Startup Weekend Social Impact Edition New York City

    Friday, July 25 - 27, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Social Impact Edition New York City

Friday, July 25 - 27, 2014

Friday, July 25 - 27, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

WeWork SoHo Lounge
154 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013

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Announcing NYC Startup Weekend Social Impact Edition!

That's a wrap! Good job to all the teams. We couldn't have had such a successful event without amazing attendees, mentors, judges and volunteers. We'll post a summary shortly!

You can find resources for the weekend here!

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

About Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs, with events in over 100 countries and 600 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a co-founder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

About Startup Weekend Social Impact :

What is Social Good (as per Investopedia): 
“A good or service that benefits the largest number of people in the largest possible way. Some classic examples of social goods are clean air, clean water, and literacy; in addition, many economic proponents include access to services such as health care in their definition of the social or “common good”.

What is a Social Impact project (as per NYCSW):
A company, project or a team that seeks to benefit humanity in some way, shape, or form.

Why do we care about this theme:

We want to fire up entrepreneurs to solve problems that affect their communities. Furthermore, we believe that the skills involved in a successful Startup Weekend project -- market research, financial sustainability, product-market fit, lean execution, polished design and others -- are instrumental to solutions that can change the world for the better. 
Additionally, we want to challenge the professional stigma associated with the term "non-profit" while educating the community about sustainable models for social impact organizations. This includes traditional non-profits, social entrepreneurships, and/or B-corps. The creativity, passion and talent of the New York community is ripe and ready to create companies that solve social problems!


Friday July 25th

6:30 pm
Arrive at WeWork. Check-In. Grab a T-Shirt.

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food. Share ideas. Practice pitches. Meet your fellow participants.

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Kick-off Event. Short talks to help get you on your way!

7:50 pm
Pitches Start
(Optional) Line up to give your Startup Pitch!

9:00 pm
Vote for the Top Ideas. Recruit for your Team.

9:20 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas.

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Formalize teams, and take an inventory of skills. Determine what you need to be successful this weekend. While you can't stay at the venue, feel free to keep working into the night!

Saturday July 26th

9:00 am
Arrive. Have a power breakfast!

9:30 am
Begin Work
Meet with you teams and start working on your ideas!

1:00 pm

2:00 pm
Mentors Arrive
Mentors help teams one-on-one. From domain to technical experts, they are here to help!

6:30 pm

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

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. Determine homework to be successful tomorrow!

Sunday July 27th

9:00 am
Arrive. Have some breakfast on us!

10:00 am
Find the organizers if you need anything to be successful today!

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
We'll have mentors here to help you refine the final presentations!

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:45 pm
Get some food and relax before awards!

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Awards + Final Remarks!

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Andy DiSimone
Director of Digital, STARTUP HEALTH

Andy oversees digital efforts for StartUp Health, a global network committed to helping startups accelerate health and wellness innovation. With a passion for technology and a keen interest in health and wellness, Andy is currently focused on solving problems and implementing solutions that will help position StartUp Health for significant growth. A well-rounded digital strategist with extensive agency, account management, and marketing experience, Andy most recently served as Account Director for cross-channel marketing company Responsys (acquired by Oracle) where he managed brands such as Coach, Wells Fargo, and Apollo Group.

Jessica Feingold
Development Manager, East Coast at Kiva

Jess is the Development Manager at, located on the East Coast in New York City, where she is helping realize Kiva's mission of connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty. Previously, Jess was the Director of Partnerships and a Partner at Ashoka Changemakers, where she helped corporate and philanthropic partners invest in social entrepreneurship. In addition, Jess Feingold is the Communications and Strategy Specialist at Move This World, a global nonprofit that uses creative movement as a vehicle to transform conflict, violence and bullying in communities. She is also the co-founder of Life-improving Ventures (LiV), a nonprofit organization that is currently focused on developing a better solution for menstrual hygiene in India and Mozambique. Jess received a B.A. from the University of Virginia, an MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Event Judges

Daniel Gulati
Entrepreneur in Residence, COMCAST VENTURES

Daniel co-founded FashionStake, a marketplace for independent fashion acquired by He was Director of Fashion and led several product innovations while at Fab. Daniel authored Passion & Purpose and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Robert Lee
Director of Special Programs, CHARITY: WATER

Robert holds an engineering degree in computer science and an MBA. He has traversed from management consulting to the foreign service at the State Department and started a couple small businesses along the way. He is now leading charity: water's efforts in tech innovation and creating new market-based approaches to field operations. This involves both hardware and software product management as well as program development all in the hopes of figuring out a new way to bring more sustainability to the clean water projects they have in 20+ developing countries.

Natalia Oberti

Dubbed "The Coach" by Marie Claire, Natalia (aka Ms. Oberti Noguera) is Founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women that's changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. Natalia holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale. She has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Mashable, Reuters Money, TechCrunch, The New York Times, and Fast Company's Co.Exist Change Generation series. Natalia was named to the Forbes list “Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter,” as well as's "25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech." Women's eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012 and Business Insider included her on its 2013 list "The 30 Most Important Women in Tech under 30." You can find Natalia on Twitter (@nakisnakis).

Jesse Levin
Senior Cultural Chameleon, BROOKLYN BOULDERS

Jesse Levin is the founder of Tactivate, an initiative that meshes the veteran special operations community with the start-up ecosystem and applies the communication, leadership and innovation skills of military personal to facilitate holistic development of community, culture and strategic partnerships in the private sector. In addition to running Tactivate, Jesse is an investor and Co-Founder with Brooklyn Boulders, an organization that designs hybrid climbing and innovation facilities. He heads strategy on new initiatives including the development of the Active Collaborative Workspace and is responsible for new facility launches. Prior to his current work, Jesse founded and ran Archer Group Investments, a cultural mediation-consulting firm based in Panama for six years.

