Startup Weekend Auckland

    Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Organizing Team
  6. Blog
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Startup Weekend Auckland

Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016

Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016
Event starts at 5:30 pm

GridAKL 101 Packenham Street, Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

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Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday May 13th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:30 pm
Welcome & Intro

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

8:30 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 May 14th

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 May 15th

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

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Lillian Grace
CEO and Founder of Figure.NZ

Lillian Grace is CEO and Founder of Figure.NZ, the first organisation globally to designate everyone as a user of data and to build the systems, software, language and trust required to deliver to this standard. Lillian is also on the recently established Data Futures Partnership Working Group, as well as on the board of the NZ Innovation Partnership and of Te Pūnaha Matatini, New Zealand’s Centre of Research Excellence developing methods and approaches for transforming complex data about NZ into knowledge, tools, and insight. Previously Lillian was at Academy Award-Winning Massive Software, at think tank The New Zealand Institute.

Rod Snodgrass
CEO - Spark Ventures

As CEO of Spark Ventures, Rod Snodgrass is responsible for leading the charge for Spark in driving digital growth and transformation. This mandate includes sniffing out new digitally centred market, business and product opportunities in an industry characterised by rapid change, constant innovation, disruption and tough competition as well as building the key digital capabilities required to support this growth and innovation.   Spark Ventures mission is to deliver connected digital experiences that consumers love and deliver growth in the digital world adopting the new ways of doing things and disruptive mindsets and business models. Since its formation in 2013, it has backed Vigil, a biometric tech company that makes medical monitoring systems, and Putti, an app development start-up. It has also created and built out Spark’s public WiFi network, accelerated Skinny Mobile to become NZ’s most preferred mobile business, built and launched the Bigpipe broadband business, built and launched the Lightbox internet TV business and also built and launched the big data business Qrious and the smart living security service Morepork. Ventures has also recently launched the Spark Plugs electric vehicle changing prototype at a number of its phones boxes and is currently working on a number of other growth initiatives in Internet of Things space as well and the mobile advertising and commerce space.   As Spark’s former Chief Product Officer, and with a background in internet, broadband and mobility Rod knows the local technology industry intimately.   He also has a global strategic view of how the industry is developing having previously been on the Boards of Mobile World Capital Advisory Board based in Barcelona, the Telco Futures Forum, Southern Cross Cables, XtraMSN and Yahoo!Xtra in NZ and AAPT and 3 Mobile in Australia.  And as the former Spark Group Strategy Director and board member of business incubator The Icehouse, he has broad experience of bringing innovative products to market.

Vaughan Rowsell
Founder - Vend

Vaughan is the Founder of Vend, a cloud based retail software for small to medium retailers worldwide. The Vend team hold three core values dearly in their hearts; to delight retailers, to do the impossible, and to take care of one another.Vaughan also co-founded OMG Tech! an initiative to encourage kids of all backgrounds, genders, and ages to get into technology. It not only covers coding, but all newly developed technology such as robots, drones, nanotech, teleportation and hover-boards. They give kids the chance to explore and get inspired by technology that they will be experts in ten years from now.He dreams big and likes to set himself impossible challenges; whether it is cycling the length of New Zealand solo, running 1,000 kilometres, or building a $100M venture.

Misti Landtroop
Professional Director and Strategic Advisor

Coaches and Mentors

Alan Froggatt
Leadership & Venture Development

Alan founded Genratec, an Integral Leadership Development and Generative Coaching company. Genratec has developed its own proprietary methodology, a platform chosen by over 2600 individuals, leaders, celebrities, entrepreneurs, business owners & others in over 7 countries to develop their capacity for professional performance. He has founded/co-founded several other business, one of which generating over a $1.2M profit for investors within the first year of business.

Mahsa Marks
Leadership & Human Development Coach

Mahsa is an Associate with Genratec, an Integral Leadership Development and Generative Coaching company.
Her career spans all major business functions including governance, finance, operations and international marketing. And her ability to identify the unique strengths of individuals has lead to her building high performing teams across many business functions. 
Mahsa has been part of the New Zeland Startup Weekend family since the very first event held in May 2011, participating and mentoring at Startup Weekends around the country. She was a member of Garden Genie, the winner of Auckland Startup Weekend and the Global Startup Battle (2013).
Mahsa is an advocate for transforming lives and communities through entrepreneurship and education. She is passionate about unleashing human potential through experiential learning. Startup Weekends are just the place for that! 

