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Buffalo, NY

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Oct 24
  • 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 25
  • 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 26
  • 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
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Premier Sponsors
Prize Sponsors

Marnie Lavigne

President and CEO Launch NY

Dr. Marnie LaVigne has spent more than 25 years in both the private and public sectors creating new products and start-up businesses, driving innovation and economic growth in high-tech industries, such as life sciences, informatics, and advanced manufacturing.

In July, 2014, she became the President and CEO of Launch NY, a venture development organization she co-founded and whose mission is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of Upstate New York. Previously, she led economic development efforts at UB as Associate Vice President for Economic Development from 2012 to 2014 and Director of Business Development from 2005 until 2012 at the NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences and the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology. Her private sector experience includes co-founder and executive roles in two start-ups and initial public offerings, as well as new product development in larger corporations in managed care (e.g., Aetna), pharmaceuticals (Bristol-Myers Squibb), medical devices (Welch Allyn), and medical informatics (Medscape/MedicaLofic, now GE and WebMD).

Dr. LaVigne has a bachelor's degree in neuroscience and a doctorate in clinical psychology, both from the University of Rochester. She services on numerous boards for private, public, profit, and non-profit organizations.

Mitchell Patterson

Founder HackUpstate

Mitchell Patterson has been operating, advising, or investing in technology companies in New York State since 2008. Most recently, he served as the Managing Director for Emerging Business at CenterState CEO and the Co-Director for the Syracuse Technology Garden.

Dan Penberthy

Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President at Rand Capital Corporation

Mr. Penberthy is the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President at Rand Capital Corporation. Mr. Penberthy joined Rand Capital in 1997 and is responsible for sourcing deals and administration of Rand’s investments and oversees the Corporation’s financial operations. Mr. Penberthy also serves on the boards of the Western New York Venture Association (WNYVA), the Upstate Venture Association of New York (UVANY), and several non-profit organizations. He earned his Bachelor of Science from St. Bonaventure University and his Master of Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Michael Weisman

Co-Founder and Vice President of Campus Labs

Michael Weisman is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Campus Labs, which is a leading provider of campus-wide assessment technology for higher education. He has been instrumental in the forward evolution of Campus Labs, assisting in strategic, operational, and business development roles since its beginnings. Michael is a recipient of the Business First 40 under 40 Award, the University at Buffalo Alumni Association’s George W. Thorn Award, and Panasci Entrepreneurial Award. Michael resides in Amherst with his wife Heather and 3 children.

Dr. Bob Genco

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.

Gold Sponsors

Scott Cassetty

Entrepreneur in Residence at LaunchNY   |  LinkedIn

Pauline Soeffing

Business Advisor, Educator, Management Consultant   |  LinkedIn

Jamel Perkins

Technology Executive   |  LinkedIn

Kim B. Grant

Business Development Executive at University of Buffalo Center of Excellence for Bioinformatics and Life Sciences   |  LinkedIn

Jack McGowan

Project Manager at Insyte Consulting & Director, Western New York Venture Association/Buffalo Angels   |  LinkedIn

Kevin Kerl

Vice President at SelectOne Search   |  LinkedIn

Sam Russo

Partner, SelectOne Search   |  LinkedIn

Jordan Walbesser

Attorney, Patent Agent   |  LinkedIn

David Thiemecke

Co-Founder and Vice President, Algonquin Studios   |  LinkedIn

Akash Desai

IVR Executive   |  LinkedIn

Garrett Smith

Marketing Consultant + Sales Consultant   |  LinkedIn

Alan Rae Ph.D. M.B.A.

Executive Director, Alfred Technology Resources Inc. / Ceramics Corridor Innovation Centers   |  LinkedInGoogle+


Edward Tierney

Connector of Dots at Brand Mother Strategies   |  

Madonna Spitler

CEO of CELOX   |  LinkedIn

Silver Sponsors
Dan Gigante
Nicholas Barone
Steve Poland
Dan Magnuszewski
Mark Branden
Katie Krawczyk
Charlie Wertz
Eric Holtz
Tom Murdock
Steve Raines
Jonathan Gorczyca
Lisa Primerano

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