Startup Weekend Malta 2018 - Blockchain Edition

    Friday, May 4 - 6, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Malta, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Malta 2018 - Blockchain Edition

Friday, May 4 - 6, 2018

Friday, May 4 - 6, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

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

Buy Tickets

Kickstart your business idea in 54 hours

Startup Weekend Malta 2018 - Blockchain Edition. All of the awesomeness of Startup Weekend combined with all the possibilities of Blockchain Technology. Let's do this!

What is Startup Weekend?
Have you ever seen a new product, app, or business and thought to yourself, "that was my idea a few years ago"? If you have, that means you did not have a process for taking that idea from concept to creation.

Startup Weekend is your chance to learn how to take any idea from concept to creation within 54 hours! Whether you are looking to...
  • get introduced to the world of startups and entrepreneurship,
  • learn the process for going from concept to creation,
  • meet experienced, talented, and passionate entrepreneurs in Malta,
  • join or build an all-star team,
  • learn and practice new skills to take back to your job, or
  • take your own idea from concept to creation 
Startup Weekend is the event for you. Come and join us for a weekend long experience mentored by some of the brightest in the Blockchain Industry in Malta. 

Who is Startup Weekend For?
Startup Weekend is designed as an inclusive event that brings all sorts of people together, like: 
  • aspiring & experienced entrepreneurs,
  • developers and other tech-related professionals,
  • designers of all types,
  • non-technical talent (i.e. business, sales, finance, legal, etc.),
  • students from universities and even post-secondary schools,
  • professionals looking to switch careers or build new skills,
  • passionate visionaries

What's the twist in this Blockchain edition? 

We will be focusing on ideas that utilize the power and potential of blockchain technology and design to solve problems. Blockchain technology gives us an opportunity to re-imagine how we move, transact, share, and track goods and services. Some argue that blockchain technology is like the next internet. That is, the internet was the enabler and delivery mechanism for some of the greatest ideas of the last 2 decades. Blockchain can do the same for the next couple of decades and this is our chance to be the first ones to embrace and build on it. Don't miss this opportunity to get in on a new pioneering technology, early in the game! 

I am not knowledgable on Blockchain. Can I attend?

Yes, of course! Any startup team, operating in any field, requires a range of skill sets - Marketing, Design, Software development, Product Management, and so on. Bring along your peculiar set of skills and let the magic happen!
This is your golden opportunity to tap your skills and experience into the Blockchain industry.

Whether you are interested in the blockchain or not, the ultimate objective of the event is to empower you with a powerful process for taking any idea, blockchain-related or not, from concept to creation! 

Do I need to come with an idea?
If you have an idea for a startup, then great! We hope you pitch for the weekend. If you don't have an idea, that's quite all right! Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something strikes your interest! The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and learning from each other. If you have more questions, check out the Startup Weekend First Timers FAQ!

Your ticket includes:
  • Access to the full, weekend-long, event
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea on Friday night @ Pitch Fire
  • Mentoring by professionals from the blockchain world and the tech startup community
  • Meals and drinks throughout the weekend
  • Collaboration with awesome blockchain professionals from throughout Malta
  • 1 awesome Startup Weekend t-shirt
  • All-star judge's panel led by tech, startup, and blockchain leaders
  • A process for taking any idea from concept to creation in a matter of days
  • Many new awesome friends!

Join us for a very special weekend! 

Please email us at or make some noise on

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday May 4th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Kickstart the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Line up to give your pitch!

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming around the business ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
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 you want, as MLSP allows 24h access to the venue.

Saturday May 5th

8:30 am
Begin Work
Teams get back to work (or continue work if they sleep there). You can start earlier of course, though breakfast is still at 9 AM :)

9:00 am
Get the energy for the day!

12:30 pm

1:30 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams directly. Get one if you need to, 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 you want, as MLSP allows 24h access to the venue.

Sunday May 6th

8:30 am
Get back to work
Teams get back to work (or continue work if they sleep there). You can start earlier of course, though breakfast is still at 9 AM :)

9:00 am
Get energy for the big day!

10:30 am
Pitch Coaching
Pitching gurus in action… ASK QUESTIONS

12:30 pm

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation. The SW team will help you with the tech check of your presentation

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Your pitch is LIVE. 5 minutes pitch, and 3 minutes Q&A. Get more ideas at this link

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards
The best performing team is chosen

8:00 pm
A nicely prepared goodbye :)

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Jonathan Galea
Managing Director at Blockchain Advisory Ltd.

Jonathan Galea is a graduated lawyer from the University of Malta and warranted for legal practice in Malta, with a niche interest in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies (altcoins), as well as a general interest in Anti-Money Laundering Law and Gaming Law. He has successfully completed a Doctorate of Law thesis titled “The Effect of Bitcoin on Money Laundering Law” and has been extensively researching Bitcoin and altcoins since September 2013, when he stumbled across an article hailing Bitcoin as the new gold. Ever since then, he has written various articles on the subject as well as attended various courses and webinars. Jonathan has also given various presentations and participated in conferences on the subject, with the most notable participation being that in the annual conference organised by the International Chamber of Commerce in May, 2016, with the subject revolving around Bitcoin and its disruptive effect on the financial ecosystem. Jonathan was also part of the Regulatory and Compliance panel during Blockchain Week 2017 held in London, and specifically tackled the applicability of the blockchain technology and use of cryptocurrencies in the gaming industry along with the regulatory implications of a DAO. Notable upcoming presentations include the annual Economic Forum in Poland, SiGMA ’17 in Malta and the ICC FIB 2017 conference.

