Startup Weekend Hartford

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Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation (CIPCI)

2013 Startup Weekend Arch Logo

Welcome – Startup Weekend Hartford & Ottawa

Startup Weekend organizers in Hartford, Connecticut have partnered with those in Ottawa, Canada to establish the first-ever transnational Startup Weekend competition. The event will virtually link the two cities over the course the weekend, this October 18-20, pairing select sets of teams and mentors to collaborate, create and compete for prizes and honor, using the latest in communications technologies. The Hartford base will be held at the uniquely equipped Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. The Ottawa base will host its event at Shopify, a long-time event sponsor and local startup.

Headlining the weekend as featured speaker is Jeff Hoffman, co-founder and partner at ColorJar and a former founding team member of He will virtually connect to speak before the weekend’s participants on Saturday evening.

Don’t miss this first-of-its kind Startup Weekend – to participate in a local team or to toss your hat in the ring to be part of a virtual team.

What is Startup Weekend?

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 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011. 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.



Oct 18
  • Registration & Networking
  • Dinner
  • Kickoff & Welcome
  • Guest Speakers - Last year's winner
  • Icebreaker Activity
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Team check in
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Oct 19
  • Doors
  • Simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Scheduled Mentor assistance begins
  • Lunch
  • Mid weekend check-in, call for needs & skills
  • Guest Speaker - Jeff Hoffman, ColorJar and
  • Dinner
  • Group Activity
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Oct 20
  • Doors
  • Simple breakfast & coffee
  • All teams briefing meeting
  • Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Presentation dry-run and tech-check for all items
  • Judges arrive & Registration for Sunday-only audience
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors

Jeff Hoffman

Co-founder of ColorJar and   |  

The co-founder of ColorJar, Jeff Hoffman is an accomplished entrepreneur and innovator in the fields of Internet, e-commerce, and entertainment. He is best known as a founder and CEO in the Priceline family of companies.

Jeff works with President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, along with USAID and the State Department, for which he speaks worldwide on the topics of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Jeff launched his first software company, Competitive Technologies, while still a student at Yale University. The company, which pioneered online travel tools, was acquired by American Express.

He is the producer of hit horror film Cabin Fever and had a music group tour with Britney Spears and *NSYNC. He had nothing to do with the shiny pants.

He’s a regularly featured business expert on Fox News, CNN, NBC and other media outlets. Jeff has spoken at conferences and symposiums in over 40 different countries.

Jeff also has the longest bio of any ColorJar team member, which is in no way a euphemistic statement of his “superior experience.”


Gregory Makoul PhD

Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President for Innovation at Saint Francis Care in Hartford

Gregory Makoul PhD is Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President for Innovation at Saint Francis Care in Hartford, Connecticut. He is also Professor of Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and a Senior Fellow of the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET). In addition to overseeing research, education, innovation, performance improvement, leadership development, and the new Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation at Saint Francis, Dr. Makoul is a member of the Saint Francis Care Corporate Strategy Team. He also works to build academic relationships with other institutions and to maintain his own successful research program, which focuses on communication in medicine and patient engagement in care. He has received approximately $3 million in federal and foundation funding for research and development of innovations designed to improve physician-patient communication and decision making. Dr. Makoul developed North America’s most widely used model for teaching and assessing communication skills, and has led internationally-recognized efforts to improve communication education. His educational and research work has been published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Makoul has also produced multimedia patient education programs and a series of award-winning videos that offer patient narratives of the illness experience, as well as an innovative website for breast cancer patients.

Dr. Makoul chaired the Board of Directors of the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH) from 2008 through 2011. He also is a member of AcademyHealth, the European Association for Communication in Healthcare, and the Society of General Internal Medicine. He is on the editorial board of Patient Education and Counseling, Journal of Health Communication, Health Expectations, Communication Studies, and Journal of Communication in Healthcare. In 2003, he received the American Academy on Communication and Healthcare - Lynn Payer Award for outstanding contributions to the literature on the theory, practice and teaching of effective health care communication and related skills. Dr. Makoul received a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Wesleyan University and earned a doctorate in communication studies with concentrations in research methodology, health promotion, and health policy from Northwestern University. He is currently in the Master of Health Care Delivery Science program at Dartmouth College.

He lives in Madison, Connecticut, with Limor Peer Makoul, PhD and their daughters Zoe and Laine.

Dwayne Goldsmith

Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, PCC Technology Group

Dwayne Goldsmith, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer: Mr. Goldsmith is a senior executive with a track record of success in P&L management, business development, capital acquisition, sales, marketing and operations. His extensive career includes senior level assignments leading business units within Fortune 500 companies and C-Level experience in venture backed technology companies. He advanced to become one of 14 officers with P&L responsibility and the youngest President in the history of Ameritech, a 70,000-employee corporation (acquired by AT&T).

Mr. Goldsmith has founded several emerging technology companies in the Internet and Telecommunication Industries and has created several unique business models that enable growth companies to accelerate adoption of new technologies. He has created transformational strategies in the telecommunications and information technology arenas.

Previous to joining PCC, Goldsmith served as Director of Strategy and Technology in the Customer Experience organization for Northeast Utilities. In this position, his technology strategy redefined the cost curve of the organization, while driving unparalleled service improvement. His work in the digital strategy domain resulted in the company winning the Customer Service Week Innovation Award and a Chartwell Best Practices Award.
Goldsmith holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He is a Registered Professional Engineer.

John Farrell

CTO and Co-founder, Movid   |   LinkedIn

John Farrell is CTO and one of the founders of Movid (, the 1st prize and People's choice winner from Startup Weekend 2012 and has a decade of experience working with web technologies. John has worked on everything from fleet routing systems used by enterprise corporations, Facebook game startups with millions of active users and a large fortune 1000 ecommerce website.

