Startup Weekend EDU Rochester

    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 EDU Rochester

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

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

Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside
120 E Main Street
Rochester , NY 14604

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SWEDU Lands in Rochester!

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that brings together Rochester designers, developers, entrepreneurs and experts from all domains to do amazing things. All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: Anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback!

If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur and contribute to a more sustainable world, be part of Startup Weekend Rochester.

We are a global community of passionate educators, students, entrepreneurs, developers and designers on a mission to create the best learning opportunities for others. Recognizing that education entrepreneurs face unique problems that require unique solutions, Startup Education helps people launch and scale education ventures no matter where they are in their entrepreneurial journey.

Centering on Startup Weekend Education, a 54-hour experiential learning event, education innovators (educators, students, designers, developers and anyone interested in innovation) can join us Nov. 21 to kick off SWEDU Rochester and the NYSCATE Annual Conference.

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Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday November 21st

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

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

6:45 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

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

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:30 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 the venue will allow.

Saturday November 22nd

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:30 am

12:30 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

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

5:30 pm

6:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 23rd

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

11:30 am

12:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

1:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:30 pm
Final Presentations

5:00 pm
Dinner, Judging & Awards


Andrew Wheelock
Technology Integrator

After a 15 year career as an Elementary Education classroom teacher, I became a technology integrator at Erie 1 BOCES/WNYRIC. Here I have developed a passion for new technology innovations that will help teachers become more productive and enhance student learning. My current projects are: 1. The Islands of Enlightenment Projects- Through virtual world simulations students learn about the tragic events of the Holocaust, Life in a Medieval Village, and digital building for art, history, and architecture. 2. The Coffee With a Geek Program. Using Google Live Hangouts I have been interviewing edtech leaders throughout the world to to learn about the latest technologies and integration ideas.

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a two-time winner of Rochester Startup Weekend, first in 2012 for his AllAccess.US app, which makes it easy to access Menus, Deals, Directions, Hours and more.  Users can Scan a brand's Logo, as well as a QR Code, or search by name or browse by category.  With the iOS app, Blind and Low-Vision users can have menus spoken out loud, and Deaf or Non-Verbal users can use the app to speak their order to a waiter.  AllAccess.US also won the 2013 Digital Rochester Rising Star award.  Mr. Bernhard's team won the 2014 Startup Weekend for, a searchable database of educational movies and videos.  Mr. Bernhard also started NoTie.NET, an award-winning (AARP,, app firm with millions of downloads.

Event Judges

maxwell brodie

I walk the fine line between the way things are and the way things should be, and use technology to scalably bridge the gap. Few gaps are greater than between the personalized experiences we enjoy as consumers and the prescribed experiences offered by the traditional school model; no gap has consumed a larger part of my life. Two years ago, I set out to bridge this gap with Kaizena (ImagineK12 W13). Our platform enables teachers to quickly provide differentiated feedback on student work, and is used by thousands of educators in over sixty countries. I have previously built my bridges in enterprise SaaS and wireless telecommunications, became one of Canada's "Next 36" entrepreneurs, and am a licensed pyrotechnician.

edward sun
Co-founder Kaizena

I started telling computers what to do in grade two, and the highlight of my middle school freelance career was remotely auditing a hospital’s patient database. They never knew. I wrote mobile apps at PwC when a smartphone was a BlackBerry and Chrome accessibility tools at Google. After founding an enterprise SaaS startup and becoming one of Canada’s “Next 36” entrepreneurs, I founded Kaizena (ImagineK12 W13) to personalize the learning experience for every student. Our platform enables teachers to quickly provide differentiated feedback on student work, and is used by thousands of educators in over sixty countries. I’m also an avid runner, swimmer, and proud foodie.

Aron Solomon
Senior Advisor at MaRS Discovery District

A global strategist, entrepreneur, and advisor who has always refused to accept the status quo, Aron Solomon has over a quarter century of experience at the intersection of education and innovation.

