Malta Startup Weekend

    Friday, March 3 - 5, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Malta Startup Weekend

Friday, March 3 - 5, 2017

Friday, March 3 - 5, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

SmartCity Malta
Building SCM 01
SmartCity Malta, Malta SCM 1001

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Malta's biggest 'experiential' Startup Event

What is Startup Weekend?
A Not For Profit event. A Startup Weekend is a weekend-long, hands-on fun experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable and get the full startup experience themselves. Around half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds. On Sunday evening they meet the judges and selected investors with their ideas.

What do I do?
Bring an idea, bring some skills, meet some new people, get support from great mentors, get free food and free drink for a whole weekend and then go on to build some cool new businesses.

What is Malta Startup Weekend?
Its an experience you’ll never forget. From Friday to Sunday techies, marketers & entrepreneurs Work in a newly formed team to convert an idea into an operating viable business.

Who should attend?
Anyone who ❤ the process of creating a new product or service and turning it into a business OR wants to learn how to do that. Attendees include business development, programmers, marketers, designers, lawyers, team builders, entrepreneurs and writers. We will offer a small number of special discount Early Bird tickets. But once they are gone, they are gone go good and the tickets are back up to FULL price so please please please... did we say please... get your tickets early.

Why should I attend?
Are you kidding? What is your idea worth if you don't try it out. So the BIG reason to attend is to TRY out your ideas for real and stop wasting valuable time pondering them. Also another reason is to become inspired, to forge a whole series of lasting friendships, to seek out and find your co-founders & employees, to learn some new tools & methodologies, to practice some new skills and to experience that unique sense of accomplishment when you build a working team around your idea. Oh yes and to have some fun too. Why not?

What can I expect?

Attendees meet Friday at 6:30p and start the startup weekend format. After a dinner and some swift inspiring presentations, you’ll go through six steps to build a new business by Sunday at 5pm:
1.Propose Your Idea
2.Build Your Team
3.Create Your Business Model
4.Connect with Customers
5.Build Your Product
6.Present Your Startup

How do I sign up?
Register on our Eventbrite sign up page (the registration link will be available soon).
If you fit multiple categories, pick your strongest for now. You will not be restricted to this role during the weekend. If you don’t know which to pick, select Non-Technical for now.

How can I help?
You or your company can help to sponsor the event here.
Also you can Help to promote Malta Startup Weekend to your friends and others.
Check out our Facebook page to help to promote the event.

Where can I find out more information?
If you have other questions, check out the Attendee resources, our Facebook page or contact us directly at


Friday March 3rd

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

7:00 pm
Share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:15 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:30 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 March 4th

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!

6:00 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 March 5th

10:00 am
Food and drinks

11:00 am
Final presentations practice
Coaches arrive - practicing your pitch for the final presentations

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Sandwiches and coffee
Recharging batteries before the final presentations

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:30 pm
A couple of inspirational presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards


Marc von Brockdorff
Co-Founder and Director of Engineering at Hotjar

My goal at Hotjar is to build and manage a team of highly skilled engineers and ensure we have the resources needed to move closer towards our long term business vision.

Eman Mifsud
Co-Founder and Managing Director at THATSpace

Eman founded THATSpace late 2016 with the aim of empowering the mobile workforce whilst undergoing a Master of Knowledge-Base Entrepreneurship at the University of Malta. In June, THATSpace has been selected as one of the Top 2 Disruptive Companies by ITEK Malta Startup Competition. Today, THATSpace has expanded to Chile through an acceleration program by Startup Chile. Eman is the CEO of the startup with the responsibilities of: shaping up the vision of the company; leading the core team of four people; and being on the ground as the business development manager to attract potential partners and other stake holders.

Andrea Bruno and Dario Martinis
Web entrepreneurs

Dario Martinis and Andrea Bruno – best known as “Dario e Andrea” -became web-entrepreneurs at an early age, pioneering advanced lead generation tactics in the European market. Today they are amongst the most sought-after business speakers and trainers in Italy, with more than 11.000 students under their belt. They will tell us about how to thrive in the age of information overload and constant connection, how to create a business that serves your life - and not viceversa - and much more. They also enjoy writing short bios in third person. So, see you at the event.

Event Judges

Helga Ellul
Director at Advise Ltd.

