Past event…

Event Ended

Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga, NY





Nov 1
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Transfer to Murray-Aikens Building
  • 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


Nov 2
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches start to arrive. They are here to help!
  • Lunch
  • 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


Nov 3
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Gold Sponsors

Ed Mitzen

CEO, Fingerpaint Marketing

Appropriately referred to as the serial entrepreneur, Ed has built four
marketing companies totaling over $200 million in combined revenue.

Ed is currently building his fourth company, Fingerpaint Marketing.
Fingerpaint is a full-service advertising agency with 88 employees and
nearly $17 million in annual revenue. Before forming Fingerpaint, Ed
founded Palio Communications, an advertising and communications agency
in Saratoga Springs, NY. During the rise of Palio, Ed's leadership and
business acumen brought the agency from a local five-person shop to a
twenty-five-million dollar annual company with nearly 175 employees.

Ed is a frequent lecturer on the topics of advertising and
entrepreneurship at several top colleges and universities, including the
University of Rochester and Skidmore College. He is also an active
member of the local community, serving on the board of directors of
various not-for-profit organizations including The Hyde Collection,
Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Union Graduate College, Double H
Ranch, and formerly the Saratoga Care Foundation and the Waldorf School
of Saratoga Springs.

He resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife Lisa and his children
Nick (17) and Grace (14). He also has a daughter Emily (19) who is a
sophomore at NYU.

Angela Beddoe

Owner/President, Her Life Magazine

Angela S. Beddoe is President and CEO of Beddoe Publishing and Editor-in-Chief of Herlife Magazine, the premier lifestyle magazine in the Capital/Adirondack region. Herlife Magazine’s mission is keeping women connected and does that by offering a monthly magazine with articles of interest to women and feature women and men who are interesting and making a difference in their homes, businesses and communities around region.

Ms. Beddoe is also a co-owner in Iron Fire Productions, a multi-media, creative company focused on reality TV development and film projects. She has also produced two feature films which are currently in post-production.

She has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry and is a Co-Founder and Principal in GreenForce Energy Products, LLC. Before she became a member of the GreenForce Team, Ms. Beddoe was Vice President-Public Affairs for fortune 350 company and President of its non-profit Foundation. In that capacity, her responsibilities included overseeing strategic implementation of government relations, communications, media relations, advertising, community relations and philanthropic giving in multiple states and she was a member of the company’s environmental sustainability committee.

She is also a past Chairman of the Board of Rebuilding Together, a national low-income housing organization, located in Washington, DC with over 250,000 volunteers and almost 200 affiliates nation-wide. In addition, Ms. Beddoe is a former board member of the Public Affairs Council and a former member of the American Gas Association Leadership Council and the Edison Electric Institute’s Federal Affairs Executive Advisory Committee. Ms. Beddoe holds her B.A. in Government from Skidmore College.

James Williams

Founder & CEO, Williams Financial Management, LLC

James J. Williams is the Founder and CEO of Williams Financial Management, LLC, an independent, fee-only, registered investment advisory firm that provides lifestyle planning and investment management services to individuals and entrepreneurs throughout the country. Established in 2005, the firm services individuals and small businesses through customized entrepreneurial and business consulting, lifestyle financial planning and wealth management solutions.

Mr. Williams has been a financial service professional for more than 13 years. He started his career as a bank manager of the main office at a regional community bank with deposits of more than $110 million. He was rapidly promoted to Marketing Director where his responsibilities included overseeing the sales and marketing efforts for the deposits, lending, and investment divisions. In 2003 he left banking to manage an independent broker/dealer, overseeing operations, finance, and compliance as well as counseling his clients.

Mr. Williams also serves as Department Chair of Accounting, Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Hudson Valley Community College. Further, he has taught several business courses at Castleton State College, Community College of Vermont and Southern Vermont College. His teaching and research interests are in entrepreneurship and financial planning.

Mr. Williams earned an M.B.A. from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He earned his Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vermont. He is currently enrolled at Boston University where he is completing graduate courses toward his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.

Mr. Williams has served on several boards including not-for-profits, community relations, and higher education as well as being an elected school board member. He lives in Shaftsbury, Vermont with his wife and two sons.

Silver Sponsors

Theresa Skaine

Managing Member, Lemery Greisler, LLC

Theresa Skaine is a Managing Member of Lemery Greisler LLC. She concentrates her practice in corporate and real estate law, with a focus on economic development, project management and not-for-profit corporations.

Theresa works closely with public entities, private developers and not-for-profit corporations and is recognized for her expertise in property development, financing (private, governmental and venture), and restructuring/merger transactions. She has played an instrumental role in the successful development of numerous projects in New York State.

