Techstars Startup Weekend Malta

    Friday, November 10 - 12, 2017

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

Friday, November 10 - 12, 2017

Friday, November 10 - 12, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Malta Life Sciences Park
Triq San Giljan
San Gwann, Malta SGN 3000

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Malta's biggest 'experiential' Startup Event

What is Startup Weekend?
It is a weekend-long, hands-on, fun experience where practicing and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their new startup ideas are viable, running a ‘reality check’ of what it takes to make them happen. Around half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds and the other half represents widely dispersed professions like: legal, business, non-profit, etc. On Sunday evening you will pitch the ideas developed during the weekend to the judges and selected investors.  

What should I be prepared for?

Bring an idea, bring some skills, meet some new people (many of them being your potential co-founders), get support from great mentors, get free food and drinks for the whole weekend and then go on to kick off some cool startup projects!   We will offer a small number of special discount Early Bird tickets. But once they are gone, they are gone for good and the tickets are back up to FULL price so please please please... did we say please?... get your tickets early!  

Who should attend?

Literally anyone who ❤ the idea of creating a new product or service and turning it into a business OR wants to learn how to do that.  

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 time pondering about 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 set up a working team around your idea. Oh yes, and to have some fun too :) Why not?  

What’s the plan for the event?

Attendees meet Friday at 6:30pm. After 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. Pitch it!  

How will this edition be different from the previous ones?

We love experimenting with new approaches and this time we’d like to introduce you one of the most hyped and fiercely discussed topics in the tech world – BLOCKCHAIN technology! You’d have a chance to check if your business idea can run on it (or not). You’d be exposed to several specialists and practitioners from this area and talk to them specifically from the context of your projects.  

How do I sign up?

Register on our Eventbrite signup page (here).  

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 circles.  

Where can I find out more information?

If you have other questions, check out the Attendee resources, or our Facebook page or contact us directly at


Friday November 10th

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

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 November 11th

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
Meetings with mentors
Mentors 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 November 12th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:30 am
Final presentations 'Dry run' exercise
Opportunity to practice you final pitch with some mentors

12:00 pm

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Perfecting your pitch and tech-check for final presentations

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

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.

Alex Borg
Consultant | Research & Innovation | MITA

Mr Alexander Borg is a Director of MITA Innovation Hub, an early stage digital startup space, that helps existing and potential startupers validate and test their business ideas and transform them into a real  products or services.  Alex graduated from the University of Derby (UK) with a distinction in Strategic IT Management and a thesis on smart specialisation in software companies. He is currently responsible for the set-up and management of MITA’s innovation centre at SmartCity Malta.

Coaches and Mentors

James Catania
CEO at Intelliblock

James has been on the leading edge of the IT industry for 25 years from the introduction of e-commerce and now specialising in Robotics and Blockchain. Being one of Malta’s IT pioneers following a career in software, cryptography, defence, robotics and education James Catania is the CEO and lead technical consultant for Intelliblock, the premiere business blockchain solutions provider for the European market with several successful ICOs and certified blockchain developers, Intelliblock is placed at the top for proven blockchain. solutions. James holds two Masters degrees one in management of information systems and another in computer science.

Jesmond Darmanin
Brand & Online Marketing specialist

Jesmond is a Brand & Online Marketing specialist with a special focus on IT, Web and mobile​​ technologies. Technology is a core of everything he doe​s. He leads a marketing team of a local group of companies and takes care of their online marketing strategy and transition plans. Before that, he worked for 10 years in a leading role within the digital marketing team of an inte​rnational software company, and he gained a vast experience working on a large scale marketing/advertising campaigns, marketing strategies, social media, SEM, SEO, web projects and many other initiatives. Jesmond is al​so the co-founder of Riix Software, a startup that has developed an anti-bullying service that enable online bullying reporting for schools and other commercial organisations.​​

Mikko Puhakka
Founding Partner at Lion Partners

Mikko was born in Finland but has lived in 4 continents (Europe, US, Africa and Asia) and has just relocated from Beijing, China back to Europe and to Malta after a more than a decade in China.While the majority of his work during last 25 years has revolved around developing business models and strategy in software companies, the result oriented approach has led to  ‘’all sides of the negotiation table’’ successfully helping companies raise money, investing in companies, selling companies and also buying companies in diverse cultural environments.Besides direct assignments to companies ranging from start-ups to listed companies, Mikko has been actively building ecosystems around companies via various initiatives internationally including incubators and accelerators and chambers of commerce.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

James J. Attard
Co-founder of Blockfinity & Costansin

James is a tech entrepreneur who has worked on a number of large scale international projects - from designing AI systems and data-driven projects, to web and mobile applications that have generated millions of dollars in revenue. He was involved in complex projects with high-profile organisations such as Adobe, Vodafone, BetClic, Burberry, Activision and News International.