Helga Ellul was the chief Executive Officer of Playmobil Malta Ltd. Comprising Playmobil , HOB software Ltd. And Importers and distributors Ltd., till September 2012. The Group was originally set up in Malta in 1971 with some 50 employees and on her retirement employed over 1000.  After her retirement from Playmobil Malta Ltd. she set up her own consultancy company Advise Ltd. and is Board Member and Chairman of various Maltese Businesses. 

Helga Ellul has held various posts on boards of both constituted bodies and governmental organisations. She served as Deputy Chairman of the Employment + Training Corp. between 1990 and 1996. She was President of the Foundation for Human Resource Development from 1995 till 2003. She was also a member of the Council of the Malta Federation of Industriy ( FOI ) and was at various times on board of  Board of Malta Enterprise. She held the post of FOI Vice President for eight years and chaired various FOI committees and working groups. She was on board the Malta Shipyard and Ricasoli Tank Cleaning Ltd. She was Governor of MCAST from the very beginning till 2013 and also board member of Air Malta. Under the previous government she formed part of the Strategic Policy Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister. Until March 2011 she was the first female President of the newly merged Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry. 

Apart from these posts she has been a trustee of the Richmond Foundation, a board member of Empower, a board member of the BOV/Joseph Calleja Foundation as well as President of the newly formed CORE Platform under the patronage of HE The President of Malta.

She has been President of the National Council of Women as well as of the Rotary Club La Valette. 

David Vella
Founder & CEO of Altaro Software

David has led Altaro Software since the company was founded in 2009. Before Altaro, David spent 11 years at GFI Software with the last position being Director of Product Management. At GFI Software he was responsible for the product management of GFI's product lines. Other responsibilities while at GFI Software included market/sales analysis, acquisitions and building OEM relationships with GFI's OEM partners. David joined GFI when it had less than 15 employees and left when GFI Software had over 200 employees worldwide.

Anamaria Magri Pantea
Founder and Managing Consultant of Ascend Consulting

An economist with specialisation in finance and an MBA alumni of the Edinburgh Business School, Anamaria has over 15 years of experience in business development and innovative projects funding sourcing, their initiation, coordination, supervision and evaluation, in both private, public and Public-Private-Partnership contexts. She has experience in credit and equity financing, as well as extensive expertise in EU funding. Anamaria worked with the European Commission as staff member of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, as Malta National Contact Point for the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, as Malta National Expert on the Management Committee of the EU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, and is currently an independent expert evaluator for a number of EU and national funding programmes. She has also been Director on the Board of Malta Venture Capital Fund.

Dr. Leonie Baldacchino
Director of The Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking at the Univ. of Malta

Dr. Leonie Baldacchino holds a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship from Warwick Business School (UK), an M.A. in Creativity and Innovation (Distinction) and a B.Psy.(Hons.) from the University of Malta. She is the Director of The Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking at the University of Malta, where she has been lecturing on entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation since 2008. She is also a Board Member of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation at the University of Malta, and an Associate Fellow at Warwick Business School (UK). Since 2009, Leonie has been involved in the coordination and organisation of various entrepreneurship-related incentives at the University of Malta, including the Global Entrepreneurship Week events hosted locally by The Edward de Bono Institute, and the entrepreneurship stream on the Degree Plus programme. She has also lectured on entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation at Warwick Business School (UK), at Teesside Business School (UK), and at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, and has delivered numerous presentations and workshops to organisations including Junior Chamber International, Malta Association of Women in Business, Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs, Malta Association of Work and Organisational Psychologists and St. Nicholas College.

Carla Maree Vella
CEO/COO at Optimizer Invest

Carla has 10 years experience in all things digital, and 5 years experience in online gambling. 

She is entrepreneurial and innovative but her key strength is her 'make it happen' approach to business. She is passionate about user experience, digital marketing, technology, data, operational efficiency and CRO. She jumps at any opportunity to improve and enhance online experiences be it customer facing or operational.

Dr Bernard Agius
Innovation Manager at the Malta Communications Authority

Bernard Agius is a Business Innovation Manager at the Malta Communications Authority. He heads the Authority’s business innovation arm and is responsible for the development and implementation of the digital business programme aimed at increasing startup and scale-up activity in Malta. Bernard holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Durham University specialising in ICT diffusion in consumer markets.

