Quinnipiac’s Best Pitch Winner: Danielle Giglione

Follow Will on Twitter @DigiServices1


Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut actively supports startups and entrepreneurship in Connecticut. In preparation for Startup Weekend Stamford, Quinnipiac held a campus-wide Pitchfire competition. It was pure chaos but a lot of fun! After the smoke cleared, there was only one student left standing… Danielle Giglione.

I recently had time to sit down with this Entrepreneurial Warrior. This is Danielle’s first Startup Weekend! Here is how our interview went:

So, Danielle tell me a little about yourself?

My name is Danielle Giglione and I am a freshman at Quinnipiac University. My major and focus in school is nursing. However, I love to soak up information from all different disciplines. Imagination, creativity, and passion are three of my best friends; they are the key components that fuel my thoughts as well as my reading, drawing, writing, and even baking. While I am studying to become a Registered Nurse, I am looking into designing, developing, and marketing a new diabetes insulin pump, writing my own book (which I hope to publish and make a series out of in the near future), and teaching myself how to use tablets to make digital art. I do not believe in limiting oneself to a single talent or skill; I prefer to take a variety of things I am passionate about and do my best to excel in and learn about them.

Tell us a little about your idea that helped you win the PitchFire competition?

The idea I am bringing with me to Startup Weekend Stamford is the creation of a smaller, thinner, and more efficient diabetes insulin pump. My company, Live Natural, is looking for programmers, designers, and people willing to back/fund this project in addition to anyone who is passionate or curious to learn more about diabetes. I have a few ideas in mind such as the size, shape, screen, etc. For example, I am looking into using a FlexEl battery as opposed to the AAA battery currently used in insulin pumps on the market today. But, I am open to suggestions, feedback, and advice from individuals, especially those with knowledge about electronics and programming.

**A background as to why this is my idea:
My best friend was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes at the age of sixteen and no one could have imagined this happening. Diabetes did not run in either sides of her family; she was fit as could be, ate a healthy, well-balanced diet, and was even a track star. Her pancreas just stopped producing what her body needed to break down the glucose in her system. I remember sitting in homeroom, wondering why my friend hadn’t shown up the past few days. It was not like her to miss school. Later that night while doing my homework, I got a call. It was my friend and she had been hospitalized. She explained to me that she was at a track meet on Sunday, felt absolutely terrible and went to the doctor. The doctor immediately sent her to the emergency room. She had a blood sugar somewhere around 700 or 800 and her normal blood sugar should be between 80-100! The doctor told her if she were to have run in the meet, she could have gone into a diabetic coma. Needless to say, she was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes and I watched as she struggled to live normally with a bulky, unappealing, life saving device clipped to her.

Have you been practicing your pitch?

I have been practicing my pitch! I find that rehearsing the pitch out loud helps to determine the best phrasing, word selection, and speaking pace. When pitching my idea to others in practice, I am able to practice eye contact and posture. Practicing the pitch allows you to make sure the pitch fits the time limit, is concise but clear, and you can check with others that the idea is easily understood.

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?

I do consider myself an entrepreneur. There are many ways people try to define what an entrepreneur is, but my personal definition is: a person who pursues an opportunity they are passionate about and who is willing to take a financial risk after careful consideration and research into their idea. If people agree that is a valid description of an Entrepreneur than I certainly consider myself that.

Are you excited for Startup Weekend Stamford? What are you most excited about?

I am incredibly excited for Startup Weekend Stamford! It is an honor and a privilege to be attending, let alone giving my pitch. I am most excited to meet and talk with the other individuals attending the event. I cannot wait to hear the ideas other people have been working on, as well as receive advice and ideas for my own product.

How have you been preparing?

To prepare for Startup Weekend Stamford I have been practicing my pitch out loud alone and in front of others. As I stated before, preparing in advance helps you to make sure the pitch fits the time limit and is concise but clear. Also, practicing out loud helps with the phrasing and linguistics.

Has Quinnipiac helped you prepare?

