Past event…

Event Ended

Aspen Music School Campus

Aspen is located in the Central Colorado Rocky Mountains, about 3 hours from Denver and 2 hours from Grand Junction and 2 hours from Crested Butte.


Rooms for Startup Weekend in Aspen

Rooms are going fast because its Fall Color Season. Participants in Startup Weekend Aspen should make their room reservations as soon as practical. $99 rooms are still available at the Viceroy via this special link.

Have an Idea you’d like to turn into a sustainable economic business?

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 October is filled with local activity, because its off-season for Tourism, the single largest economic activity. This means you see Aspen in its native state. Meet locals, find a great parking place. Enjoy restaurant deals. And this year Aspen Mountain Fall Color is going to peak the first 2 weeks in October. If you are local or from anywhere in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, this is a great opportunity to explore rural Colorado. See how your idea for a product, service could be a new business. Pitch to a wonderful group of peers and participate in building a business in just 54 hours. Is Startup Weekend for you? Check out the info at this link. 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. The non-profit organization is 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 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! This year, 2013, the Roaring Fork Valley will spring alive with one of the most exciting and adventure filled weekends ever. Startup Weekend Aspen unfolds with a Boot Camp on October 5th. Get ready for the 54 hour experiential event, first in the Valley. It will knock your socks off. Boot Camp for Startup Weekend begins at 10AM on Saturday October 5th and lasts until 5PM.

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Boot Camp will take attendees through the entire 3 day Startup Weekend 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. Get ready for Aspen Startup Weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday of great food, intense interaction with peers, coaches, and mentors to help move an idea to 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, representing investment, design, marketing, business and engineering. The winning teams will be showered with special attention and can bring all their benefits with them. You’ll have an opportunity to learn a bit about Amazon’s web services, Microsoft’s Azure, Broadband Mobile technology, Social networking through your peers, coaches, mentors and your own initiative.



Oct 11
  • Registration& Networking
  • Dinner
  • Main Hall: Welcome & Speakers
  • Harry Teague
  • Marc Ostrofsky
  • 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
  • Campus closes


Oct 12
  • Arrive, Yoga, Simple Breakfast & Coffee!!!
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Main Hall: Chip Comins
  • Tania Dibbs
  • Lunch: Coaches arrive
  • 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
  • Campus closes


Oct 13
  • Arrive, Yoga, Simple Breakfast & Coffee!!!
  • Lunch: Coaches arrive
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • You did it, go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Tania Dibbs

TANIA DIBBS is a full time studio artist working in oils, encaustic and sculpture. Tania lives and works in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley and has been widely collected by an impressive national and international clientele. Tania made her home in Colorado for much of her professional career and developed her own business around her passions in the Roaring Fork Valley. As a successful Colorado business woman and artist Tania Dibbs inspires entrepreneurs and artists through her continued success. Tania started her business in a late 1980's her first studio was an unheated barn in Aspen. Years later, she upgraded to a Woody Creek cabin. Through dedication and passion to her art and business, she's created a successful career in Rural Colorado.

Chip Comins

Chairman and CEO American Renewable Energy Institute

Since 2004 American Renewable Energy Day has brought leaders
and educators together to promote rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient strategies through demonstration, presentation
 performance, film and dialogue.

A long-time advocate of implementing renewable energy resources to abate GHG and climate change, Comins is trained by Al Gore to present Climate Reality. In 2009 he produced 13 side events at the UNFCCC COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark and is now producing the 10th Annual AREDAY Summit, Expo and Film Festival: “Advancing Clean Energy: Transition to a Sustainable Global Economy ”

Comins also produced “Native Wind Powering America” the public service announcement that debuted at the Clinton Global Initiative and broadcast nationally and internationally. He has also produced and directed two documentaries broadcast on PBS: ”Jazz Colony” with host Michael Douglas and “Last of the Cowboys” as well as other short and long form films including the 2010AREDAY film “Envisioning Tomorrow”

Marc Ostrofsky - Keynote

New York Times Bestselling author of Get Rich Click!:

Ostrofsky founded five high tech Internet and telecommunications magazines and a dozen technology trade shows, which were later sold to Advanstar Publishing for $8,000,000.

He then created and sold Multimedia Publishing Corporation (another firm holding magazines, trade shows and web sites) to Primedia (NYSE: PRM) for $35,000,000.

