Recurring Events

1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a monthly meetup of entrepreneurs from around the Capital Region. Each meetup consists of two presentations from entrepreneurs about what they’re doing and their journey thus far. They end with an ask for the community which comes together to help these entrepreneurs. Learn more about future events at the 1 Million Cups Albany website.

Power Breakfast Club

Power Breakfast Club is a weekly meetup group of entrepreneurs, creatives, and change makers in the Capital Region who meet every Tuesday morning from 6:30am - 8:00am. IgniteU hosts Power Breakfast Club every first Tuesday of the month. Join the Power Breakfast Club Facebook Group below to be informed of new meetups.

Sandler Sales Training Workshop

October 15th, 2019 | 6:30pm - 8:30PM | IgniteU

You will learn how to identify and comfortably connect with your ideal prospect in a meaningful manner, create a concise 30 second commercial, develop an engaging prospecting script, and start by engaging with assistants and other gatekeepers.

Topics to be covered include:

  • suspects vs prospects

  • profiling your ideal prospect

  • your competitive advantage

  • your 30 second commercial

  • engaging gatekeepers

  • creating the no-pressure prospecting call

  • creating the up front objection prospecting call

Attendance will be limited to 20 participants and will be highly selective.

IgniteU Startup Showcase

August 5th, 2019 | 5:30PM - 8:30PM | Brown’s Revolution Hall

IgniteU invites you to join us to celebrate the completion of the 2019 Summer Accelerator Program with Startup Showcase. Hear from the eight companies that have been growing and scaling with us over the past eight weeks. Enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres, an evening of pitches, and networking with the business community.

The event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP so we have an accurate catering headcount.

We are also looking for cash and in-kind sponsorships for the event. Please take a look at the sponsorship page linked below if you’re interested in sponsoring.

Beer and Business

July 15th, 2019 | 5:30pm - 8:30pm | IgniteU

IgniteU invites you to join us on July 15th, 2019 to meet the companies in our summer accelerator program along with an evening of networking, hors d'oeuvres, and drinks. The eight teams in our cohort are eager to chat with you about their companies, the progress that they've made thus far, and where they are headed in the future.

Pathways to Leadership

May 21st, 2019 | 6pm - 8pm | IgniteU

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IgniteU MWBE Showcase

May 13th, 2019 | 5:30pm - 8:30 PM | IgniteU

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IgniteU invites you to join us as we close out our 2019 MWBE Accelerator Program with an evening of networking, pitches, and a great community. Seven companies entered the program in mid-April, and you will hear from our four graduates. They have spent the last four weeks with IgniteU scaling their operations, increasing their customer base, and perfecting their pitches for you to see. Teams will be competing for a prize package and will be judged by experts from the community.

Come support the teams and enjoy some Hors d'oeuvres and beverages.

Game Dev Mixer with Special Guest: Jason Della Rocca

May 7th, 2019 | 5pm - 7:30pm | IgniteU


The Center for Economic Growth and the RPI Digital Game Hub invite you to join them for an evening of excitement on Tuesday, May 7th at Ignite U. The evening's special guest will be Jason Della Rocca, a game industry entrepreneur, funding advisor, and cluster expert. Registration starts at 5:00 PM and will be followed by a brief presentation where Jason will discuss current funding models in the game industry, and help studios understand the massive difference between funding a project, versus your studio. Light refreshments will be served.

Jason Della Rocca is a game industry entrepreneur, funding advisor, and cluster expert. He specializes in business/partnership development, pitching/funding, and ecosystem/cluster development.

As the co-founder of Executions Labs, he was a hands-on early stage investor to over 20 independent game studios from North America and Europe. Between 2000-09 he served as the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), and was honored for his industry building efforts with the inaugural Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Conference. In 2009, Jason was named to Game Developer Magazine’s “Power50,” a list which profiles 50 of the most important contributors to the state of the game industry. As a sought after expert on the game industry, Jason has lectured at conferences and universities worldwide.

Techstars Startup Weekend

March 29th, 2019 5pm - March 31st 6pm | IgniteU


The 7th Annual Techstars Startup Weekend in the Capital Region of NY is presented by: IgniteU NY, Sage School of Management, Troy Innovation Garage, In Focus Brands, CampusPro, Innovate 518.

Techstars Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Techstars Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Techstars Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

Finding Your Ideal Customer: Filling the Sales Funnel

March 5th, 2019 | 5:30PM - 7:30PM | IGniteU

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IgniteU teamed up with Sandler Training, an internationally recognized leader in sales training, to develop a two hour primer to help revenue generating startups increase their sales in 2019.

Participants will become familiar with the process to identify, organize and track activities required to achieve sales goals. We will discuss proper prospecting behaviors, create a prospecting "cookbook", and complete a prospecting activities worksheet. At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to identify the activities required to reach sales goals and develop an appropriate plan to implement the identified activities.

Attendance will be limited to 20 participants and will be highly selective.

Beyond Cryptocurrency: How Blockchain Technology Can Drive Economic Development in Upstate New York

February 28th, 2019 | 12PM - 2PM | Saratoga City Center


When it comes to transaction efficiency and security, blockchain technology is redefining how information is shared globally. What does that mean for the Capital Region? What problem does blockchain technology solve? How can businesses and government tap its potential—and overcome its current limitations? In this Lunch and Learn session, local and regional innovators and technology experts will share their insights regarding blockchain technology and its impact in areas such as financial services, government, real estate, and healthcare. Following a moderated discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions to the panel directly, as well as participate in post-event networking.