Having done everything one can do in education, from teaching and coaching sports to fundraising, student recruitment, setting institutional strategy, and actually running schools, Aron was awarded a Ford Fellowship in 2003. As his leadership project, Aron launched the first independent school in-house consulting business, which became profitable in its first year.

Soon after, Aron became Chief Operating Officer of an early global e.learning initiative. In this role, he established and communicated a new online brand throughout the world with a focus on India and China. He was also the Chief Executive Officer and first employee of THINK Global School, the most innovative high school in the world, where students study in three international cities each academic year.

Aron holds an undergraduate degree in Political Theory , a graduate degree and teaching certificate in English and Economics, a law degree, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, where he graduated as a Kellogg Scholar and had the great good fortune to be taught leadership by Dr. Deepak Chopra. He is also a 2011 graduate of Sweden’s leading-edge Hyper Island Master Class. Aron is a Senior Advisor at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, where he helped build the EdTech cluster.

Teresa Lawrence
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Teresa Lawrence has worked in the educational arena for over 23 years to include roles as teacher, administrator and R&D in public education, university and private industry. Teresa is recognized as a lead developer of the Williamsville Information Tracking System (WITS), a multi-faceted information management system. Dr. Lawrence currently serves as Superintendent of Schools for the Grand Island Central School District, located in Western New York.  

Jason Moyes
Director of Innovation and Execution for CognitionLLP

Jason has served on global teams implementing major customer experience initiatives and served as a connector/doer/spark and key trusted advisor to the C-Suite, Senior Leadership and Governance Teams for legal and business matters.
A lawyer by training, Jason has also served as a corporate manager, strategist, project leader, operations program developer and relationship owner with key vendor/partners.
With a depth of experience leading and facilitating cross functional teams, Jason has served as a core or extended team member on numerous change management projects impacting legal, finance, I.T. and customer experience, often via a Lean Six Sigma methodology.
Jason is part of the “NewLaw”  movement which is mid-revolution on reinventing legal services beyond the traditional partnership model, abolishing the billable hour and leveraging the good sense business practices which have eluded the industry for far too long.  The fusion of technology, design, process improvement and automation are a source of endless fascination, especially in their application to legal and advisory services.  Of late, he is enjoying teaching, writing and advising on topics of interest including legal technology, project management and start-up culture.

He presently serves as Director of Innovation and Execution for CognitionLLP - an alternative provider of legal services.

Coaches and Mentors

Michael Klein
Senior Educational Leader at BrightBytes

Michael is a teacher, coach and consultant on innovative learning models, and currently works as a Senior Educational Leader at BrightBytes. He has worked directly with Tony Wagner as research assistant on his most recent book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. A founding teacher at High Tech High’s newest middle school in Chula Vista, Michael is passionate about Project-Based Learning, technology integration, and professional learning networks as means of empowering teachers and providing students with the 21st Century skills they need to succeed. Michael has a masters from Bank Street College in General Childhood Education.

Erroyl Rolle
Co-founder & CEO of CausBuzz

Erroyl is the co-founder and CEO of CausBuzz, Inc. which he founded while pursuing his Master’s degree in Human Computer Interaction at RIT. He oversees operations and execution of their iterative user centered design and development process. Erroyl has 15 years of experience managing the development of enterprise apps that maximize ROI in order to reach strategic goals.
Erroyl is community focused and believes significant social challenges of today can be solved with hard work and the wise deployment and leveraging of technology. He established and runs a founder’s group which meets monthly in the city of Rochester, serves as advisor for the Laughlin Design Studio and is a partner at MapCushion, LLC.  He has won numerous awards for design and innovation.Erroyl’s personal history also includes being an accomplished ski instructor, a dude ranch wrangler, and managing profound dyslexia.