He currently owns operating web sites including,, and is a major shareholder and board member in,

Harry Teague

Harry Teague Architects

As the principal designer and founder of Harry Teague Architects, Mr. Teague’s work is distinguished by freshness of design approach, inventive planning strategies, and attention to the craft of construction. His diverse practice includes architectural design, site planning, industrial design and community facilitation. An experienced builder, Mr. Teague has reinvented Colorado vernacular architecture and transformed it by his skilled and thoughtful introduction of contemporary materials and building technologies.

Harry Teague grew up in Alpine, New Jersey, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1966, and has lived in Colorado since receiving his M.Arch. from the Yale School of Architecture in 1972. He began his practice as a designer/builder, and actually constructed his designs for the first seven years of his career. The firm has since grown to its current size of twelve professionals, but continues to stress a hands-on knowledge of construction.

Mr. Teague's work has been included in several exhibitions on the subject of contemporary western architecture and on architectural detailing. His work has been published widely in magazines and books, and has received numerous local, state and national design awards. He has lectured and taught nationally and has served on several professional design award juries. Harry Teague strives to produce an architecture for our time, architecture that has a positive effect on our society, and architecture that elevates the human spirit.


Roberto Aiello

Technology Executive

Roberto is responsible for emerging technologies and new business initiatives at Itron. During his career he has managed wireless research at Interval Research, Paul Allen’s technology incubator in the Bay Area and technology transfer at Disney Research. Roberto is a Lean Startup expert, and serves as a mentor at startup accelerators such as Cleantech Open and Startup Weekend.

He founded two Venture Capital backed semiconductor companies: Fantasma Networks and Staccato Communications, to commercialize products based on Ultra Wideband. Roberto also founded RallyCause, a local commerce companies that matches merchants and non profits, resulting in more traffic to the merchants and fund raising opportunities to the non profits.

As part of his work on UWB, he successfully lobbied FCC, US Congress and US Senate to achieve UWB spectrum. As a result, the FCC allocated the largest portion of spectrum ever allowed for unlicensed use. He also contributed to getting UWB spectrum approved in Europe, Japan, Korea, China and Canada. He authored two books and tens of articles and patents.

He started his career as a Physicist at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and at the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory, where he designed instruments for the high energy particle accelerators.

Caryn R. Smith

Business Consultant

Caryn has 20 years of CFO, private equity and business planning, large corporate, start up and consulting experience. Since 2004 she has consulted for small, high growth startups primarily in the travel industry. Previously, she was CFO and VP of Strategic Planning for Travelweb LLC, a startup formed by the travel industry’s top five hotel chains to market hotel rooms on the Internet. As an initial member of the management team, she played a key role in building the business and selling it in 2004.

Caryn earned her BA in Economics at Mount Holyoke College, and Masters in Finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Adam S. Weiss

Charles River Recruiting

Adam S. Weiss, Esq. is an author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur whose specialty is business development for early-stage companies. His business experience includes three years with McKinsey & Co., Inc., where he advised players worldwide in the fields of energy, utilities, transportation, consumer electronics and the performing arts. He has also served in general counsel and business development roles with the early-stage technology companies, (legal content online), SnapNames (domain name industry), and Earth Class Mail (“delivering your postal mail—online!”).

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.

Peggy’s investment approach is based on healthy dialogue, mutual respect and collaboration between investors and management. She is known for her in-depth knowledge, strong instincts and ability to maintain a broad, insightful perspective, without losing focus on the details.

Peggy lives in Carbondale with her husband Dave Pietsch, an educator, and three sons. In addition to her CFO responsibilities, she is an active investor on her own behalf and consults regularly with analysts and asset managers on opportunities in industries that lie within her areas of expertise.

Scott Courts

Investor / Business development

Long time Aspen presence, Scott Courts started his career in1980 in the venture capital, money management business in Boulder Colorado. He's continued to be successful for the past 30 years. Scott's an expert in reviewing business plans and strategies. Scott provided us with the following quote from Steve Jobs. "Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them."

Jack Donenfeld

Law offices of Jack Donenfeld

Jack A. Donenfeld has been practicing law for over 36 years, both in large and medium size firms and, for the last 20 years, as the founder and President of his own firm. Drawing both on his legal skills and his experience in investing in businesses and real estate ventures, his work focuses on capital formation, securities, corporate/transaction-oriented business law and real estate.

Jack Donenfeld’s clients include entrepreneurs, start-up and closely-held businesses and emerging companies. In addition, he works with family offices, venture capital, private equity groups and angel investors, as well as securities broker-dealers and securities offering sponsors and real estate investors.