Quinnipiac has been helping me prepare for Start-Up Weekend. The university and its faculty are always willing to work with, guide, and push you towards bigger and better things. The faculty is ready at all times with their fountains of knowledge. Additionally, their are countless resources that one can utilize from the faculty members to the library. My Entrepreneur professor, Professor David Tomczyk, has been especially helpful in fueling and preparing me. Professor Tomczyk encouraged me and my idea, even while I had my own personal doubts because I was a nursing student and that had nothing to do with “being an entrepreneur”.


What a great interview! Look out Startup Weekend Stamford attendees, Danielle is coming to town and she means business.

UPDATED! The 2014 Stamford Startup Weekend Judging Criteria

Judging Stamford Startup Weekend like a real American Hero!

Judging Stamford Startup Weekend like a real American Hero!

The most important part to winning Stamford Startup Weekend is knowing what you will be judged on. Like running a marathon, it is important to know where the finish line is! This year we will be using Bill Kenney’s ScoreMyPitch, a product of Stamford Startup Weekend 2013.

Stamford Startup Weekend judging criteria are broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3criteria (weighed equally):

  1. Business Model Validation 
The heart of it all. If you haven’t got the answers to these questions, you’ve spent too much time on frills & features and need to get back to the basics:
    a. Who is your customer?
    b. What is your core value proposition?
    c. What are your key activities?
    d. What are your revenue streams?
    e. What is your cost structure?
    f. Who/what are your key partners/resources?
    g. What are your distribution channels?
    h. What is your rollout strategy?
  2. Customer Validation
 Have you taken the proper steps to ensure that the people who matter (your future customers) support and reinforce your assumptions? Think of Customer Validation as ‘evidence’ to backup the core structure of your ‘theory’ (your Business Model). The more feedback you gather (quantity), the more this feedback comes from your specific target market (quality), and the more you’re able to actually integrate this feedback into the Business Model and product development (execution), the better.
  3. Execution
 The nitty gritty: what has your team been able to actually build over the weekend? Even the strongest of Business Plans are useless in the hands of those who can’t properly execute on them. Getting as far as possible in the development of your product/prototype not only helps give the Judges a tangible vision of what the final product could be, but proves your strength and skills as a team. This is what truly matters: investors don’t invest as in ideas so much as teams.
  4. User Experience Design Design Strategy and quality of users engaged MVP product evolution Map. Does it have a professional look and feel Does it deliver a  compelling and captivating user experience. Is it memorable? What key insights were gathered over the weekend to go in this creative direstion

In the words of the greatest cartoon known to man GI Joe,  “now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” Be sure to check out the website for additional details about the event, and do not hesitate to email one of the organizers.


Purchase Tickets Here

Are Startups Successful in Connecticut? Yes.

By Will Haire

Follow Will on Twitter @DigiServices1

Startups Connecticut

If you are planning on participating in Startup Weekend, then you have already taken the first step in developing your idea into a business. But is Connecticut the right place for a Startup? Of course, Connecticut is full of resources that will help you develop and sustain a great business. Let’s look at some of the numbers & facts that prove startup success in Connecticut.

  • Personal Income per Capita: $59,687, ranking #1 in the country
  • GDP compared to world: $54,925; some perspective, if Connecticut decided to secede from the union and become it’s own country, it would be ranked 7th most productive in the world
  • 145 Venture capital deals per 100K population, ranking 7th in the country
  • $1856 invested in R&D per capita, ranking 4th in the country
  • 142 patents per 100K workers, ranking 7th in the country
  • Home to high-tech, knowledge-based workers, with concentrations 33% greater than the national average

Connecticut’s Digital Media industry is vibrant and established, consisting of companies that provide services such as video production, software design and publishing, and more.  So, it doesn’t matter your background. There is a niche out there for anyone and everyone. Just pitch your idea!

Join us and become part of the entrepreneurial community, participating in Stamford Startup Weekend is where your journey begins!



