Startup Weekend Saratoga Springs

    Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

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

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

3257 Route 9, Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga Springs, NY

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Start Up Saratoga 3 Announces Amazing Prize Packages!


Guaranteed 1st Order Distribution Order through Autonomy Dist.
Free Office Space Agreement
Full Day In Focus Brands' Deep Dive Acceleration Consulting Day
Each Team Member gets $5K Educational Grant for In Focus Brands' Online Coaching & Resource Library
IFP Films' Video Shoot & Edit Upload for International Global StartUp Week Competition

2nd & 3rd Place:

Half Day In Focus Brands' VIP Consulting Day
IFP Films' Video Shoot & Edit Upload for International Global StartUp Week Competition


Friday November 14th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote 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 the venue will allow

Saturday November 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

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

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 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Tim Katusha
Wholesale and Distribution Expert

For more than two decades Tim Katusha has assisted both U.S and International organizations in their distribution and exporting needs. He has accomplished this by helping companies streamline their logistics process which has allowed them to reap the benefits of global demand. 

Mr. Katusha’s experience varies from running $500 million regions for multi-billion dollar organizations to creating distribution models for start ups. His client centric philosophy aligns perfectly with customers existing models and allows them to accomplish their goals in the most efficient manner.  Tim is a graduate from St. Bonaventure University.

He resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife of 14 years Jenn and their children Jackson and Alex.

Patrick Pipino
Co-Owner of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Franchise in Saratoga Springs

Mr. Pipino is a local Saratoga Springs businessperson, and Co-Owner of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Franchise in Saratoga Springs,.  Prior to Ben & Jerry’s, Patrick was a Food & Beverage Manager with the Desmond in Colonie.   Originally from Stamford, Connecticut, Patrick grew up in the Capital District Area.  He has an Associates Degree in Foodservice Administration/Restaurant Management from SUNY Morrisville, a Bachelors Degree in Hotel & Resort Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MBA from SUNY Albany where he focused on Management Information Systems & Marketing.    A 1998 graduate of the Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Saratoga” program, Mr. Pipino believes that community service is central to business, and has served the public in a variety of roles.  Currently, he is the Chairman (and formerly a Past Chairman) of the Saratoga County Convention and Tourism Bureau and the Eastern United States Representative to the Ben & Jerry’s Global Franchise Advisory Council.  He also serves on the Rochester Institute of Technology Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Leadership Saratoga Alumni Board.  He is a past secretary of the Board of Directors for the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce; past Director, and Treasurer of the Saratoga Center for the Family, a local organization that deals with child abuse, and a past Director of the Saratoga Downtown Business Association. He served for five years as an Ambassador for the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, and is a past chairman of Community Partners in Education.  He has coached Little League baseball for twenty three years for the Saratoga American Little League.  Mr. Pipino is an ardent supporter of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, and was a “big” to a young man for seven years. In 1995 he was awarded “Big Brother of the Year” for the Capital-Saratoga Region.  In 1999 the New York Jaycees honored him with their “Outstanding New Yorker” award.  Mr. Pipino has been honored by his alma mater, R.I.T. as the 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year, and by Ben & Jerry’s Homemade as the 2001, and 2011 Franchise of the Year. Lastly, he was named one of the “20 Under 40” by the Saratogian newspaper in 2004.   Patrick is a former pitcher for the Saratoga Reds, a local “Over 30” baseball team,.  He currently serves as an umpire with the Saratoga Umpire’s Association.  His hobbies include, fine scale modeling, professional cooking, and studying Air & Sea Power.  Married thirteen years to his lovely wife Rebecca, he is father to nine year old Isabelle and five year old Sarah and resides in Saratoga Springs with them and his cat Captain.

Coaches and Mentors

Richard Sellers
Chairman Emeritus of the Marketing Executives Networking Group

Richard Sellers is Chairman Emeritus of the Marketing Executives Networking Group, founder of the Demand Marketing consulting firm, mentor and volunteer counselor for SCORE helping new and small businesses, and former Sr. VP of Marketing for three multi-billion dollar companies: Career Education Corporation, WellPoint, and Service Merchandise.

His early career was at GE, Procter & Gamble, Playtex, and the Marketing Corporation of America.

