Past event…

Event Ended

NOTE, TWO LOCATIONS: EdTech @ 395 Hudson St, 3rd Floor (Manhattan) and Teen @ 2 Metrotech Center, 8th Floor (Brooklyn)

Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here’s your opportunity . . .

. . . to transform your education ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complimentary skills and the passion & dedication to build an education product in one weekend. Design for learning, conduct user tests, receive coaching from experienced education designers & industry professionals and win prizes that will help take your idea to the next level!

Startup Weekend EDU NYC will feature two tracks:

–       EdTech Track: The edtech track brings together a diverse group of people – educators, technologists, designers, and business professionals – passionate about making a positive impact on education. In 54 hours, participants share ideas, form teams, design products and launch education startups. Startup Weekend EDU begins with open-mic 60-second pitches on Friday night that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable education concepts. Teams spend Saturday and Sunday focusing on user research, customer development, validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced coaches from the education market. On Sunday, teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges. (Hosted by Kaplan + Techstars @ 395 Hudson St, 3rd Floor Cafeteria)

–       Teen Track: In the first-ever Startup Weekend EDU Teen Event, groups of teens will design both educational products and next generation school models.  As the consumers of education, teens are best suited to define key problems that need to be solved, and to build the tools and school models that will allow them to become self-driven, passionate learners. Friday evening, teens will have the opportunity to go through a workshop in order to generate ideas. Saturday morning, the teen event will begin with open-mic 60 second pitches.  From there teens will form teams and spend Saturday and Sunday focusing on user research, customer validation and building prototypes, supported by experienced mentors.  On Sunday, teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges. (Hosted by NYU in Brooklyn @ 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor).

Important! For details about the Teen Track, please see our Startup Weekend EDU NYC Teens Post. For details about the Edtech Track, please continue reading below.

Here’s some examples of startups that have come out of Startup Weekend EDU Edtech Track:
ImagiLabs’s Challenge Box- Educational adventure games for kids age 8-12 and seek to inspire them to explore real challenges until they find their moment of triumph
Qeyno is a career exploration game that helps inform students about possible STEM career options & offers guidance on how to achieve them
+ Kidfit Academy- A nonprofit running interactive physical & health education curriculum that empowers students to take control of their health & wellness with fun technology

The Winning Team for the (Adult) EdTech Track will receive: 
+ Free tickets to SXSWEdu
+ Free consultation session with 4.0 Schools Launch Coaches

The (Adult) EdTech Track Teams also have the opportunity to participate in the More Than Coding Challenge sponsored by The Kapor Center. Winning teams for the More Than Coding Challenge receive:
+ Up to $2500 in team development (e.g. conferences, trainings, etc.)
+ A pitch training session with Kapor Capital, the Kapor Center’s in-house venture capital group

A Deep Dive Into The Experience:

Friday night is all about networking and the pitches. Those with an idea who are brave enough will stand in front of 120 strangers and give a 1-minute elevator pitch to the crowd. Teams form organically around the most compelling pitches, and then spend the next 48 hours (minus sleep and our delicous catered food) hacking away on your product and business plan.
*Note that the teen track pitch is on Saturday morning.

Saturday and Sunday are work days – you and your team validate the problem, market, and customer, ideate and iterate relentlessly, and prototype your team’s solution. Mentors will be on hand throughout the time to help you your idea from a fledgling concept into a working company with huge potential in less than two days. While a small web app or other interactive deliverable is ideal, example final products include promotional websites, mock-ups, or anything else that would convince an audience that your product is viable, compelling, and worth developing further.

Sunday night is where the jury panel comes in – Seasoned startup veterans will scrutinize MVPs to evaluate your chances of real world success, and the most promising product will win its team a grab bag of great tools to launch your company. From there? Well, it’s all up to you. Startup Weekend EDU is a launchpad for your idea, and you can take it wherever you want to go.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!  Please email with questions.


If you have questions related to the Teen Track or to receive more information about registering your students, please put “STUDENT ORGANIZATION” in the subject line when emailing



Jan 31
  • 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


Feb 1
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • UX Workshop by Huge
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Mentor Office Hours #1 (Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!)
  • Mentor Office Hours #2
  • 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


Feb 2
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Mentor Office Hours #3 (Mentors arrive...ASK QUESTIONS)
  • Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Early Dinner
  • Judging & Awards
  • Wrapup and Cleanup
  • Go home!
EDU Global Sponsors
Platinum Sponsors

Mandela Schumacher-Hodge (EDTECH TRACK)

Director, Startup Weekend Education   |  

This year the Ph.D. candidate joined UP Global to head Startup Weekend Education -- a worldwide initiative that helps educators, parents, students, entrepreneurs, developers, and designers who want to create viable companies in the emerging education and learning markets. Schumacher-Hodge is a cofounder of Tioki, an award-winning online professional network exclusively for the education community, dubbed "The LinkedIn for Teachers."

Christina Ortiz (TEEN TRACK)

Founder of AmpersandSchool and BlankSchools   |  

While in High School Christine was chosen by Governor Lawton Chiles to be the Seminole County representative on the Board of Directors for what would be the Florida Truth Campaign. Only a year later, Christine was chosen as one of only two Florida representatives to help develop what became the National Truth Campaign. Christine then started her first business, Allen Ortiz Consulting, a consulting firm designed to assist organizations in the design of youth-based social change programs.

