Techstars Startup Weekend Schenectady

    Friday, March 6 - 8, 2020

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Schenectady

Friday, March 6 - 8, 2020

Friday, March 6 - 8, 2020
Event starts at 5:00 pm

Urban Co-Works
433 State St 4th Floor
Schenectady, New York 12305

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Your idea in 54 hours

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 6th

5:00 pm
Event Kick-Off
Organizers will kick-off the event and share what the rest of the weekend will look like.

6:00 pm
Registration, Networking & Dinner
Arrive at the venue and get checked in, network with the community and enjoy some pizza :)

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 7th

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 :)

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 8th

9:00 am
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!


Event Judges

Tom Franceski

Tom has been involved in leading and growing technology businesses for the past 25 years.  Most recently he oversaw the sale of DocStar, an enterprise content management software business, to Epicor, and ERP solution provider.  Tom and two partners acquired DocStar in 2007 along with Computer Professionals.  The team effectively re-positioned DocStar as a SAAS platform, drove aggressive growth and  sold the business in January 2017.  Tom ran the business for Epicor until September 2017, and left to rejoin CPI as Chief Financial Officer.  Tom began his career with KPMG after graduating from LeMoyne College with an accounting degree, and holds a NYS CPA license.  He has a passion for combining strong leadership and execution discipline with solid strategy…..and driving great business results.  

Nicole Snow
Founder and CEO

United States Air Force Veteran, Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Mom to a three-year-old, Wife, Founder & CEO, Nicole Snow is the ‘Jane of all trades’. In 2008, out of desire to create a business focused on social consciousness through crafting and design, Nicole founded Darn Good Yarn. Over the past 12 years, Darn Good Yarn has saved over 2,000,000 pounds of manufacturing remnant material from ending up in landfills or rivers, upcycling it into handmade craft supplies and apparel while employing more than 300 global artisans. Darn Good Yarn has appeared for the last 3 years on the Inc 5000 list and was recently named New York’s Capital Region Company to Watch.  

Julianne Clouthier
Industry Engagement Manager

Julianne is the Industry Engagement Manager for FuzeHub, a non-profit organization that serves as the statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NYMEP) center. Julianne oversees the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund which is comprised of manufacturing grants, a commercialization competition and an innovation challenge. The Fund provides $1M annually to not-for profits, manufacturers and early stage technology companies in New York State.Julianne has over ten years of economic development experience and has worked on numerous microenterprise projects and business expansion projects throughout New York State. She is an advocate for the food and beverage industries and has developed programs to assist farm businesses, value-added producers and ag-tech companies.  She is a member of the Tech Valley High School Business Alliance and serves as a mentor, judge and panelist for numerous innovation and entrepreneurial programs.  Julianne Clouthier holds a Master of Business Administration from the University at Albany, a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Mercyhurst College and is a recent graduate of AlbanyCanCode -Front End Web Development.

Coaches and Mentors

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.

Joe Bonilla
Manager Partner

Joe Bonilla is the managing partner, senior media director, and co-founder of Relentless. Recognized as a leading communications professional in the Northeast, major brands, companies, organizations, and public figures rely on Bonilla’s counsel and insight in moving their message forward with impressive results. From bringing ridesharing to Upstate New York and Long Island, promoting the burgeoning craft beverage industry, working with rising leaders at the local, state, and federal level, and lifting startup thrifts to Fortune 500 companies into the public conversation, Bonilla works tirelessly to enhance and advocate for each Relentless client. Bonilla’s background includes serving as a former communications director for a New York State Assemblywoman and a media outreach manager for a leading technology PR firm. Active within the community, Bonilla also serves as president of the board of directors for Capital CarShare, Inc., managing director of the Knickerbocker Film Festival, board secretary for the University at Albany Alumni Association, and a board member for Troy Preparatory Charter School, Maria College, the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and New York Urban Orchards. Bonilla previously served as chairman of the City of Albany’s Public, Educational, and Government Access Oversight Board. Bonilla is also a regular panelist of WAMC Northeast Public Radio’s nationally-syndicated and award-winning news and discussion program The Roundtable. Bonilla, a graduate of the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany (B.A., Public Policy), has recognized by the Hispanic Coalition of New York (40 Under 40 Latino Rising Stars 2012), the Albany Business Review (40 Under Forty 2014), University at Albany (Thirty Under 30 2014), City & State Magazine (Albany Rising Stars 2017), and Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy (Young Alumnus 2017).

Michael Roach

Michael Roach is an American Marketing Association (AMA) member and Professional Certified Marketer (PCM). His experience with the creative process and visual communications has allowed him to work on numerous creative projects, as well as internationally-awarded film documentaries. Avid, a leading audio/video editing production software company, recognized Michael for his content creation skills and storytelling ability. 

In addition to running his own boutique creative/marketing firm, Michael Roach Creative, he is an immediate past president of the American Marketing Association New York Capital Region chapter. Michael thrives in fast-paced, creative environments and enjoys training and speaking with audiences about marketing, design, business, and technology. One of his goals is to help elevate the marketing profession and grow the business and marketing community.

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.

Arnoldas Kurbanovas
CTO of CampusPro

Mr. Kurbanovas graduated with a Masters in Computer Science from the University at Albany and performed his masters work in machine learning and data analyst. Mr. Kurbanovas is also a mentor to 4 undergraduate students teaching them machine learning algorithms, data management techniques and data analytic tools while working in an agile programming environment. Mr. Kurbanovas is also the chief technology officer (CTO) of a startup company, CampusPro.

Jill Fecteau
Founder / CEO at Earth Sunflower

Born & raised in the Capital Region, Jill Fecteau, CEO of Earth Sunflower, has long been dedicated to making positive change in the community. With a passion for the bettering the environment and educating the public about the realities of single-use plastics, Jill began by creating a grass-roots environmental campaign called Earth's Last Straw. The campaign is based in Saratoga Springs focusing on working with local business owners assisting them in the transiting away from single-use plastic straws. Jill then continued her commitment to the plastic-free movement by launching her company, Earth Sunflower, in 2018. Earth Sunflower is a mission-based company focused on helping people cut back on single-use plastics in their homes and communities.  She looks forward to meeting you! 

Daniel Kane
Registered Patent Attorney and Corporate Counsel

Daniel Kane is a Registered Patent Attorney and Corporate Counsel, advising startups and small businesses in various industries throughout the United States.  For nearly a decade, Daniel has successfully advocated for entrepreneurs in federal and state programs — first, as an attorney for the U.S. Small Business Administration and, later, as a private attorney focused on Upstate New York.  His current practice guides businesses from idea and launch to series-funding and exit, and provides specific help to those pursuing government contracts, grants, loans, or other regulatory approvals.  

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Schenectady 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

Media Sponsor

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Organizing Team

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

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