Techstars Startup Weekend Troy 7

    Friday, March 29 - 31, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Coaches and Mentors
  4. Sponsors
  5. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Troy 7

Friday, March 29 - 31, 2019

Friday, March 29 - 31, 2019
Event starts at 5:00 pm

IgniteU NY
333 Broadway
Troy, NY 12180

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Your idea in 54 hours

Techstars Startup Weekend Troy 
Presented by IgniteU NY, Sage School of Management, Troy Innovation Garage, In Focus Brands, CampusPro, Innovate 518

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.

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.

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!

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Friday March 29th

5:00 pm
Registration, Networking & Dinner
Arrive at the venue and get checked in, network with the community and enjoy some pizza :)

6:00 pm
Event Kick-Off
Organizers will kick-off the event and share what the rest of the weekend will look like.

6:30 pm
Pitch Fire
Participants optionally line up to pitch to the audience with the goal of being selected to continue working on that idea for the duration of the weekend.

7:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas.

8:30 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 March 30th

8:00 am
Breakfast & Work & Mentors
Enjoy breakfast and continue working with the support of Mentors from the community.

12:00 pm
Lunch & Surprise Giveaway
Enjoy Lunch with a surprise giveaway opportunity.

1:00 pm
Continue working hard :)

4:00 pm
Transition to Troy Innovation Garage

5:00 pm

7:00 pm
Continue working hard :)

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

Sunday March 31st

9:00 am
Breakfast & Work
Enjoy breakfast as you get back into the swing of things.

10:00 am
Final Preparations & Mentors
Prepare for your final pitches and continued support from Mentors in the community.

12:00 pm

2:00 pm
Final Presentations
Teams will present their final pitches to 3 judges and the audience. 1st, 2nd & 3rd place teams will be awarded.

4:00 pm
Judging & Awards

4:30 pm
Go Home!

Coaches and Mentors

Jennifer Coulombe
Founder and CEO of Sat Nam babe

With 15+ years in the corporate and non-profit space at various NYC-based companies and organizations, Jen left her 9-5 office job in 2016 with a dream to work from anywhere in the world. In 2017 she launched Sat Nam babe, mindfully made, yoga-inspired clothing for kids under six and babies.

In addition to running all aspects of Sat Nam babe, Jen
also works remotely for the business development team for Boston-based global health non-profit Seed Global Health and is an iFundWomen certified crowdfunding coach, supporting female entrepreneurs as they raise funds for their business.
Jen has a Master of Business Administration in entrepreneurship from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in NYC and a degree in public relations from the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. 
She is also a 200 hour certified Kundalini yoga and prenatal teacher and can usually be found daydreaming about her next spontaneous travel adventure. Originally from Clifton Park, Jen recently said goodbye to NYC living and currently resides in Saratoga Springs.

Anthony DeBonis
President and a Partner at Troy Web Consulting

Anthony DeBonis is the President of Troy Web Consulting, a software application development firm based in Troy, New York. His goal at Troy Web Consulting is to ensure that the company stays at the leading edge in technology innovation and continues to design and develop great software. 

A recognized leader in the regional developer community, Anthony has over 20 years of experience developing and deploying both mobile and web applications that are required to be both secure and highly available. He is also on the Board of Field Inspections Plus, runs The Tech Valley Mobile Developers Network and presents at MeetUps, User Groups, and National Conferences. 

Outside the workplace, he is President of the Weare C. Little Memorial Environmental Park, member of CEG TechConnex & Tech Awards subcommittees, UNY50, mentor for AlbanyCanCode and Startup Weekends and Startup Tech Valley. Anthony shares his software and business expertise as the President of Troy Web Consulting, one of the best places to work in 2018/2019.

Richard Zack
Founder & CEO

Richard has a 20-year career as an Internet pioneer and tech entrepreneur, starting at the age of 15 when he built the first Internet Service Provider in Geauga County, Ohio. He later founded Pantek, a Managed Services Provider focused on Linux and Open Source software, and served as CEO prior to successfully exiting in 2007. He later served as the Chief Technology Officer of Metisentry, a builder of secure business software. Richard now leads Our.News, a Troy, NY-based startup that’s pushing back on misinformation through their innovative Newstrition labels, which make it easy for anyone to separate real from junk news. Richard has been featured by numerous news outlets including USA Today, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Computer World, Albany Times Union, The Business Review, WCNY, & more. His past consulting clients include AutoZone, National Public Radio, Northrop Grumman, The Nature Conservancy, and Sony Music. He is also an advisor and investor in several startups. Richard resides with his wife and children in Brunswick, NY.