Mike Zeff
Startup Consultant & Mentor

Mike is passionate about working with people and technology to create and sustain cities as great places to live and work. Mike loves working with motivated individuals and teams as they bring innovative ideas to life and discover talents they never realised they had. Mike is a believer in creating high skilled, technology focused, jobs to grow both local and national economies.

Mike has more than 25 years in technology related roles, including 10 years with Microsoft working with enterprises, Independent Software Vendors and technology startups. He still spends time mentoring startups through Incubators and Startup Weekend events.

Kenina Court
Principal at Crowe Horwath

Kenina Court joined Crowe Horwath (NZ) Limited as a Principal in the Business Advisory division in 2011 following the sale of her own accounting firm (to Crowe Horwath) which she founded back in 2000.  Kenina has worked in both commercial and public practice at senior levels and has experience in a number of industries and areas including property, wholesale / retail, import / export, franchising, start-ups and professional services. She loves helping people to achieve their dreams and goals and particularly enjoys the areas of strategy, business modelling and entity structuring.

One of Kenina’s mantras is ‘There must be another way to do it, I just haven’t found it yet’ which is an excellent example of her inexhaustible curiosity and inability to unthinkingly accept the status quo. Kenina also sits on the board of two charitable trusts which help meet her desire to contribute positively to her greater community. Outside of work, Kenina is very happily married with three boys (two of whom are teenagers!) who most certainly keep her on her toes!

Rick Shera
Partner at Lowndes Jordan

Rick has a Masters degree with first class honours in internet law from Auckland University. He heads up Lowndes Jordan's ( intellectual  property/information technology team, which acts for cloud service providers, telcos, ISPs, media companies, digital publishers and authors, webdesign houses, software developers and network providers/integrators, as well as providing IP and ICT advice to general business and corporate clients. If your start-up doesn’t fall within one of those categories, you’re probably in the wrong place so make the most of finding out from Rick about gnarly issues like IP protection, online legal issues, business structuring and commercialisation! 

Heath Milligan
Entrepreneur, Commercial adviser, Seed-stage investor

Heath is on a mission to commercialise kiwi technologies internationally to create jobs and wealth in New Zealand. The impact model Heath subscribes to says that employment and increasing household incomes has the biggest effect on a range of social issues (poverty, health, educational achievement), and he believes we need to be bringing income into the 'household' of Aotearoa by delivering value abroad. 

Having done Business Development, Sales and Marketing for startups in San Francisco, Europe, Auckland & Tokyo, Heath has lived and learnt from the good and bad of tech startup-land and brought home millions in bacon (gross margin $) for the teams he has worked with.

Heath is a strategic operator that brings clarity to value propositions, and bizdev drive to teams so that we can create the future -- translating ideas and strategies into reality quickly. 

Sam Kidd
Co Founder at LawVu

Sam Kidd is co-founder of NZ based software company, which enables companies to improve communication and reduce costs when dealing with their lawyers. He returned to New Zealand from Ireland where his passion for start-up’s began. Self-employed since 1999, Sam has been involved in a diverse range of businesses from retail and food through to technology. He was part of the team at for seven years. Sam is also an investor director in the amazing New Zealand based online accountancy
Sam is no stranger to Startup events having mentored at over ten events throughout New Zealand. He is also an active member of the Enterprise Angels network as an early stage investor.

Chris Clay
Education Director at The Mind Lab by Unitec

Through social media, robotics or integrating coding into biology, Chris has always been finding new ways that technology can transform the teaching and learning of science. He was placed 1st in Microsoft's Global Innovative Educator Awards in 2011 and subsequently worked with organisations such as The Smithsonian Institute and Principals Australia.

Chris has also featured as a speaker at many conferences where he addressed international audiences of educators, scientists and most recently the global community through his TEDx talk on bringing discovery back into Science Education. Now the Education Director at Auckland-based educational start-up The Mind Lab, Chris works alongside a team of educators who are transforming science and technology education by creating experiences where science, design, engineering and art are fused together in the same way they are in real life.

