- Coaches and Mentors
- Organizing Team
Startup Weekend New York City Diversity
Friday, February 8 - 10, 2019
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Startup Weekend New York City Diversity
Friday, February 8 - 10, 2019
Friday, February 8 - 10, 2019
Event starts at 8:30 am
641 6th Avenue
Your idea in 54 hours
The Power of Diversity
At Startup Weekend NYC Diversity, we believe strongly in two main principles 1) There is power in bringing together people of diverse backgrounds, whether it be ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic upbringing, talents, interests, and/or thought process. 2) Women and Minorities are underrepresented, under-utilized, under-funded, and have less access to resources in the tech and startup world but have an abundance of skills, knowledge, and innovation to offer to the industry and to the world.
We want to help fix this. By focusing this startup weekend on bringing together women and minorities, as well as people of other diverse backgrounds, we hope to provide a view into the resources and possibilities in the startup world. Once we bring everyone together and they get to work, we have no doubt that the outcome will be a display of capable and qualified entrepreneurs of all types-- with ideas that can shape tomorrow.
- 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
- Benefits and discounts from our global partners
- One-on-one time with amazing mentors
- A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
- All the internet and coffee you can consume.
1st Place Prizes:
Samsung NEXT NY Guest Program Exclusive Meeting and Evaluation
Alley.com Feature: The opportunity to be interviewed for Alley's founder interview series, Resilience, powered by one of the top media publications, Entrepreneur.com. With access to over 1M+ individuals, this is an exciting opportunity to tell your story and amplify your business.
Friday February 8th
Saturday February 9th
Sunday February 10th
Leslie created The Cavu Group to focus on Diversity & Inclusion in the effort to bring new solutions to old and new issues. Seeking growth through open conversations, Conflict Coaching, Trainings and Workshops. Recognizing that issues don’t go away because programs are in place but by hearing and understanding the people, which strengthens your corporate culture and expands beyond your current culture.
Leslie brings her life experiences from being trained as a classical ballet dancer at the age of 7 turning professional at 12. Living in Europe for over 10 years and Asia for 3. Owning a #1 rated business in Japan. Coming back to America and working in TV, Corporate America as well as the Fashion/Entertainment-industry to being a sort after Corporate Operations Strategist for celebrities and companies. Leslie held positions with Daymond John from ABC “Shark Tank” from COO, Head of Global Initiatives and Corporate Operations Strategist for The Shark Group and blueprint + co an executive shared work space.
Leslie has been developing multi-cultural /mosaic marketing, programing and opportunities as far back as 1998. She has accomplished this all while being a woman, black and outgoing. Leslie is also a chaplain, activist, certified mental health aide, certified mediator and conflict coach.
Being a woman and black are 2 basic check boxes but she wants to challenge you to explore what Diversity and Inclusion honestly looks like once you stop checking the boxes. This conversation is bigger then race and gender! Diversity is being invited to the dance. Inclusion is being invited to dance. She invites you to dance and if your not sure how she and her staff are happy to show you.
Deal Lead, Corporate Development @ Samsung NEXT
Strategic Investments & Innovation @ Samsung NEXT
Over her career, she has helped invent and reinvent over 50 brands. Some of the original brands she has helped create and steer to success include: Origins Natural Resources, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, DrinkLavit, Stetson Bourbon, Voli Vodka, Jane Cosmetics and GeoGirl Cosmetics. She has also helped mature brands such as Estée Lauder, Darphin, Keepsake Engagement Rings, Champion Jogbra, Playtex Apparel and Klinger Advanced Aesthetics find their “mojo” again by guiding them to their “True North” in a modern, relevant way.
Most recently Robin did a stint as SVP Conceptual Innovation for the Estée Lauder brand where she created white space business opportunities in entertainment, health and wellness, food and nutrition, technology, digital and travel. Prior to that, Robin was Co-Founder of BRASH, By Robin Albin & Susan Hunter, a boutique branding and innovation partnership that created transformational business opportunities, new brands and experiences for major corporations and entrepreneurial start-ups.
Robin acts as a Branding Mentor for many start-ups and is a branding advisor for both XRC Labs and New York Fashion Tech Lab. In 2016, she was chosen to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Stanford University hosted by President Barack Obama. In addition to participating in the Summit, she conducted a branding workshop for dynamic global women and youth entrepreneurs.
Robin is also a frequent Guest Lecturer on Brand Creation at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), Parsons School of Design, New York University School of Continuing Education and Baruch College/CUNY.