Heidi Knoblauch
Founder Receipt HQ

Dr. Heidi Knoblauch earned her doctorate in History of Science and Medicine from Yale University in 2015. She owns a restaurant in Downtown Troy - Plumb Oyster Bar - and is the founder of Receipt HQ, Inc. She is also the chairperson of the Troy Industrial Development Agency and the Local Development Corporation. Before starting her two companies, she worked on a Ford Foundation project called the JustPublics@365 Project at the CUNY Graduate School where she worked with activists, the media, and academics teaching strategic digital communications strategies. After working on the JustPublics@365 Project she was hired as the Digital Projects Coordinator and led a Mellon Foundation initiative at Bard College. She sits on the board of the Alliance for the Creative Economy and the Emma Willard Alumnae Association Council.

Michele Pesula Kuegler
Program Director

Michele Pesula Kuegler is the Program Director at Wasabi Ventures Academy and has been part of the startup world since 2007. She is the founder of PeKu Publications, an internet-based publishing company that delivers original content. She also is the Chief Recipe Tester & Editor-in-Chief at Think Tasty. Prior to her career as an entrepreneur, Michele worked in education. During her decade in that role, she helped to build several curricula, worked in various leadership positions, and (of course) managed and instructed individual classrooms. As the Program Director, Michele develops and implements the curriculum, oversees marketing and operations, and manages student recruitment and the maturation process.

Ana-Maria Galeano
Lead Attorney

Ana-Maria Galeano has over 25 years of corporate law experience advising businesses throughout their lifecycle – from formation, governance, restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, private and government financing, intellectual property protection, and contractual matters.
Ms. Galeano was  General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Plug Power, Inc., a fuel cell company.  As General Counsel, she oversaw Plug Power’s initial public offering ($93M), two follow‐on offerings ($61M and $58M), international acquisitions ($45M and$10M), and the creation of strategic alliances with companies in Europe and Asia. And as Corporate Secretary, she was responsible for corporate compliance and advised the Board of Directors on a variety of corporate governance issues.
Ms. Galeano was also a co‐founder, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of H2Pump, LLC, a hydrogen recycling company. She was instrumental in securing over $12M in private and government financing, several patents, and the delivery of the company’s first beta products.
Prior to her roles as General Counsel, Ms. Galeano was an attorney at the Albany Law firm of Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna where she helped to create Plug Power and Prime Care Physicians, among other notable businesses.
Ms. Galeano earned her J.D. degree at Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. degree in history, minor in Russian language and literature, and business adjunct degree at the State University of New York at Binghamton.  She is actively involved in the business community and serves on the Board of Directors of Albany-Tula Alliance, Inc, a nonprofit that fosters international business relationships in the Capital Region.
Ms. Galeano was a member of the first class of the Capital Region’s 40 Under 40 award recipients.

Thad Casey
President of Innovative Manufacturing Consultants Inc

Thad is president of Innovative Manufacturing Consultants (IMC), a local product design and prototyping firm that helps inventors build businesses, and Manufacturing Incubator Program Director at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity.  He holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University.  After 12 years as a senior engineer and business leader for large power generation companies including General Electric and Hitachi, he started IMC to work with tech startups.   IMC utilizes the foundation of big business processes to streamline product development and get to revenue quickly.  Thad is engaged in the economic development ecosystem and sits on multiple non-profit boards and committees. 

Patrice Perkins
Director, Startup Grind Albany and Founder/CEO, The Word Architect

Words and engaging people are my superpowers. 25+ years of experience in the private, non-profit and state government sectors provided the eclectic background that serves me well as an industry-agnostic business analyst and interviewer. Domain expertise includes broadcast media, business development, education, legal, marketing, and prospect research.

Startup Grind Albany is the region’s most innovative monthly gathering of entrepreneurs. As Director, I facilitate conversations with successful business leaders as they share lessons learned while building great companies. It’s the place to learn best practices about getting and keeping customers, increasing revenue, and lowering costs. Partnered with Google for Startups, Startup Grind is an international event series designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. 

The Word Architect is my boutique firm focused on helping solopreneurs and small-to-mid size firms through business coaching and content creation. We write copy that resonates with your customers and sounds like it came from inside your head.