Mr. Donenfeld’s work includes project and strategic planning, both in the U.S. and in several countries outside of the U.S. where he has invested and has personal and professional relationships. In addition, he serves as a Mentor for several venture accelerators and incubators, including the Telluride Venture Accelerator and the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Mr. Donenfeld earned his law degree at Boston College Law School.

Silver Sponsors

Randi Lowenthal

Roaring Fork Business Resource Center

Ms. Lowenthal moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in October 2000 to assume responsibility for the development and administration of consulting programs and funding opportunities at Rocky Mountain Institute. Later, she joined The Aspen Institute to direct the Society of Fellows. Before creating the Center, Randi served as the Executive Director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce for 5-1/2 years from June 2003 to January 2009. She was responsible for day-to-day management, financial oversight, and membership development, and orchestrated a membership increase of over 400%.

Prior to her move to the valley, Randi held management positions in law firms and other professional service organizations in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City. She has participated on many nonprofit boards and committees throughout her careers and strongly believes in the concept of lifelong learning. Randi is a member of the Valley View Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and Business Partners Committee, and she is also a member of the Colorado Lending Source Loan Review Committee. She also served as the secretary of the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) Foundation Board of Directors and participates on the CMC Roaring Fork Advisory Council. And, she is an SBDC small business counselor and a SCORE small business counselor. She graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder

Todd Mitchell

Two Seven Ventures

Todd Mitchell has worked extensively in the energy industry, first as a principal in the start-up, growth, and successful exit of three companies related to natural gas exploration and geophysics. Todd is the Founder and President of Two Seven Ventures, LLC, a private equity company that backs development of low-carbon energy technologies and resources. He is a former director of Devon Energy Corporation where he serves on audit and reserves committees. Mr. Mitchell has a BA in Geology from The Colorado College, an MA in Geology from The University of Texas at Austin, and an MSc in Sustainable Development (with Distinction) from Edinburgh University. His academic interests include the global carbon cycle and the cycling of CO2 between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. Mr. Mitchell is a former member of the Roundtable for Science & Technology for Sustainable Development, organized by the US National Academies of Science. He has served as Chairman of the board of directors of Houston Advanced Research Center ( since 2000 and was its President from 2001 to 2006.

Garrett Fisher

Finance Solutions

Garrett Fisher is the author of The Human Theory of Everything, Founder of the Institute for Economic Innovation, and Managing Director of FinanceSolutions LLC. He is highly experienced with turnarounds, high growth situations, leadership crises, disruptive technology and startups. Garrett serves as CFO and shareholder to many startups and companies undergoing rapid change. He is particularly interested in disruptive startups that address human problems associated with resource shortages and population growth. His current projects include a book on startup community acceleration and failure reduction as well as co-authoring a book redefining the current human resource model.

Cameron Powell

Feroce Coaching + Hot Blue Coaching

Cameron Powell is a master storyteller and persuasive communicator. As a lawyer he crafted compelling narratives for judges and opposing counsel, and did not lose a case or major motion. At the Corporate Executive Board he made presentations of best practices to over 120 Fortune 1000 companies worldwide. As an early-stage start-up entrepreneur he specialized in strategic business development and guerrilla marketing and crafted and presented pitches that raised over $30 million from VCs and angels. Today he turns ideas into venture capital, businesses, brands, partnerships, books, and media platforms, and coaches innovators and creators on doing the same for themselves. He writes and publishes fiction and non-fiction, and recently landed and ghostwrote a major book just out from Random House in March 2013. His coaching and a current book project deal with managing uncertainty and change. Currently, he’s at work on a startup with exciting global potential. B.B.A. University of Colorado, J.D., Harvard Law School.

Theodore E Laszlo, Jr.

