Startups By GrownUpsTM

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January 23, 2018 and January 25, 2018
Truth Series Workshops
  • Is this the Year to Follow Your Startup Passion?
  • Are you Ready to be a Founder? 

Stage2Startups hosted a new workshop series focused on topical issues encountered during the startup launch and growth process. 


Topics covered included:


  • lifestyle impact
  • business planning
  • operations/resource management
  • other important considerations/requirements


Moderating the discussion was Stage2Startups' co-founder and fellow solopreneur Tony Palladino.

Stage2Startups presented a "heart-to-heart" and "head-to-head" discussion about the pros and cons of solopreneurship vs. co-founders. Speakers included Columbia alums Adrienne Smith, CEO & Founder of Gridiron Queendom (a destination site for women and girls who play or love football) and Harlem Hip-Hop Tours, Julie Rothberg, co-founder of 13th & Third Wines (a new boutique wine brand she co-founded with her husband) and Craig Delsack, a startup lawyer who shared insights and answered questions on various entrepreneurial topics. Moderating the discussion was Stage2Startups' co-founder and fellow solopreneur Tony Palladino.

A funding advice panel tackled hard questions regarding how to raise money for business ventures. Panelists included PhD candidate Dana Kanze who shared her research on the funding gender gap, Julia Pimsleur who shared her experience raising funds for Little Pim and her program to help one million women create million-dollar businesses, Chuck Pettid who introduced the Republic equity crowdfunding platform, Peter Rigby who spoke about investing in high-growth ventures through Astia Angels and Laura Watkins who shared the value of participating in the Friends of ebay tech accelerator program. Moderating this team was Jeanne Gray, editor and publisher of American Entrepreneurship.

February 28, 2018
Networking Event - Get Funded, Stories by Industry Expert, Entrepreneur and Investor

Stage2Startups partnered with the Dumbo Network, an organization of tech-savvy entrepreneurs, for a joint event offering insight into one of the most significant parts of the funding process - how to prepare to pitch, the experience of pitching and what investors want to see to write the check. Speakers included Steve Smith, founder of the Jalapa Jar, Jeffrey Derose, founder of Startup Advisory Group and Spencer Lee, partner at Feenix Venture Partners.

All entrepreneurs know the challenges to getting their dreams and passions off the ground and this group of entrepreneurs shared their challenges with you. Dawn McGee Strickland, LIU-Brooklyn's Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, hosted a group of very diverse entrepreneurs as they shared their secrets and motivations for striking out on their own and going the entrepreneurial path: eBay Power Seller Kathy Terrill joined Zachary Prell, menswear designer, Judy Wong, dog paradise owner and Carlos Vassallo, livestreaming visionary as they all looked back on those early first steps of entrepreneurship.

Dawn McGee Strickland, LIU-Brooklyn's Center of Entrepreneurship's Executive Director, interviewed entrepreneur Helena Fogerty, CEO of Mi Ola, about the challenges of raising money from venture capitalists, angels, and other funders. Also providing advice on the panel were NYC Small Business Solutions specialist Calvin Fletcher who explained how NYC can help entrepreneurs find funding, Lower East Side Credit Union's representative Angel Garcia who talked about the benefits of applying for financing from a credit union and Raise the Credit and Business Kings CEO Andres Rosa who talked about the impact of personal and business credit ratings on the fundraising process.

Observation from attendees:

“I attended the event held on August 2, 2017 by Stage2Startups on different Funding options for Entrepreneurs to explore. The event location was well organized and the speakers had much valuable information to provide. However, what really appealed to me as an attendee was the choice of topics, the size, and overall environment of the event in comparison to other networking meetings that I have attended in the past. It was not that large to become overwhelming but was the right size to make it really personable and comfortable for attendees to have all their questions answered. The tone of the meeting was not formal and stuffy at all, in fact the moderator kept the mood upbeat which immediately allowed the participants to be spontaneous and the audience to have a relaxed interaction. It was also apparent that the organizers had put in a lot of thought in choosing topics that would be realistic and relevant to busy entrepreneurs. I highly recommend Stage2Startups and encourage those interested to attend their upcoming events.”
- Priya Thacker – CEO, Vedic Synergy, Inc. ,

"Funding Options for Mid-Life Startup Founders & Experienced Entrepreneurs was a well organized and informative seminar and panel discussion. While the content and information provided by the speakers and organizer were superlative, what set this event apart was its intimate local business workshop feel. People engaged in spirited discussion, learned new ways of thinking about financing, and shared stories and information that provided direction and a solid foundation for further action." 
- Franklin Abrams - Partner,

September 26, 2017
Business Partners - The Search, the Equity Split, the Agreements

A moderated discussion about finding, motivating and keeping business partners as your business grows from concept to reality to growing entity to company sale! This was a "let down your guard, heart-to-heart talk" among current and new entrepreneurs, those looking for partners and those looking to be partners about this most important and often overlooked (because its hard!) aspect of the startup/growth process. This session was only for entrepreneurs or potential partners, not for vendors interested in selling services or products. The intent was to do some brainstorming and share best practices and lessons learned with the intent to make your next partnership arrangement stronger.

