Techstars Startup Weekend NYC Diversity

    Friday, November 1 - 3, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, New York City, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Techstars Startup Weekend NYC Diversity

Friday, November 1 - 3, 2019

Friday, November 1 - 3, 2019
Event starts at 5:15 pm

Rise NYC
43 w 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010

Buy Tickets

Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with? 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

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. 

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

And because we're on the tail end of Halloweekend, feel free to embrace your creative side by coming in costume on Saturday, Nov 2nd!

Successful Startups Born at Startup Weekend Include: Zapier, LootCrate, and LaunchRock

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:

  • 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.

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

Learn More


Friday November 1st

5:15 pm
Registration & Dinner
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:45 pm
Welcome & Kickoff
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders.

6:15 pm
Fireside Chat with Demma Rosa Rodriguez
Our first speaker, Demma Rosa Rodriguez gets us excited for the weekend

6:45 pm
Pitch Prep
Prepare for pitches while getting to know your potential team

7:15 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:20 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas, strengths, weaknesses, and trade information.

9:00 pm
Wrap Up

Saturday November 2nd

8:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am

10:00 am
Teams get to work

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Coach meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

5:00 pm

6:00 pm
Open Work Time

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

8:00 pm
Time to leave the venue, but teams may continue to work nearby or from home.

Sunday November 3rd

8:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

1:00 pm

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
Final Presentations

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards

7:30 pm

8:00 pm
Dinner & Afterparty


Demma Rosa Rodriguez
Head of Equity Engineering

Demma Rosa Rodriguez heads up Equity Engineering at Google, where she leads an engineering initiative to evaluate how systems can support equitable HR processes and build the best products for a diverse workforce and world. She was recently awarded the first Hank Williams Trailblazer Award from All Star Code, a nonprofit computer science education organization focused on motivated Black and Latino young men. We sat down with Demma Rosa to learn more about what motivates her and how she envisions creating a more equitable and diverse global workforce. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Event Judges

Jenny Fielding

Jenny Fielding is a Managing Director at Techstars, where she leads the FinTech focused Barclays Accelerator and the R/GA Accelerator focused on the Internet of Things. Prior to joining Techstars, Jenny headed up a corporate venture and digital innovation group at BBC Worldwide where she made strategic investments and led business development deals. She has also  started several companies, most notably Switch-Mobile, a mobile VoIP company that was acquired in 2008. She began her career as a lawyer and also spent some time in banking at JP Morgan.

Alana Hewitt
VP of Commerce, Essence Ventures

Alana Hewitt is the VP of Commerce at Essence Ventures where she is developing the next generation of entrepreneurs of color. 

Antonio Key
Deal Lead, Corporate Development @ Samsung NEXT & Angel Investor

As a Deal Lead on the Corporate Development team, Antonio assists Samsung NEXT in the evaluation and execution of strategic acquisition and investment opportunities of leading next-generation software & services companies (e.g. IoT, AI, Digital Health, AR/VR). Additionally, he co-founded and co-leads the Diverse Founders Initiative, which is focused on identifying, empowering and elevating startups built by diverse founders. Prior to NEXT, Antonio honed his finance and investment acumen on Wall Street, where he worked as a bulge bracket investment banker providing M&A advisory to private equity firms and F500 companies. His additional professional experiences include 1) entrepreneurship: co-founding and operating two profitable small business 2) management consulting. Personally, he is passionate about the professional development and mentorship of historically underrepresented groups and seek to help increase the representation of these groups in Tech and Venture Capital. He is an alum of the INROADS, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and TOIGO programs.

Coaches and Mentors

Aimara Rodriguez
Ecosystem Partnerships Manager, Adobe

Aimara Rodriguez is a Honduran-American business strategist and content creator currently based in New York City. She has a diverse background working at the intersection of startups, technology, and culture. Her expertise lies in operations management, partnership development, and brand strategy. She has been featured in Forbes and actively mentors for organizations such as Techstars, Built by Girls Ventures, Latinas In Tech, and Digital Undivided. Currently, Aimara builds Platform Partnerships for Adobe, where she focuses on improving customers' collaborative and creative capacities with Creative Cloud-powered experiences by cultivating the world's largest open developer platform for creativity.

Andy Ng
Senior Program Manager, SYPartners

Originally from Sarasota, Florida, Andy is the son of modest Chinese immigrants and knows firsthand how educational opportunity can change the arc of a young person's life. After working a full-time job while in high school, Andy earned the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, which allowed him to attend New York University at no cost of his own. While there, he co-founded a successful startup, studied in London, Rome, and Abu Dhabi, and earned professional opportunities in finance, education, and e-commerce. Andy eventually found himself at Google where his work focused on recruiting, operations, and diversity, before pursuing graduate school. He is now a Senior Program Manager at SYPartners, working with clients such as the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, American Express, JuicePress, and more to achieve their greatest potential. Andy holds an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation & Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in English with honors from NYU. He is a Gates Millennium Scholar, Dalai Lama Fellow, and Startingbloc Fellow.