While getting her first Masters Degree Christine tutored a student at Lyman High School in Chemistry. Friends of that student also expressed a need for Chemistry tutoring, and then they all wanted to get SAT tutoring. Christine realized the students needed a space where they could be themselves and have a good time learning, and thus founded The Knowledge Laboratory. At The Knowledge Laboratory students can write their math problems on the chalkboard walls and do their homework on plush couches. Christine also hired a great group of tutors who know how to motivate teenagers in a way that embodies Christine’s primary goals – to make learning fun.

This venture led to her opening Lawton Chiles Preparatory School, a high school designed to allow students to explore areas they find interesting in a non-traditional school environment.

Gold Sponsors

Matt Candler (EDTECH TRACK)

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, 4.0 Schools   |  

I'm lucky to have worked with amazing people at some amazing places: teaching math and Spanish and coaching at Casady School (OKC), working command and control at the 1996 Olympics (Atlanta), running around the Southeast helping people in local communities start their own public schools, then doing that same work at a larger scale with KIPP Foundation (San Francisco), the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence, and New Schools for New Orleans.

Three years ago I launched 4.0 Schools - a community of curious people committed to figuring out what the future of school can be. To date we've launched 23 new ventures and trained almost 300 people in the art/science of innovation within education. You should totally check us out at I blog at I do the twitter at @mcandler. Undergrad at Duke

Laurel Schwartz (EDTECH TRACK)

Assistant Principal of Instruction and Teacher Development, St. Hope Leadership Academy

Laurel Schwartz is an Assistant Principal at St HOPE Leadership Academy, an independent charter middle school in Harlem. Before moving back to New York, Laurel was master’s student at Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she also worked as a Principal Intern at City on a Hill Charter Public School in Roxbury, MA. Laurel was a Teach for America Corps Member and the founding history teacher at KAPPA International High School in the Bronx, where she taught the founding class from freshmen year through their graduation.


Managing Director- Education Technology at TechStars   |  

Don Burton is the Managing Director at Techstars for the Education Technology Sector and is also the General Partner for Burton EdTech Studio, a studio model incubator. An alumnus of McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Disney, Kaplan and Harvard Business School has worked for more than two decades with some of the best minds in education to create products and services and build businesses based on the latest educational research and technology.

HIs has built businesses for large corporations. At the Walt Disney Company, Burton launched Disney into the more formal education markets, creating a Scholastic-like business unit within Disney Interactive. He helped Kaplan start their initial Internet businesses in the late 90s. While at McKinsey & Co, Burton helped found the Interactive Media Practice and developed a thriving business of digital media strategy to clients like IBM, Sony, Apple, AT&T, Cox Cable, Viacom, and Disney.

He has built his own educational startups as a serial entrepreneur -- ParentPartners, A-Ha! Learning, and eebee’s Adventures. ParentPartners was sold to Kaplan/Washington Post. the A-Ha! Learning parenting center in NYC became the research and development lab for his startup eebee’s Adventures which became the country’s most critically acclaimed baby media company with DVD, TV and cable programming that penetrated 85 million US households and spawned a line of books and toys.
He also has proven experience with start-up investing and advising. For the Techstars/Kaplan inaugural Edtech Accelerator class, Burton identified and recruited 10 of the best edtech startups to the program. 100% of that class has raised their capital requirements, raising more than $10 million. In addition, Burton has placed personal angel investments in companies that have raised more than $15 million. In a short period, these companies have achieved a step up in valuation of at least 3X.

Steven Hodas (EDTECH TRACK)

Executive Director, Innovate NYC Schools   |  

While at NASA Steven Hodas built the U.S. government's first public website, connecting teachers and students with rich scientific resources, and launching his career as an edtech entrepreneur. He went on to create the web's most popular sites for high school and college students, the first online test preparation, and the first large-scale formative assessment platform for school districts.

For the past four years he has worked closely with early-stage entrepreneurs, launched two companies of his own and last year joined the NYC DOE to head its Markets initiative, which seeks to foster smart demand for innovative solutions to the most pressing problems in the nation's largest school district.

Kyle Jaster (EDTECH TRACK)

Chief Product Officer, Noodle Education   |  

Kyle has a background that blends computer science and art, and has a passion for making things that "just work." After graduating with a BS in Computer Science, he spent four years as Production Director at Rayogram, where he led his team in developing innovative solutions to design problems and made significant contributions to open source software products. As Chief Product Officer, Kyle brings his unique perspective to all of Noodle's biggest challenges. In his spare time he climbs rocks and farms chickens.

Margaret Honey (TEEN TRACK)

President and CEO, NYSCI (NY Hall of Science)   |  

Dr. Margaret Honey joined the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) as President and CEO in November of 2008. Under her leadership, NYSCI has adopted Design-Make-Play as its signature strategy to promote STEM engagement and learning. The defining characteristics of these strategies – deep involvement with content, experimentation, exploration, problem solving, collaboration and curiosity – are the very ingredients that develop inspired and passionate STEM learners. She holds a doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University and serves as a board member of the National Academies of Sciences, Board on Science Education and the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee.

Kevin W. Fleming (TEEN TRACK)

Chief of Staff, NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship)   |  

Kevin Fleming joined NFTE in early 2013. He oversees cross-functional strategic projects, the management of the organization’s governance and leadership bodies, and organizational strategic planning and review processes.

Previously, he spent three years as the 1st Senior Vice President ‒ Global Field Operations for Operation HOPE, Inc., where he oversaw day-to-day operations and implementation for the organization’s global adult and youth financial literacy empowerment programs. He also was the South Africa Country Relations Manager for Teach For All, where he supported the program through its launch and early phases of development. Kevin was a 2002 Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho, Southern Africa, and a Teach For America corps member in Compton, California, where he taught elementary school. He also served in various leadership capacities at Citizen Schools in Boston, Massachusetts and Keller Farms, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio.