Source: http://www.cl-p.com/downloads/Economic_Review.pdf?id=4294989353&dl=t

8 Reasons why you should attend Stamford Startup Weekend

By Will Haire

Follow Will on Twitter @DigiServices1

Stamford Startup Weekend

You may be asking yourself, “How can Stamford Startup Weekend benefit me?” or “Why should I go to Stamford Startup Weekend?” Well, we decided to compile a list of the top 8 reasons why YOU should attend Stamford Startup Weekend.

1.    The Power of Networks

The Stamford Innovation Center & Fairfield County is a hub for creativity and entrepreneurship. There will be over 100 developers, designers, engineers, marketers, and entrepreneurs looking to build their professional network and launch a Startup.

2.    Education Through Action

Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. No more theory, no dry lectures, and no pompous instructors. You will actually build your own strategy, learn from mentors and other startup professionals, and launch your business through the school of Hard Knocks. After all, we are known as the City That Works!

3.    Form a Startup Team

Whether you have the next big idea, or you want to be part of a team actively working to solve problems, you’ll be a member of a startup team! You will be making crucial decisions and be involved in the entire process start to finish.

4.    Save Money & Win Prizes!

Startup Weekend cost between $75 and $99 ($50 for students). Your ticket covers seven meals, snacks, swag, and access to exclusive resources from our global sponsors. The winning teams receive thousands of dollars worth of prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. There are even prizes just for attending the event… That’s how cool we are!

5.    Get involved in the Fairfield County Community

There is no better way to give back to your community than starting a business and stimulating the local economy through employment or local purchases.

6.    Learn a New Skill

Being a member of a Startup Team will challenge you in ways you never thought possible. You will be challenged with developing solutions for a new business and working with a team. The whole weekend is a dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Stamford Startup Weekend is the perfect opportunity to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.

7.    Launch a Business!

By participating in Stamford Startup Weekend, your goal is to develop a web or mobile application with a viable and sustainable business model. After Startup Weekend, most teams continue to develop their project and market it to the world. Who knows,  you may even start the next multi-million dollar Internet venture!

8.    Join a Global Community

Join over 30,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world. Come join the Stamford Innovation Center at our 3rd Annual Startup Weekend Event. We are committed to our community in developing local talent. Join Us!


Startup Weekend Success Story- Interview with Founder Wade Foster of Zapier

Follow Will on Twitter @DigiServices1

Listen to our interview with Wade Foster of Zapier, a Startup Weekend success story to come out of Startup Weekend Columbia, Missouri. Zapier connects the web apps you use to easily move data and automate tedious tasks. Zapier was founded by Wade Foster, Bryan Helmig, and Mike Knoop and was founded on Startup Weekend.


October 2011 Zapier won Startup Weekend Columbia, Missouri

April 2012 Zapier attended Y Combinator and relocated to Mountain View, California

March 2013 Zapier is now offering more than 200 web services to thousands of users.

Be sure to check out Zapier’s Website; www.Zapier.com

Don’t forget to follow Zapier on Twitter @Zapier and like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ZapierApp. Wade also host regular hangout on Google +, if you’d like to hang out with Wade be sure to +1 his Google page https://plus.google.com/+WadeFoster/posts.

What should I pack for Startup Weekend? Everything;)

By Will Haire

Follow Will on Twitter @DigiServices1

Ready for your Startup Weekend Camping trip

Have you ever been camping? Think of Startup Weekend like a weekend camping trip. You will have to make sure you have everything you need because you will rarely leave the space where you and your team are working. Remember, every minute counts and you do not want to waste time looking for a power cord.