Her diverse background includes being counsel for the Luther Forest Technology Campus project, the largest public-private economic development project in New York’s history. In this capacity, Theresa managed the commercial real estate transactions related to the 1,400 acre campus including purchase/sale and lease transactions and coordination of special taxing districts. She also oversaw the corporate structuring and various financing transactions for the Campus project and managed teams of project consultants.

Ms. Skaine serves as a Trustee of the Saratoga Hospital and as a Director for the Saratoga Regional Y. She is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Saratoga and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization. Her previous board experience includes the Wesley Health Care Foundation and Domestic Violence Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County. She is a graduate of Colgate University and of Boston University School of Law, cum laude. In 2013, Theresa was named one of Saratoga County’s Women of Influence by Saratoga TODAY newspaper and was awarded the Lisa Niles Distinguished Alumni Award by Leadership Saratoga.

Colleen Burke

Executive in Residence, Skidmore College

Colleen Burke is currently the Executive-in-Residence in the Department of Management and Business at Skidmore College. As one of the earliest women to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School, Colleen has had a forty-five year career as entrepreneur, consultant and professor. In 1978 she moved to Saratoga Springs to purchase, along with her partner, the then-bankrupt Saratoga Mineral Water Company, transforming and repositioning the product from Saratoga Vichy Water to the brand we know today and then selling the company to Anheiser Busch. She was also the founder of the Saratoga-based Children’s Design Center, a national catalog of children’s furnishings, clothing and toys. Before returning to Saratoga and Skidmore in 2011, Colleen spent two decades as a strategic consultant to many start-up ventures and dot.coms in the high technology arena, including internal knowledge ventures in global consulting firms such as Arthur Andersen LLP and Anderson Consulting, now Accenture.

Patrick Pipino

Co-Owner, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Saratoga

Mr. Pipino is a local Saratoga Springs businessperson, and Co-Owner of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Franchise in Saratoga Springs,. Prior to Ben & Jerry’s, Patrick was a Food & Beverage Manager with the Desmond in Colonie.

Mr. Pipino has been honored by his alma mater, R.I.T. as the 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year, and by Ben & Jerry’s Homemade as the 2001, and 2011 Franchise of the Year. Lastly, he was named one of the “20 Under 40” by the Saratogian newspaper in 2004.

Patrick is a former pitcher for the Saratoga Reds, a local “Over 30” baseball team,. He currently serves as an umpire with the Saratoga Umpire’s Association. His hobbies include, fine scale modeling, professional cooking, and studying Air & Sea Power. Married thirteen years to his lovely wife Rebecca, he is father to nine year old Isabelle and five year old Sarah and resides in Saratoga Springs with them and his cat Captain.

Cheryl Paulsen

Founder, Direct Response Marketing Institute

Cheryl Paulsen is a firm believer in making your business work harder for you than you work for it. As Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth book series says, too many entrepreneurs spend valuable time working in their business when they should be working on their business.

When you’re invested in making your business a success, you have to broaden your vision and see opportunities that might not be glaring you in the face.

At age 37 she was entrenched in Corporate America. Two and a half years later, she had successfully built and sold her first company by forming partnerships and using Direct Response Marketing. She did it by seeing past what people told her was impossible.

Sometimes, you have to allow yourself to dream bigger than you ever imagined. Cheryl began here career spending eight years as an officer in the United States Navy, including a recall to active duty after September 11th. She served on the guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal and, after completing Nuclear Power School, she was stationed aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Cheryl is a Dan Kennedy Certified Business Advisor and founder of the Direct Response Marketing InstituteTM now focusing her expertise on small business marketing, lead generation and growth. She is also an international speaker, business coach and author of two books. Cheryl serves on the Board of Directors for Top One Coaching.

She lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband Jason and their 2-year-old son Blake.

Anthony Debonis

Partner, Troy Web Consulting

Anthony DeBonis is the Head of Application Development and a Partner at Troy Web Consulting, a web and mobile applications development firm in Troy, New York. Anthony is responsible for the design, development and deployment of mobile and web applications with requirements for both high security and availability in HTML5, Titanium, ColdFusion and Java Platforms. He works primarily with government and corporate entities.

Anthony is currently developing applications for several cross platform mobile applications as a Titanium Certified Application Developer.

An avid developer community member, Anthony is co-founder of the TechValley Mobile Developers Network, is on the board of the Java Developer's Network and presents at many User Groups and National Conferences. Anthony has experience with Startup Weekends, including the 1st Startup Weekend in Techvalley as one of the organizers and mentors.

