Special Thanks to the Farash Foundation and Excell Partners


The organizers of Rochester Startup Weekend have to thank our excellent supporters and partners at the Farash Foundation and Excell Partners. There’s no way our ticket sales could support the scale of the event we put on. The people behind theseorganizations are truly our “angel investors,” and we greatly appreciate their investment in our Rochester startup community. 


Meet Your #RSW2015 Judges: Don Golini, Theresa Mazzullo and Alex Zapesochny

Don Golini

Don Golini is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the development, management and commercialization of new technologies. As President and Founder of QED Technologies, Don took a novel finishing process from a university laboratory to worldwide commercial success. Today, QED develops, manufactures and markets precision finishing and metrology equipment for the optics industry. QED grew from 5 to more than 50 employees with personnel in 5 countries. QED was acquired in June 2006, by Illinois—based Cabot Microelectronics Corporation (NASDAQ: CCMP), and Golini stayed on as President until 2010.

Today, Don serves as Chairman of the Rochester Angel Network (RAN), is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at High Tech of Rochester, serves on various boards and advises several companies in the Rochester area.

Theresa Mazzullo

Theresa Mazzullo has been the CEO of Excell Partners since 2006. She has a 30-year track record in business, finance and entrepreneurship. In her role as CEO of Excell Partners, her duties include portfolio management, governance, compliance, reporting, community integration, finance and fundraising.

Theresa spent six years as President & Principal of EPIC Advisors, Inc a 401(k) retirement plan company with $1.5 billion in retirement plan assets. In her capacity as President, she built an infrastructure that supported annual revenue growth of 20%.  She also directed business-planning process regarding business strategy and tactics in the areas of finance, sales, marketing, administration, operations and information technology to ensure increased profitability and the achievement of the company vision. Ultimately, she led the team to a successful exit in 2005.

Alex Zapesochny

Alex Zapesochny is an attorney and President and CEO of iCardiac Technology. Prior to co-founding iCardiac, he served as General Counsel and Director of Business Development for Lenel Systems, a developer and global supplier of enterprise software, hardware and services for the electronic security industry. The company expanded to serve over 10,000 organizations throughout 75 countries, including over sixty percent of all Fortune 100 companies. The company’s financial growth earned it 39th place on Inc. magazine’s ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing privately-held companies, and Lenel was ultimately acquired for $440 million by United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX).

In private practice, Alex has provided legal and business counsel to early-stage companies.

Meet #RSW2015 Keynote Speaker Cort Johnson from Atlas Venture

Cort Johnson from Atlas Venture

The organizing team at Rochester Startup Weekend is pleased to announce that Cort Johnson, a Venture Partner at Atlas Venture in Cambridge, Mass., will be this year’s keynote speaker. Cort will be addressing all the attendees of #RSW2015 on the afternoon of Saturday, March 21, 2015 at Brand Networks.

This is great timing; the tech team at Atlas made national news this week by opening up a contest to crowdsource its new brand. The winning entrant will receive a $50,000 stake in the firm’s new $200M fund!


Prior to joining Atlas in 2014, Cort co-founded Terrible Labs, a leading product design and development shop based in Boston. At Terrible Labs, he led business development, marketing and operations, collaborating with both Fortune 500 companies and startups to build web and mobile products.

While at Terrible Labs, Cort also co-founded and spun out TicketZen, a mobile app that allows citizens to scan and pay parking tickets with their mobile phones. TicketZen can be used to pay parking tickets in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

Before Terrible Labs, Cort was Chief Evangelist at SCVNGR, a location based services startup in Boston, where he helped grow the mobile-based platform to millions of users and thousands of customers.

Cort broke into the startup scene after founding DartBoston, an organization focused on bringing together Boston’s twenty-somethings and college students interested in building companies. DartBoston hosted hundreds of events, connecting thousands of Bostonians looking to get more involved in the startup community.


In addition to being a premier speaker with exactly the kind of experience we look for in selecting keynote speakers for Rochester Startup Weekend, Cort brings a little something extra to the party this year — he’s a die-hard fan of Rochester as a native of the city.

We are excited to hear how Cort sees the evolution of Boston’s startup economy and to pick his brain about how we can drive our own startup economy forward.

Please join us in welcoming him back to Rochester by tweeting @cortlandt  …and don’t forget to use the weekend’s hashtag: #RSW2015