Here is a list of supplies we recommend bringing:

  • Laptop, tablet, and Smartphone or any device that can be connected to the Internet. You will need this for conducting research, working, checking Facebook, and capturing key moments and sharing them with your community. Keep in mind; you are doing something cool and different with your weekend. Time to gloat!
  • Power Cords, Power Cords, Power Cords. If I had a nickel for every time I left my charger at home, I would be five cents richer. Be prepared to charge all your devices throughout the day.
  • A notebook with pens. Sometimes old fashioned written notes and sketches are the best way to communicate with new teammates.
  • A water bottle. The organizers will be providing beverages, but you want to stay hydrated throughout the weekend. Remember, dehydration makes Jack a dull boy!
  • Snacks. Once again, the organizers will be providing snacks, but if you have dietary restrictions or if you have a concoction you like to make to keep you energized and focus, by all means bring it with you.
  • Attire. Feel free to dress comfortably. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in a way that will allow you to do your best thinking and best work. I don’t think anyone will judge you if you show up in your pajamas!
  • Headphones. If you get in the “zone” and do not want to be distracted by conversations and energy surrounding you. Be prepared to tune others out and get down to business.
  • Business cards. You are going to be meeting new people and contacts you may want to keep in touch with. If you do not have business cards, you are entitled to 50 free cards from our sponsor Moo.com. (Reach out to me on twitter @DigiServices1 with your startup weekend receipt number and I’ll send you the promo code)
  • Positive Attitude: Startup Weekend is a very dynamic environment filled with highs and lows. Be prepared to go with the flow and keep an open mind and a positive attitude.

We look forward to seeing you at the Stamford Startup Weekend. Bring anything that will help with your creativity and comfort, beanbags sweat pants, and good times!

Startup Weekend Stamford’s 2014 Winners!

What a Great Weekend! The teams were preparing for their pitches till the very last minute! Everyone who attended the event was a winner, but there can only be one true winner. So, with no further ado, we have the top 3 winners of Startup Weekend Stamford!

1st Place – Pop.Up Shoppees


Utilizing recycled shipping containers and fabricating them into pop up businesses that will prove to be affordable, sustainable, and mobile… AWESOME!

2nd Place: Deja You


Social made simple. A group chat for social networks. http://www.dejayouapp.com/

3rd Place: Credit Spring


Prosper for pay-day loans, real-time, online. Get out of the pay-day loan cycle, and build a credit history. www.creditspring.us

To all participants; please review the judges comments on the Score My Pitch platform, http://scoremypitch.com/eScorecard-detail.cfm?eventID=54#.U02G8uaxLnJ.


Thank you to everyone who participated. This event was a blast, we can’t wait till next year!

Startup Weekend Stamford 2015 – Better than Ever!


Startup Weekend Stamford Banner
Startup Weekend Stamford – April 10 through 12, 2015

Have an invention or business idea? Launch with a flying start!
This year is going to be BETTER THAN EVER! Better Prizes, Better Food, Better Everything.
Of course, you are an important part of that equation!

What can you accomplish at Startup Weekend?
Everyone will:

Innovate and shape your new business idea into a viable venture.
Collaborate with developers, designers & professionals.
Incubate a venture in 54 hours!

Register alone or with fellow collaborators. Come ready to pitch your business idea and have the time of your life turning that idea into a startup business. Share the energy and excitement of collaborating with programmers, designers and business pros to launch a new business in record time.

Connecticut innovators, inventors, coders, engineers, designers, foodies, fashionistas, artists, students and professionals unite. If you have an idea for a scalable business, this is a weekend you don’t want to miss. You will complete more than some accomplish in a year trying to find the right people to work with them on an idea. Come meet collaborators, new friends, maybe even a co-founder. We are bringing in some real rock stars as coaches to support the teams. Come learn the nuances of navigating the fast paced world of startups!

48 Founder’s Dictionary: Buzzwords Every Entrepreneur Should Know (Infographic). Do you know any other words that should be added to this list?


Stamford is kicking off Startup Weekend 2015 – Early Bird Tickets Available Now.

Startup Weekend Stamford 2015 Register Now

Buy Early Bird Tickets – Now until March 6th

Startup Weekend Stamford 2015 website

Have an invention or business idea? Launch with a flying start!

Innovate and shape your new business idea into a viable venture.

Collaborate with developers, designers & professionals.

Incubate a venture in 54 hours!

Register alone or with fellow collaborators. Come have the time of your life making new friends, pitch an idea or join a team. Share the energy and excitement of collaborating with bright innovators to launch a new business in record time.

Go back to our site for more details: swstamford.org.