Kevin holds a B.S. in Psychology from Xavier University and an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

Frank Migliorelli (TEEN TRACK)

Founder, Mig Idea, and Adjunct Professor, NYU Steinhardt and ITP   |  

Frank Migliorelli is an award-winning interaction designer specializing in media-rich software and exhibit development. With a portfolio that includes children’s projects, corporate websites, and media enhanced installations around the world, he has been a creative and innovative leader in interactive media design for a wide range of educational, institutional and corporate clients.

He’s recently launched Mig Idea, a design collective with a focus on experience and interactive media design. Current projects include developing the online and mobile applications for a traveling exhibit on sustainability in Europe, a hands-on science and technology center for a new school in New York City, and a digital communications strategy for a major women’s philanthropic organization. Frank is also working with the World Science Festival, founded by physicist Dr. Brian Greene, to develop a series of digital products and educational initiatives for teaching and promoting science awareness across a wider, public audience.

From 2000 to 2011, Frank was the Senior Vice President of Design at ESI Design, a leading experience design firm based in New York City. He oversaw the various design departments at the firm and provided both creative and administrative leadership for the staff of writers, technologist, physical designers, and graphic artists. Under his leadership, the firm produced award winning exhibits and projects for museums, Fortune 500 clients, and a range of non-profit and NGO agencies. Under his creative direction, the firm was recently awarded the gold medal for educational media by both the American Association of Museums and the W3 awards for their work on an interactive website for the JFK Presidential Library,

In addition to his work at ESI, Frank has been part of a number of creative teams and projects in the education and community based learning initiatives across the country. Focusing on youth programs, family literacy, English as a Second Language, and digital divide initiatives, Frank worked on educational projects funded by Apple Computer, the National Science Foundation, various state and city government agencies, and the U.S. Department of Education. He’s been involved in the design and production of over 100 interactive programs, games and simulations for Sunburst Technologies, Scholastic, RGA Interactive, and Houghton-Mifflin.

He currently teaches at the Steinhardt School of Education, and at the Interactive Telecommunications Program, both located at New York University.

Faiza Issa (TEEN TRACK)

Director of Entrepreneurship Initiatives, NYCEDC   |  

Faiza is Director of cross-sector Entrepreneurship Initiatives at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Her work includes designing and implementing initiatives that strengthen the NYC entrepreneurship ecosystem by addressing real estate needs, fostering talent, promoting the city as an entrepreneurship hub across industries, and addressing other barriers or leveraging opportunities to promote entrepreneurship. Select programs include the NYCEDC Incubator Initiative, Take the HELM, and NYC Generation Tech.

Prior to joining NYCEDC, Faiza worked at the Council on Foreign Relations and at Goldman Sachs. She received her BA in History from Yale University and a JD from NYU Law School.

Seth Andrew (TEEN TRACK)

Superintendent in Residence and Senior Advisor to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Office of Education Technology   |  

Seth Andrew is the Superintendent in Residence and Senior Advisor to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the Office of Education Technology. Before joining the Department, Seth founded Democracy Prep Public Schools (DPPS), a rapidly growing network of free, open-enrollment, high-performing public charter schools in Harlem, NY and Camden, NJ. Seth served as principal, as superintendent, and most importantly, as teacher. Since 2005, DPPS has received all "A" grades on the Chancellor's Progress Report. Before DPPS Seth taught and was a special education administrator. After "graduating" from Democracy Prep with is first group of citizen-scholars, Seth has focused on civic education, parent advocacy, and college persistence for low-income families. Most recently, Seth founded Alumni Revolution, a college persistence and advocacy platform working to equip scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. Seth attended NYC public schools from K-12, earned his A.B. in Education and Public Policy from Brown University and his Ed. M. in School Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.



Director of Professional Learning and Practice, iZone360

I am a dedicated educational professional (former school leader, and teacher) who wants to facilitate fundamental changes to our educational system that give more students opportunities for better blended, real world and academic learning experiences!
Specialties: Teaching, Learning, Real World Projects, Internship Projects, Connecting Academic Standards to Real World Learning, Facilitating, Educational Protocols, Progressive Education, Educational Leadership, Innovative Instructional Practices, Design Thinking, UCD Processes

Jamaal Bowman - EDTECH MENTOR (EDU)

School Principal, Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School

Jamaal Bowman, born and raised in New York City, is the founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School – one of the top performing middle schools in the state. Cornerstone opened its doors in September 2009, and serves 260 students with approximately 80% receiving free or reduced lunch. Before becoming a school principal, Jamaal spent 5 years teaching elementary school, and three years serving as guidance counselor, dean of students, teacher, advisor, and coach at the High School for Arts and Technology located within the Martin Luther King Jr. campus. Jamaal received his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management from the University of New Haven, and his Masters’ Degree in Guidance Counseling from Mercy College. Jamaal holds three New York State certifications in Business Education, Guidance Counseling, and School Building Leadership. In June 2008 Jamaal began his school administration training with New Leaders for New Schools. While with New Leaders, Jamaal performed his administrative residency at Achievement First Endeavor Charter School in Brooklyn New York. Jamaal is a proud husband and father and is committed to dedicating his life to providing resources and empowerment to all of those in need.
I can help teams think through the needs of teachers students and school staff throughout the development process.

