap-up video from Startup Weekend Music Tech edition!  Many thanks to our amazing sponsor, Sony Music, for putting this together for us!

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 universities and even high schools
  • professionals looking to switch careers or build new skills
  • and passionate visionaries

What's the twist?

Startup Weekend Social Impact edition means you will be focusing on solving problems and creating opportunities for civic engagement, equal opportunity, economic development, environmental responsibility, and access to healthcare and education - but you are not limited to these topics. Whether you have an idea to improve your local community or global ones, the ultimate objective of this event is to empower you - in the words of Mahatma Gandhi - to be the change you wish to see in the world!

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 social impact and startup communities (be sure to check out the full)
  • Tasty meals all weekend
  • Collaboration with awesome social innovation professionals from throughout NYC
  • All-star judge's panel lead by startup and social innovation leaders
  • Membership in the Startup Weekend Community (>200K alumni)
  • A process for taking any idea from concept to creation in a matter of days

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 alright!  Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something piques your interest!  The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and learning from each other.  If you have more questions, check out the Startup Weekend First Timers FAQ!

Join us for a very special weekend!

Questions? Press inquiries?  Please email us at

See what it's all about

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Friday June 23rd

6:30 pm
Registration & Dinner
Arrive at the venue and get checked in, get some dinner, and mingle!

7:15 pm
Welcome to Startup Weekend!
Kicking off SW Social Impact!

8:15 pm
Pitch Fire Session
Optionally line up to give your 60-second pitch! Finalists will be determined by audience vote. Finally, recruit teams for finalist ideas.

9:45 pm
Friday Night Wrap Up!
Exchange contact info with your new teammates, get a head start on some work, and head home for a good night's sleep.

10:00 pm
Venue Closes
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here :)

Saturday June 24th

8:30 am
Doors Open & Breakfast
Arrive, check-in, and enjoy some breakfast & RISE coffee!

9:00 am
Weekend Kick-Off!
Review the mission for the weekend, judging criteria, and best practices for success!

9:30 am
Identify & State Problem
For the next 2 hours, your team will identify and state the problem your idea solves. Draft a 60-second pitch of the problem.

12:00 pm
Problem Pitches & Feedback
Each team will deliver a 60-second pitch of their problem statement and receive feedback from mentors.

12:30 pm
Working Lunch
Get some lunch, sign up for mentor time slots, and get your questions ready.

1:20 pm
Mentor Madness!
Mentors with varying skills available to support your team in taking ideas from concept to creation. Available until 7pm by appt.

3:00 pm
Go Out and Validate!
In-person, human validation is critical; make sure your team makes time to hit the streets.

6:30 pm
Get your dinner and meet us in the main room for MVP pitches at 7pm.

7:00 pm
60-Second MVP Pitches & Feedback
Each team receives feedback from mentors on your solution (not problem) as it stands at 7pm.

8:30 pm
Business Model Planning
This is a good time to begin drafting your business model. Just a guideline, not mandatory.

10:30 pm
Venue Closes
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here :)

Sunday June 25th

8:30 am
Doors Open & Breakfast
Arrive, grab some breakfast, and get back to work!

10:00 am
Pitch Deck Prep
This is a good time to begin drafting your pitch deck.

10:30 am
Final Mentor Shifts
Mentors will be around for final touches on your work.

12:30 pm
Working Lunch
Grab you lunch & Go back to work ahead of pitch rehearsal sessions.

1:00 pm
Pitch Practice Sessions
Each team will have a time slot to practice their pitch in front of mentors and receive feedback. Sessions are by appointment.

4:00 pm
Final Presentations Due
Teams will upload their final presentations (Google Slides) to the facilitator by 4:00pm at the latest!

5:00 pm
Demo Night!
We kick off final presentations! All teams to report to the main room for judge introductions.

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Relax, get some food, and enjoy some conversation with the other teams.

7:30 pm
Winners Announced!
We'll announce winners and get judges feedback.

9:00 pm
Closing Time!
Team and group selfies, hugs, and good-byes!