As Operating Partner at Primary Ventures, and a people evangelist by trade, Cat plays a critical role in shaping the founder journey, especially when it comes to delivering on Primary’s promise of impactful post-investment support. That type of guidance comes in many forms, but it is centered around making sure the entrepreneurs we’re lucky enough to back have access to supercharged networks and timely operating advice. Now more than ever, companies understand the importance of aligning people strategy with business strategy, and that’s a shift in mentality for which Cat will always advocate.
Prior to venture, Cat spent a decade in B2B land, most recently supporting growth at Chartbeat, a Made in NY tech startup that enabled media organizations to understand and harness genuine audience engagement. She led the charge on all people-related initiatives over three years of explosive growth, and credits that time as one of the best startup experiences of her career.
In her spare time, Cat also leads due diligence for PeopleTech Partners, an early-stage advisory and investment group that brings forward-thinking people leaders together to accelerate the growth of companies in its portfolio. When she's not fixated on startup-building, Cat dabbles in scotch appreciation, late-night karaoke and a regular boutique fitness regimen (in that order).
Currently an Amazon intrapreneur, Alana has launched various news-worthy business across the Amazon ecosystem. From leading business strategy and execution for Amazon’s largest acquisition, Whole Foods Market, to growing Amazon Fashion to become a major force in the apparel industry, Alana thrives in high growth businesses. Alana currently leads Business Development efforts for Amazon, where she is responsible for investing, guiding, and developing new brand growth. Alana is also responsible for discovering and growing brands through Amazon’s new brand investment group “Born on Amazon”.
Prior to Amazon, Alana launched new streams of business for various ecommerce companies and was Co-Founder of a NYC based fast-fashion start-up.
While getting an M.Sc. in Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she founded the #WOCWorkshop series to address the needs of tech entrepreneurs; specifically women of color and diverse teams.
Past and current clients include Hinge, where she served as the Interim CBO and lead the charge for their new product, brand and relaunch, AB InBev (Budweiser/Michelob), Soludos, The Arrivals, WinWin, and Onomie.
Katie is currently the co-founder of The Fund, which is a VC fund made up of a community of over 80 New York founders and operators, and the co-founder and CRO of SHOWFIELDS, the most interesting store in the world.
Coaches and Mentors
Jackie was born in Miami, and she's lived in Mexico City, Boulder, and Switzerland. She is an alumnae of the Techstars accelerator program where she led her company, Revolar, as CEO and raised over 5M from incredible investors such as Foundry Group.
Jackie has experience working with governments and was formerly a Teach For America educator. She's now based in NYC.
A true "Jack(ie)" of All Trades, Maya's side activities include writing for Boss Babe and teaching code at General Assembly. In 2018, she founded COFFEE & CODED, an event series encouraging women to #TRYTECH through workshops in coding, design, and entrepreneurship.
When Maya’s not writing code or teaching code, you’ll find her on her couch binge-watching anything on BRAVO!
After creating multiple bot experiences, and an open source software for publishing Messenger campaigns, Kelsey formed Paloma in 2017 and launched the product with revenue in less than 6 months. She was most recently named in the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 for Marketing & Advertising.
Today fueled by a community of over 88k+ followers The Clear Cut is empowering a new generation of customers and growing 100% quarter over quarter. The Clear Cut has been featured in Vogue, Business Insider, TechCrunch, WhoWhatWear and many others!
Equally left and right-brained, she's as excited about creating a compelling brand campaign or corporate innovation initiative as she is geeking out on operational infrastructure and go-to-market strategies. From building a dedicated Events & Programming Department at Alley that’s executed over 5,000+ events since she's joined to spearheading strategic business initiatives for companies such as Verizon, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Marriott International, IBM, Paypal, and more, her goal is to empower the clients, companies, and teams she supports to do great work.
Most recently, she was the Head of Marketing & Brand at Beam, a venture-backed startup at the intersection of retail and social impact. Beyond her brand work, Shani leads lectures and workshops on marketing and business strategy and is a contributing writer for Forbes.com.
Previously, Rachel lead Spoon University (Tech Stars ’15) from 50k social fans to 2M, leading to the company’s acquisition by Discovery Inc.
Originally a writer, Rachel continued on to lead the editorial team as Managing Editor and recently, wrote a cookbook (How to Feed Yourself by Penguin Random House) for Spoon. She loves crafting a story, no matter what medium, and leads a weekly writing group.
She’s also a big fan of red wine, SoulCycle, and walking around the city.
Her latest venture is Savi Global, Inc. where she serves as Founder and CEO. Their first product is SaviMoni™ - a AI-powered financial management and online software for solo entrepreneurs and the gig economy.
Her love for travel prompted her to start GLOBE TREPers™ - a travel club for entrepreneurs and business professionals that offers curated destination experiences worldwide. GLOBE TREPers™ has hosted experiences all across the US and in Puerto Rico, Barbados, Jamaica, Dubai, Barcelona, and Chile to name a few.