Leslie Leggett - EDTECH MENTOR (EDU)

Director, Alumni Affairs, Teach For America

Leslie was raised in rural Kentucky where she grew to appreciate resourcefulness, opportunity – and college basketball. In pursuit of adventure, she left Kentucky for college and ended up in Scotland. There, after graduating from the University of St Andrews, she formed part of the founding team of the Edinburgh Institute, a leadership development consultancy. Now, at Teach For America in NYC, she served as the Manager for the Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative and currently as the Director, Alumni Affairs, she brings her penchant for leadership development and innovation to accelerate the growth and impact of entrepreneurs to eliminate educational inequality.
ASK ME ABOUT: designing for educators, building prototypes, telling an effective narrative


High School Specialist, Democracy Prep Public Schools

I'm an experienced educator and entrepreneur. Since 2006 I've taught middle and high school history, ELA, SAT and game design. In 2011 I founded an educational games company and led the development, testing and sales of two educational board games, consulting services, and two web-based gaming and assessment products. I am the founder and co-organizer for the Game-Based Learning NYC meetup group, which hosts monthly networking events, educational game demos and workshops. Currently I'm the high school specialist for the Democracy Prep Public Schools, where I develop curriculum and programs and coach teachers. I am an alumnus of the 4.0 Schools Essentials program and Startup Weekend EDU 2012 in NYC.


CEO, Occom Group

Josh Wexler is an expert in early stage software innovation and prototyping. He co-founded and leads the Occom Group, which specializes in digital product development and product management. Occom Group works with a range of clients from Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurs. Josh also teaches prototyping at Harvard, New York University and The Gateway School for children with learning disabilities. He is the co-organizer of NY Intrapreneur: Innovation in the Enterprise.
Prior to Occom Group, Josh worked for iRise and co-founded iRise Labs, a division of iRise focused on facilitating early stage software application innovation. Josh worked for Deloitte Consulting as an expert on social media and Enterprise 2.0. He has advised many clients on Enterprise 2.0 issues, including a global consulting firm, a number of financial service firms, government agencies and a small insurance company. He helped define global consulting firm’s alumni social media strategy, which included using LinkedIn to keep alumni connected with the firm. He helped a large government agency build an Enterprise 2.0 strategy to increase knowledge sharing and expertise finding across the agency. Josh left Deloitte to work on a start-up Connectable, an online application helped people to build authentic relationships and improve conversations with their networks in order to help them find and get a job that works. Josh earned his B.A. in Psychology and Brain Sciences from Dartmouth College.
He can help to answer questions on product development, technical architecture, UX design, and business design


CEO, Dream See Do

Jeremy is a seasoned digital and creative strategist and pioneer, with 15 years of cross-industry entrepreneurial, non-profit and corporate leadership experience. Jeremy is a founding faculty member at General Assembly and mentor to many Hackathons. Most recently, Jeremy held a leadership position at the Queens Library system to advance their lifelong and connected learning modalities, leveraging his expertise, passion and inventive lens.
Jeremy can help teams with: Overall concept and Business Strategy


Co-Founder, besimpler

Ben Paster is an entrepreneur from outside of the Boston area. He works in Education Technology and co-founded besimpler to help school districts create interfaces and simplify data flows. When you go to his personal website, a brief scroll tells you:
do something different.
it doesn’t have to be amazing.
or revolutionary.
just different.


Integration Manager, New Classrooms

Adrian Calderon is passionate about bringing together education and technology in new ways. He is an Integration Manager at New Classrooms, an innovative personalized learning classroom model, where he integrates newly developed features into operational systems and processes. Adrian has previously worked on strategic planning of technical projects, architecting and implementing enterprise solutions, and application development. He would be a good resource for questions on planning/architecting web applications, integrating different web applications or platforms together, and working with databases/data.


Director of Product Management, Voxy

I am a Product Manager, with a background in computer science and education. After studying Computer Science and Cognitive Science in college, I spent two years teaching English in Japan. While I loved teaching, I realized that I could make a bigger contribution by working as a product manager in education technology, which I've done for the past 5 years working in healthcare education, adaptive education and language acquisition at companies like Knewton and Voxy.
I can help with upfront user research, problem analysis, product design and strategy. More generally, I can help teams flesh ideas out into products that solves real customer problems.


Founder and President, LearnToProgram media, Inc.   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Mark Lassoff 's parents frequently claim that Mark was born to be a programmer. Starting, in the mid-eighties at age 11, Mark was hard at work on his Commodore 64 writing games in the BASIC language. Today, Mark is a publisher, top technical trainer and author, providing software, mobile and web development training Mark is a sought after video trainer, speaker and host.
Mark has trained programmers at Fortune 500 companies and government agencies world-wide. Mark's clients have included Aflak, Discover Card Services, the US Department of Interior and Symantec. A recognized expert in front end web and mobile development, Mark continues to teach at conferences regularly.
Mark Lassoff is founder of LearnToProgram, Inc., a Connecticut-based company that publishes online courses that teach mobile, web, and game development. Over 100,000 people have learned programming from Mark through online and live classes and free tutorials. Loads of free tutorials and courses can be found at
Mark is available to answer questions about: Business Model Creation and Validation


Product Manager, Project ED (part of Amplify)

Girish is a Product Manager at Amplify, designing new platforms and media that make learning unforgettable for K-12 students. Girish comes from a background of innovation and new product development. Prior to Amplify, Girish developed Chewable, a mobile health app that leveraged behavioral and social mechanics to help patients manage chronic diseases. Girish was also an early employee at Payfone, a mobile payments startup in NYC, where he helped launch their first international products. Early on in his career Girish spent time as a venture capitalist, identifying and advising promising startups at RRE Ventures. Girish holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia and an MBA from Harvard.