Laszlo & Associates, LLC

Ted Laszlo founded Boulder, Colorado based Laszlo & Associates in 2001 following 20 unique years of
serving as in-house counsel to Fortune 500 companies and private practice with one of the nation’s leading
law firms. After launching his career with Babcock & Wilcox, a leading manufacturer of power generation
equipment, Ted served as counsel to Hobart Corporation, the world’s leading food equipment
In 1986, Ted left Hobart for private practice and became a partner with Thompson, Hine & Flory, a
Cleveland, Ohio-based national law firm where he concentrated his practice on general civil litigation with
an emphasis on product liability, business litigation and toxic torts. Ted then accepted the position of
Senior Litigation Counsel to The B.F. Goodrich Company, where he served successively as Group
Business Counsel.
Ted represents companies and non-profits at every stage of development, from start-ups to established
multi-billion international corporations. Ted focuses his practice on advising clients on management
challenges with legal implications, risk management, litigation and dispute resolution, employment issues,
insurance, regulatory compliance, and product liability.
Ted received his law degree from the University of Akron School of Law. He is admitted to the State Bars
of Ohio, Washington, and Colorado

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

Andrew M. Israel

Founder / Editor

AspenSpin is the original powder blog about Aspen and the mountain lifestyle. AspenSpin has been publishing continuously since 2006 and is a pioneer in social media for Aspen. AspenSpin was the first to tweet in Aspen. The blog has won numerous awards Internationally.

Prior to ski-bumming, Andy had 25+ years of practical business experience in accounting, real estate and finance. Andy is a former CPA. He was involved in all aspects of shopping center development, management and leasing with The Taubman Company. He also managed financial assets exceeding $2 billion for high net worth individual investors, family offices, private companies and hedge funds while at Morgan Stanley in NYC.

Israel is a proud graduate of Michigan State University, B.S. Accounting and The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, MBA Finance / Management. He has skied almost 1000 days since leaving traditional business behind.

Bradley J. Stevenson

Aligned Insight Consulting

NOTE: Brad is unable to attend in person, so he is offering 10 hours of mentorship time to the second place team.

Over the past 19 years, Brad has led, coached and consulted to organizations ranging in size from Fortune 20 multinationals to local non-profits. Examples of clients include: UnitedHealth Care, Beverly Enterprises, Physiotherapy Associates, ADC Telecommunications, Seagram’s, Oregon Steel Mills, Jamba Juice, The Boston Consulting Group, Qwest, AT&T, Pacific Gas & Electric, Celestial Seasonings, The US Synchronized Swimming Team, Morgan Stanley, Pitkin County Health & Human Services, YouthZone, Aspen Community Foundation, Solstice Solar, SEI, Valley View Hospital and others.

Marcos Rodriguez

Investor & Entreprenuer

NOTE: Marcos is unable to attend in person, so he is offering 10 hours of mentorship time to the first place team.

I enjoy being an involved, active investor. With my forte in strategy and analytical and inventive thought I particularly enjoy investing in big ideas and teaming up with strong operators.

My biggest start-up successes (as entrepreneur or CEO) in the past have occurred when I had a COO or Producer with whom to work and execute.

I like to focus on the disciplines of Management, Marketing, Technology, and Finance and either invest in, consult, or supervise businesses in these industries:

Feature Film Production & Finance
Internet Technology
Real Estate
Oil / Gas
Radio / Television & Media

I enjoy entrepreneurship, buying and selling businesses, venture capital, equity investment, business strategy, company and brand positioning, marketing, technology, internet and computing, advertising, radio & tv media, travel, speaking Spanish, and family legacy-building.

I spend time in: Aspen, California and Asheville, NC and travel often to Dallas, San Francisco, Miami, and NYC.

Mary Cate Hauenstein


I weave together yogic philosophy and techniques with western mind/body psychology to help people heal and uncover the light of their soul, and from their I also help people discover what they really want and how go out (and inward) to get it.

Ben Williamson

Senior Software Engineer, Apple

Ben has worked at Apple for the past 10 years. He has worked for the Software Engineering division, the Hardware Engineering division and was the Lead Business Consultant during the Apple Retail expansion.

Ben serves as an advisor to, a company that was formed by relationships forged at the first startup weekend event in Santa Barbara.

Ben is also a private pilot and he loves flying his Burt Rutan (Think Space X) designed Long EZ. He spent last summer flying his plane across the US from California to New York and back on a 49 day trip.

Robert Martin

Isaacson School for New Media

Rob is the Director of the Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College, having recently come to Colorado after a career exploring media on the East Coast. He has taught for High Schools and colleges such as Penn State, the Arts Institute, and Bradley Academy for the Arts. His MFA in New Media is from Penn State University, and his undergraduate work was done at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a RABID learner, and rarely likes to sit still, although he's taking a break from his second masters degree to work on the Isaacson School. He is particularly interested in the way that games are changing the definition of New Media, for better or worse.

Contributing Sponsors
Alex Huppenthal
Jon Fox-Rubin
Chris Field
Ward Hauenstein
Harvie Branscomb
Kimberly Pennington

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