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CMC Aspen Campus


Build your startup in Western Colorado

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the challenge and the success! Why Aspen? Aspen is centrally located to Western Colorado in the Roaring Fork River Valley. Surrounded by rural small towns, Aspen in May is filled with local activity, because it’s “off-season.” This means you see Aspen in its native state: meet locals, find a great parking place, and enjoy restaurant deals! Regardless if you are local or a visitor this is a great opportunity to plug into a passionate group of entrepreneurs. See how your idea for a product or service could be a new business. Pitch your idea to a wonderful group of peers and participate in building a business in just 54 hours.

Startup Weekend is a global non-profit organization headquartered in Seattle, Washington and 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 weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders who provide meaningful feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, back a founder, 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. Get ready for Aspen Startup Weekend 23–25 May (starts Friday at 6pm, and runs through dinner on Sunday). You will have intense interaction with peers, coaches, and mentors to help move your idea into a real business. Seek out partnerships, meet other entrepreneurs and burn the midnight oil to get your minimum viable product ready for presentation on Sunday to our awesome panel of Judges. The winning teams will be showered with special attention and prizes.

Boot Camp on 17 May will walk attendees through the entire 3-day Startup Weekend process in just six hours. You’ll have a chance to ask questions, become familiar with the Business Model Canvas, practice customer validation, develop a survey, refine your sixty second pitch, and become comfortable with the following weekend’s intensive, immersive, experiential 54 hours.


Aaron Silverman

Video Blocks—Code Slinger

Aaron will talk about bringing a concept to reality in 54 hours AND he will join a lucky team to help code their idea into a product!

Bruce Eckel

Author & Speaker

Bruce will talk about "What makes a good development process?"

This is a review and high-level observation of ideas and practices the development community has evolved over the last 20 years or so. My goal is not just to help fill gaps in your knowledge, but perhaps also to reveal patterns of the problems we’ve been solving, which might lead us to additional insights. In particular, how are we creating better communication paths with our stakeholders? And how does our new understanding of development influence our organizational structures (à la

Janet O'Grady

Founding Editor—Aspen Magazine

Janet is a writer, editor, social media engager, and always culturally curious. Originally from the East Coast, I had a dream years ago to live in the mountains and run my own magazine. With an entrepreneur's mindset, I made my dream a reality and bought a local publication in 1987. I renamed it Aspen Magazine and earned a living doing what I loved. I was its Editor in Chief and public face for more than two decades.


Bruce Eckel

Author & Speaker

Bruce Eckel ( is the author (with Dianne Marsh) of Atomic Scala, Thinking in Java (Prentice-Hall, 1998, 2nd Edition, 2000, 3rd Edition, 2003, 4th Edition, 2006), the Hands-On Java eSeminar (available on the Web site), Thinking in C++ (PH 1995 with 2nd edition 2000, Volume 2 with Chuck Allison, 2003), C++ Inside & Out (Osborne/McGraw-Hill 1993), and First Steps in Flex (with James Ward, 2008) among others. He's given hundreds of presentations throughout the world, published over 150 articles in numerous magazines, was a founding member of the ANSI/ISO C++ committee and speaks regularly at conferences. He was for many years the chair of both the C++ and Java tracks at the Software Development conference, is cofounder of the JavaPosse Roundup Conference and creator of the Scala Summit Conference. He provides public and private training and consulting in programming languages and software system design.

Aaron Silverman

Founder Doodle or Die

Aaron Silverman’s first business was selling mazes that he drew to his second grade classmates. A few years later he got his programming start in middle school making games for his TI-83 graphing calculator. Since then, he’s gone on to work on more productive projects at various technology startups. These include developing retail analytic tools at Applied Predictive Technologies, optimizing energy data loading and analysis at Opower, and architecting and growing a hilarious online drawing game called Doodle or Die. Presently Aaron’s main focus is slinging code at Video Blocks, a company recognized by Inc as one of the fastest growing media companies.

John Ramo

Founder & CEO, Digital Directions Inc.