Tickets are $10 each, plus handling. Lunch will be provided.

Registration is limited, so be sure to secure your spot today.

Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises(MWBE) Workshop

February 26th, 2019 | 4PM - 6PM | IgniteU


The New York State Minority and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprise(MWBE) Certification provides many benefits to certified companies. Learn about the MWBE certification process, hear from MWBE certified companies, and have your questions answered in our interactive two hour workshop.

1 Million Cups

February 20th, 2019 | 8am - 9am | IgniteU

NOTE: Due to inclement weather, 1 Million Cups has been rescheduled to February 20th, 2019.


Based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and engage with their communities over a million cups of coffee, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups in 2012—a free program designed to educate, engage and inspire entrepreneurs around the country. Through the power of volunteers, 1 Million Cups has grown to more than 180 communities.

Our first presentation is from Joseph Jacobs, Founder & CEO of AltruisTech with his first product called AfterReach. AfterReach is aimed at supporting those who have recently lost a loved one. When someone experiences a loss, the desire to help them is universal. We say, "Let me know how I can help," attend a service, send flowers, and sign the book. But after the services is when people need the most support. Joseph has mapped out a software solution for funeral directors.

Our second presentation is from an experienced restaurateur from Troy, Heidi Knoblauch. She's working on her next venture called ReceiptHQ, a result of a huge problem she identified in the restaurant industry - paper receipts. Restaurants that use paper receipts have to keep them for at least 18 months in order to combat chargebacks. Storing receipts ends up being expensive and inefficient. The ReceiptHQ solution provides restaurant owners with easy access and insights to their customer data.

Come out to support the presenters, network with the community, and fill up on complementary coffee and refreshments.

The AI Opportunity: Developing an AI Ecosystem in Upstate New York

January 24th, 2019 | 12PM - 2PM | Saratoga City Center

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What is artificial intelligence? Why does AI matter? What opportunities does it present locally and regionally? In this Lunch and Learn event, panelists will share ideas, experiences, and viewpoints about AI technology, research and development, ethics, and policies. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session and network with professionals in the industry who share common goals. 

Attendance is free but limited to 100. Lunch will be provided.

Panelists include Bob Bedard, the President and CEO of deFacto Global, Inc., the software company behind the creation of a regional AI Center of Excellence; Dr. Craig Skevington, CEO of managed service provider STEADfast IT, which utilizes AI in its high-tech help desk; and Colin Garvey, a Ph.D. student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) specializing in AI risk governance.

Hosted by City of Saratoga Springs, IgniteU NY, and Saratoga Springs Smart City Commission.


12 pm - Registration and lunch

12:30 pm - Introductions, overview, and panel discussion

1:30 pm - Networking

Funding Roundtable Series

October 25th, 2018 | November 29th, 2018 | December 13th, 2018

1:00PM - 3:00PM | IgniteU

This invite-only Funding Roundtable Series consist of three, two-hour long sessions covering important information you need to know before raising money for your startup. This roundtable series is targeted towards startups that are currently in the process of raising money or will be seeking funding in the near future.

  • Session 1 - October 25th, 2018 1:00PM - 3:00PM: Q&A Panel Discussion - Types of funding, the pros and cons of startup funding, and how to approach funding

  • Session 2 - November 29th, 2018 1:00PM - 3:00PM: Financial Projections Workshop - Creating relevant and conversation-starting financial projections for your business plan and pitches

  • Session 3 - December 13th, 2018 1:00PM - 3:00PM: Term Sheet Construction: The Ask - Elements needed in a term sheet for funding and what to avoid

Pitch Workshop

October 30th, 2018 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm | IgniteU

Join IgniteU in this special invite-only Pitch Workshop to learn how to craft a more impactful pitch for your startup. Learn how to start business conversations with potential customers, investors, and partners in this two-hour hands-on workshop. This workshop is perfect for early stage startups looking for assistance on creating clear and unique messaging, pitches, and elevator talking points.

The workshop will include interactive activities to build your pitch deck and to get a clear vision of WHY your startup should be funded, engaged, and/or joined.

Over $2 Million was awarded in 2017 with this system through pitch competitions alone.


October 18th, 2018 | 3:00 pm - 7:00pm | IgnitEU

IgniteU teamed up with Mission Accomplished Transition Services to host the ninth part of the Passion Academy mini-conference series.

Successful serial entrepreneur Bob Manasier and Mission Accomplished Transition Services Chief Coach and Founder Carmen "Coach Carmen" Duncan discussed branding strategies for young professional and young entrepreneurs.

Startup Showcase

August 2nd, 2018 | 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM | IgniteU

The 2018 IgniteU Startup Showcase was the final event of our summer program and thanks to the hard work of staff, teams, and the wonderful audience it ran smoothly and successfully!  Thank you to all the wonderful attendees and to the teams for working all summer long, it was a wonderful evening.

IgniteU Coffee and Companies

July 25th, 2018 | 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM | SEFCU Community Room, Center of Gravity

The IgniteU Coffee and Companies was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who joined us in the early morning and gave their feedback to our cohort.

Halfway Pitch

July 10th, 2018 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM | IgniteU

Thank you to our panelists for their incredible feedback and congratulations to all of our teams for successfully making it halfway through the program!

Open House

June 12th, 2018 | 5:00 - 8:00 PM | IgniteU

The IgniteU Summer Accelerator Open House was a huge success with over 100 people in attendance.  Thank you to everyone who came out and participated!