Event Judges

Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas
Head of Sustainable Finance, UBS and Society

Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas is Global Head of Sustainable Investing in the Chief Investment Office at UBS Wealth Management. She is responsible for the Chief Investment Office's sustainable investing strategy worldwide. Rina was previously managing partner and CEO of ESG Analytics, an environmental, social and governance-oriented investment consultancy, and later Social Impact Director at Mastercard. She also is an adjunct Professor at Columbia University on Sustainable Investing and since 2013 has been one of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Young Global Leaders.She was named in 2014 by Newsweek as one of the leading Women in Tech in NYC.

Maria Yuan

Maria Yuan is the Founder of IssueVoter, a non-partisan platform that helps users make their voice heard in Washington and track how elected officials vote – holding politicians accountable and informing decisions at election time. IssueVoter's mission is to give everyone a voice in our democracy by making civic engagement accessible, impactful, and efficient. IssueVoter is turning slacktivism into activism and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, MTV, PBS, and more.

Erica Phillips
VP of Business Development, All our Kin

Erica brings a diverse set of business and education experiences to All Our Kin and is committed to empowering family child care providers.  She founded Second Home Early Child Care Centers in 2012 in Brooklyn. Previously, Erica was a Senior Director at Achievement First Charter School Network, where she started the Human Capital team.  She was responsible for supporting Achievement First’s activities around human resource systems, talent strategy, employment policies, benefits, performance improvement, compensation and diversity and inclusiveness strategy.  Erica was also a fellow with the Education Pioneers 2008 New York cohort. Erica began her career working as a strategy consultant at Monitor Group. Erica holds an M.B.A. and an M.Ed. from Stanford University, and a B.S. in industrial engineering from Northwestern University.

Michael Kopko
VP at Oscar, Chaiman of Impact NY

Michael heads up Business Development at Oscar Health Insurance. Previously, he served the CEO at Bridgewater Associates for four years. In 2009, he successfully sold DormAid & GradeFund, companies in founded while in college. Michael graduated from Harvard College with an honor's degree in economics and an MBA at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business where he received the Feldberg Fellowship. His mentor is George David of United Technologies. He enjoys reading, exercising, and meeting interesting people. He's also a member of the Citizen's Budget Committee and serves as the Interim President of the non-profit ImpactNY. 

Nathan Jayappa
Director of Finance and Operations @ Venture for America, Co-Chair NY+Acumen

Nathan hails from the heartland of America, Nebraska, where he was born donning a Huskers jersey. After making his way due north to attend the University of Minnesota and earn degrees in Finance and Accounting, he tasted life as a financial analyst at a Fortune 100 Company and soon found it suffocating. He joined a startup in the Healthcare industry and later moved east to Pittsburgh (a VFA city!) to earn an MBA and an MS in Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Upon graduating,Nathan continued his expedition east to Nairobi, Kenya to help structure and supervise impact investments in small and medium sized companies throughout East Africa at the Grassroots Business Fund. He then found his way to NYC to manage program compliance, financial growth, and strategy at charity: water. Nathan joins the incredible team at VFA to help the organization efficiently scale through optimizing its operations and finances.

Coaches and Mentors

Jeff Hittner
Founder & CEO @ Your Project X

Jeff leads Your Project X, which helps people (re)discover their passions to build careers they'll love.  Jeff has more than 18 years experience as an entrepreneur, consultant, professor and changemaker.  He is the founder of five social ventures, including IBM’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consulting practice.  In 2011, he developed the curriculum for the first MBA in Sustainability on the East Coast, at Bard College, where he was the Leadership professor.  He was also two-time Chairman of the Carnegie New Leaders at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.  Jeff’s passion has always been at the intersection of education and entrepreneurship.  Prior to your Project X, he ran a career transition program for 64 New Yorkers, built global education programs including a blended learning initiative for high school dropouts in Latin America and career discovery programs for youth in Europe.  Jeff received his Masters in Cultures and Development Studies from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The College of William and Mary in Virginia where he was an elite gymnast.  As a thought leader, Jeff has been published in a half dozen major publications, including Forbes.  