On the social front, Tani is a voice for equal economic opportunities, resources, and funding for female entrepreneurs. She works with other entrepreneurs and organizations to create solutions, opportunities, and advocates for public policy change.
She currently serves on the board or the Propelled Media Mentorship, an organization for underrepresented girls pursuing careers in media.
Tani is a native Brooklynite, where she still resides today.
Previously worked at Integral Ad Science (acquired by Vista Equity Partners) and Appnexus (acquired by AT&T). I invest in pre-seed and seed companies through my private fund and have been a Techstars mentor for the past 12 months.
She won numerous awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Philadelphia, and was one of Consulting Magazine's 25 Most Influential Consultants. She is also an Eisenhower Fellow. Lucinda has a BA from University of Pennsylvania, where she played basketball, and an MBA from the Wharton School.
She also attended the Aspen Seminar, Outward Bound, and the National Outdoor Leadership School. She won the International Shotokan Karate Federation’s senior kumite National Championship in 2017.
Prior to NOEMIS Ventures, Simeon has 10 years of professional experience in Corporate Finance and Investment Banking. Most recently, he served as a Senior Associate in the Leveraged Finance group at Wells Fargo.
Simeon received his B.S. in Business Management & Finance from Brooklyn College and his MBA from Cornell University as a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow.
Omar’s previous company, Perops, was an independent mobile app studio that launched apps that reached 40 million mobile users. Omar started his career as an engineer at top research organizations such as European Bioinformatics Institute and CERN. Graduated with a master in Distributed Systems. Hackathon lover and Dragon Ball fan.
Her previous careers have spanned teaching 5th grade science to founding an education startup consulting company. She's an expert in community building, design thinking, and education who loves supporting innovators, educators, and young people.
She has worked with Techstars accelerators in Berlin and is now based in NYC. She leads Venture Accel Studio, a design consultancy whose work is instrumental in supporting founders worldwide in their fundraising successes.
Jorge teaches venture capital to university students and experienced investors through his affiliations with Yale University, HBCUvc, Kauffman Fellows, and other organizations committed to developing talent. He has taught courses that introduce undergraduates to investing fundamentals as well as continuing education programs that help seasoned investors raise their practice to the next level.
Jorge serves as a Special Advisor to HBCUvc, a non-profit whose mission is to increase the racial and ethnic diversity in venture capital. While on the HBCUvc team, he designed, prototyped, and implemented a venture capital training program that is currently being scaled across hundreds of historically Black colleges and universities in the US.
Jorge started in the venture capital business at Silas Capital, where he served as an original member of the investment team and invested in early-stage consumer brands such as Casper, Ringly, Tracksmith and others.
Jorge mentors entrepreneurs through his affiliations with Techstars, Founder Institute, and Endeavor. His mentoring relationships focus on helping companies with product, fundraising, marketing (esp. consumer brands), and legal.
Jorge was engaged in the full-time practice of law for a decade prior to venture capital, and he maintains an active status as a US patent attorney (Reg. No. 57,447). He received a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also completed the Kauffman Fellows Program while at Silas Capital. Jorge was born in the Bronx, raised in Queens, and has roots in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Prior to joining BLP, she served as an analyst at Excell Partners venture capital fund, Chair of Cornell’s Diversity and International Committee, and Fund Manager at the Cornell Big Red Venture Fund. In her spare time, she enjoys mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs and helping them realize their dreams.
Outside of empowering developers, Joi uses her technical background to help bridge the gender and race gap between the tech industry and the nations most under serviced youth.
During her time at Columbia, where she majored in Computer Science, Joi worked for many startups and non profit organizations in both New York City and Silicon Valley, including Codecademy, Wix.com, All Star Code, and Xapix.io(Techstars IoT Class of 2016).
Previously she worked as an analyst in private equity in Connecticut with an emphasis on minority and women entrepreneurs. She started her career in finance at Barclays in the investment banking division. She graduated from Harvard in 2015 with a degree in Economics and a secondary in French. You can connect with her anytime on LinkedIn.
Prior to her role, Tammara worked in Non-profit Development, managing high-profile relationships and events with private and corporate philanthropist. Earlier in her career, Tammara successfully executed innovative marketing practices for a plethora of Fortune 500 companies from fashion to entertainment.
Tammara received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing at Hofstra University. Tammara is a lover of travel, 35+ countries and counting. It is her mission to use cultural engagement as a tool to empower the next generation of global leaders to innovate and diversify the way we change the world.
Event Sponsors, and Partners
The Startup Weekend New York City Diversity 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.
Techstars Startup Weekend New York City is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here
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