Philadelphia Startup Weekend

    Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Philadelphia Startup Weekend

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

2401 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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Philadelphia Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is returning to Philadelphia the weekend of November 11th-13th!  Creative minds will be descending on CityCoHo for a weekend-long immersive experience in transforming an idea into something real.  In one short exciting weekend, attendees will have 54 hours to pitch an idea, create a team and build and test a working prototype for an idea of their own.  Once everything is complete, teams will be presenting to a panel of well-esteemed judges who will crown the winners.  Prizes will be distributed to the first, second and third place teams.  

Startup Weekend is about teamwork, efficiency, creativity, enthusiasm and much more!  To build an idea from scratch is a challenging task, but the Philadelphia Startup Weekend team will be there all weekend to ensure that attendees have the tools and resources available to succeed.  Throughout the weekend, teams will have access to a state-of-the-art co-working space and mentors from the thriving tech community at their disposal.  

If you’re interested in challenging yourself to think creatively, want to build on an idea of your own, learn a new skill, connect with a creative and entrepreneurial community, or most of all, want to take part in a fun weekend, then Philadelphia Startup Weekend is for you!


Friday November 11th

6:30 pm
Attendees arrive for check-in.

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Enjoy a casual dinner, share ideas, get to know fellow participants.

7:15 pm
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce organizers, coaches, and community leaders.

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Pitch time! Line up to pitch your idea (optional).

8:30 pm
Team Formation
Teams discuss projects amongst attendees and begin forming teams around skill sets and team needs.

9:30 pm
Finalize Teams
Finalize team formation and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

9:45 pm
Closing Remarks
Organizing team closing remarks.

10:00 pm
Teams depart venue for the evening and are free to work off-site.

Saturday November 12th

9:00 am
Arrive at the venue, check in, breakfast & coffee.

9:30 am
Begin Work
Set up workspace for the weekend and begin working.

12:00 pm
Teams enjoy a mid-day break for lunch.

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help.

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm
Teams enjoy an early evening break for dinner.

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

10:00 pm
Teams depart venue for the evening and are free to work off-site.

Sunday November 13th

9:00 am
Arrive at the venue, check in, breakfast & coffee.

10:00 am
Mid-morning check-in, status reports, call for help.

12:00 pm
Teams enjoy a mid-day break for lunch.

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

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
Teams enjoy a late-afternoon dinner.

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
This is your time to shine!

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards
Judges assign awards to teams.

7:30 pm
Closing remarks and event conclusion.

8:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Shelton Mercer

Fortune 100-bred serial entrepreneur, speaker and philanthropist Shelton Mercer is, CoFounder and President of big data + audience monetization startup AuDigent and a partner at Benjamin's Desk, where he advises the creation and success of innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Shelton is former CEO of Mashable Award winner and celebrity-driven, social enterprise TwitCHANGE. During his previous work with enterprise tech giant Lucent Technologies and his Mercer Advisory Group, Shelton built and directed teams that delivered solutions for dozens of global market leaders, including Disney, NBC, Warner Bros, GE, KPMG and Johnson & Johnson.

A deep passion for people and the planet has fueled Shelton to mobilize thousands to donate, volunteer and advocate, lead multiple service missions to crisis points and developing nations, connect corporations, brands and governments with social impact initiatives and held significant NGO executive and board posts.

Shelton is a frequent speaker and media contributor. He has received numerous honors, including, Top 50 Social Good Leaders You Must Follow on Social Media by The Huffington Post, Hero and Humanitarian Award award from the Pennsylvania Senate and Champion for Haiti from the Haitian Professionals of America.

Ellen Weber

Ellen serves as the Executive Director of Temple University’s Fox School of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and of Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures.

She is also the Executive Director of Robin Hood Ventures, a leading angel group helping to fuel startup growth in the Philadelphia region.  She is very active in the Philadelphia startup community, supporting Philly Startup Leaders, Philly Tech Meetup, and the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs.Previously, Ellen was the COO and co-founder of VisionMine.

Ellen has more than 25 years of experience creating strong teams and building strong leaders for emerging companies as well as Fortune 500 clients. She is a partner in Antiphony Partners, LLC, a strategic consulting firm that specializes in helping companies create sustainable value through innovation. She was involved in the growth of Investor Force, a provider of technology-based solutions for institutional investment professionals, where she created the company’s initial human resources department, facilitated strategic planning, and managed the organizational aspects of the company’s mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, she spent twelve years at Shared Medical Systems where she was responsible for initiatives encompassing organizational development, customer support and corporate communications.  She was also a senior consultant for Andersen Consulting.

Ellen graduated from The Wharton School with a B.S. in economics.

Brendan OHara

Brendan is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for startup Sponsor Shipped, which provides an ROI based Business Intelligence platform for corporate sponsorships to Fortune 500 companies and the founder of Via Capita a business and technology consultancy.