Robert Braathe

Founder, Braathe Enterprises

Robert Braathe is the founder of Braathe Enterprises. After working in management positions with Walt Disney World, Gap and Apple, Mr. Braathe founded Braathe Enterprises in October 2005 in CT.

Today, Robert and Braathe Enterprises works with companies of all sizes to design and deliver customized business training, presentations and classes. He brings tireless enthusiasm and passion to his work and his teaching, and his students and alumni often return for further expertise and study through his Virtual Internship Program and learning platform.

In addition to his work at Braathe Enterprises, Robert teaches part-time at Skidmore College, SUNY Cobleskill and Schenectady County Community College in online, hybrid and independent studies in management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Richard Sellers

Chairman Emeritus, Marketing Executives Networking Group

Richard Sellers is Chairman Emeritus of the nearly 1,400 member Marketing Executives Networking Group, founder of the Demand Marketing consulting firm, mentor and volunteer counselor for SCORE, and former Sr. VP of Marketing for three multi-billion dollar companies: Career Education Corporation, WellPoint, and Service Merchandise.

His early career was at GE, P&G, Playtex, and the Marketing Corporation of America. A more complete profile is available at

You can follow his communications about marketing, social media, and careers at and and on Twitter at @Sellers_Richard.

Mike Relyea, Esq.

President Emeritus, Luther Forest Tech Campus EDC

Mr. Relyea’s career is dedicated to developing and implementing innovative, technology-based economic development initiatives that leverage public/private partnerships, maximize growth and create a strong base for the future.

As the former President of the Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corporation (LFTCEDC), Mr. Relyea lead the development of Luther Forest Technology Campus, one of the largest public-private economic development projects in the United States. He provided overall project leadership and established strategic direction, while overseeing operations, financing and construction. A skilled team builder, he also works closely with the numerous federal, state and local agencies, public organizations and privately-held businesses that are working together to bring the campus to fruition. Upon completion, the 1,414 acre Luther Forest Technology Campus will create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, be home to the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world and involve a public-private investment of more than $4.5 billion.

In addition to fulfilling his responsibilities as President of the Luther Forest Technology Campus EDC, Mr. Relyea provides industry leadership as a strategic and tactical advisor for significant public-private developments and is a frequent expert speaker on global high-technology economic development initiatives. He lives in Clifton Park, New York with his wife Maria and their two children, Tom and Olivia.

Matthew Gough

Chief Echovater at Echovate

Highly accomplished executive with 15+ years experience in a direct leadership role in both start-ups and growth organizations. Results-oriented and highly organized with a consistent track record of success in new market identification, product development, B2B and B2C marketing, strategic thinking, inreased sales & profitability and problem solving. Proven to thrive in dynamic and fluid environments while remaining pragmatic and focused.

Prior to Echovate™, Mr. Gough co-founded™, the leading provider of cloud-based predictive talent selection in a software-as-a-service platform. A first-of-its kind, fully integrated, suite of talent selection products that vastly improves quality of hire by adding data and analytics to every step of the hiring process. This unique offering revolutionizes talent acquistion by adding consistent competency- based data throughout the hiring workflow, which, in turn, provides incremental predictablity for talent decisions. As a result, organizations are better equipped to accurately predict a new hire’s future performance and increase overall hiring effectiveness. Serving global brands including Subway™, The Walt Disney Company™ and other Fortune 1000 organizations.

Matthew was also the founder and CEO of Mercury Web Solutions an integrated web and internet strategy firm which he sold in 2005 as well as a niche job board.

Ronald Smith (Rono)

If walking on to a stage and commanding the room from the first second interests you then Ronald K. Smith (aka Rono) is the person to guide you toward your goals.

A highly intuitive lifestyle coach drawing expertise from more than 20 years of international vocal stage performance, Rono ignites his clients to inspired success and to break through their limiting B.S (belief systems), conditioned mind and fears. Gentle but demanding he walks hand and hand with his clients to help them achieve a renewed sense of confidence and ability to achieve what was only a dream in their minds.

Through an eclectic background in vocal performance, marketing, design, teaching, and music production he guides his clients through this modern business jungle. He has an extraordinarily motivating and heart centered approach to life, business and love. His areas of specialty include assessment of your personal environment and how it affects your life, individual fashion consulting related to self-love, personal empowerment and confidence, creating positive habits for success and mindset-belief re-frames around expectations and wealth consciousness.

Former clients include: Jaguar Cars North America, Genlux Magazine, The RAY Magazine, Hsin Tao International, Herbal Answers Inc, as well as many smart, strong, successful women and men from around the country.

Contributing Sponsors
Keegan Hayes
Robert Manasier
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