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Brand Networks, 61 Commercial St, Suite 200, Rochester, NY 14614

Rochester has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship.

In February 2013, Business Insider reported that Rochester, NY is the 13th "Most Innovative City in the U.S." With that in mind, we're excited to bring Rochester Startup Weekend to the region.

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 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!



Apr 25
  • Registration Starts
  • Pizza Served
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • 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 until 12am.


Apr 26
  • Doors Open and Breakfast is served
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Speaker
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work until 12am.


Apr 27
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (This is self-motivated so don't be afraid to ask!)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive, ask questions
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Buffet Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup & After Party

Deborah Mourey

Mourey Consulting   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Deborah has worked in multiple start-ups in both consulting and co-founding roles. A strategic marketing consultant, she speaks around the county in marketing best practices (including digital, “tradigital” and social media). A college professor, blogger and SCORE mentor. Her consulting practice focuses on working with Business-to-Business and non-profit organizations. Areas of specialization include healthcare, technology, software, e-commerce and community building.

Joe Peacock


Joe is cofounder and CTO of GradFly. Some of his accomplishments include winning 2nd place at Hack Princeton, 1st place at Hack Upstate NY, and 2nd place at Startup Weekend Buffalo.

He started his first web freelancing business at age 14. He began taking Computer Engineering courses at age 15 over summers and is now a Junior at University of Buffalo getting his degree in Computer Engineering. During his spare time, he plays hockey and rows.

Mario Fallone

Counsel, Harter Secrest & Emery

Mario Fallone focuses his practice on venture capital, private equity and general corporate matters. He has extensive experience related to offerings of debt and equity securities, including SEC registered offerings, Rule 144A/Regulation S transactions, and private placements.

Prior to joining Harter Secrest & Emery, Mr. Fallone had broad experience as a business professional in the alternative investment space, most notably with venture capital/angel, real estate, and feature film investments.

Harvard Law School, J.D.
Hamilton College, B.A., summa cum laude

Deborah Pearce

CEO, LeaJames, Inc.

Deborah L. Pearce is CEO of LeaJames, Inc., a general management consulting firm. She has served on the Boards of Rochester School for the Deaf, The Harley School, Quad A for Kids, and Harvard alumni clubs. Her professional experience includes executive and leadership positions at United Technologies, General Electric, The MAC Group, and IBM. She has been a guest speaker and lecturer at Syracuse University and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Her higher education began with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Math with a Minor in Computer science from the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and continued with a Master in Business Administration from the Harvard School of Business. She recently completed her doctoral studies in the Doctorate in Executive Leadership program at St. John Fisher College with a research study in the area of innovation in small and medium enterprises.

Julian Baldwin

Immense Analytics

Julian is the Co-founder and Lead Data Scientist at Immense Analytics, a Rochester, NY based firm that develops custom solutions to help businesses store, mine and display their data. In 2013, he was accepted into the High Tech Rochester LaunchPad software accelerator for his work on SnapEval, the only performance evaluation system that makes the process of team management simple and painless. In 2012, he was a recipient of the Global Entrepreneurship Week Top 50 award presented by the Kaufmann Foundation for his work at Innovocracy, an academic crowd-funding platform used by Cornell University and the University of Rochester. In 2011, he was invited to present his research titled “Control of AV Nodal Excitation during Atrial Fibrillation” at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. He graduated with degrees in Bioengineering and Complexity Theory & Philosophy with Honors from Binghamton University where he was a member of the Computational Biology Group.

George Ferguson

Media Arts & Innovation, University of Rochester

George Ferguson is the Director of Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation at the University of Rochester. The fun part of his job is developing exciting programs and projects that combine digital media, media arts, performing arts, and computation in innovative ways. Previously he was a faculty member in the Computer Science department where he led a research program to design and develop intelligent assistants that interact naturally to help people solve problems. He received funding over the years from many agencies including NSF, NIH, DARPA, ONR, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was a founding member of the University Center for Future Health.

Mark Lucas


Mark is a passionate entrepreneur, and Managing co-Founder at goSudo, a startup based in Rochester, NY. In his current role, Mark leads the overall vision and strategy for goSudo's platform and is responsible for driving sales and growth, developing culture, recruiting talent and raising capital. He brings 10 years experience in tech sales, business and market development, and an unwavering passion for realizing goSudo’s vision.