Bharanidharan Rajakumar - EDTECH MENTOR (BIZ)

CEO, LearnBop

After working on wall street for 5 years, I went to Carnegie Mellon University to start LearnBop. I have been involved in most aspects of LearnBop from designing the product to developing the business and marketing plan. We worked in k12 and higher ed, specifically in math education. I would happy to share my experiences with product or business development. We currently have users in over 300 schools in 16 states. Things that I could help young start-up with
1. founding a company - the legal stuff
2. designing a product - the paper prototype, building a user base and a following
3. recruiting - putting the team together
4. finances - raising capital
5. marketing - crafting the right message for your audience, social media

Andrew Stickney - EDTECH MENTOR (BIZ)

Vice President, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies

Since 2011, Andrew Stickney has served as the Vice President of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) (, an independent, nonprofit technology business incubator and seed venture fund for early stage technology startups.
Andrew is an integral part of the VCET team that manages the Vermont Seed Capital Fund, LP. The Fund is a $5M permanently revolving seed capital venture fund targeting high opportunity businesses and high potential individuals.
At VCET, Andrew worked to design and build UVM Start, a student crowdfunding program - connecting UVM entrepreneurs with alumni for concept capital and mentoring, as well as Tech @ Vermont, a series of networking events to connect entrepreneurs throughout Vermont to various local and statewide resources.
Andrew has also worked with Middlebury College student entrepreneurs throughout his time at VCET, participating on numerous panels (both competitive and informational) on campus, and teaches the Midd-Entrepreneurs class for student-led startups. In his free time, Andrew enjoys motorcycling, biking, kitesurfing, traveling, and running with his dog, “Slinky."


President & Co-Founder, Occom Group

Eli is the President and Co-Founder of the digital strategy and development consultancy Occom Group. He works with large companies, startups and students to rapidly prototype, iterate and build new software products.

Prior to the OG, Eli was a Consultant for the Technology Practice at Deloitte. He later joined the software prototyping company iRise where he started and launched iRise Labs to help non-technical people more effectively communicate a new idea.
Eli is a regular guest speaker with the Social Entrepreneurship program at NYU, the Design Surviver and Innovators Practice classes at Harvard and the Founders Institute. He's also the cofounder of NYIntrapreneur, a Meetup focused on enabling innovation from within an enterprise.


Founder, The Phat Startup

I am a lover of Lean methodology and have interviewed over 100 entrepreneurs on what it takes to win. From mindset to execution i have heard it all. I also run a private education group where we help entrepreneurs get over hurdles that they may face. Questions about Lean, customer Development, digital tools and social media get me the most excited. I was also a teacher for a year and am married to a teacher of 12 years.

Vinit Sukhija - EDTECH MENTOR (BIZ)

Manager, Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Teach For America

After teaching Algebra 1 and 2 in the South Central and South Gate communities of Los Angeles, Vinit now works with Teach For America’s Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Team, engaging Teach For America corps members and alumni to develop, sustain, and grow their own game-changing social ventures that address educational inequity at a systemic level. He manages Teach For America’s Social Innovation Award, which annually funds $150,000 to multiple Teach For America alumni-led social ventures. Additionally, he manages social innovation programming across the Teach For America network and serves as a coach for several social ventures in the team’s pipeline.
Vinit is happy to help out with customer and industry research, marketing and presentation, and business model development.

Kathy Walter - EDTECH MENTOR (BIZ)

Business Analyst, Macmillan New Ventures

Kathy is currently working with Macmillan New Ventures on business strategy and development of their ongoing technology strategy. She comes fresh from working with the NYC Department of Education where her group was responsible for conceiving and delivering innovative technology-based solutions that support the instructional and educational agenda of the NYC DOE. The group translated objectives, stakeholder needs, market trends and user research into a well-defined product strategy, requirements, product roadmaps and project milestones. The group also oversaw the execution and optimization of the products as well as developed and managed project plans for design, build, implementation, and ongoing product maintenance.
Before joining NYC’s Department of Education, Kathy was Director, Product Development at Ziksana, where her chief responsibility was for the development of the Learning Management System platform that is Ziksana. Kathy has a decade worth of experience managing IT projects, first as a COBOL programmer, then as an IT project manager in a variety of website consulting firms and the financial services industry. She also has nearly a decade of product management and development experience as a technical product manager at Instinet Corporation, Associate Brand Manager at Gillette and Proctor & Gamble, and as a Senior Product Manager for Iron Mountain's Data Protection business.
With a BA in Applied Math from Union College and an MBA From NYU’s Stern School of Business, Kathy uses her spare time to consult and support entrepreneurs at all stages of their development - from a new business idea to several years in the making. Kathy has also been an ESL Educator at Northeastern University and Cambridge Learning Center, an ESL curriculum consultant with the YearUp program in Boston, and a program developer for several teaching projects in Uganda.

Darrell Silver - EDTECH MENTOR (BIZ)

CEO, Thinkful   |  

Darrell Silver is co-founder and CEO of Thinkful, the online school that uses one-on-one mentorship to help adults learn programming for career advancement. He's been an engineer in a variety of languages and projects for the last 15 years. Prior to Thinkful Darrell was the founder of Perpetually, which was acquired in 2012 by Dell / Smarsh.