Jennifer Xu
Director of Investor Relations

Jennifer Xu is the Director of Investor Relations at 500 Startups. Previously Jennifer founded SFAsia at the San Francisco Mayor's Office to rally a global community of investors managing $2.4B to scale big ideas. Passionate about building startup ecosystems from the ground up, she has been an advisor to eight national tech development agencies in Asia. When not immersing herself in tech, Jennifer is proud to support equal access to education through Room to Read.

Rachel Baxter

Craving a platform where she could tell the inspiring stories of true agents of change, and in doing so elevate the conscious culture conversation, Rachael Baxter co-founded CONSCIOUS Magazine with her sister, Elena Baxter. As the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Rachael develops stories featuring social entrepreneurs, community development, local to global initiatives, and more, and is constantly striving to capture the zeitgeist of the ever-evolving conscious culture movement. Watching Conscious Magazine grow from a vision into a global destination for curated conscious culture has been what she calls “both a thrilling and fulfilling experience.” Ultimately, Rachael is on a mission to work alongside the next generation of storytellers and journalists who seek to change the world through media.

Manal Kahi
Co-founder & CEO at Eat Offbeat

Manal has a passion for traveling, social impact and great food (not necessarily in that order). She moved to NYC to start a career in environmental affairs but the Hummus she found on supermarket shelves led her on a different journey. She co-founded Eat Offbeat to help New Yorkers discover authentic off-the-beaten-path cuisines all the while providing quality jobs to refugees who now call NYC home.

Ari Meisel

Co-founder of Leverage and best selling author of The Art of Less Doing and Idea to Execution

Nick Sonnenberg

A serial entrepreneur with a passion for creating companies that disrupt the way people live. Nick is the co-founder of Leverage and the former CEO of CalvinApp. Before making the jump to the startup technology space, Nick spent more than eight years on Wall Street as a high frequency algorithmic trader. His personal mission is to help busy entrepreneurs and executives optimize their lives in a meaningful way and help them go from idea to execution in as few steps as possible.

Mike MacCombie
Managing Partner at Evertrue Ventures

Mike is Managing Partner of Evertrue Ventures, the Brown University alumni investment group. He also co-founded The Underground, an invite-only membership community for entrepreneurs whose backgrounds are underrepresented in tech (female, minority, LGBTQ, formerly incarcerated, and veteran founders.) Mike is a behavior scientist who studies how great stories are told and deeply connected communities are built.

Erwin Valencia
Founder and CEO, KinetIQ and Director of Training and Conditioning - New York Knicks

I am a clinician, coach, change agent. I believe we all have a purpose in the this world. I make it my mission to inspire others to find that purpose and act on it.

Jacob Dagmy
Founder and CEO of Dagmy Motors

Jacob is the Founder and CEO of Dagmy Motors. In his role, Jacob developed the revolutionary battery pack technology around which Dagmy Motors was founded. Under Dagmy’s leadership, Dagmy Motors formed as a startup in the electric vehicle technology space committed to making high-powered, advanced electric vehicles affordable. Jacob leads Dagmy Motors’ team in product development, technical strategy, and overall company outlook and vision.

Alessandra Iosso

Alexandra Iosso is a Co-Founder and COO of Dagmy Motors. In her role, Alexandra oversees business operations, strategy, and business development. Alexandra oversees all corporate relationships, strategic partnerships, product strategy implementation, and overall day-to-day operations. Alexandra specifically works to integrate Dagmy Motors’ technology at the corporate levels and develops partnerships that add consistent value to Dagmy Motors business efforts. In her spare time, she lingers in museums and spends a lot of time chasing after her dog and cat.

Laura Kornelija Inamedinova
Marketing, communications and business strategy expert

Laura K. Inamedinova is communications and branding expert that has been helping startups to succeed in PR last 3 years. Laura helps companies understand what are their marketing goals and what kind of communication they seek and later on, if needed, implement it. Her primary focus is technology, fin tech and IT industries. Among her client list there are million dollar valuation companies. She is a member of World Economic Forum Global Shapers Vilnius hub

Russell Zack
Senior Vice President Products and Solutions @ HelloWorld

Russell Zack has 20+ years’ experience in software product development, management, sales and innovation. He is presently the head of strategy, products and platforms at HelloWorld, a marketing solutions company in the promotions and loyalty industry. Before HelloWorld, he served as General Manager, EMEA for video platform company Kaltura, and oversaw its business within Europe, Middle East, and Africa from Kaltura’s London office. In addition, Russ was previously an EIR with Cisco's business incubation group as well as founder and senior executive with multiple startups in the video software, mobile and interactive marketing arenas.