John frequently speaks with fellow entrepreneur peers at startup groups in the Hartford area such as CT Developer Startups and Byte Array and continues to run a technology consulting company when not working on his latest startup.

Lane Watson

Counsel, Day Pitney, LLC

Lane Watson is counsel in the Corporate and Business Law Department at Day Pitney, LLP, and a member of the firm’s Emerging Companies and Venture Finance Group. He has counseled both start-ups and venture capital investors from formation to exits in a variety of industries, and having participated in start-up weekends as a coach/mentor is excited to be sitting in the judge’s seat this time

Colleen McGuire

Director, Hartford Executive Programs for the University of Connecticut, School of Business

Colleen McGuire is the Director of Hartford Executive Programs for the University of Connecticut, School of Business. Ms. McGuire comes to UConn from the private sector and has thirty years of professional business experience. Prior to the Director position, Ms. McGuire was an organizational effectiveness consultant providing solutions to senior leaders of for-profit and non-for-profit organizations. Previous senior P&L roles have included Managing Director and Senior Vice President at Wachovia Bank, North America, and Managing Director and Senior Vice President at Mellon Financial Corporation. She is recognized and known for her expertise in merger and acquisition integration effectiveness, sales leadership and sales force effectiveness, work-stream enhancement and cross-functional alignment, and employee engagement and customer satisfaction. In addition, Ms. McGuire has taught courses in the School of Business’s Marketing and Management departments, including the capstone course “Strategy, Policy and Planning.” She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Central Connecticut State College, an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and has been designated as a Chartered Financial Analyst.


Paul A. Hughes

Partner, Wiggin and Dana

Paul Hughes is the former Chair of the firm's Corporate Practice Department and also practices in the Health Care Department. He is experienced with the representation and operation of both mature and emerging growth companies in a variety of industries including energy and utilities, information technology, clean technology, telecommunications, biotechnology, health care services,
manufacturing and outsourcing.

Paul regularly represents clients in the areas of debt and equity financings, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and corporate governance.

Mark Lassoff

Founder, LearnToProgram

Mark Lassoff is the founder of LearnToProgram, Inc, his third startup. A serial software entrepreneur Mark founded two Austin companies before returning to Connecticut. Mark is also a best selling technical author and popular speaker, with conference appearances world-wide.

Ira Yellen

President, First Experience Communications

Ira Yellen, president of First Experience Communications, provides marketing, public relations and strategic business counsel for clients who are in the health care, education and technology fields. He recently created in response to the need for consumers to have a transparent referral website which matches their home care needs to agencies that provide professional caregiver service. He has mentored dozens of start ups, and is currently mentoring emerging companies at MassChallenge 2012.

Ryan Rose

VP of Technology, Fathom   |  

Ryan Rose is the VP of Technology at Fathom, a website design, branding and creative firm in Hartford.

A serial entrepreneur, Ryan co-founded and and was the winner of the inaugural Startup Weekend Hartford.

Derek Koch

CEO + Founder: Independent Software   |  

CEO & Founder of Independent Software (product development services, products, and community), executive team for Startup Connecticut and Lead Organizer, Startup Weekend New Haven

Dr. Drew Harris

Dr. Drew Harris is a modern renaissance man. At various times he has earned a living as an Information Technology executive, ‘Big Eight’ management consultant, independent consultant, business owner, real estate investor, longshoreman, construction worker, dancer, musician, and author/speaker. He has been on boards of directors, presided over a council of not-for-profit organizations, and co-organized his community’s response the hurricane Katrina. He is an accomplished chef, story teller, basketball player, kids coach, and father of three beautiful girls.

He has degrees in Mathematics (BA from University of West Florida), Statistics and Operations Research (MBA from the Stern School of Business, NYU) and Management (Ph.D., also from NYU). He has been friends with elites, like the late Nobel Laureate Dr. William Vickery and Dr. W. Edwards Deming, and he relates well to children from all walks of life.

Currently, Dr. Harris teaches Strategy and Entrepreneurship, consults with both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, and serves on the Board of Director of Connecticut Innovations.

SB Chatterjee

Healthcare Information Technology Consultant

Supriyo "SB" Chatterjee is a consultant specializing in Healthcare Information technologies. He has worked for companies like Aetna Healthcare, McKesson, US Army Medical Corps, UNICEF, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, IBM & NASA. He has been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award five times since 2008. He holds graduate degrees in Computer Science, Business Management and Economics. He has been active with local startups and entrepreneur groups since 1998. He is the former President of Trinity Club of Hartford (Alumni chapter of Trinity College) and currently, the Acting Director of CTDOTNET - an organization of Microsoft development technologists.

John Seiffer

Business Advisor, CEO Boot Camp

Benjamin Wiles

Aoosciate, Corporate and Business Law, Day Pitney, LLC

Benjamin Wiles is an associate in the Corporate and Business Law department. He represents venture capital and private equity investors and emerging growth companies in formation, debt and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, strategic joint ventures, technology arrangements and general corporate matters. His practice also includes advising privately held, publicly traded and start-up companies in a wide variety of industries, including banking, healthcare, energy and regulated utilities on day-to-day corporate and compliance matters as well as significant commercial arrangements and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Wiles is a member of the Emerging Companies and Venture Finance group which has assembled the Connecticut Entrepreneur and Investor Hub, an online resource for startup companies and investors in the state.

John Shemo
Paul Austin-Menear
Ira Yellen
Alex Koenigsberg
Camielle Griffiths
Julie Daly
Eric Knight
Laura Dinan
Nick Bereza
Cheryl Draper
Myles Foster
Nicole Belanger
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