He is also the Managing Director of the Philadelphia chapter of the Founder Institute, the world’s largest idea and launch stage startup accelerator helping to fuel the growth of early stage startups in the Philadelphia region.  He is very active in the Philadelphia startup community as the organizer of Silicon Philly a local meetup for early stage startups and a frequent presenter on topics such as innovation, start-ups, MVP development, Material Design and game theory. He is also the developer of MVP Dev Kit, a website that helps early stage founders build viable MVPs using best of breed modern technologies. Previously, Brendan was the Founder and Managing Director of OnFit Systems a European startup based in Sofia, Bulgaria and Berlin, Germany where he raised over $1M in investment. At OnFit he helped create Europe’s first multi-lingual fitness industry CRM available in 9 countries, 6 languages, 4 currencies.

Brendan’s career started in business before moving into technology and then to technology entrepreneurship. Starting his career at as a casino pit boss in Haiti he then returned home, moving into sales positions and eventually as Director of Business Development before moving into a career in technology. He was previously a member of Team Macromedia, an Adobe Community Expert and a regional Microsoft Community Influencer and has authored books and magazine articles on web development, design patterns and software best practices. He has ran his own technology consulting firm in West Chester and was also a Senior Software Architect for Yamaha Music R&D in London, UK and Hamamatsu, Japan.

Brendan graduated from London Business School with an M.B.A. with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Strategy and has lived and worked in six countries including the US, UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Germany and Haiti.

Coaches and Mentors

Jeremy Peskin
Founder, Borderwise

Jeremy is the founder of Borderwise, which helps immigrants become US citizens.  Previously, he worked in corporate tax law at Proskauer Rose and investment banking at Morgan Stanley in New York.  In his spare time, he co-founded Matchme, a free crowdfunding platform for nonprofits.  He has a JD with a Certificate in Management from Penn Law and The Wharton School.

Morgan Berman
Founder, MilkCrate

After almost a decade in the non-profit world of women's health, Morgan cartwheeled head first into the tech startup scene. She is the co-founder and CEO of MilkCrate, a company that helps companies engage their employees in social and environmental impact. Through her work with MilkCrate she has been honored by the UN Foundation as one of the Top Female Entrepreneurs to Watch, was selected by Forbes for the 30 Under 30 Pitch Summit, visited the White House to discuss clean energy policy, and gave a TEDx talk on chasing dreams (actually, unicorns!).

She is a passionate Philadelphian, chosen as a "Keeper" with Leadership Philadelphia and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper- two organizations that are helping cultivate thoughtful leadership for the future. Right now she's channeling that training into a new arts program at her local Rec Center (learn more here). She is a novice SCUBA diver, and recently got another notch on her belt in Jiu Jitsu. 

Jonathan Wexler
Lead Developer, The New York Code + Design Academy

Jon Wexler is the Lead Developer of The New York Code + Design Academy and Academic Director of the bootcamp's Philadelphia campus. With years in web design and development and experience instructing intensive courses in programming and full stack development, he is about cutting edge technology and understanding new tools inside and out.

David Hindin
Founder, Invented Magazine

David is a physician and Founder of Invented Magazine, an app that highlights the stories behind innovative medical and tech startups making an impact on people's lives. He has a lifelong passion for creative pursuits – and is particularly interested in innovations within the tech and medical worlds. Previously, he was involved with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology Transfer, where he helped to assess new intellectual property developed within the university. 

Kat Klasnic
Global Knowledge Manager for Advanced Electronics, McKinsey & Company

Kat is the Global Knowledge Manager for Advanced Electronics at the world’s largest Management Consulting firm as well as a Director of the Founder Institute's brand new Philadelphia chapter. She has over 16 years of global experience as a management consultant and entrepreneur in the technology sector, ranging from software to telecommunications.  

Previously she founded OnFit Systems, a CRM for fitness chains based in Bulgaria and Germany. She has an MBA from London Business School, dual British and US citizenship and has lived and worked in five countries including the US, UK, Ireland, Bulgaria and Germany. She reads and understands French, Spanish and German.

Sylvester Mobley
Executive Director, Coded by Kids

Driven by a desire to increase both access to tech education and diversity in the tech industry, Sylvester Mobley founded Coded by Kids in 2013 with just a single student. Through word of mouth, the program grew in popularity and he expanded his focus to incorporate adult education with the founding of Coded by U in 2015. Sylvester works to use technology education to fight the conditions that contribute to systemic poverty, such as the lack of meaningful employment opportunities in many communities.

Sylvester focuses on developing highly dynamic tech and innovation education programs that can be delivered in community spaces, such as recreation centers, free libraries and churches. He uses these programs to transform community spaces into centers of innovation for neighborhoods, and aims to make technology education as accessible and ubiquitous as youth sports. He has received several awards for his work, including a Philadelphia City Council Citation (2016), the Philadelphia Business Journal Tech Disruptor Award (2016), a Philadelphia City Council Resolution (2015), and recognition from Billy Penn as a leader in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (2015). His organization was nominated for the Philly Geek Awards Startup of the Year in 2014 and the Impact Org of the Year in 2016.