Shana Covel - TEEN COACH

Deputy Executive Director iZone360, Office of Innovation NYC Department of Education

Shana Covel started her education career as a middle school math and science teacher placed in Oakland, California by Teach for America. She left sunny California in 2003 for the opportunity to be an instructional coach in NYC. After 4 years of supporting teachers in content and pedagogy, she moved into a network position supporting school administrators in city accountability measures, curriculum, and instructional technology. More recently, the call to innovate has lured Shana into the space of educational innovation- supporting schools for the past 3 years in school redesign to personalize learning for students. She currently serves as Deputy Executive Director of iZone360, co-leading a passionate team as they build professional learning communities, create and manage school innovation challenges, and develop robust systems for knowledge management in order to scale and diffuse promising practices and processes. Shana is a bit of a workaholic, as she believes that the need to rethink traditional educational paradigms has never been so urgent and critical.

John Baldo - TEEN COACH

Program Manager, Startup Weekend Education

John is the Program Manager for Startup Weekend EDU. He attended the University of Southern California where he studied Computer Science. After graduating, he briefly taught middle school math in Oakland, CA and recently helped build assessment tools for teachers as a software engineer at Amplify in Brooklyn.

Steve Kinney - TEEN COACH

Director of Educational Technology, Council for Economic Education

I am the Director of Educational Technology at the Council for Economic Education. In addition, I’m a recovering New York City public school teacher. Prior to my current gig, I was the lead teacher and technology coordinator at the Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Beach. I taught programming, web development, and other technologically-inclined topics. I have an advanced diploma in educational leadership and technology from the New York Institute of Technology, a masters degree in special education from Hunter College, and a bachelors degree with honors in sociology from Rutgers University.

Tanner Welsh - TEEN COACH

Lead Instructor, NYC, Dev Bootcamp

I teach web development and computer programming, and have done some UI / UX design work in the past. Also I facilitate team projects and help them find effective solutions.
I love education. A lot.

Roger Osorio - TEEN COACH

EDU Consultant and Math Coach, Studee-Lounge

Hey everyone, my name is Roger Osorio and I am an education consultant and coach that focuses on math education. I teach math programs at high schools, privately coach students in math, and help teachers leverage technology in the classroom.

This weekend, I'm looking forward to helping you out with preparing your presentations and pitch for the audience. I have experience helping people develop into better public speakers and can help you put together a presentation that will best communicate your ideas. I can also help you with topics related to school design, whether it be from the perspective of the operations of a school, leadership, or curriculum design.
In case it helps, I have business degrees in finance and international business, masters degrees in psychology and business administration. I also have corporate experience as well as experience in higher education and high schools.
Or if you just need some inspiration and motivation to help jump start your team, I am your guy. Just let me know if you need any of the above and I'll come on over to help.

Tyler Chalfin - TEEN COACH

Assessment Manager, New Classrooms

Graduated from Arizona State with a Bachelor's of Science in Finance.
Teach for America Alum
Taught 7th/8th grade math at Achievement First Crown Heights Middle School
Coached basketball and a mathletes team
Currently work at NewClassrooms creating innovative assessments for middle school math and managing projects across various parts of systems in schools.
I am happy to answer any and all questions about curriculum development, school system development, educational policy, presenting skills. All questions are good questions

Eric Wilson - TEEN COACH

CEO, Noble Impact

Eric Wilson is the CEO of Noble Impact, an education initiative engaging students to pursue public service as entrepreneurs.
Based in Washington, DC, Eric is an investor and adviser in early stage startups. Previously, Eric operated at the intersection of the political and non-profit arenas as a strategic communications and fundraising expert. He served as the first full-time director of development for President Bill Clinton's graduate school program, offering the nation's first Master of Public Service degree, a curriculum that spans from the Mississippi Delta Region to all six inhabited continents.

Kika Gilbert - TEEN COACH

Head of Community, Tinybop

Kika Gilbert, Head of Community, ideates and creates dialogue across Tinybop’s social platforms, engaging curious minds across the internet. After teaching in a Brooklyn public school, Kika joined an education startup to help teachers navigate the tech industry and bring exciting change to their classrooms. Originally from London, England, she currently lives in Brooklyn, and loves eating ice cream and frequenting parks with her two energetic dogs.
Things I can help with: Engaging and growing community

Aaron Gillaspie - TEEN COACH

CEO/Head of School, Brilla College Prep Public Charter School

Aaron Gillaspie serves as Brilla College Prep’s founding CEO and Head of School. Aaron completed a six-month Fellowship residency rotation during which he studied 150 schools in 21 states grasping the best practices and challenges of urban high performing charter, private and public schools throughout the United States. Prior to his fellowship, Aaron served as a Teach for America corps member. He founded the 7th grade math program at Bed Stuy Collegiate, an Uncommon School. His students were ranked amongst the highest in New York State for their impressive academic gains – During his 2 years, 100% of his students passed the New York State Mathematics Exam. Aaron is a founder of Mission Strength, a New York City-based afterschool athletic and faith program for high school students. He is also in the process of founding Summer in the City- Giving Back through Education, a programmed geared towards bridging the summer academic decline of elementary inner city youth. This will be done through a one of a kind model allowing high school students a chance to lead and give back through teaching a small group of elementary students while being mentored by a certified teacher over a 4-week summer program.
Raised in Littleton, Colorado, Aaron attended the University of Nebraska, where he played football for the Huskers and graduated with highest honors with a B.S. in Business with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship. Aaron also holds a Masters in Education from Hunter College and a Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision from National Louis University.
At 26 years old Aaron is one of the youngest Principals in the nation. Aaron outgoing personality, networking skills, and superb public speaking skills have allowed him opportunities to speak at some of the top Universities and Corporate events throughout the country.