Mary Howard
NYSCATE Lee M. Bryant Outstanding Technology Teacher of the Year

As a sixth grade teacher at Veronica E. Connor Middle School I teach ELA and Social Studies and am an ABSOLUTE technophile!  I can often be caught buried in Edmodo, Augmented Reality, Twitter, OpenSim platforms, awesome apps, Web 2.0 tools or simply chasing a tech rabbit down a hole in an attempt to learn some new and exciting way to integrate technology into my classroom.  I have presented at many conferences and district technology development days including: NYSCATE, Digital Wave, CIT, NETT, NYSSMA, NFRA  I have also been privileged to participate in some excellent technology grants including CSLO projects and EETT through Erie 1 Boces.  In 2013, my article on integrating technology with the socratic seminar was published in the In Transitions magazine.  This year, I am honored to have been selected as the NYSCATE Lee M. Bryant Outstanding Technology Teacher of the year.  Many of my technology musings, recommendations and experiences are illustrated in my blog:

Gregg Steinberg

Gregg is founder and CEO of Charlemagne Global Advisory, a strategy and operations advisory firm for both for profit and not for profit entities. Charlemagne’s current and recent advisory clients include: (Chicago based disruptive digital media content monetization platform) , USARAD and  (Florida based leading tele-radiology / tele-medicine companies), Give2gether (Israel based crowd funding platform for not for profit development and donor campaigns), Aduro Energy (Toronto based heavy oil production enhancement and clean tech), Omnitas (Israel based group developing a technology park and airport in Arad), iLyngo (developer of Cyfr a disruptive Instant Messaging app that integrates revenue generating mobile commerce / e-commerce and user rewards directly into a mobile platform), DealersLab (Israel based developer of e-commerce community exchange coupling the crowd, social media, financial exchange models and e-commerce), Humble Pie Group is a CPG company manufacturing proprietary branded gourmet fresh and frozen food products, Quantum Group (Florida based cloud SaaS electronic medical records) where he was also a past Member of the Board of Directors and served on Nominations and Audit committees, Pardes (Jerusalem based education Amutah), PresenTense (Jerusalem and New York based not for profit educating and launching social entrepreneurs), and, UPONUS (Chicago based encryption and compression technology developer), GuRu Venture Cluster was intended to be an Israel based early stage sustainable technologies incubator and seed stage venture located in the Advanced Technologies Park adjacent to Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva Previously Gregg was the President and/or Managing Officer of numerous associated companies, which combined, formed the largest consulting firm in the world delivering a broad spectrum of management consulting and other professional services solely to the small and medium sized business marketplace and their entrepreneurs. Combined the companies reached approximately 1,800+ employees throughout North America and $250 million in annual revenue.  The company was listed twice (both times in the 10) by INC. magazine in the INC. 500.  Cumulative revenues under Gregg’s presidency exceeded $2 billion. In Gregg’s earlier career he held various positions including, Vice President of a hotel management company, President of a financial advisory firm, Assistant Director Mergers & Acquisitions for a national investment banking firm, and Director of Corporate Finance for a public accounting firm. Gregg is member of the Board of Governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot Israel and of the American Committees national Board. He is also a member of the Board of Touchstones Discussion Project and of the Institute of Global Leadership at Tufts University. Greg serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Simon School of Business, University of Rochester, NY and as the Managing Director of the school’s student run venture capital fund. Gregg is a past member of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council, its Homeland Security Task Force, its International Policy Council, its Business Civic Leadership Council and the BCLC’s Working Group on Disaster Recovery. Graduate of the University of Arizona, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Graduate of the Thunderbird School of Global Management (formerly the American Graduate School of International Management), Masters International Management / Masters Business Administration.  

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend EDU Rochester 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.



Contributing Sponsorship

Organizing Team

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

  • Andrea
  • Amy
  • Oscar
  • Mark
  • Andrew
  • Todd


Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon
Kapor Capital Founding Portfolio Services Director | Forbes 30 Under 30 | TEDx Presenter

Mandela is a passionate go-getter, leader by example, and champion of big dreams backed by massive action. She is committed to doing work that fosters a social good, and is excited by the power of entrepreneurship, technology, and community-building to be a catalyst for personal transformation, societal development, and global improvement.

Experience: Founding Portfolio Services Director at Kapor Capital | Forbes Contributing Author | Global Director of Education Entrepreneurship Organization | Tech Startup Founder | Public Speaker | Blogger | Educator

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