Impact Hub DC is proud to sponsor this year’s  Startup Weekend DC Social Impact Edition! If you think you have a great idea that will change the world for the better, bring it here because this is the place to launch it!

During Startup Weekend you can pitch your idea, form a team, validate your concept, build your product, and present your work to a panel of esteemed judges – all in just 54 hours!  Any idea that helps the world become a better place is welcome. Your concept can include those that help people form better habits (e.g., HelloWallet or activity trackers), assist people in using natural resources more efficiently (e.g.,OPOWER), have a related social mission (e.g., SoapBoxSoaps or Toms Shoes), or support social entrepreneurship (e.g., Kiva). Washington, D.C. is home to hundreds of influential international development, non-profit, and socially-conscious organizations that are making a positive impact on global problems like poverty and climate change. Startup Weekend DC Social Impact Edition will bring together entrepreneurial minds like you to tap into this thriving ecosystem to address some of the world’s most pressing social problems and make a positive difference in local and global communities.

“Through the Social Impact Edition, changemakers in Washington DC will finally have an opportunity to come together to learn new ways to solve problems, rapidly test, validate, and execute concepts, and launch companies with a social impact component,” says Babs Lee, Startup Weekend DC organizer.  “They’ll also be able to tap into a vast amount of resources, such as mentors who are Presidential Innovation Fellows and impact investors such as Village Capital. This Startup Weekend can be the catalyst for true innovation to make the world a better place and build excitement to do so.”


It’s time for the rise of the impact entrepreneur, and there’s no better place than Washington DC and no better time than now.

Startup Weekend DC Social Impact Edition Judges, Coaches, Mentors + More


Nasir Qadree

Sr Associate, Village Capital

Village Capital, Impact Hub DC member organization, sources, trains and invests in seed-stage entrepreneurs with business solutions to major global problems. Village Capital’s unique investment model puts the power of investment in the hands of the entrepreneurs, who award two $50,000+ investment prizes to the ventures ranked highest by their peers at the end of every program. Over the past 5 years, program graduates have reached 6 million customers, created over 7,000 jobs, and raised more than $110 million in follow-on capital. To date, 93% of portfolio companies are still in business.

Mark Newberg
Director, Impact Strategies at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

Mark Newberg is Director of Impact Strategies for Womble Carlyle, where he is helping launch an Impact Economy practice and develop an integrated Impact Team that is dedicated to supporting the growth of businesses and entrepreneurs in the Impact Economy.  Mark provides consulting services to help Impact-focused companies design and implement their Impact-related objectives.Mark also serves as the Managing Director of Impact Investment Strategies for 5 Stone Green Capital. At 5 Stone, he has designed and led firm-wide “layered impact” strategies, incorporating impact principles into each project, in ways that support the core business while producing tangible external benefits.Additionally, Mark serves as President of T2 Venture Creation and helps produce the annual Global Innovation Summit in Silicon ValleyMark was previously a Senior Policy Advisor at the US Small Business Administration, where he led impact investing policy efforts and helped lead the Startup America: Reducing Barriers series as part of his high-growth entrepreneurship and innovation portfolio. Prior to his time at SBA, he was a post-Katrina Advisor to the New Orleans City Council, focusing on big picture policy issues in the recovery. Currently based in Washington, DC, he is a frequent speaker on issues of impact and has written occasional opinion pieces for various outlets. Mark holds a BA from Tulane University, a JD from Tulane Law School, and was a Visiting Student at Harvard Law School.

Kate Ahern
Vice President, Social Innovation, The Case Foundation

Kate Ahern is Vice President, Social Innovation at the Case Foundation, where she oversees a portfolio of grants and activities that invest in people and ideas that can change the world. Kate leads the Foundation’s impact investing initiatives, which aim to bring the talent and resources of the private sector into the business of solving social problems. Previously at Case, Kate led pro bono campaign A Billion + Change, the largest corporate commitment of skills-based volunteer service in the United States. She also led engagement with Partners for a New Beginning, a public-private partnership dedicated to building engagement in the Muslim world, and Change By Us, an online platform that lets people get offline to work together to better their communities.