Taylor Whitney

Founder, Preserving The Past, LLC

Taylor Whitney, President and Founder of Preserving The Past, LLC, worked in film production and film preservation for over 23 years. As Sr. Film Inspection Technician she assisted in the film restoration team of Robert Harris and Jim Katz (Lawrence of Arabia, My Fair Lady) on Rear Window, Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Trouble with Harry as well as with such collections as The Sammy Davis Jr., Estate, The Mary Pickford Film Library and The Michael Douglas Film Library as well as with major motion picture studios such as Columbia, Universal, Fox, Paramount, etc. In 1997, Whitney established Preserving The Past, LLC to address a void in the then fast emerging field of film preservation: institutional, university, library, business, household, estates and private organizations.

In 2004, Whitney returned to school to add a formal educational component to her years of expertise in film preservation. Accepted into the inaugural class of a unique program that incorporates museum studies with library science focusing on photography, she earned a Master of Arts in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada in collaboration with George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York. Preserving The Past, LLC has offices in Rochester, NY and Los Angeles, CA with clients worldwide. Taylor is the 2013 winner of the Alan Stark Award voted by her peers to honor achievement in film preservation.

Mark Sachdev


Marc is a Co-Founder of Rochester based Aquavation™, a product with a purpose company that helps nonprofit organizations raise funds and awareness. Aquavation combines three of Marc’s interests - technology, marketing and cycling and is on the cutting edge of the developing social business community. He enjoys being involved with the startup landscape in as many ways possible and is currently a mentor for the HTR LaunchPad program. Earlier, Marc earned an MBA from the Simon School of Business and held Marketing leadership roles for a variety of public and private firms.

George Daddis


George is an experienced CEO & entrepreneur, having founded two successful technology companies. He has extensive experience in building companies, raising capital, and establishing markets for digital and IT technologies.

After receiving his B.S., M.S., and PhD. Degrees from Cornell University in Computer Engineering and Applied Mathematics, George began his engineering and management career at Eastman Kodak and subsequently Xerox, building engineering teams for various imaging product lines. These teams focused on quick time-to-market deliveries and “best in class” performance and cost digital product platforms.

In 1998, George founded his first company, InSciTek Microsystems Inc. that provided digital hardware and software design services to Fortune 500 companies such as Sharp Electronics, GE, Kodak, and many other technology companies in the US. In 2003, Allworx Corp was founded from the core of InSciTek and quickly established itself as a national provider of small business VoIP telephone systems – a comprehensive technology firm including R&D, manufacturing, marketing/sales, and customer support functions.

George aggressively grew this VC-backed business to over 75,000 end users with a sales channel of over 900+ dealers throughout North America. In 2007, George successfully sold Allworx Corp to PAETEC, a major national telephone services company headquartered in Rochester, NY.

Prior to joining Omni-ID in 2011, George served as CEO at WorldGate Communications, a publicly-held video telephony firm in Philadelphia.

Ed Bizari

Launch NY   |   LinkedIn

Ed Bizari is Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Upstate NY venture development organization Launch NY. Previously, Ed was an accomplished Sales, Marketing and Business executive with nearly 30 years of global experience working with emerging technologies. Over the course of his career, Ed has held positions with Fortune 500 as well as start-up companies in the areas of software, telecommunications, and health services. He’s held executive level positions in the area of sales, marketing, and product management and has a comprehensive understanding of scalable growth and bringing new products and technologies to market.

He's worked in the private as well as government/military sectors, with a significant percentage business in Europe and Asia. Ed also serves as a mentor/adviser in regional Pre-Seed Workshops, Startup Weekends, and HTR LaunchPad, a Rochester, NY-based lean start-up incubator program facilitated by High Tech Rochester. Ed holds an MBA and a BSEE from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Richard Riedman

Riedman Workflow Design

Rich has been involved in the start up of numerous companies including Riedman Workflow Design, Riedman Communications and Small Business Systems. He has worked with numerous other companies providing sale strategies, marketing and promotional advice and consulting to other small businesses and not for profit organizations utilizing his 17 years of experience in leading and advising sales team for IBM.

Scott Ladin

Product & Market Management Professional   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Marketing and cycling - different endeavors, yet the attributes of participants are profoundly similar: passionate, focused, driven, strategic and tactical. Scott Ladin has personified these characteristics throughout his extensive marketing career and volunteer activities.