Klaus Braverboar

Maxtel Software specialises in serving the quick-service restaurant industry with sales and speed of service analytics, POS integration, labour scheduling, cash tracking, stock control and payroll and accounts with full Xero integration.
Klaus is focused on bringing to market and building a new product, a web responsive app that provides restaurant analytics including sales, speed of service and other key metrics for franchisees, franchisors and restaurant staff. This will be accessed on mobile, tablets and back of house on large format screens within a restaurant.
Klaus works with C#, MVC, Bootstrap, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, Entity Framework.

Luke Balmforth
Senior Associate at Lowndes Jordan

Luke is a Senior Associate in the commercial team. Luke is a corporate and commercial law specialist who has experience advising listed and unlisted entities and individuals on share and business acquisitions and dispositions, business reorganisations, offers of securities, shareholders’ agreements, commercial contracts, regulatory compliance, and general corporate and commercial law matters.
Luke joined Lowndes Jordan in 2015 following a role as an in-house legal counsel at a New Zealand corporate. Prior to that, Luke worked for a number of years in the corporate advisory group of a leading national law firm.

Phil Cockfield
Product Architect

Phil is a co-founder of Respondly, the real-time Meteor app that enables businesses to respond on social media "as a team." Both a designer and a full-stack engineer, Phil has a long time interest in "single page JS apps," in particular architectural strategies to modularize and test UI in an isolated fashion. Along with working in start-ups, 
Phil has experience founding teams within large enterprise aimed at achieving UI consistency across products via HTML5 component reuse and API design. Phil is currently working on a DSL that offers a powerful new way to construct and document UI, blending manual manipulation with automated unit tests (see:

David Mole
Agile Coach

David coaches, trains and presents about Agile, Teams and Motivation. 

Co-author of 'Creating Great Teams: How Self-Selection Lets People Excel' published by The Pragmatic Bookshelf in the USA. David offers coaching to people and organisations using a variety of Agile techniques. David led an Agile transformation at Trade Me building upon the work of Spotify to create dozens of high performing Agile teams. 

He is an highly regarded public speaker having presented at Agile conferences in the US and Australia. He is also a certified ICAgile trainer, writer and has applied his refreshing approach to a variety of organisations ranging from small startups to large financial institutions. 

David is a former professional poker player and works for Nomad8 in New Zealand helping people and teams get better, one small step at a time.

Danielle Myburgh
Learning Community Leader

In 2012, Danielle founded #edchatNZ - a unique community which has been primarily based online, using Twitter to connect New Zealand educators. It aims to build a network of supportive, inspirational educators who collaborate and share for the good of the students in front of them - whoever and wherever they may be. And the community is flourishing; the fortnightly Twitter chats regularly trend on Twitter New Zealand: even out-tweeting the royals! 
Danielle is currently a Learning Community Leader & e-learning SCT at Hobsonville Point Schools.

Victor Yuen

Victor Yuen is a technology entrepreneur with strengths in strategy, leadership and execution. He is currently dedicated full time to his seed funded startup - Aura.

He's committed to making a positive lasting difference in the world, starting with New Zealand. He believes the growth of New Zealand will come from technology businesses and is actively involved in realising this.

Creativity, innovation, experiences and story telling are his natural drivers and he expresses this through his love for entrepreneurship.

In addition to his business acumen, he's known for his ability to communicate and inspire through his passion and empathy for others. Contributing to others and inspiring them to reach for their goals is a big driver for him and he's always ready and willing to lend a helping hand.

Organizing Team

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

  • Alan
  • Anna
  • Colart
  • Laura
  • Mahsa
  • Pauli
  • Richard
  • Rowan


Rowan Yeoman
SWNZ National Director

Rowan is an entrepreneur, startup adviser, investor and Startup Weekend global facilitator. He is passionate about the potential that entrepreneurship has to create transformation in people's lives and in the world. Having facilitated Startup Weekends both in New Zealand and internationally, he has seen firsthand the inspiration and capability that Startup Weekend can release in people. Inspiration and capability that these entrepreneurs can bend towards doing great things in the world.

Rowan works to help develop both entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem as a whole.

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