Coaches and Mentors

Deborah Webster
Founder and CEO at AMANI

Deborah is a trusted advisor in identifying and building winning teams. An advocate for business as a force for good, she is particularly vested in the impact business has in both economic and social terms across various strata of society.

Carolin Zeitler
Head of Training Services at People & Co Ltd

Carolin’s work is first and foremost about connection and creating cultures that encourage connection. This is reflected in all her work; be it as an Executive Coach, an author & writer or a women’s empowerment activist. 
She is the author of How Women Succeed – inspiring women to create their own success, a practical guide to creating more success in your life with 21 powerful exercises and 21 inspiring women’s success stories.
Carolin is the founder of the most engaging and most content-driven women’s empowerment initiative in Qatar, How Women Work (HWW).
Since its inception in 2009, the How Women Work Community has been empowering women (and a few men) in Qatar to grow and succeed.
From 2012 - end of 2015 Carolin also ran a company called Tataowar Coaching & Consulting in Doha. Tataowar was all about bringing the benefits of employee engagement and engaging leadership to the region. Even in her free time Carolin has always been active in the fields that she feels most passionate about, appearing as a motivational speaker, founding the women’s mentoring programme Circle of Pearl and volunteering as a founding board member at Global Entrepreneurship Week Qatar.

Russell Mifsud
Associate Director in KPMG

Russell is dedicated to all aspects of the Gaming industry as a whole. He strives to remain on top of all externalities on a Global scale, in order to best advise KPMG and its clients on opportunities within the industry alongside best guidance techniques. Within the gaming space, new trends, licensing, strategic opportunities, compliance, M&As, competing jurisdictions, disruptive technologies, crypto currencies and gamification are some of the aspects that Russell focuses on, whilst keeping a macroeconomic perspective in hand. Russell is currently working on numerous techniques to help raise the bar and champion Malta as the jurisdiction of choice, including holding regular meetings with the Regulator at the Malta Gaming Authority and other industry stakeholders and speaking at high profile conferences and other international events. Bringing conferences of calibre to the island, round tables and aligning the efforts of the KPMG Global Gaming network, are amongst some of the activities that Russell undertakes, in order to keep stakeholders up-to-date on emerging markets, opportunities and industry hot topics. 

Simon Azzopardi
Product Lead at Sherpa | President of Silicon Valletta

Simon Azzopardi is a startup enthusiast with a focus on tech products. Simon leads product at Sherpa, an InsureTech Startup, is the president of Silicon Valletta and has been part of Malta Startup Weekend since the beginning. Speak to Simon on any help with team, validation and product. 

Alex Borg
Consultant | Research & Innovation | MITA

Business mentor, project manager, consultant, strategic planner and policy advisor with +20 years of experience in highly dynamic, projectised environments. Before becoming manager of Malta’s first innovation ecosystem accelerator in 2014, Alex has covered various roles of strategic importance. Among them national representative on a number of European Commission ICT R&I related Committees from 2009 to 2014, co-author of Malta’s National ICT Strategy 2014-2020, business development manager and consultant covering diverse portfolios.

Alex has a passionate belief in empathy, analysis and research as key drivers in anything he does.

Specialties developed over the years in chronological order: business mentoring and incubation; strategic planning and policy development; action research; business analysis; strategic client portfolio management; business development; proposal and contract drafting and negotiation; project management; quality assurance; software development; technical writing and copywriting.

Eman Mifsud
Co-Founder and Managing Director at THATSpace

Eman founded THATSpace late 2016 with the aim of empowering the mobile workforce whilst undergoing a Master of Knowledge-Base Entrepreneurship at the University of Malta. In June, THATSpace has been selected as one of the Top 2 Disruptive Companies by ITEK Malta Startup Competition. Today, THATSpace has expanded to Chile through an acceleration program by Startup Chile. Eman is the CEO of the startup with the responsibilities of: shaping up the vision of the company; leading the core team of four people; and being on the ground as the business development manager to attract potential partners and other stake holders.

Reuben Borg
HCI & UX specialist at Plinio Hub

With a background in user experience, content architecture and web analytics, Reuben has recently co-founded Riix Software. He brings to Startup Weekend a wealth of creativity to help teams build intuitive workflows for a user-centered architecture.