Rachel Loui
Founder & CEO @ Innolab Companies

Rachel is an entrepreneur, investor, author, and speaker. Her expertise areas are in healthcare, business strategy, startup and enterprise innovation, and emerging markets. She was previously Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Business Operations for China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong at the world's largest privately held pharmaceutical company. Prior to that, she was a Vice President and then Business Unit lead for two of the world's top 4 largest advertising agency conglomerates, launching and scaling consumer and healthcare products. She started her career in management consulting. 

Rachel is currently launching her second company, focused on disrupting the currently inefficient healthcare system. She speaks about innovation and storytelling across the US, Asia, and Europe. She is currently promoting her book on working and living in China as an American expatriate, and is an investor. 

Carmen Feliciano
Startup Adviser and Angel Investor

Carmen is a venture advisor and investor at AMDG & the founder of Startup Southeast Asia. She has held leadership positions in startups and Fortune 500 companies in various industries including consumer packaged goods, consumer technology, and commodities. Her social impact experience include being the first product manager of a fintech startup in the Philippines that successfully exited and working on a mobile money study for the Grameen Foundation.

Analisa Leonor Balares
CEO & Chief Innovation Officer of Womensphere

Analisa is the CEO & Chief Innovation Officer of Womensphere and head of the Womensphere Innovation Lab & New Champions Womensphere Incubator Network. She co-chairs New Champions 5050, the global initiative for gender parity & empowering women & girls of the Young Global Leaders community. She started her career in investment banking & had the opportunity to work on $1.5 billion of corporate finance and M&A transactions at Goldman Sachs and a $56 billion M&A deal at Morgan Stanley. An alumna of Harvard Business School, Mount Holyoke College, and the New York Film Academy, she is currently part of the NASA Datanaut program, and was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Jiro Otsuka
Program Manager @ Urban Future Lab

Jiro Otsuka is the Program Manager for the Urban Future Lab, one of the world’s leading incubator programs for cleantech startups. The Urban Future Lab is part of NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and has advised 38 startups on go-to-market strategy and raising capital.  Jiro is responsible for conducting due diligence on startup applicants, program development, and investor relations for the incubator. Prior to the Urban Future Lab, Jiro worked at Ernst & Young, performing audits for clients such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, IHI, and Sekisui Chemical.

Irina Fedorova
Program Manager of New Businesses @ Intel

Originally from Russia, Irina has over 10 years’ experience in tech, working in multiple regions including Russia/CIS, Europe, Africa, China, Taiwan, North and Latin America. Her passions include development, innovation and start-ups. She is an expert on client relations, fundraising, early stage products, sponsorship management and partnership programs.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Social Impact New York 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

IBM takes a data-driven approach to corporate responsibility — setting ambitious goals, measuring our progress against those goals, and striving to always do better.

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Organizing Team

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

  • Earl
  • Monica
  • Chantal
  • Angela
  • Sharifah "Maya"
  • Jabber
  • Ross
  • Corey


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.

Event Staff

Patrick Hanus

Daniel Encarnacion

Alex Hantman
Director of Business Operations at Parsley Health

​Alex Hantman serves as the Director of Business Operations at Parsley Health, where he focuses on financial, people, and sales operations. Previously, Alex served as the Manager of Strategy & Operations at Spreemo, a healthcare startup focused on predicting and preventing medical errors with data science. Alex joined Spreemo as an early employee, where he went on to launch and lead Spreemo’s operations improvement and quality assurance teams before transitioning into a more strategic capacity prior to Spreemo’s acquisition in August 2017. Alex is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton University, where he majored in bioengineering and minored in sustainability engineering. When he’s not working on making Parsley bigger and better, you can find him geeking out at tech events and hackathons, relaxing on meditation and mindfulness retreats, or trying something new like skydiving or running a solo marathon.

Mandi Garcia

Christina Jang

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