Carolina Huaranca
Principal, Kapor Capital

Coaches and Mentors

George Weiner
Chief Whaler - WHOLE WHALE

George is the Founder and CEO of, and an adjunct professor at NYIT. Prior to, George was the CTO of Under his leadership, the organization became an innovator in social media, mobile technologies and social cause. During his 7 years at, he oversaw the complete overhaul of the site twice (winning a Webby Award and nominations), helping to build a community of over 1.5 million young people taking action. Internally, George built a 10 person engineering team including mobile, social, and Drupal developers in NYC.

Thea Sokolowski
Oxford MBA Candidate / Startup Weekend Accra

I'm a soon to be Oxford MBA candidate with a background in marketing and branding. I recently spent a year in Ghana working at a tech incubator and post-graduate institution called MEST ( There I mentored for Startup Weekend Accra, leading mostly teams of my students through all business elements of their products. I taught business development and pitch preparation, and specialize in copywriting, branding and customer acquisition. Today, I work with, creating co-living spaces for entrepreneurs, techies and doers in major US cities.

Chelsea Rao

Chelsea Rao is Vice President, Digital & New Media Development for Empire State Development. She serves as a liaison to technology firms looking to expand their businesses in New York, connecting them to available resources and addressing policy issues affecting the industry. She was previously Assistant Director at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she helped develop NYC's strategy for expanding the tech and bioscience sectors, and launched programs including NYC Media Lab, the NYC BigApps Competition, Connect NYC, and PILOT Health Tech NYC. Chelsea holds a Master's in Public Administration from NYU Wagner and a B.A. from Barnard College. She currently serves as Board Chair for Girls Write Now, an award-winning writing and mentoring program for at-risk and underserved high school girls.

Molly Hayward

"Molly Hayward is a humanitarian entrepreneur and the Founder & CEO of Cora (, the world's first subscription box revolutionizing women's health, education, and economic empowerment globally. She is the former Founder & Managing Director of Rebecca Street, a London-based award winning sustainable luxury fashion label. Contact Molly at and follow her on Twitter @molly_hayward "

Peter Crysdale

Peter is the Founder and CEO of StrategyHack, an organization dedicated to building and championing a community of startup marketers. Never content with traditional norms, Peter brings a wide breadth of experience to bear on the organization, from his role as Director of Programs at Venture For America, to his three years abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso.

Patrick Lewis

I'm a designer and entrepreneur currently building Butterscotch Labs, a product shop here in New York City. In my free time, I volunteer as a mentor for Techstars NYC and help high school entrepreneurs through Virtual Enterprise International.

Lucas Lemanowicz
Forward Deployed Engineer, PALANTIR

Lucas is a Forward Deployed Engineer at Palantir and an early employee of their New York office. His work focuses on solving problems involving money laundering and cyber security at some of the largest financial organizations in the world. He is particularly interested in the intersection of data analysis and social impact, and looking forward to working through challenging technical problems with the teams at Startup Weekend!

Alexis Rondeau

Build startups, write code and meditate cybernetics. Curious mind. Founding member OneMonth (YC S13). Information architect at Freakonomics. Co-Founder at Venture Assembly.

Divya Kapasi

Divya Kapasi, founder of GoodList, is a social entrepreneur based in New York City, with a mission to help scale and ignite more socially responsible businesses. She has a distinguished business background, with 11 years as a digital executive with several of the world's leading corporations, including, One Kings Lane and Vente Privee. Divya holds a BA in Political Science from Boston College and is fluent in Spanish.

Sri Velagapudi
Engineer, GOOGLE

Sri is a Google engineer, food lover, ponderer and dreamer with an interest in reading, writing and sharing magnificent thoughts of changing the world for the better. She has over 11 years of experience in software engineering and is often looking for ways to give back to the community.

Daniel Egan
Director of Investing, BETTERMENT

Dan is the Director of Investing at Betterment, an Automated Investment Service Made in NYC. It's his job to ensure Betterment's clients achieve the best take-home returns possible. Dan previously worked at Barclays Wealth.

Michael Ballard
Product Manager, BETTERMENT

As Product Manager, Michael brings together members of the Betterment engineering, growth, and product teams to help create meaningful features and user experiences. His background is a confluence of technology and design and he has worked extensively with nonprofits in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Archa Jain
Software Engineer at Google

I started at Google late 2012, after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering. When I'm not writing code for profit, I like dabbling in writing delightfully functional code, learning more math and reading webcomics.

KJ Singh
Director - Techstars

KJ serves as the Director of Techstars, NYC.  In his current role, KJ sources and screens hundreds of startups as a member of the program's selection committee.  During the program, he advises companies on product/market fit, growth tactics, fundraising strategies and other strategic issues.  Prior to Techstars, KJ was a management consultant with Booz & Company in NYC.  Prior to that, he was an investment-banker with Redwood Capital Group, a NYC-based Technology, Media, Telecom focused boutique investment bank.  KJ started his professional career with JPMorgan and holds a BBA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Social Impact Edition New York City 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

WeWork is the community for creators. We transform buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces and provide infrastructure, services, events and technology so our members can focus on doing what they love.

Visit Website



Organizing Team

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

  • Amanda
  • Tanya
  • Cheney
  • Cynthia
  • Andrew
  • Dimitris
  • Kimberly Kyle
  • Alex
  • Drew
  • Joy
  • Chi
  • Kenny


Andrew Young
CTO & Co-Founder @ SWILL

Event Blog

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