SWHK - Women in Tech

    Friday, April 21 - 23, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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SWHK - Women in Tech

Friday, April 21 - 23, 2017

Friday, April 21 - 23, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

2/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Rd E
Hong Kong, Hong Kong 00

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Inspiring More Women Leaders in Founding Startup Teams

We are thrilled to be hosting Hong Kong’s first Startup Weekend Women in Tech Edition presented by INFINITI.

The hardest part of starting up is starting out, Startup Weekend targets exactly this by immersing participants in the ideal environment for startup magic to happen. Our goal is to encourage and inspire more female leaders in startup teams and to connect more women to the vast number of resources and mentors available in our startup community. That's why we want you to be part of this weekend and join some of the most talented and entrepreneurial-minded women across our community.

For this Women in Tech edition, we are joining forces with INFINITI to multiply your chances of success 💪. On top of getting support from exceptional coaches and judges, you will be working at the INFINITI LAB, a co-working space on the second floor of the brand's flagship showroom in Wanchai.

Together with INFINITI, we are committed to empower entrepreneurs pitch their best idea, build a dream team and create the next startup unicorn!
More than ever, this edition will be "No Talk, All Action".

Do I have to pitch an idea in the mobility or smart city industry? NO! We are opening the floor to the best ideas and we count on you to surprise us with your creativity.

I have questions, who should I ask? Almost every question is answered here: https://startupweekend.org/attendees/faq
Otherwise, simply email us at hk.women@startupweekend.org with anything!

What is Startup Weekend?

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, 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, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

Whether you come to start a company, find a cofounder, 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!


INFINITI Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with representations in 50 markets around the world. The INFINITI brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and China.  INFINITI plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017.

INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.

INFINITI is in the middle of a major product offensive. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its daring design and innovative driver-assistance technologies.

From the 2016 season, INFINITI is a technical partner of the Renault Sport Formula One team, contributing its expertise in hybrid performance.

More information about INFINITI and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.INFINITI.com. You can also follow INFINITI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

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Friday April 21st

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday April 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday April 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:00 pm
Young Makers & ChangeMakers (YMCM)
Bringing girls from TechnovationHK #GirlsMakeTech program to pitch their mobile app solutions to address UN Sustainable Development Goals in Hong Kong

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Cristina Ventura
Chief Catalyst Officer, Lane Crawford Joyce Group

Cristina has been working in Luxury, Retail and Technology for the past 20 years, working for the world’s most prestigious brands connecting creativity and innovation. She is currently Chief Catalyst Officer reporting to the Chairman & CEO of LCJG, Asia’s pre-eminent luxury lifestyle Group. She is responsible to forge connections with global thought leaders, disruptors and game changers beyond retail, to bring knowledge and create a diverse network for the Group, stimulating ideas and new ways to partner. She is leading thecage.io, a unique development program targeting startups building B2B technologies and/or services that apply to fashion & lifestyle retail.

Lindsay Jang
CEO & Co-founder of MISSBISH

Lindsay Jang is a serial entrepreneur; Co-Founding and Co-Owning of some of the most raved about restaurants in Hong Kong, including Yardbird, RŌNIN and Sunday's Grocery. 

In the middle of her busy lifestyle as a yoga enthusiast and the mother of two, she also founded various projects including MISSBISH, a digital magazine that focuses on women’s fashion, fitness and lifestyle. Lindsay brings with her extensive experiences as one of the most talked about female entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and is the perfect judge for this Women in Tech Startup Weekend Edition.

Sheelpa Patel
Senior Manager, INFINITI LAB Global Business Transformation & Brand

Sheelpa leads the INFINITI LAB, a transformational platform connecting entrepreneurs with the Smart Cities & IOT ecosystem. The INFINITI LAB includes the first automotive brand accelerator in Hong Kong, now scaling globally. She oversees marketing & partnership efforts to attract the best startup talent from around the world, including participating in the selection process. Sheelpa proactively integrates startups into the business, enabling visibility and access to relevant subject matter experts. This has resulted in a global stage for Smart Cities & IOT founders to raise their profile and secure investment.

Sheelpa’s global marketing career has spanned Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia where she managed high profile sponsorship campaigns at the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup and for American Express.

Niamh Given
Head of Programmes at Nest.vc

Niamh is Head of Programmes at Nest and is responsible for all corporate programmes across Nest Innovation and Metta. She has a deep background in tech startups as well as corporate experience at PCH.