You can follow his communications about marketing, social media, and careers at and

Jason Taylor
President of Taylor Made Products

Jason Pajonk-Taylor is the President of Taylor Made Products, a manufacturer and distributor of products for the Recreational Boating industry, located in Gloversville, NY.  He has been with Taylor Made for 20 years, beginning his career working as the plant manager for the windshield business in Templemore, Ireland, and has been involved in the aftermarket division of the business for the last 17 years where he has held various product management, sales, and operations roles prior to becoming president in 2002.  He has also served as the Chairman of the National Marine Manufacturers Association Board of Directors and continues to remain active in the association.  Jason earned his Bachelor of Science in Management from Bentley University and currently lives in Saratoga Springs, NY.   

Debra Pearlman
Founder- DP Sales Pro

Debra founded DP Sales Pro in 2005, after more than 20 years of experience in sales training and sales management in a variety of industries. She launched the S.H.A.R.P. Sales TrainingTM system as the culmination of her experience, and the nexus of all her services.Joining the workforce at the age of 18, Debra did the New York City Shuffle, busing in from New Jersey and walking to work in sneakers. Changing into high heels, she began her rise through the ranks as a sales professional. She most values her experience at JRM Industries, where she spent two years knocking on every door on every floor of numerous buildings in the garment district. She then developed relationships with distributors that uncovered her passion for training. She conducted inhouse training for the distributors' sales agents, joined them in sales calls and, by the end of her fourth year, was responsible for 10% of the firm's total sales.Intertwined with her professional pursuits, Debra acquired an associate's degree in business, married, became a mother of three sons, was voted President of the PTA and was elected twice to the Board of Education. Feeling the need to complete her education, she enrolled in the University of Phoenix Online and earned her bachelor's degree in business management and marketing in 2005. The entire family flew to Arizona to watch her graduate in cap and gown, offline.Debra's experience with all aspects of sales and training helps differentiate DP Sales Pro today. "Our clients count on us to know their sales agents' jobs as well as their companies' strengths and weaknesses. We make sure that sales staff define their personal goals, so that they buy in to their companies' goals, and we sharpen their skills with one-on-one training."Debra's own personal goal is to use her passion and skill to motivate and teach others so that they, too, can realize and exceed their goals to achieve success - for themselves, their businesses and their companies.

Erik Luhrs
Creator of The GURUS Selling System

Erik Luhrs is known as ìThe Bruce Lee of Sales and Lead Generation." He is the creator of The GURUS Selling System and he is the bestselling author of BE DO SALE. Erik is the ONLY expert in the world on Subconscious Lead Generation, Persona-Positioning and Lead Generation Message Linguistics! Erik is also a Master Practitioner of NLP, and certified in The Silva Method and Accelerated Learning. And he has been featured by Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Fox Business News, Selling Power, Chief Executive and BNET.

Rich Gerlach
Owner - Computer Service Solutions

Hi, I’m Rich Gerlach, founder of Computer Service Solutions. After Clarkson University told me I was a Mechanical & Industrial Engineer I served time with RPI, General Electric and the Watervliet Arsenal; all in Information Technology related positions. Since then I've been on my own, sometimes working with others as projects dictate additional resources and skill sets. I’ve forgotten more acronyms and operating systems than many in the field know exist. 
Been there, done that. Relaxation takes the form of getting my Hobie 16 up on one hull in a good wind and teaching my three children to do the same. Credit goes to my wife Debra for putting up with me for over 30 years.Computer Service Solutions, providing Open Source Solutions to the Capital District since 1997.Computer Service Solutions provides clients with "best fit" solutions, combining open source and commercial products for optimal ease of use and cost effectiveness.CSS has a variety of solutions designed to enable both large and small firms to make the best use of open source and proprietary technologies. We give our clients better, faster and more efficient information systems with less down time and less maintenance than proprietary only solutions, while keeping the cost savings inherent in open source technology.Why open source?
  • No licensing costs
  • Stablility - fewer crashes

Montine Blank
Owner - Paint Your Guts Out

Paint Your Guts Out!© offers intuitive art classes and creativity coaching. Our approach helps people remove creative blocks, get inspired, and create art freely and spontaneously. Paint Your Guts Out!© classes and workshops have been delivered to hundreds of individuals and private groups for personal growth and inspiration as well as organizations to enhance team spirit and bonding.

