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The Digital Arts Experience

170 Hamilton Ave. Suite 100 White Plains, NY 10601

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!

Schedule

Friday

May 17
  • 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

Saturday

May 18
  • 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

Sunday

May 19
  • 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
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors
Speakers

Chris Dessi

CEO of Silverback Social   |   LinkedIn

Chris Dessi is an award winning digital thinker, television & radio commentator, author, blogger and public speaker. Throughout his career in New York and London, Chris has worked with Fortune 500 businesses and start-ups alike. His deep marketing acumen combined with his passion for psychology, sociology and cultural studies all reside at the fulcrum of his manifesto that social media is much more of a spiritual awakening rather than a technological one. This revolutionary perspective has propelled his personality into the national media landscape. Dessi is a regular social media expert contributor on Fox Evening News, Good Day New York, and FOX BUSINESS's Varney & Co. He has appeared on Inside Edition, the Steve Adubato show One to One, and has made Radio appearances on the John Gambling show on WOR Radio in NYC and the Mary Beth Marsden show in Baltimore on WBAL. His first book “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It”, shot to #1 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases in it’s first two weeks of publication. In addition to his writing and work in social media, Chris is active on the college lecturing circuit. Coaching students on how to leverage social media to benefit their personal brand message and their career. He has guest lectured to students around the country including Marist College, Manhattanville College, Loyola University in Maryland and at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Social Media Summit. As a result of the work and impact via television and radio in the New York metropolitan area, Chris was recently selected by the Business Council of Westchester’s 40 under 40. He has been quoted in Mashable and has lectured about the power of social media to the United States Marines aboard the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum. He is a featured contributor on Social Media Today and The Social Customer.

Gold Sponsors
Judges

Matthew Kissner

Co Founder & Chairman of The Digital Arts Experience

Matthew Kissner in an Operating Partner with middle market Private Equity firms. He has extensive operating experience in Business and Financial Services, and considerable knowledge of the Healthcare Industry. His career includes Pitney Bowes, Banker’s Trust Company, Morgan Stanley and Citibank. Mr. Kissner was Executive Vice President of Pitney Bowes Inc. and Group President of Global Enterprise Solutions, reporting to the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.

Alan Brody

Founder of TECHmarketing & iBreakfast.com

Alan Brody is the Dean of Digital Start-ups. As founder of the iBreakfast one of the nation’s longest running Start-Up forums, he has helped Entrepreneurs all over the U.S. raise millions. He is the author of the blog and forthcoming book, Are You Fundable? the news infographic site, Visual Daily and cofounder of mHealthcon, the national conference on mobile medicine and entrepreneurship. Brody was a columnist with Advertising Age Creativity and ADWEEK’s Marketing Computers and has been called by NY1, “The Business Networking Guru.” He began his career as an Apple Mac enthusiast and head of business development for The Computer Factory, one of the largest technology retail chains in the US.

John Zanzarella

Regional Marketing Manager at Jackson Lewis LLP

John Zanzarella is the Regional Marketing Manager of the New England Region of Jackson Lewis LLP, an AM Law 100 Law Firm. Mr. Zanzarella is responsible for the marketing of over 125 attorneys in 6 different offices. In addition, he is in charge of the planning and managing of over 30 local and 3 National events per year as well as driving the business development efforts of the attorneys in his region. Mr. Zanzarella graduated from Fairfield University with his BS in Marketing and from Manhattanville College with his MS in Sports Business Management.

Bill Gordon

Founder of Lean Launch Ventures

Bill received his UC Berkeley PhD in cell biology working with a giant, Nobel Laureate James Watson, but then pivoted to earn a Wharton MBA after which he worked on the buy side for several asset management firms before founding, managing and later selling his interest in a broadband business in 4 countries of Europe. That adventure helped him fund and run a biotech company where he won a Gates Grand Challenge Exploration Grant for the company's work on a novel approach to creating a malaria vaccine. Currently he is Founder of Lean Launch Ventures where he is running an accelerator program in partnership with CT Innovations, the venture capital arm of the State of CT. Bill enjoys being an angel investor and advisor to numerous startups and a judge in various types of business plan competitions (Wharton for the past 8 years) and Startup Weekends.