She joins Nest with over 12 years operations experience, focussing on strategic growth and development of new business units. With over 8 years experience working in product development in China and co-founder of her own online wine startup, she has worked extensively with both Fortune 500 companies and with startups helping them to bring their products to the global marketplace.

At PCH, Niamh led the team that enabled hardware startups to navigate the complexities of manufacturing product at scale, reducing time to market and minimising risk. Niamh was also a pivotal founding member of Highway1, a premier hardware accelerator based in San Francisco that has brought over 60 hardware startups through a 4 month accelerator program and raised over $80M in funding.

Niamh is passionate about travel, sports, food and of course, startups!

Coaches and Mentors

Guillermo Ginesta

Guillermo has  over 10 years’ experience in Innovation and Digital Transformation. He’s worked with a number of startups as an advisor/consultant and with large corporations and multinationals pushing innovation and driving digital strategies. He currently runs the INFINITI LAB Accelerator program globally. Past experience includes INFINITI Motors, Oregon Scientific, Speedo, Lacoste, Ted Baker, Cosme De Net, as well as sitting on the Board of Directors for the Chilean Chamber of Commerce and being on the Advisory Board of a number of not-for-profit organisations, like AARAMBH India. He has worked with over 50+ startups and is an active Angel Investor. Guillermo has a BSc in Management (hons) and a Masters’ degree, MSc Marketing & Strategy, all from the University of Warwick. When not found working with startups and founders, he can be seen hiking around Hong Kong with his crazy dog.

Castor Hui
Senior Manager Global Transformation at INFINITI

As a corporate entrepreneur, I am never afraid to get my hands dirty when I seek to push the boundaries on new solutions. Whether I am drawing insights from different cultures or learning about the “pantone” of your logo, I am continuously absorbing new ways to engage with consumers. From the bottom up – through the eyes of the customers and end-users - I envision new products not as static objects, but as a fluid extension of a brand’s story and corporate strategy.

Paul Troublé
Manager, INFINITI Asia & Oceania

Although having never (yet!) been directly involved in the founding of a company, Paul has extensive experience in entrepreneurial projects within multinational corporates. Prior to his current role within INFINITI Asia’s regional marketing and communications team, Paul started and led INFINITI LAB Hong Kong, the brand’s first and principal venture into the entrepreneurial world. He was also part of the core team that successfully founded Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse department, the Italian supercar manufacturer’s first structured, official venture into professional motorsport.

Kelly Yau

Entrepreneurial by nature, Kelly helps companies grow their communities by creating strategies that bridge thought leadership and business development. 

Kelly is passionate about marketing and creating compelling digital and live content. She specialises in planning and executing digital marketing strategies that builds new audiences and in producing award-winning live events. 

Her work is focused on gathering customer intelligence and creating engaging thought leadership content: from producing promo and short form online video content, influencer collaborations, writing white papers to designing regional consumer research and hosting exclusive round-tables.

In her extensive experience, Kelly has in depth knowledge and experience in creating content for many industries including digital marketing, media and entertainment, finance, aviation and automotive.

Outside of work, Kelly is an enthusiastic home cook and a food columnist in Hong Kong’s most widely read “Foodie” magazine and the winner of TV cooking competition on TVB (HK's main free-to-air network). She has been in Hong Kong for over five years and has held regional positions in Asia. 

Sarah Cottee
Head of Partnerships at Firetree Asia Foundation

With a comprehensive background in the non-profit field, Sarah, who majored in Politics at Nottingham University in the UK, has vast experience in Asia working through challenges and finding creative solutions to achieve measurable impact for marginalised communities. For the last three years, she’s been working within Foundations whose focus is investing in true social change by providing strategic planning support, as well as grants of up to US$1M. She works with locally led non-profits, advising them on how to be impactful and collaborate to achieve change, as well as with smaller social businesses who want to increase their community involvement. Outside of work, she loves to travel and meet likeminded changemakers!

Ashley Galina
Head of Strategy ChoZan

Ashley worked in China for 5 years before moving to Hong Kong in 2010. For over 10 years she worked with Chinese social media, opinion leader marketing and creative campaigns. In 2011 Ashley established Alarice International, a marketing agency with a focus on Chinese social media. In 2013 she co-founded the Russian Business Club in Hong Kong and in 2016, she launched ChoZan, a membership platform for China-focused marketeers. Ashley often shares her knowledge and experience in a variety of magazines, including SCMP, China Daily, Hong Kong Economic Times, WeiPo Daily, Jumpstart Magazine, Do Marketing, Macau Business Daily and others. Moreover, Ashley is a frequent speaker at General Assembly, WeChat Conference, Women Foundation, The Rotary Club, The Executive Group, TEDx and others.