Sylvester is a proud father of three, a graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business and veteran of the war in Iraq.

Bob Solomon
Adjunct Professor, Temple University's Fox School of Business

Bob Solomon is a serial entrepreneur, educator, technology leader, inventor, and investor/advisor. He has led/ managed and built successful large, and small international organizations in turnaround, start up and large company environments. He currently is an Adjunct Professor at the Fox School of Business at Temple University where he teaches lean methodology to graduate and undergraduate students. He has led a variety of companies in the IOT, database, networking/communications, search engine, ecommerce, and electronic ticketing software markets. He also worked with Soros Private Equity Partners and continues to work with Ben Franklin Technology Partners. He has raised venture funding ($10m+) multiple times.

Nick Pirollo

Nick Pirollo is a technology enthusiast with over 7 years of industry experience and a passion for turning visions into products. 

Nick has experience working with start-ups and large corporations on all levels.  Repeat founder, start-up consultant and Advisory Board member - helping on all ends of the business and assisting in building scalable and maintainable tech solutions.

He has multiple apps that spent time at #1 across the app stores and was part of the Scholly founding team that was recognized on the 2016 Forbes' 30 under 30 list in the category of Social Entrepreneurship.

Mike Lizun
Senior Vice President, Gregory FCA

Mike Lizun is a seasoned media relations, digital public relations, communications and content strategist, helping brands create and tell their stories.

Over the course of his 18 years in public relations, journalism, and communications, he has developed hundreds of valuable top-tier media relationships (East and West Coast, national, technology, consumer and business media from AP, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, TechCrunch, Good Morning America, TODAY Show, USA Today, ABC News, CNN, GigaOm, Forbes, Fox News, The Verge, re/code – tier one media, and top-tier bloggers).

His specialties include strategic, integrated, digital communications; identifying and building relationships with influential media and bloggers; earning media; and creating and promoting content on the web and social web.

Bobby Ren
Founder, RenderApps

Bobby started developing iOS apps at TechStars Boston. He currently runs RenderApps, a mobile app prototyping and development company. His interests include health and fitness apps, medical and educational products, and virtual reality. He is relatively new to Philadelphia, having worked in Boston and San Francisco in the past. He is currently fascinated in virtual reality as an education and story telling tool.

Odia Kagan
Of Counsel, Ballard Spahr

Odia Kagan combines her in-depth knowledge of privacy and data security regulations and best practices with her keen understanding of emerging and information technologies, to provide clients with practical advice on how to design and implement their products and services, consummate their M&A transactions, and engage third party vendors, in the US and abroad. She utilizes her ability to break down complex concepts into easy to understand action items to provide effective ongoing counseling to clients in their day- to-day operations.

Ms. Kagan is a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional in the laws of the United States – private sector (CIPP/US) and in the laws of the European Union (CIPP/E). She serves on the board of advisors of privacy compliance start-up "Prifender". Previously a first lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces, Ms. Kagan served as a military advocate and as a legal adviser to the Military Advocate General and as an adviser to the head of the Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting of the Israel Ministry of Communications. 

Peter Jaslow
Associate, Ballard Spahr

Peter Jaslow is a corporate and transactional attorney who advises publicly- and privately-held companies in corporate and commercial transactions. Mr. Jaslow represents companies in public and private offerings and other capital-raising transactions, merger and acquisition transactions, and a variety of commercial technology transactions. He works with clients across a variety of industries, including the software and technology, life sciences, pharmaceutical, and retail industries.  Mr. Jaslow focuses his practice on technology and life sciences companies and transactions, where he assists clients in developing and implementing business and development strategies and completing other major transactions.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Philadelphia Startup Weekend 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

CityCoHo is a coworking business, partnered with the Sustainability Nexus and focused on providing extraordinary shared space to extraordinary emerging communities. Committed to delivering the ultimate coworking environment and experience, CityCoHo is creating the new standard, raising the bar.

Visit Website



Organizing Team

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

  • Nicholas
  • Katy
  • Brian


Krissie Harrigan
Organizer, Operations Lead

Proud to be geeky. Unhealthy obsessions with the internet, data, marketing, and customer experience. Spent a decade working with enterprises like Google, American Express, and Chase Bank on demand gen and marketing campaigns, then took a leap of faith with an early stage tech startup (acquired in 2013) and have never looked back.

Currently Co-Founder of TenStartups - A community-based accelerator program (Alpha), and JustReply - A performance reporting platform that prompts employees to report things back by simply replying to an email. (Beta).

Passionate about helping startups and entrepreneurs with growth and marketing strategies and execution. Unofficial Startup Weekend, Ladies Learning Code, and Code for Kids ambassador.

Event Blog

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