Tim Reilly - TEEN COACH

CEO, Quexter

Tim is an educator at heart. And he believes that nothing will influence the quality and content of that education more than the internet and the ubiquity of powerful processing devices. The result is that Tim has backed into ed tech the natural way: as someone who wants to see technology not just change education, but change it for the better. His first project was a test prep company that was experimenting with scalable, interactive learning. That concept led him to his current project Quexter, an app that allows students to text in a picture of a question that they're having trouble with and allows tutors to easily create video lessons to help those students.
A former consultant at Boston Consulting Group (Management Consulting)

Vincent Ponzo - TEEN MENTOR (Business Models)

Director, Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center, Columbia Business School

Vince Ponzo is currently Director of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School.

Before joining Columbia, Vince was General Manager at General Assembly, where he was responsible for the growth of the offline education business while later overseeing the curriculum, instruction, student, alumni and hiring partner products and teams.

Prior to General Assembly, Vince helped launch RadMatter, a startup aimed at redefining on-campus recruiting, spent time as the Executive Vice President of Partnerships at Kargo, a mobile advertising company, and served as the Vice President of Client Services for SelectMinds, an enterprise SaaS company acquired by Oracle for its social recruiting and alumni networking products.

Previously, Vince spent 9+ years at Fidelity Investments and Citigroup in roles ranging from Corporate Finance to Corporate Training. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS in Finance from Boston College.

Harlyn Pacheco - TEEN MENTOR (Business Models)

CEO, Qlovi

Harlyn is CEO and Co-Founder of Qlovi. Harlyn hails from Colombia and Texas and holds a BA in Latino Studies & Political Science and an MBA, MPP from the University of Michigan.
Through his work at Children's Arts and Science Workshops, Harlyn fostered academic achievement through partnerships with New York City high schools and community-based organizations. He has held roles in digital strategy consulting at Accenture, renewables investing with the Obama administration OMB, and at Major League Baseball working on
the World Baseball Classic. Harlyn is a proud MLT alumnus and Echoing Green BMA Fellow.

Toby Hervey - TEEN MENTOR (Business Models)

Marketing Director, InstaCare

Toby Hervey is the Marketing Director of a pre-launch, venture-backed startup in the healthcare space, where he manages all consumer-facing, demand-focused aspects of the business.

Previously, Toby was the Director of Strategy and Business Development for #waywire, a startup video-based social network, ran Business Development for Timehop, a mobile time capsule app, and worked in Strategy and Business Development for the Gilt Groupe, as a founding team member of Gilt City and Gilt MAN.

Toby graduated with a Bachelors of Science in International Politics and an Honors Certificate in International Business Diplomacy from Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Alana Laudone - TEEN MENTOR (Business Models)

Lyel Resner - TEEN MENTOR (Business Models)

Entrepreneur and Adjunct Faculty, NYU Stern

Lyel is an entrepreneur and an educator who works at the intersection of social and economic value creation. He is passionate about issues of access, engagement, and 21st Century learning.

Lyel is presently the Co-founder of Startup Box South Bronx - a unique campus offering K-12 & community education in tech, design, & entrepreneurship that links low-income communities to the startup ecosystem. He is the youngest faculty member at the New York University Stern School of Business, where he teaches a course on Social innovation and Impact. He also sits on the Advisory Boards of The Centre for Social Innovation and the Bronx Academy of Software Engineering.

Lyel received his Masters from NYU in Business, Media & Technology, and Education as a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and holds degrees in Physics and Political Science from MIT where he was a Burchard Scholar. He enjoys surfing and air-drumming on the subway.

Tricia Okin - TEEN MENTOR (Customer Validation)

Product and User Experience Designer, papercut

Tricia Okin is a user experience and product designer based in Brooklyn since 2001. She founded papercut design studio in 2004. She loves designing interfaces and interactions for online communities and has experience teaching paper prototyping to audiences as a way to validate and examine ideas.

Alexandra Meis - TEEN MENTOR (Customer Validation)

Co-founder, Kinvolved

Alexandra Meis ( is Co-founder and Director of Community Partnerships for Kinvolved, an education technology startup company, which leverages an innovative software program to improve K-12 student achievement by empowering families. Kinvolved was most recently added as a Blue Ridge Foundation portfolio company. Prior to co-founding Kinvolved, Alexandra was a program manager for Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center’s Autism Center in the South Bronx. She worked with healthcare providers to develop, implement, and evaluate services and educational programming for patients and their families. She also advocated for appropriate educational services for patients from the NYC Department of Education.

Alexandra most recently worked for Teach For America via Education Pioneers, 2012 NYC Cohort, where she managed, designed, and launched an eLearning course, a scalable media platform. She also formerly served as an Americorps*VISTA. Alexandra graduated in 2013 from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service with a Masters in Public Administration, specialization in Health Policy Analysis. While at NYU she was actively engaged with the NYU Entrepreneurs Network and sat on the board of Bridge@Wagner. She was the recipient of NYU’s Jo Ivy Boufford Award for Innovative Solutions to Public Service Challenges. Alexandra graduated from Lafayette College in 2008 with her BA in Psychology and minor in Anthropology and Sociology.

Roshni Mirchandani - TEEN MENTOR (Customer Validation)

Educational Technology Consultant, Highlander Institute

Roshni Mirchandani is an educational technology consultant at Highlander Institute in Providence, RI. She helps connect educators and entrepreneurs to bring tech into the classroom through EdTech Meetups, and leads tech workshops at different schools in the area. As a business major in college and former middle school math teacher (TFA '11), she can help out with marketing and design, as well as offer an educational perspective from the classroom.

Paul Sullivan - TEEN MENTOR (Customer Validation)

Product Development Consultant, ThoughtWorks

Paul is a Product Development Consultant at ThoughtWorks, where he helps his clients find the right problems to solve and validate their solutions with real users. Previous to ThougthWorks Paul was the head of Product at Major League Gaming, the world leader in eSports.

