Startup Weekend NYC Blockchain Edition

    Friday, October 19 - 21, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend NYC Blockchain Edition

Friday, October 19 - 21, 2018

Friday, October 19 - 21, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Galvanize NYC
303 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013

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Learn how to take ideas from concept to creation in one weekend!

Startup Weekend Blockchain Edition

All of the awesomeness of Startup Weekend combined with all the mystery and possibility of blockchain technology!  Let's do this!

Many thanks to platinum sponsor, IBM Blockchain, and our friends at Consensys!

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 in NYC,
  • 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
Check out this video of SW Blockchain Edition 2017!

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,
  • passionate visionaries, and
  • many more!

What's the twist? 

Whether you are interested in the blockchain or not, the ultimate objective of the event is to empower you with a powerful process for taking any idea, blockchain-related or not, from concept to creation!  
 Don't miss this opportunity to learn about blockchain and begin designing solutions based on this technology.

Your Full-Price ticket includes:
  • Access to the full, weekend-long, event (Friday 6pm-Sunday 10pm)
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea on Friday night @ Pitch Fire Session
  • Mentoring by all-stars from the blockchain world and the tech startup community
  • 7 meals plus coffee throughout the weekend
  • 1 Pitch Design (Story Telling) workshop, presented by The Pitch Doctor
  • Collaboration with awesome blockchain professionals from throughout NYC
  • All-star judge's panel led by tech, startup, and blockchain leaders
  • Membership in the Startup Weekend Community (>350K alumni)
  • A process for taking any idea from concept to creation in a matter of days
  • Over 100 new awesome friends!

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 learning from each other.  If you have more questions, check out the Startup Weekend First Timers FAQ!

Do I need to know about Blockchain?

We got you if you don't know anything about Blockchain! Join Blockchain 101 workshop the week before Startup Weekend to get you up to speed.

Join Startup Weekend and IBM for a very special weekend! 

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

See what it's all about

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Friday October 19th

6:30 pm
Registration, Networking, & Dinner
Doors Open, check-in, mingle, and get some dinner.

7:15 pm
Event Kick-Off
Introductions, SW overview, pitch fire session, voting, and team formation. Let's do this!

10:00 pm
Friday Night Wrap-Up
Exchange contact info with your new team, go home, and get some rest. We kick-off Saturday at 9am!

Saturday October 20th

8:00 am
Doors Open & Breakfast
Get some food, settle into auditorium for kick-off at 9am.

8:30 am
Weekend Kick-Off (all-hands)
Review the mission for the weekend, judging criteria, and weekend agenda.

9:30 am
Design Thinking Workshop
Apply design thinking to identifying blockchain-related problems.

10:30 am
Identify & Define Problem
Your first challenge is to identify, define, and clearly state the problem you will be solving this weekend.

12:30 pm
Grab-and-Go Lunch
Refuel and get ready for a wild afternoon!

1:00 pm
Mentor Madness
Mentors on hand to meet with teams by appointment until 6pm.

1:30 pm
Blockchain Business Models 101
Learn about real world blockchain applications.

6:45 pm
Grab some food and enjoy a great presentation on Getting into the Mind of Satoshi.

7:00 pm
Into the Mind of Satoshi
Talk and presentation by Jamiel Sheikh.

8:00 pm
Deep Work Block
No mentors, no workshops, no distractions. Enjoy a solid block of deep work time before the venue closes up.

10:30 pm
Venue Closes
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Divide, assign, and conquer some homework before leaving.

Sunday October 21st

8:30 am
Doors Open
Arrive, enjoy some breakfast, and get back to work with your teams.

10:00 am
Pitch Design Workshop
Complimentary pitch workshop presented by The Startup Pitch Doctor, Craig DiFolco

11:00 am
Pitch Coaching
The Startup Pitch Doctor meets with individual teams by appointment.

12:30 pm
Grab-and-Go Lunch
Lunch is served, pick up, and keep working.

1:00 pm
Pitch Perfect Practice Sessions
Rehearse your draft pitch in front of some mentors for feedback. By appointment.

5:00 pm
Final Presentation Night!
We kick off final presentations! All teams to report to the main room for judge introductions. Dinner to follow when pitches are complete.

10:00 pm
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here - let's move things over to the after-party!


Danny Mejia
IBM Blockchain - Software Engineer

Dedicated engineering graduate seeking to proliferate my knowledge of enterprise strategies, and become a leader in the technology sector.

Don Buckley

Don is an innovator who believes design thinking needs to be part of every school's curriculum.

Jamiel Sheikh
Founder and CEO of Chainhaus

Jamiel is the Founder and CEO of Chainhaus. Chainhaus specializes in the blockchain ecosystem of technologies.  He is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU.

Event Judges

Alexandra Levin Kramer
Co-Founder & CEO at

Alexandra “Sasha” Levin Kramer is a partner at the global law firm of CKR Law LLP, and the Founding Chair of its Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency practice group of over 40 attorneys world-wide, who provide U.S. and foreign clients including startups, cryptofunds, investors, advisors and more with sophisticated and knowledgeable legal advice in underlying legal specialties such as securities, real estate, intellectual property, banking, finance, corporate, investment funds, employment and litigation.

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.

Chris McDowell
VP of Finance at Workframe

Chris is a seasoned finance executive with many years of experience helping venture-backed companies in finance, people operations, investor relations, and fundraising.  He has a wide breadth of industry knowledge – ranging from a mature, billion-dollar, textbook publisher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) to a pre-IPO SaaS company (Yodle, ultimately acquired by, to a start-up disrupting the commercial furniture space (Poppin).  Most recently he has joined Workframe, a Commercial Real Estate SaaS Technology company, heading up Finance and People Operations.

