Startup Weekend Pittsburgh

    Friday, November 21 - 23, 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 Pittsburgh

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Alphalab Gear & Thrill Mill
6024 Broad Street
2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

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Startup Weekend Pgh returns on Nov 21-23 for Global Startup Battle!

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur? 

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

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 580 cities around the world.  

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Fredericksburg to 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 (as determined by popular vote) 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 cofounder, 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!


Friday November 21st

6:00 pm
Attendees arrive at the Alphalab Gear and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat, meet, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and volunteers

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Line up to give your (1 minute) pitch

9:00 pm
Everyone votes for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as 11pm

Saturday November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams check in, and set up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm
Food truck(s)

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!

5:00 pm
Dinner & Performance
Food truck(s) and special performance from Lee Terbosic!

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

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Final check-ins

11:00 am
Pitch Coaching
Pitch coaches

12:00 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
Food truck(s)

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Everyone has 5 minutes - make 'em count!

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm
Final notes, and clean-up

9:00 pm
Join everyone to celebrate


Don Charlton
Founder and CEO

The Resumator

Event Judges

Jose Amayo
Chief Technology Officer

Mind Over Media

Denise Desimone
Founder and Chairman


Debra Lam
Chief of Innovation & Performance

City of Pittsburgh

Tara Ronel
Vice President of Products & Engineering


Eric Silver
Founder and Chairman


Coaches and Mentors

Hahna Alexander
Co-Founder and CTO of SolePower

As a child, Hahna was inspired by the technology in science fiction books, shows, and comics. She became an engineer because she wanted to make such technology a reality. For her, developing an energy harvesting shoe insert meant creating a device that could be found in an Isaac Asimov book. She also has a lifelong dream of going to space, which grew bigger while designing robots at NASA. As the CTO of SolePower, she leads product design.

Lynn Brusco
Executive Director

Disruptive Health Technology Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

Rick Cancelliere
Founder & CEO


Adam Kelson

Saul Ewing LLP

Leah Lizarondo

Brazen Kitchen

Dwight Mayo

Urban Innovation 21

Don Morrison
Chairman of Deal Flow, Blue Tree Allied Angel Group

As the Chairman of Deal Flow for BlueTree, Don collaborates with BlueTree’s committees to identify quality deal flow, invite new investors and partners to the group, manage our meetings and help our portfolio companies to grow and reach their full potential.  Outside of his work with BlueTree, Don is actively involved in mentoring and coaching numerous start-up and early-stage companies in the region through Alpha Lab, Alpha Lab Gear, The Thrill Mill and the eCenter at Linden Pointe.

Don is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader who has consistently leveraged technology to improve the customer experience and top and bottom-line results, in multi-channel consumer product companies. He has been involved in the growth and development of several businesses, including American Eagle Outfitters, from 1 to 165 stores (as President/CEO), Sundance Catalog Company (as Executive Director), and Bear Creek Corporation (as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing). His business experience includes Retail, Restaurant, Franchising, Manufacturing, Catalog and E-commerce.  Don has been involved in numerous business turnarounds, divestitures and acquisitions and presently serves on the Board of Directors for Waffy’s, The eCenter at Linden Pointe and the Green Building Alliance and Women-Drivers.Com.

Mike Riley
Sr. Lead Engineer


Nicki Zevola Benvenuti
Founder and CEO of FutureDerm

Nicki Zevola Benvenuti is the founder and CEO of FutureDerm and FutureDerm Media. is one of the world's leading skin care blogs that includes its own line of award-winning skin care. currently receives over 10,000 hits each day and has been named the #1 beauty blog by SHAPE magazine. Nicki has participated in campaigns with prestige brands such as Redken, Olay, Ken Paves, Rodan + Fields, NIA 24, NEOVA, and many others. FutureDerm Media offers expert blog and content marketing services to a number of clients in a variety of fields.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Kit
  • Lee
  • Christian


Jon Rossi

CEO/Founder of MyDealerService (Techstars Mobility 2015)
Organizer of first StartupWeekend Denver - October 2015
Facilitator of many SW Events
Attended 1st SW Summit in KC
Passionate about the community and always happy to help out.

Event Blog

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