Traci Lawson - TEEN MENTOR (Customer Validation)

Game Designer, Ten Toed, Inc.

Traci Lawson has 7 years of experience in the game industry, specifically in design and user research. She specializes in making games and other experiences that the user won't hate. No one likes a frustrating experience! Games she's worked on include several web game titles for Sesame Street, The Electric Company and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, plus the Windows 8 speed game, Taptiles.

Lisa Jiang - TEEN MENTOR (Marketing/Communications)

Education Partnerships, Google

In her five years with Google, Lisa Jiang has gained experience across marketing, operations, strategy, and product, working on both B2B and consumer products (Search, Maps, Zagat, Google X, and AdWords). In her current role as Google+ Education Partnerships Manager, Lisa works closely with partners like NASA, National Geographic, and The White House to provide new educational experiences for learners young and old on Google+. Leading a Google+ Community Partnerships in Education team that spans K-12, STEM, higher education, and maker/DIY, Lisa is passionate about the intersection of education and technology, and about providing access to educational resources through tools like Google+.

Alexandra Hall - TEEN MENTOR (Marketing/Communications)

Vice President, Marketing Agency (Harley & Co)

Alexandra Hall is Vice President of Harley & Co, a hybrid management consultancy and creative service firm that specializes in working with growth-stage startups, venture capital firms, innovative brands, and government. Alexandra has special expertise in health and education technology. Alexandra has worked in both the public and private sectors, across a variety of industries including health, education, economic and community development. Alexandra has experience with the implementation scalable operations process, development of human capital, and the creation of performance management systems. Alexandra obtained a B.S from University of Connecticut and a M.S.S from Columbia University in Social Enterprise Administration.

I look forward to working with teams on the development of their digital marketing strategy, sales strategy, messaging/communication, and pitch presentations.

Sarah Hall - TEEN MENTOR (Marketing/Communications)

Chief Executive Officer,Marketing Agency (Harley & Co)

Kate Meersschaert - TEEN MENTOR (Marketing/Communications)

Innovation Fellow, EdLab @ Teachers College Columbia University

Kate is currently an Innovation fellow and Product Manager at the EdLab @ Teachers College Columbia University. Kate's focus is on "edupreneurship" and ways to cultivate development in the edtech field. Kate is also an avid EdLab "evangelist" and enjoys spreading the word about the lab's work and is a part of the team that brings you the digital, mobile publication focused on the future of learning,

Prior to the EdLab, Kate worked in public relations, marketing, business development and product development for the fragrance and package design fields. She also holds teaching certification (K-12 Fine Arts), as well as certificates in both Urban Permaculture Design and Reflexology. Kate's iPhotography project, was turned-into a book and was available exclusively at MoMA Design & Books in NYC.

Andy Hagerman - TEEN MENTOR (Marketing/Communications)

Co-founder, The Design Gym

Andy is a businessman by training, but has been redefining what that means ever since he was exposed to the worlds of ethnographic research and design. Prior to The Design Gym, Andy was a Business and Innovation strategist at Jump Associates where he helped Fortune 500 companies invent new businesses, products, and services or reinvent existing ones. Prior to this, he has spent time saving trees as a sustainability guru and is a lover of all things food, craft beer, music and design.

Ask him about researching users, understanding needs, coming up with better ideas, prototyping, storytelling and pitching, and developing business models.

Gabrielle Santa-Donato - TEEN MENTOR (Marketing/Communications)

Curiosity Director, The Future Project

Gabrielle melds together her experience teaching in a no-excuses urban charter high school, with being a full-time developmental psychology and creativity researcher at the Yale Child Study Center, an entrepreneur building new universally designed education tools and experiences in the Harvard Innovation Lab, and facilitating learners of all ages through the creative problem solving process to solve real world challenges here in NYC with The Design Gym, Project Breaker / Stanford, and Schools 4pt0. In her current full time role as Curiosity Director at The Future Project, she leads the research and impact design for a rapidly expanding education non-profit placing Dream Directors into High Schools in cities down the east coast. She loves thinking and planning visually, finding the latent human need in challenges, and co-creating and participating in hands-on learning experiences.

Kate Greer - TEEN MENTOR (Marketing/Communications)

Rose Matsa - TEEN MENTOR (Design)

Graphic & Interactive Designer, Smartling, Inc

I'm a graphic and interactive designer working at NYC-based startup Smartling, Inc. I have almost a decade of design experience, ranging from print, to website design, to illustration. I'm also a former elementary school teacher. I like teaching, and sharing knowledge.

I am very excited to help with any design-related question!

Francisco Hernandez - TEEN MENTOR (Design)

Grad Student, School of Visual Arts, and Freelancer, ¡leí eí!

I am currently a grad student at the School of Visual Arts in the Master's program Designer as Author + Entrepreneur. I have freelanced at a few App Start-ups that dealt with digital production and design as well as product presentation. My current thesis deals with bilingual education for Mexican-American children and through it I have built a network of educators, producers, and developers working in the edtech industry.

Simone Noronha - TEEN MENTOR (Design)

Graduate student in Graphic Design, School of Visual Arts

I'm a designer and illustrator currently getting my MFA in design entrepreneurship. I have mainly worked at boutiques design studios starting out at a screen print rock poster shop and moving to one that primarily focusses on identity, branding and experience design.

Preeti Birla
Deborah Chang
Katie Beck
David Fu
Ash Kaluarachchi
Tanya Svidler
Sahil Rahman
Mark Hennes
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