Hack Upstate is THIS WEEKEND!

Meet your judges.

Tom Tongue

Tom Tongue is the Executive Director of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, a space that combines coworking, a makerspace, a learning environment and community resources in Troy, New York. The space is membership based and offers everything from business workshops to tech classes (like making virtual reality applications) to writing groups to hackathons. It offers events for all ages and even hosts Saturday family workshops. Their calendar of events is impressive to say the least and there are a number of membership tiers to choose from.

Needless to say, I’m sure in his tenure as the ED for TVCoG, Tom has seen a broad range of projects. He also spent 20 years as an entrepreneur with a focus on building emerging technology companies, so if you are considering making your Hack Upstate project something more long term, he would be a great person to talk to.

You can follow Tom on Twitter here.

David Brenner & Oscar Pedroso

You may remember Oscar Pedroso from the project GradFly, the repository for hardware projects that he discussed at Hack Upstate a couple years ago. Now he and David Brenner have teamed up to create Thimble, a hardware project subscription box.

Thimble.io, based in Buffalo, had an incredibly successful kickstarter. (Full disclosure, I am a backer and can’t wait to receive my first kit in the mail.) Oscar and David are creating projects for tinkerers that involve both hardware and software components. As such, they are well-versed in the judging the multidisciplinary project aspect of Hack Upstate projects as well as the creative/novelty criteria.

You can follow Oscar on Twitter here, David here and Thimble here.

Marcello Prattico

Marcello Prattico is the founder of Astrochimp, a local web design and development firm. He is also the engineering manager for attn:, a content platform that covers important societal topics and incorporates meaningful calls to action. Attn: also has a number of positions open, so if you are hunting for a new challenge, make sure you connect .

Marcello has spent the last fifteen years or so working locally at many of the Syracuse flagship businesses as a web developer. His experience working with so many businesses, developers and with a variety of platforms and languages will make him a valuable asset to the judging panel.

You can follow Marcello on Twitter here.

As usual, Hack Upstate has aligned an excellent panel of judges for demo day. Now we just need to make sure the projects work.

See you there, and if you haven’t registered yet, do it now!

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