Seasoned entrepreneurs shared their experience and insight on their own journey from employee to startup founder. Panelists included former CIO and SVP of MetLife Larry Blakeman (now COO of QuaEra Insights, a data analytics consulting firm), former editor in chief of McCall's Sally Koslow (now a 5X self-employed author who embraces the gig economy), founder of HudsonWay Immersion School Sharon Huang, and founder and CEO of DMOS Collective Susan Pieper. Moderating this event was Carlos Vassallo, serial entrepreneur and COO of, a live streaming platform, who was also a corporate escapee from IBM, and Kathy Terrill, an ebay power seller, actress and business coach who is founder of

August 2, 2017
Funding Options for Mid-life Startup Founders & Experienced Entrepreneurs
August 30, 2017
From Employee to Startup Founder

Stage2Startups held a discussion about the benefits and challenges of having a board of advisors or board of directors for a growing startup. Speakers included Alicia Syrett, founder of Point 25 and CEO of Pantegrion Capital, entrepreneurial lawyer Craig Delsack and Kobi Wu, founder and CEO of Visuwall Technologies. Moderating our panel was Michael Smith, founder of Experienced Professionals Agency and Pathwise Consulting. Special thank you to Robert Half for hosting the event in their space.

October 11, 2018
Advisors vs Directors: Which is better for a startup or growing company?

Stage2Startups hosted a panel of entrepreneurs discussing the joys and challenges of creating their own startups. Speakers included Jackie Sencion, Founder & President of fashion labels LaLumia, Jaksen, Tiger Lilly and LaLu, Mark Dingle, Co-founder of Soulphia, an international social impact startup and Emelie Smith Calbick, CMO and co-founder of a location-based marketing startup Placecodes. Senior Editor at AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin George Mannes moderated this event.

Stage2Startups gave pointers on how to make elevator pitches by having future entrepreneurs practice their 10 second intros around the room. Group exercises included  how to comfortably tell your story in 10 seconds.


Thanks to Coalition Space for hosting this event.

July 26, 2018
Startups by Grownups - Transitions from Employees to Startup Founders
May 24, 2018 and June 21, 2018
Entrepreneurs Research Coffee Hours

Half hour lunch/coffee meetings for entrepreneurs to connect with their peers and do free market research on their business ideas - what to offer, how to price, how to promote, etc...

Stage2Startups partnered with Galvanize to co-host a discussion about protecting intellectual property. Speakers included Patent Attorney and IP Counsel Franklin Abrams of Springut Law PC and Jessica Sobhraj, CEO of Cosynd, an easy, cost-effective platform for content creators to collaboratively determine ownership of IP, monetize IP and minimize liability.'s founder, editor and publisher Jeanne Gray moderated this event.

December 6, 2018
Holiday Networking: Around the Room 10 Second Pitches!
June 14, 2018
Protecting Your Intellectual Property for Branding and Product Development
April 25, 2018
Networking and Corporate Structure's Impact on Taxes & Funding
March 20, 2018
How to Transition to Food, Music & Jewelry Industries

Entrepreneurs from the food, music and jewelry industries shared their experience of launching and running their own businesses. Speakers included Anastasia Wright (CEO of IMG Agency + Records and executive director of Minds Behind the Music Inc.), Rachel Roth (CEO of OperaNuts) and Mehul Sompura (CEO of DiamondHedge). Moderating this event was Kathrine Gregory, founder of Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen.

Stage2Startups held a New Ideas Generation Workshop geared towards individuals and teams looking to find fresh, targeted, effective ideas to solve problems and improve products. This informative workshop was taught by Stage2Startups' co-founder and founder of CEO Global Resources Inc., Betty Wong.

Stage2Startups held a Finance Modeling Workshop geared towards entrepreneurs looking to develop a financial model for the purpose of managing their business and securing funding from investors. This informative workshop was taught by Stage2Startups' co-founder and award-winning CPA, Tony Palladino.

April 28, 2018
Discover Your Future Startup! - New Ideas Generation Workshop

Stage2Startups partnered with the Dumbo Network to host an informative discussion about the strategy behind choosing a corporate structure, its consequences for future funding founders, insight into different debt instruments that can help you raise funds and advice on how to legally minimize taxation. Speakers included Robert Moses, of SCORE, Faith Mitton of and NYC Business Solutions Advisor Stephany Reyes-Seri.

April 28, 2018
Build a Fundable Startup Financial Model in 1 Morning Workshop

Stage2Startups held a panel discussion about what life is like when you leave your job and become an entrepreneur. Speakers included sports coach and wellness guru Jim Norris, author Joyce Slayton Mitchell, diversity coach and author Betty Ng and food and hospitality entrepreneur Amanda Pilar Smith. Moderating our panel was Judy Messina, Center for an Urban Future's business researcher. Special thanks to Sullivan & Worcester LLP for hosting the event in their space.

November 27, 2018
Networking + Startups by Grownups: Employee to Founder Stories