Anita Morin

Anita Morin is a financial advisor with the International Planning Alliance, LLC, and is based in Albany, NY.  Anita is an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) with Park Avenue Securities, holds the FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 securities licenses, and is appointed to conduct business in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

Mark Davies
B2B Connector of Opportunity and Funding

As a Business Banking Relationship Manager, Mark is part of a team of professionals that works closely with you and your business to understand your needs. Only after getting to know your business will he make recommendations. His extensive knowledge of business banking, including strategies for cash flow, credit, expansion, equipment financing, employee solutions, and more, will ensure that the advice, products, and services you get are tailored to meet your business needs.Regular reviews of your business are also a priority. This ensures that any changes to your business are taken into account and products and services can be adjusted. Additionally, Mark partners with other line of business experts so that you receive only the most knowledgeable advice.Mark has 20 years of experience in the financial industry, and has been with KeyBank since 2007. Mark currently resides in Albany and serves clients in Capital region .
How the red key works with you.We act as trusted advisors by demonstrating knowledge, integrity, and professionalism. Our team of Business Banking experts advises you on all aspects of business financials, including cash management, credit solutions, equipment financing, credit and gift cards, employee solutions, merchant services, and more. We get to know your business in order to grow your business.About KeyBankKeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial service companies. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States.

Robert Braathe
Startup Advisor

Robert Braathe of BE Your Start is a speaker, educator and mentor. His years in management with Disney, Gap and Apple as well as his 12 years as a business consultant and startup consultant give him unique perspectives on a wide array of topics. Robert has mentored entrepreneurs through consultations, accelerator programs, college classes and the Clean Tech Early College High School at HVCC. 

Jeff Collette
Owner of HELPSCO

Jeff Collette is the founder of HELPSCO that helps business leaders streamline their operations to make their customers happier and improve their business’ bottom line. Prior to starting HELPSCO, Jeff was the U.S. Corporate Benefits Controller for 10 years at SABIC (formerly GE Plastics) in Pittsfield, MA, responsible for benefits financial administration, process and quality improvement, and analytics. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and earned his MBA in Finance from Sage Graduate School in 2003. He lives in the Capital District with his wife and 2 children, where they enjoy spending time together outdoors.

Tom Kuegler
Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Wasabi Ventures

Tom “TK” Kuegler is the co-founder and managing partner of Wasabi Ventures. Wasabi Ventures has funded, founded or advised over 200 startups since 2003. TK is the author of all three editions of the highly acclaimed book, "Web Advertising and Marketing." He has authored dozens of articles about the Internet and been published in leading publications around the globe. TK spends a great deal of time lecturing at colleges, companies, seminars, and conferences about the corporate benefits of utilizing interactive technologies.

Mary Snell
Payroll & Benefits Specialist - Employee Data Management

Mary is responsible for managing and maintaining all the personal and job-related data that is housed in numerous databases and General Electric’s system of record. She works to resolve any discrepancies in data and troubleshoot errors in the interface. Mary has a strong role in supporting all General Electric’s mergers, acquisitions and dispositions from an employee data perspective ensuring the transitions run smoothly and compliantly. Just this year alone, she has supported over 25 reorganizations, 3 acquisitions and 14 dispositions impacting over ~39,000 employees for US and CAN. Her responsibilities also include supporting the testing and go-live production flows for all major system releases and updates. She is well-versed with tax compliance as her previous role was the Payroll & Benefits Tax Specialist supporting employment tax compliance for all GE employees in the U.S, Puerto Rico and Canada. She has worked alongside the IRS, state and local agencies and many GE vendors. Mary is experienced with and promotes lean management principles to identify and root cause trending issues. Mary has taken on the leadership role for General Electric’s Schenectady HealthAhead global program. She creates and maintains a healthy work environment and encourages employees (and their families) to advance their personal wellbeing. This includes managing the finance account, budget, communications, vendor relations, planning and hosting events for over 3,000 employees consistently throughout the year.Mary obtained her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the Sage College of Albany and is currently attending Utica College to graduate in Summer of 2020 with her Master of Business Administration with a concentration of business analytics. Mary returns to Startup Weekend for the fourth year helping teams design and carryout business plans as well as mentoring teams to construct an informative and creative presentation for competition day with the judges.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Troy 7 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.



Food Sponsorship


Organizing Team

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

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