Brittany Bankston
Sr Product Manager, BCG Digital Ventures

Brittany is a Senior Product Manager BCG Digital Ventures. She has experience building ventures from scratch in Pharma, Beauty, and Senior-Living with corporate clients and leading teams of up to 50 people. Prior to DV she was a Product Manager at Intuit in their selective Rotational Development Program. In her free time she created the NY chapter of Black Product Managers, focused on increasing Black Product representation in the world’s most influential companies, growing it to 100 members in two years. She also loves singing karaoke and finding treasures at thrift stores.

Chase Ross Emanuel
Principal Advisor, Empire Global Ventures LLC

Chase is a former founder turned evangelist for the early stage startup and venture ecosystem in NYC. He’s also the 2017 winner of Startup Weekend Travel Tech and a behind-the-scenes-organizer of several SW events. As the former NYC Evangelist for Galvanize Inc, he led partnerships and event marketing for a 60,000 sqft technology hub housing over 50 venture-backed startups, three Fortune 500 innovation labs, four VC firms, and two accelerator programs. He hosted three VC breakfasts per month and dozens of pitch competitions, office hours, fundraising trainings and customer acquisition workshops per year. Currently he is a Principal at Empire Global Ventures, where his responsibilities are three-fold: Support Founders - working hand-in-glove with founders through MVP development, customer acquisition, go-to-market strategy, and fundraising. Build Community Among Investors - hosting monthly, quarterly, and annual events for investors to grow networks and facilitate deal flow. Diligence Early Stage Deals - vetting early stage deals regularly for VCs and emerging managers and making founder introductions to investors from pre-seed to Series B.

Chris Butler
Chief Product Architect

Chris Butler is IPSoft's Chief Product Architect. Chris has over 19 years of product and business development experience at companies like Microsoft, KAYAK, and Waze. He first got introduced to AI through graph theory and genetic algorithms during his Computer Systems Engineering degree at Boston University. Before IPsoft he was Philosophie's director of AI where he created techniques like Empathy Mapping for the Machine and Confusion Mapping to create cross-team alignment while building AI products. He presents regularly at conferences on the topics of product management, AI/ML, conversational agents, and adversarial mindsets.

Kyla Brown
Project Manager, Codecademy

Kyla is currently a Project Manager at Codecademy. As a tech girl for the culture, Kyla is passionate about helping underrepresented founders. She specializes in bringing agile projects from ideation to completion.

Ivan Alo
Co-Founder and Managing Partner of New Age Capital

Ivan is the co-founder and Managing Partner of New Age Capital, a seed stage venture capital firm investing in tech and tech-enabled startups founded and led by Black and Latino entrepreneurs solving real world problems. A strong advocate for the democratization of entrepreneurship and innovation, he is passionate about the use of technology to make the world more accessible and beneficial for all.

Alongside New Age Capital, Ivan is the co-founder of real estate technology company CNERGY which is a fully collaborative, end-to-end transaction management platform for commercial real estate investment and finance professionals.

Lourica Halteh
VP of Brand Development & Design, Waffle Labs

Lourica has been in advertising for 8 years and worked at multinational agencies such as, Leo Burnett, Publicis and Mccann. Having worked on creative development and direction for her most of her career she decided it was time to strengthen her capabilities on the strategic side and so enrolled in a graduate program at Parsons in Strategic Design and Management. During the program she quit her job and fully committed to the career pivot. Shortly after graduating she came across the Barclays Fintech Accelerator powered by Techstars and joined the program as a Design Associate in 2018 which is where she met the founders of Waffle and had the great opportunity to join their team as VP of Brand Development and Design.

Simeon Iheagwam
Founder @ NOEMIS Ventures

Simeon Iheagwam is the Founder and Managing Partner of NOEMIS Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund that invests in Pre-Seed to Seed stage tech companies.

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.

Alex Brockelman
Startup Coach, iFundWomen

Alex Brockelman is a startup coach at iFundWomen.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend NYC 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.



Organizing Team

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

  • Ashley
  • Erinique
  • Juanita
  • Maya


Ashley Shillingford

At the cross section of tech startup, banking, and regtech. Ashley is currently Head of Compliance for a new digital trade bank in the UAE. She is part of building a new and better way to manage regulatory and financial crime risks in a more efficient way. Using new technologies and approaches, working closely across functions to help build a better client experience.

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!