Prior to the Case Foundation, Kate was Director of Business Development at Pyxera Global, where she managed international development, pro bono supply chain, and corporate responsibility programs for Fortune 500 companies and US government agencies in emerging markets worldwide. She is currently on the board of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, a Council on Foundations affinity group. Kate has a master’s degree from American University’s School of International Service, where she is also a Practitioner Affiliate.

Jennifer Garson
Tech-to-Market Analyst, Strategic Programs, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Jennifer Garson manages a multi-million dollar portfolio of commercialization-focused activities on the Tech-to-Market Team in Strategic Programs for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.




Frank Taylor
Founder, CEO

Frank is the Founder and CEO of Restin, the only national provider of robotic massage chairs for rent and lease. Restin helps brands like Bank of America, Hyundai, IBM, Sprint, Under Armour, and Wells Fargo improve event marketing initiatives by delivering a captive audience, increased talk time, and valuable new customer relationships. To support local businesses and start-ups, Frank helped build Fosterly, a community organization that has connected thousands of entrepreneurs through an online platform and dozens of events. Frank is currently the Director of Collaborate – The Innovator’s Conference, produced by Fosterly. He has also mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs through Lean Startup Machine workshops, teaching principles of customer development and rapid iteration.

Ben Getson
Presidential Innovation Fellow – IRS

Ben’s specialties include product management and design, software design.
The Presidential Innovation Fellows is a White House program that pairs talented, diverse technologists and innovators with top civil-servants and change-makers working at the highest levels of the federal government. The Fellows collaborate with each other and federal agency partners on high-profile initiatives aimed at saving lives, saving taxpayer money, fueling job creation, and building the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within government.


Bosco So
Presidential Innovation Fellow – DoE

Bosco So is a Presidential Innovation Fellow working on Data Innovation initiatives at the Department of Energy. Bosco is a software engineer with extensive experience in application development and a passion for building communities and connecting people. Bosco has designed & implemented numerous web and desktop products in a variety of languages and systems. At Indiegogo, he has been instrumental in building out both the technology stack and the engineering team. He is also a proponent of rapid mobile development technologies. Prior to Indiegogo, he designed & deployed API services and mobile & console clients. Bosco organizes the San Francisco Ruby Meetup, which has grown from 37 to over 6000 members during the past 8 years. Bosco holds a Computer Science degree from MIT. After graduating, he joined the Peace Corps and taught high school in Liberia, West Africa, and later returned to the region as a Geekcorps volunteer. He now lives in San Francisco. In his spare time, Bosco is either attending hackathons, teaching Ruby, or riding his bicycle.


Marc Carr
Founder, Social Solutions; DC+Acumen Board Chair

Marc’s passion for social justice and entrepreneurship has led him to work on civil rights campaigns in the deep south, and organize community forums in the U.S. and West Africa on issues related to social enterprise and community development. Marc’s professional experience includes heading the sales division of a major international corporation in Ghana, West Africa and consulting for the United Nations Foundation.  Marc is the founder of Social Solutions, an organization devoted to crowd sourcing tech solutions to solve intractable social problems. Social Solutions produces a monthly event series entitled the Social Innovation Lab.  The Social Innovation Lab brings together a community of creative individuals, from a variety of backgrounds with the purpose of designing tech-focused solutions to social challenges.  The Social Innovation Lab is held the last Sunday of each month.

Jeremy Sookhoo
Venture Analyst at Calvert Special Equities

Seema Patel

Division Chief, Collective Acceleration at The Global Development Lab, USAID

Seema Patel is the Division Chief for Collective Acceleration at the Global Development Lab at the U.S. Agency for International Development. She leads a team that invests in open innovation and systems innovation approaches to foster collaboration across global innovation networks and accelerate the adoption of solutions to complex development challenges.

About Startup Weekend:

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 events in over 100 countries and 600 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 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 co-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!