Mr. Ladin has over 25 years marketing experience in the telecommunications industry. Most recently holding several senior global marketing positions at Level 3 (formerly Global Crossing) where he was responsible for launching new products and managing products throughout their life cycle. Prior to joining Global Crossing, Mr. Ladin was a National Distributor Manager for Sprint, and held a variety product management and marketing positions during his many years at Nortel Networks.

Scott Ladin has been a cycling advocate in the Rochester community for many years. He was recently recognized by the American Diabetes Association for Outstanding Volunteer Achievement for his leadership of the 2013 Tour de Cure. Currently, he serves as the Development Committee Chair Person for the 2014 Multiple Sclerosis Bike MS programs, and refurbishes donated bicycles for R-Community Bikes.

Mr. Ladin has holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Jeff Powers

Patent Attorney

Jeff is a registered patent attorney having practiced law for over 15 years in a firm setting and as in-house counsel at Bausch & Lomb, Inc. Jeff has assisted clients in achieving goals by strategically and cost-effectively building patent portfolios, analyzing competitors’ portfolios to minimize patent-related risks, and licensing of technologies. Jeff has worked on inventions in various technology areas including photonics, electronics,
software and mechanical arts.

For eight years as in-house patent counsel for Bausch & Lomb Inc., Jeff was responsible for counseling the business on a gamut of matters related to development and launch of new products. At Bausch & Lomb, his responsibilities included managing and prosecuting a large, global patent portfolio for their surgical business unit., licensing of technologies, identifying and addressing risks associated with new product launches, and educating a large R&D staff on patent, trade secret and confidentiality matters.

Don Golini

QED Technologies

Don Golini is a successful entrepreneur with over twenty years of experience in the development, management and commercialization of new technologies. As president and founder of QED Technologies, Don took a novel finishing process from a university laboratory to worldwide commercial success. Today, QED develops, manufactures, and markets precision finishing and metrology equipment for the optics industry. QED grew from 5 to more than 50 employees with personnel in the U.S., Germany, France, Japan, and Australia. QED was acquired in June 2006, by Illinois based Cabot Microelectronics Corporation and Golini stayed on as President until 2010.

Prior to founding QED, Don managed a research program at the Center for Optics Manufacturing, University of Rochester and worked on large optics manufacturing and R&D at Itek Optical Systems in Lexington, Mass.

Today Don serves as Chairman of the Rochester Angel Network manages a $3.5M Venture Fund for Rochester Institute of Technology is an Adjunct Professor at the UR Simon School of Business, serves on various boards, and advises several companies in the Rochester area. He received his B.S. in Optics from the University of Rochester and M.S. in Electro-Optics from Tufts University.

Richard Glaser

Merrill Lynch

Mr. Glaser started as an investment banker in Merrill Lynch's mergers and acquisitions department in the mid-’80s. He spent most of his career in venture capital as a partner in several New York City-based funds affiliated with Lepercq, de Neuflize, Hudson Ventures and Village Ventures. He now works directly with entrepreneurs and businesses owners as a financial advisor with a leading securities firm. In 2012, he co-founded to promote commercialization of concepts and technology developed by student and faculty entrepreneurs at leading research universities.

Mr. Glaser was an adjunct professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he taught entrepreneurship. He co-founded and was president of Digital Rochester and was an original board member of the Greater Rochester Enterprise. He started RochesterGrowth, a community of regional entrepreneurs, and RochesterCFO, a community of regional financial executives. He also served as a board member of the Venture Investors Association of New York and as annual giving chair of Haverford College.

He currently serves on the Rochester Angel Network Board of Directors, Saunders College of Business at RIT’s Dean’s Advisory Council, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Working Group, and Rochester Startup Weekend’s Planning Committee. He serves as a mentor to numerous start-ups. He is also an organizer, instructor and mentor for HTR LaunchPad, an accelerator that uses “lean start-up” to foster development of new companies.

Mr. Glaser graduated Haverford College and received a Masters degree from Columbia University's School of International Affairs, specializing in international business. He attended the London School of Economics and studied Chinese at Middlebury College.

Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
Kyle Psaty
Rami Katz
Richard Glaser
Oscar Pedroso
Jason Rosenberg
Natalie Antal
Susanna Virgilio
Doug Bennett
Matthew Foley
Susan Pecor
Lail Brown
Greg Irwin
Mike Garsin
Terran Birrell
Jacob Blish