Erin Ford
Director of Partnerships, Techstars

Highly skilled and accomplished Customer Relationship Management and Operations Manager with more than 15 years of recognized leadership experience who consistently delivers high customer satisfaction levels. Effective communicator who is adept at optimizing resources, building relationships, generating cost savings and promoting innovative solutions in complex environments.

Nio Liyanage
Head of Startup Strategy at NEST.vc | Founder of StartUpRIGHT.net

A founder specialising in strategic advisory, Nio is deeply integrated into the startup ecosystem. With degrees in Engineering and Business, he started his career at Apple before building extensive experience as a Management Consultant at top tier firms over six years. In addition to co-founding numerous startups, Nio went on to develop a highly profitable business-building boutique which has provided strategic & fundraising support to over one hundred ventures. He holds equity and advisory roles in several high-growth businesses and is a sought-after speaker, educator and mentor. Having lived in four vastly different countries, Nio speaks five languages (none fluently!) and gets overly excited about sport, philanthropy and technology.

Oko Davaasuren
Regional Director at Techstars

Oko (Full name: Bat-oktyabri Davaasuren, Даваасүрэн овогтoй Бат-октябрь) is an active founder and a community builder. He has cofounded and helps run several startups in Asia. Oko has received a bachelors degree in Finance from Portland State University before continuing onto a masters degree in Engineering Technology Management but decided to return home to Mongolia. He then received his MBA in Mongolia. When he is not working, he can be found on Squash courts or on long-haul Motorbike rides in Asia.

Olivia Lee
Digital Publisher and Co-founder of The Closeteur

Hailing from Canada, Olivia is an entrepreneur with a passion for fashion and technology. Her professional experience includes 3+ years as the brand manager of the luxury Swiss watch brand Parmigiani; a director of a professional fundraising company that has raised over USD 20M for charities in Hong Kong and Asia. She is a contributor writer on international publications, is an opinion leader on topics such as technology and luxury.
In 2015 she created and co-founded The Closeteur Magazine, Hong Kong's first interactive and digital magazine dedicated to fashion and conscious lifestyle.

Ms Natalie Chan
Founder of OWN Academy

Natalie was an engineer by studies, corporate by lifestyle, independent film producer by choice, and now an educator by freedom and mission.

Today, Natalie focuses her efforts in projects with educational and social purposes. Her recent production Dream On, is a doco-reality series with a social mission, helping marginalized individuals to believe in the power of their dreams. With education as her passion, Natalie founded OWN Academy with the undertaking of engineering an alternative education system in Hong Kong and beyond, providing personalized, decentralized and democratized education

Jon Clifford
Business Development Executive, Techstars

1. Integrity is of the utmost importance
2. Be kind. Everyone is fighting a hard battle
3. Hustle, hustle, hustle

Nicole Denholder
Founder & CEO, Next Chapter Ventures

Nicole Denholder is the founder and CEO of Next Chapter.

Next Chapter launched in late 2015, and is a funding portal especially for female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses in Asia, to improve their access to funding. It’s first service is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform that supports entrepreneurs wanting to raise funds, create market buzz and validate their business ideas.

Nicole previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in London and Hong Kong in PwC’s US IPO and Advisory practices working on large scale projects across Europe and Asia.

Nicole is passionate about female entrepreneurship, and changing the way the funding system works so that the world benefits more from the talent and wisdom of women.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The SWHK - Women in Tech team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Driven By


Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Hong Kong is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Hayley
  • Felix


Matthieu Bodin
Regional Manager for Greater China - Techstars Startup Programs

Firm believer in Startup Weekend’s motto “All Action, No Talk”, Matthieu has been organising these events in Hong Kong since 2012. It aims at creating the perfect context for total strangers to create a startup within 54 hours. 

He is the Regional Manager Greater China for Techstars Startup Programs.
He is co-founding anekdote.co and olea.store

Event Staff

Belinda Esterhammer
Co-Founder, Director at Springboard Group Ltd

Kif Hong

Event Blog

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