James has been active in the open-source and maker community for the past 20 years and was one of the early founders of the Malta Linux User Group, whose mission is to increase the adoption of open-source technologies in Malta. His main areas of interest include Open Data, EdTech, eHealth, Smart Contracts, IoT and AI. He has helped a number of local and international startups with ideation, design of technical architecture, building business models, and marketing.

James holds an electronics engineering degree from the University of Malta and a masters degree in business administration from the prestigious Henley Business School. Among several projects, he has co-founded Costansin Tech, a bespoke technology solutions company that focuses on web, mobile, blockchain and IoT projects.

Matthew Zammit
Digital Strategist, Product Manager

Matthew is a Digital Strategist focusing on Customer-led Digital Transformation. His passion for marketing feeds into product management to prioritise development based on customer pain points to impact business operations. 

He has served in various roles across strategy, technology, marketing, consumer behavior, inventory management, customer experience and product management. Current acting as an intrapreneur developing mobile products and steering digital strategy at CEO and C-suite executive level. 

He loves to break down complex ideas into understandable concepts showing clear benefits and uses this to teach and act as a Digital Evangelist. 

Matthew can help you clarify your message and presenting it in a way which resonates. 

Jessica Borg
Assistant manager on the legal team at Grant Thornton

Jessica is an assistant manager on the legal team at Grant Thornton. Jessica pursued her studies at the University of Malta first obtaining a Bachelor of Laws with Italian, followed by a Diploma of Notary Public and subsequently, graduating as a Doctor of Laws with a thesis in the field of contract law. She is currently in her second year of a 3 years Master of Arts in Financial Services course at the University of Malta. She has completed study units relating to the regulation of banking, EU financial services law, advanced company law matters, and the local legal framework of financial services, among others. She has also successfully obtained a Foundation Certificate in Trusts Law and Management. After a two year experience exposed to the practice of a local law firm specialising in civil, commercial and private law service lines, Jessica joined Grant Thornton in 2015 focusing predominantly on the corporate, trusts, compliance, capital markets, regulatory and licensing fields. She was responsible for the drafting of various contracts relating to the same areas, providing legal support in the drafting of public offering documentation, advising on corporate restructuring and regulatory compliance, drafting of license applications in the financial services sector, providing support of a legal and regulatory nature to licensed companies, carrying out legal and regulatory due diligence on regulated entities, and works alongside the tax and advisory teams providing legal input for projects and business plans. Jessica is also a member of the Malta Chamber of Advocates.

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. 

Nathan Farrugia
Founder & CEO Ultimate Performance

Nathan Farrugia is an entrepreneur, business coach, CEO, TEDx speaker, philanthropist, record-breaking athlete, father and husband. He founded Ultimate Performance that supports business excellence strategies, runs the Academy for Chief Executives that brings together top CEOs for peer support and learning, chairs the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector and is a director on a number of non-profit organisations. He is a keen proponent of mind-shifting approaches to performance through coaching and mentoring, and has successfully let organisations through rapid growth and scale as a CEO, both locally and internationally.  

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.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Malta 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

In MITA Innovation Hub we help you develop all the individual building blocks you need to put together your unique selling proposition and then pitch it to be accepted to our accelerator programme. We can connect you ​to expert networks, angel investors and business opportunities available to MITA​.

Visit Website




Organizing Team

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

  • Jarek
  • Mario
    Di Florio
  • Karl
  • Reuben


Tracey Keogh
Community Manager at Bank of Ireland

Tracy is Co Founder at Lokr.

Previously Tracy has won best pitch at Startup Weekend Dublin and has also organised and been lead organiser at Startup Weekend Dublin!

She runs a number of community events, holds a board seat on the Irish Internet Assoc. and has experience in getting multiple startups off the ground.

Event Staff

Deborah Schiavone

Event Blog

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