Dr Marcus Schuetz
Senior Lecturer at University of Malta

Marcus Schütz is Resident Academic at the University of Malta, lectures in multiple top universities around the globe and is Scientific Advisor at B+L GmbH. Prior to that he was Head of Corporate Strategy Volkswagen Group China and joined the Volkswagen AG Management in 1999. Being able to split his time between corporate and academia, he was Executive in Residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Adjunct Professor at The University of Hong Kong. He also served as Assistant Dean for the EMBA Global Asia Programme in collaboration with London Business School and Columbia University, and as Academic Director for the Mannheim-Tongji EMBA in Shanghai. Dr Schütz holds a PhD in Geosciences from Essen University and worked in the mining industry in the UK, Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. His Alma Mater is the University of Cologne. Furthermore, he held management positions at The Boston Consulting Group, Robert Bosch, Arthur D. Little China and investment and research companies.

Michael Zarb
Director for Transaction Advisory Services at Grant Thornton

Michael is the director responsible for developing and managing the firm's transaction advisory team. He holds a BA (Hon) Bus. Econ. and an MSc in the Management of Information Systems from the LSE, and is also a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW). He is an expert economic, financial and risk model builder and has very broad assignment experience ranging from market research to financial due diligence and deal structuring. Michael's work experience is mainly composed of a large number of feasibility studies, advising local regulators on the fairness of privatisation efforts and PPP deals, as well as conducting financial due diligence for M&A purposes or for obtaining MFSA approvals. Michael provides ongoing pro bono support to Zaar, a local crowdfunding platform, and regularly advises local start-ups on issues ranging from business planning to raising finance and managing their crowdfunding campaign.
Grant Thornthon is also an MSE approved corporate advisor for Prospects, a market of the Malta Stock Exchange designed specifically for SMEs. Michael has worked on a number of Prospects jobs and is well versed on the process involved to list companies on the platform.

Victoria Darmanin
Manager for Transaction Advisory Services at Grant Thornton

Victoria is a manager in the transaction advisory team at Grant Thornton. She has worked on due diligence and valuations in the hotel and manufacturing business. She also helps client raise finance through Prospects, has participated in a work stream on the analysis of the crowdfunding regulation, and has also managed the sale process of a bank in Malta.  She brings with her regulatory expertise in the telecommunications and postal industry since she was previously employed for over four years with the regulator, Malta Communications Authority (MCA).  Prior to the MCA, she has worked as an auditor for over five years and managed the audits of public authorities, manufacturing, and telecommunications companies amongst others. Victoria holds a B.Com honours degree (Management), is an ACCA affiliate and is also a warranted accountant/auditor.

Andrei-Andy Linnas
Co-founder of Thought3D

For past five years Andy has started his own start-ups, lead different business incubators and been part of seed investment funds. As a mentor, Andy has helped hundreds of teams to get their idea evaluated, focused, prepared for funding and find path to growth. Currently Andy is co-founder of Thought3D, a startup within 3d printing industry. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Malta Startup Weekend 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.

Signature Sponsors




Supporting Partners

Organizing Team

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

  • Jarek
  • Alex
  • Simon
  • Natasha
  • Karl


Jarek Bialek
Acceleration Program Manager @ MITA Innovation HUB

Living and breathing the challenges of the FinTech sector since 2004, for the last >9 years I have been also actively involved in the global startup ecosystem as a startup co-founder, acceleration program manager, mentor/coach and educator. I have been collaborating with several institutions – from startup incubators and accelerators to universities - designing and running structured programs targeting local and international startup communities. I have also been collaborating with corporate partners designing and delivering intrapreneurial programs, focused on rapid ideation, prototyping and validation.

Event Staff

Tea Vrcic
Marketing Intern in MITA

A person with positive outlook of life. Always ready to take up new opportunities, not afraid of challenges. Failures are not failures, just lessons. My goal is to travel and explore different cultures as much as I can so I could grow as a person. Not a citizen of Croatia, citizen of the world.

Mario Di Florio
Founder and Director

Mario excels in business development, networking, community management and event organisation. In addition, Mario speaks several languages and has experience in agriculture, rural and sustainable development.

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