Sharon Laday
Blockchain Ecosystem Leader @ IBM

Sharon is a Blockchain Ecosystem Leader at IBM and was previously a Vice President at Macmillan New Ventures.

Sydney Lai
Head of Strategy, Token Foundry, Consensys

Sydney is a community leader and strategist with an award-winning background in sales and business development. Sydney has been named an LGBT Technology Leader by The White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy and is a TEDx Speaker on creating innovation within communities. She has worked as the Head of Business at Audacy, a space satellite startup. After founding her own token launch firm, she now leads strategy on tokenized projects for Token Foundry at ConsenSys and a co-founder at Crypto NYC, a blockchain coworking space based in Manhattan.

Emily Saka
UI / UX Designer at Silverline

Emily is passionate about instilling a love of users in product teams through championing UX. She spent the last five years helping to define design and culture at Salsify, and is currently a designer with the Silverline CRM team building innovative custom Salesforce solutions.

Victoria Nwobodo
Technical Project Manager at iBM

Victoria is a roving techie, writer and passionate community advocate.

Alex Hantman
Business Operations at Parsley Health

​Alex Hantman serves as the Director of Business Operations at Parsley Health, where he focuses onfinancial, people, and sales operations.

Jabber Al-Bihani
Co-Founder @ Komeeda

Jabber Al-Bihani Jr., engineer turned culinary catalyst is a community builder who develops meaningful relationships and experiences through food. Born & raised the diverse neighborhood of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, flavorful dishes made by his friends’ immigrant mothers and the stories shared at those feasts inspired his euphoric appreciation of food at a very young age.
Founder and CEO of Komeeda, a social-good enterprise empowering people and communities through the culinary arts. Creating awareness and opportunities for local chefs, restaurants, and other culinary ambassadors through consumer foodie events, corporate catering, and events partnerships. Komeeda’s focus is to share the richness of local and global culture through the culinary arts, with over 250 events across NYC, D.C., Austin TX, and Istanbul, Turkey. In the short time since its inception, the company has been featured by the New York Times, AJ+ and Vogue and led talks at SxSW and the Bitten Conference.

Don Buckley

Don is an innovator who believes design thinking needs to be part of every school's curriculum.

Todd Huffman
Entrepreneur and Photographer

Todd is the CEO and Co-Founder of 3Scan. 3Scan is a high-throughput digital pathology company redesigning the microscopy workflow to build large-scale 3D reconstructions and analysis of tissue-scale diseases.

Obreahny O'Brien
Blockchain Solutions Leader at Ernst & Young

Obreahny is the CEO of Lenox Group - a New York City based fintech focused on developing cutting edge payments infrastructure for sustainable projects and commercial transactions in developing countries. Obreahny is also the author of the book: 'Blockchain for CEOs: 3 Presentations to America's Top Boardrooms.' Prior to Lenox, Obreahny was the founding member and product lead for Ernst and Young's blockchain strategy group servicing large financial institutions. She developed Ernst and Young's capital raising token service offerings across a broad range of disciplines including: strategic planning; tax structuring; token ecosystem; and business model support. In 2014, Obreahny co-developed EarlyTemple, which was the first smart contracts platform that interacted with the Bitcoin multi-sig protocol. Prior to her work in the technology sector, Obreahny gathered over 8 years of transaction advisory experience for bulge bracket private equity clients at KPMG.

Hayley Teng
Investor Relations at LatitudeGo

Hayley is leading the charge in the fundraising for LatitudeGo, a blockchain startup in the travel and hospitality vertical, and mentored at Techstars Startup Weekend in Cleveland. 

Pan Wangperawong
AI and Blockchain Expert

Pan comes from a engineering, product and education background with over 12 years of experience working at Microsoft Research, Microsoft, NASA, Cisco and startups. He has also spent time as an educator at Stanford University, Dev Bootcamp, and General Assembly, preparing hundreds of students for the tech industry through instruction and mentorship in engineering, product, design, as well as diversity and inclusion.

Sam Rahman
CEO at DidItLabs

Sam is a serial entrepreneur, blockchain and AI expert and keynote speaker.  Sam launched DidItLabs, a VC backed startup specializing in NLP for location services. At DidIt, Sam raised $2.5Mn in Seed round financing from VCs in addition to leading all engineering and product development efforts within the organization. Prior to starting DidIt, Sam co-founded and sold, Nabbr, another early-stage software start-up. Sam also served as the Head of Mobile and Connected Devices at BamTech (acquired by Disney for $1.6Bn) where he developed the AtBat app, one of the first applications on the Apple app store and, till this day, one of the most popular iPhone applications of all time.

Wentao Xiao
CEO at Zealery

Working on utilizing AI to automate the creation, deployment and optimization of social media advertising. Budget-sensitive and suitable for any consumer-facing companies looking to take their marketing to the next level.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend NYC Blockchain Edition 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

From frictionless supply chains to food we can really trust, learn how industries are revolutionizing business with IBM Blockchain. Let’s put smart to work.

Visit Website

Organizing Team

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

  • Eric
  • Arjun
  • Mouna
  • Prianka
  • Susie
  • Kyle
  • Karan
  • Surya
  • Cristina
  • Laura
  • Roger
  • Andrew


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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