Silver Sponsors
Coaches

Rob Kissner

President & CEO of The Digital Arts Experience

Rob Kissner is the President and CEO of the Digital Arts Experience. Founded in 2010, the DAE is a unique, creative learning hub dedicated to the exploration and development of self-reliant digital literacy. In addition to industry level experience in Audio Production, Rob has a strong background in teaching. Working for Apple Inc. as a computer trainer, Rob has taught a wide age group on topics ranging from Mac basics to professional Motion Graphics, Audio and Photo editing software.

Cristin Grogan

Social Media and Blogging Expert

Cristin Grogan is a consultant, blogger, and social media marketing expert. She has a wealth of experience in digital and social media, having created and implemented successful social media marketing strategies for brands like Chanel, Sephora, The Ritz-Carlton and more.

Jon Chattman

Director of Communications at the Music Conservatory of Westchester

Jon Chattman is the Director of Communications at the Music Conservatory of Westchester – a nonprofit music school, as well as a regular writer for the Huffington Post, and the founder of A-Sides with Jon Chattman -- an informal podcast & online music series as seen on the Huffington Post with musicians from all genres.

James Higgins

Owner of Proforma Branding Excellence

James Higgins owns Proforma Branding Excellence of Southern Westchester and is a Project Management Specialist in brand-marketing, eCommerce, and multimedia business solutions. Higgins has a well rounded background, serving as an account executive for top companies including Transperfect Document Management, DML Translations and Citrin Cooperman & Co., LLP.

Lisa Besserman

Founder of Startup Buenos Aires   |  

Lisa Besserman, founder of Startup Buenos Aires, started her International career in Tokyo, Japan as a Foreign Sales & Marketing Director for Aeon Corporation.
Upon returning to the States, she became the Director of Operations at AirKast, a mobile application development company. She managed the engineering teams and Fortune 500 clients, while leading the launch of over 4,000 mobile applications. Under Lisa's leadership the user experience was transformed by incorporating social media capabilities.
Lisa has worked with charities in Nepal, Haiti, Uganda, Japan and New York. She is an active leader in the NYC and Buenos Aires Startup communities.
Lisa has been featured in "This Book is About Travel", named a "Rising Star of Startups" and a member of "Women's International Leadership Association". Lisa has mentored at Startup Weekend Cordoba in Argentina, and will be leading a panel at Internet Week NY 2013.
Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to found Startup Buenos Aires, a community organization aimed to inspire, promote and support startups and entrepreneurship in Buenos Aires.

Nicholas TeBrake

Psychologist

Nicholas TeBrake is a School Psychologist at Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES with a specialty in Applied Behavioral Analysis & Assessment. He has a M.S. Edu. from Long Island University and is fascinated by Game Theory and the psychology behind marketing strategies.

Ivy Eisenberg

Founder of Our IdeaWorks, LLC

Ivy has worked in healthcare, financial services, B2B, consumer goods, and telecommunications. She has designed and led workshops for major corporations and created a one-day workshop in the Lead User Research Method of Innovation for graduate students in Technology Management. Ivy is also an award-winning humor writer, performer and speaker. She has an MBA in Marketing from the NYU Stern School of Business, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Beth Mand

Creative Director of The Digital Arts Experience

Beth brings talent, uniqueness and creativity to The Digital Arts Experience. Having graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design, Beth has had the opportunity to work with many clients on a multitude of projects ranging from Logos to Brochures and Websites. She has also been featured in a number of showcases and exhibitions for her Digital Illustrations and Multimedia projects. Beth is well versed in Identity Design and Brand Recognition for businesses - Startups and Fortune 500's alike - and loves sharing knowledge on the benefits of having a strong company identity.

Media Sponsors
Organizers
Emily Angell
Beth Mand
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