John Ramo, M.Ed. is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Directions. Mr. Ramo has over 30 years experience in educational technology and distance learning. Mr. Ramo founded and built a successful Washington D.C.-based, educational software company resulting in an IPO in 1997 on the NASDAQ. He is an award-winning producer of educational multimedia software for clients such as The Smithsonian Institute, Philips Media, Simon & Schuster, Jean Michel Cousteau and Jodie Foster. Mr. Ramo is a former Special Ed Teacher. He holds a Masters in Education.

Michael Conniff

Head—Digital Story Lab at CMC

Michael Conniff is a co-founder of The Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College and head of the Digital Story Lab at the school. He is also CEO of Post Time Media, a social media and multimedia branding and storytelling company based in Aspen. His novel, MOTHER NATURE, will be published in 2014 and is part of his multimedia, multi-platform BOOK OF O’KELLS, including novels, the first Facebook novel, a novella, mysteries, a play, a screenplay, a documentary, and the graphic novel ATOMIC TOM. His pioneering ways began in 1980 when he became the first Harvard writing instructor to use word processing as a teaching tool.

Randi Lowenthal

Founder/CEO, Roaring Fork Business Resource Center

Randi held senior management positions in law firms and other professional service organizations in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City. In October 2000, Randi was responsible for consulting programs at Rocky Mountain Institute in Old Snowmass. Later, she joined The Aspen Institute to direct the Society of Fellows.
She is a SCORE small business counselor. Randi graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder and possesses a Masters in Business Administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago.


Jacquelyn Francis

Executive Director of the Aspen Science Center

At the Aspen Science Center, Jacquelyn coordinated a project with the US Department of Energy (directly working with the office of the Secretary of Energy), organized the Critical Path Energy Project and the Global GreenPrint Summit. She has worked on various projects with corporations such as Chesapeake Energy, Calpine, EnCana, and Shell. She has founded or co-founded several events such as, American Renewable Energy Day, Aspen EcoFest, Actions Speak Louder, and Aspen’s Earth Day Celebration – working with governments, NGOs, and businesses. Formerly, she worked as an editor, director and writer for wildlife filmmaker Marty Stouffer.

Peggy Corcillo

CFO: Digital Directions International & Gina Cucina

Creative, often contrarian thinking has been Peggy’s hallmark since the earliest days of her career, when she became one of the first woman analysts to follow the oil and gas industry. Over a 25 year span she has gone on to follow a variety of industries and has been responsible for investing over $500M for large institutions, high net worth individuals, mutual funds and asset managers.

Her approach is always the same: immersing herself in an industry, she synthesizes large amounts of data and information, and uses out-of-the-box thinking to come up with unique and profitable investment ideas and conclusions.

The same total immersion process has served her equally well in her work with local startups. She is currently acting as part-time CFO to two local startup companies: Digital Directions International, an education technology company focused on improving math skills for English Language Learners, and Gina Cucina, a seed stage specialty food company.

Andre Schwegler

Managing Director at TerraNova Capital Partners, Inc.

Over 15 years of experience in corporate finance and investment banking, specializing in institutional private placements and M&A sell-side assignments for public and private companies. Previously, served 15 years as a founding board member and sales executive with three satellite telecommunications companies. Began career in 1978 with Arthur Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture) as a Management Information Systems consultant. Since joining TerraNova Capital in 2003, Mr. Schwegler has been lead or participating banker in over 25 placements totaling approximately $200 million in equity capital for public companies in a broad range of industry sectors.

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May 23
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams form, discuss ideas, & asses skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. Coaching is available throughout event.
  • Finished for the day.


May 24
  • Facility opens
  • Simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams continue from where they left off.
  • Lunch & keynote: Bruce Eckel
  • Call for needs & skills, customer validation time.
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day.


May 25
  • Facility opens
  • Morning yoga
  • Simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Prizes & Awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
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Jon Fox-Rubin
Don Webb
Matt Reisman

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