Ian Castillo
Co-founder and Managing Director of ICON

Ian is the co-founder and Managing Director of ICON, a leading local digital and software solutions provider. Founded over 18 years ago, ICON has grown into one of Malta’s most respected companies in its field, providing high-quality digital solutions that focus on better customer conversations and business process optimisation with clear ROI. Ian is also the co-founder and a director of local start-up ebo, making global headlines for its innovative, AI driven approach to optimising customer and employee conversations.

Event Judges

Marcel Grech Mallia
Corporate and Marketing Senior Manager at Vodafone Malta

Marcel Grech Mallia attained a Master’s in Business Administration with distinction from the University of Malta in 2009 and is currently Vodafone Malta’s Corporate and Marketing Senior Manager. Marcel has worked in several sectors and was a junior entrepreneur prior to starting his career journey with Vodafone back in 2003.  At Vodafone, he has held several positions across consumer and business operations, including loyalty program management, business sales, account development, consumer and business marketing. Marcel contributes to the strategic direction of Vodafone Malta, also forming part of the organisation’s senior management team.

Ian Castillo
Co-founder and Managing Director of ICON

Ian is the co-founder and Managing Director of ICON, a leading local digital and software solutions provider. Founded over 18 years ago, ICON has grown into one of Malta’s most respected companies in its field, providing high-quality digital solutions that focus on better customer conversations and business process optimisation with clear ROI. Ian is also the co-founder and a director of local start-up ebo, making global headlines for its innovative, AI driven approach to optimising customer and employee conversations.

Mike Fischer
Co-Founder@ »Hartfish

Mike is an experienced Entrepreneur and Facilitator with 20+ years of experience and a passionate and award winning business school lecturer for 10+ years.

He is a creative Strategist, Educator, Facilitator, Innovation Consultant and Motivator to organizations of all sizes, start-ups and entrepreneurs from different origin, sectors and industries, focusing on tech and strong interest in blockchain, ICO, crypto currencies, AI, AR, VR, IoT etc.

He develops and delivers customized training and workshops for companies and universities. 
As sensitive coach, he supports entrepreneurs, founders, executives and women careers in their personal development.

Dr. Joseph Borg
Senior Advisor to WH Partners

Dr. Joseph F. Borg is currently a Senior Advisor to WH Partners, a law firm specialising in Gaming, Corporate, IT, Telecoms and Intellectual Property Law.

He also lectures Gaming Law at the University of Malta and is the Secretary General of the Malta IT Law Association. Before joining WH Partners he occupied the post of Chief Regulatory Officer of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority – Malta. Joe was also an elected Member on the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR), a position which he held throughout 2012. He had originally joined the Authority in March 2007 as Director Legal and Enforcement and has occupied this position for almost 4 years. Before joining the Authority, Joseph, acted as a Legal Counsel to Vodafone Malta Limited for three years.

Joseph was conferred with an LL.M. in Information Technology and Telecommunications Law at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), with Distinction. Earlier, he was awarded the LL.D. from the University of Malta, after writing and successfully defending a thesis entitled, ‘Protection of Trademarks Against Domain Names’. In 2009 he completed a Regulator Development Program organized by the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas (UNLV). In 2012 he was awarded a certificate in Casino Management by the UNLV.

Coaches and Mentors

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.​​

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

Dick Impens
Founder @ MaltaCode

My computing experience goes back to 1979. In those days computers and local area networks were scarce. I am autodidact, really wanted to learn and understand how computers work, how to develop software. I started with Ohio Scientific, Osborne, Commodore, Sinclair running CP/M, Dos, Unix, developing in Basic and dBase. Networking with Novell, Windows Server and Apple Servers. Career wise I started as operator, developer, system engineer, network manager and IT manager. In 1991 I became entrepreneur. I have worked on very large projects for Philips, Corus, Nokia and have helped a very large number of businesses to get automated, in hardware and software. Nowadays I specialise in consulting, software development, webdesign. MaltaCode started in 2014 in Malta.I use Filemaker and MySQL as base for most of my application development. I’ve been a Filemaker developer since version 2.x of Filemaker, in those day’s nothing compared to what we can do now with Filemaker. I develop Filemaker apps that run stand-alone, on Windows, MacOS, iOS and the web, and server based, running on Windows and MacOS. 80% of my work is custom built applications based on one of my modules: CRM, POS, Subscription based solutions.

Robert Ellul Micallef
Solutions and Innovation Senior Manager at Vodafone Malta

Robert Ellul Micallef is a Senior Manager at Vodafone Malta responsible for Solutions Sales and Product Development. He is passionate about identifying portfolio and market gaps and addressing them through innovative solutions which capture customer value and generate business growth. He has occupied both specialist and leadership positions across different areas of the business, bridging the technology and commercial worlds. His main areas of expertise are business development, technology innovation and commercial strategy. Robert holds a B.Sc (Hons) in Information Technology from the University of Malta, an M.Sc in Wireless Networks from Glasgow Caledonian University and is a Chevening alumni.

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.

Chris Grech
Banking and finance specialist

Chris Grech is a cross between a finance and a tech guy. An Accountant by profession, Chris is obsessed with making any process more efficient - which is also why he learnt to code. Over the past 10 years, Chris worked in tax at PwC and in various roles at MeDirect Bank - including regulatory, finance and project management.

Chris blogs on financial matters and used to write for the local media on the subject.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Malta 2018 - Blockchain Edition 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.

Venue Sponsor



Marketing Partner

Organizing Team

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

  • Jarek
  • Reuben
  • Mario
    Di Florio
  • Eva
  • Angele'


Cindy Spelt

Passionate about building connections with people and bringing people together around purpose driven projects.

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!