Learn more at

Walt Pazderski

Walt, over the last 25 years, has built a stellar track record of leading teams to high level, award winning sales achievement. He has collaborated to provide strategic sales growth solutions to client organizations ranging in size and culture from Fortune 100 to start up. ! ! Winning numerous top sales awards (Salesman of the Year, Salesman of the Quarter, Salesman of the Month); Walt has ALWAYS been able to show improvement in key metrics. ! Decorated for consistently exceeding objectives, Walt has achieved sales success across a broad array of sectors:! !・ Technology・ Financial・ Software・ Pharma・ Manufacturing・ Bio-tech! ・ Hospitality・ Food & Beverage・Telecommunications Equipment ! ・Multi-Media Content Delivery・Risk Management! A sample of organizations with which he has worked include: American Express, Marriott, LexisNexis, Mitel, bigdough, Miller Cascade, Alaskan Spirits, William Gallagher Associates, GTE.! ! Consummate communicator, remarkable relationship builder, masterfully managing to milestones: Walt employs a unique consultative approach integrating important elements of several methodologies (i.e., Miller-Heiman, Rackham, Hawk & Boland, Gladwell, common sense and hard work) to sell highvalue WIN-WIN-WIN solutions. ! Walt is a master sales professional who is able to deliver short term and long term sales and revenue growth.

Schuyler Tilly Peter Keigley

First Niagara Bank will be on hand Saturday from 2:00 -5:00 to help you
develop the financial plan that will turn your bright idea into a
shining example. From managing risk, to managing cash flow, from
attracting top talent to financing growth, First Niagara will coach you
on the kinds of customized financial solutions you should consider to
meet your specific needs.

Christel MacLean and Colin MacLean Curved Line Living Seminars

About Curved Line  Living Seminars FoundersAward winning serial entrepreneurs, consultants, public speakers and current owners of five businesses (Curved Line Living, Circus Café, The Crown Grill, Saratoga Juice Bar and Realty Saratoga), Christel Albritton MacLean and Colin Scott MacLean have lived an entrepreneurial lifestyle since they arrived in Saratoga Springs from NYC after over 10 successful years working for top Wall Street firms in investment banking and theatrical production. Armed with a Williams College Bachelor of Arts degree, a Wharton MBA and years of practical experience in the trenches, these professionals are uniquely positioned to share their stories and more importantly provide a “how to” (and how not to!) on the nuances of general business, entrepreneurship, career advisory services and applying their unique principles of Curved Line Living to business and life in general. Frequent guest speakers at corporations, corporate retreats, networking events, media panel discussions, colleges/universities and trade associations, they are a wealth of valuable information focusing on strategies for success in corporate, entrepreneurial, hospitality and educational fields. Join them sometime soon at one of their seminars or arrange for a private consultation for what could be a life changing event.

Eric Leander

Eric focuses his practice on business, corporate and securities law matters.  Eric provides a broad range of legal services to entrepreneurs and businesses including corporate formations and transactions, financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, commercial leasing, contract drafting and negotiation, private securities offerings, and business planning for start-ups and small to mid-sized businesses.   As a founding board member of a local business, Eric is uniquely able to identify with the entrepreneurial mindset and the challenges facing start-up businesses from inception to commercialization.  Mr. Leander is a firm believer in building an entrepreneurial community in the Capital Region and greatly enjoys working with innovative entrepreneurs to build successful businesses.  The creativity and energy that entrepreneurs bring to their projects is inspiring and fuels Eric’s dedication to his client’s success.    Eric’s prior experience includes a diverse business law practice in Albany and the greater Capital Region handling a variety of matters for clients of all sizes.  In addition, Eric previously worked with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in the Division of Corporation Finance, Office of Small Business Policy.  

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.

Meghan DelPrete

Meghan Del Prete is the owner of Reform Pilates Club, a True Pilates Studio in Downtown Saratoga Springs. She is a Level 4 Certified Instructor through Romana's Pilates, and has over 10,000 hours of teaching experience. She completed her certification at True Pilates NY in NYC (formerly Drago's Gym) in 2005, and has attended annual Romana's Pilates Conventions in Paris, Las Vegas, New Orleans, NYC & FL and frequent continuing education seminars at True Pilates NY. In January 2012, Meghan was honored to become a Level 4 Instructor. Meghan graduated with Honors in Dance Performance and Choreography from Skidmore College. She has been a Faculty Member in the Skidmore College Dance Department, teaching Pilates 1 & 2 since 2005.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Saratoga Springs 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

Heandline Sponsor!

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Organizing Team

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

  • Cheryl
  • Robert
  • David
  • Kevin
  • Tony
  • Michelle
  • Patrice
  • Joel


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