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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 over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

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!



Oct 23
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • 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 as late as the venue will allow


Oct 24
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Oct 25
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup Party
Premier Sponsors

John Gavigan

Executive Director, 43North   |  LinkedIn

43North is the world’s largest business idea competition with $5 million in cash awards presented annually to attract entrepreneurs and startups to Buffalo, NY. Winning teams also receive free space in 43North’s incubator, mentorship and access to the START-UP NY program, which allows new companies to operate free of New York State taxes for 10 years. 43North is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion plan and it operates through grants from the New York Power Authority and Empire State Development.

Rohini Srihari

Professor, Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering and Founder and Former CEO, ContentSavvy   |  LinkedIn

Rohini Srihari is an entrepreneur, scientist and educator. She has been involved with language technology companies for over a decade. She has worked extensively with the US Government, specifically the Department of Defense in developing innovative multilingual text mining solutions. Most recently, she founded Content Savvy, a company offering "big data" content enrichment and analytics solutions for various markets, including healthcare and customer service and support. Content Savvy was recently acquired by SmartFocus. Dr. Srihari is on the faculty of the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo. She has given numerous talks and published extensively in the areas of text mining and multilingual text analysis.

Specialties: content analytics, text mining, social media, natural language processing, multilingual semantic analysis, search, machine learning, multimedia information retrieval

Jack McGowan

Jack works with manufacturers on business and strategic planning, Innovation Engineering, lean manufacturing, finance and ISO quality management systems. He also helps technology start-ups prepare for equity and grant funding. Jack is director of the Western New York Venture Association/Buffalo Angels, manages the WNY Business Development Fund and is the NYSTAR-designated Regional Specialist for SBIR/STTR funding. Jack is a certified Innovation Engineering Growth Coach, provisional ISO Lead Auditor and MEP Professional Business Advisor. Before Insyte, Jack was a commercial relationship manager and VP at Goldome, HSBC and Fleet Banks. He holds an MBA from the University at Buffalo and a BS from Cornell University.

Robert Genco

Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology and Microbiology Vice Provost   |  LinkedIn

Robert J. Genco, is Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology and Microbiology and Immunology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also is Vice Provost and Director of the Office of Science, Technology Transfer, and Economic Outreach at UB.
He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has served on several of its committees commissioned by the U.S. Government to study major health care issues such as Medicare coverage of new dental clinical advances, and barriers to clinical research. Dr. Genco has received many awards including the American Dental Association (ADA) Gold Medal for Excellence in Research, the ADA Award for Clinical Research, the UB Samuel B. Capen Alumni Award, and the SUNY Research Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University.
He received a DDS, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo, and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. He also is a Periodontist and treated patients for 35 years. Dr. Genco has published over 350 papers, edited 11 texts, and has been awarded 11 patents, and is a founding partner of Therex LLC, a local biotechnology company. He also was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Periodontology from 1996-2006. Dr. Genco has conducted pioneering studies of the role of infections in increasing the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease and stroke. His earlier work established smoking, diabetes mellitus, obesity, low dietary calcium, osteoporosis, and stress as risk factors for periodontal infections. He also has studied tissue engineering as applied to periodontal and implant surgery. He has directed a Clinical Research Center for 30 years, and has served on 2 FDA panels.
Dr. Genco currently serves as Secretary of the Board of the Buffalo Museum of Science. He also serves on the Boards of the WNY Business Development Fund, and Excell Partners, 2 regional seed capital funds.

Marilyn Roach

Marilyn Roach is co-founder and COO of City Dining Cards. Until December 2010, she was a strategic advisor and business advisor for the State of New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC), providing business planning and financial consulting assistance to start-ups and expansions. In this capacity, she was recognized as New York Business Advisor of the Year in 2008. Marilyn was an advisor to Patrick during the planning stage of Block Club and remained a consultant to the company until she joined in 2011. She is a former business owner and Director of Operations for a division of a Fortune 1,000 Company. Marilyn earned BS degrees in both Marketing and Accounting at Canisius College.

Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
Prize Sponsors
Jon Spitz
Jonathan Gorczyca
Steve Poland
Dan Gigante
Mark Branden
Katie Krawczyk
Nick Barone

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