Kapiti Startup Weekend 2017

    Friday, July 28 - 30, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Kapiti Startup Weekend 2017

Friday, July 28 - 30, 2017

Friday, July 28 - 30, 2017
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Whitireia Polytechnic Kapiti
9 Milne St
Paraparaumu, New Zealand

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Great ideas come together at Kapiti Startup Weekend

What can you do in 54 hours? Well, in Kapiti you can share ideas, meet a team, and be mentored by the industry's finest at Kapiti Startup Weekend. You’ll find the tools to design and build a new product, service, social enterprise or business in the space of a single, fast-paced weekend. 

Startup Weekend is different from any other business course, seminar or workshop. You get to learn about what life is like in a startup through doing it.

Over the course of a weekend you will be building a team, finding customers and understanding how you are going to make money. And you might even meet some lifelong friends, and startup co-founders.

Tap into Kapiti’s startup community for a high-energy weekend you won’t forget. 

This year we are bringing an international Startup Weekend facilitator to town, one of the original Startup Weekend crew. We reckon it'll be a weekend to remember.

Tickets for Kapiti Startup Weekend are on sale now. Sign up to startup.

All details about the warmup event on Weds 19 July are here: https://www.meetup.com/Kapiti-Startup-Innovate-Network-Meetup/events/241580254/


Friday July 28th

5:30 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

8:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 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 July 29th

8:00 am
Arrive, breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
One minute update
A quick check in with each team to see how they are going, and what teams need.

9:45 am
Validation time
Take an opportunity to get out of the building and go and meet with potential customers. Collect all the information you can on what people think of your idea.

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
One minute update
After-lunch check-in, status reports and updates, call for help

2:00 pm
Mentor help
Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

2:30 pm
Build and scale
Get to work on your business model, by working your way through the lean canvas. How will you make the financials work?

6:30 pm

7:00 pm
One minute update
Time for teams to check in with what they are doing, and how validation is going.

7:30 pm
Pitch practice
First round of pitch practice for teams.

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

Sunday July 30th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Pitch practice 2
A second chance to run through your pitch and get feedback from mentors.

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Pitch Practice 3
Final chance to run through and get all your thoughts sorted before the big event.

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
Tools down and time to relax before the pitches

6:00 pm
Pitch Night
Each team will present their polished pitch to judges.

8:00 pm
Judging & Awards
The winning teams are announced! Prizes, and glory!

8:30 pm
Time to say thanks, goodbye and it was fun, and to think about doing it all again next year...

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Shane Reiser

Shane is an international faciliator with Startup Weekend, former COO of Startup Weekend and a successful entrepreneur. He currently runs a boutique consultancy, Your Ideas are Terrible, based in Seattle, US.

Ben Bell

Ben is the founder of Wellbands, a technology startup in the healthcare sector. He has participated in the R9 2.0 accelerator programme, been a TEDx and Stanford MEDx speaker, and won the Young Wellingtonian of the Year award in 2016. 

Event Judges

Craig Ironside

Jo Allum
Co-Founder at Venture Centre Tauranga

Jo Allum is Co-founder, Investor and Director of Venture Centre the Bay of Plenty’s entrepreneurial and digital capability development centre which launched in 2014. 
She moved to New Zealand in 2007 with her partner who is Tauranga Moana tangata whenua and their two tamariki. For five years she has simultaneously worked on Venture Centre and strategic communications for the Angel Association of New Zealand to support growth in angel investor and angel group numbers and investor education. Prior to that Jo spent 15 years in Australia having moved from her home in London where she began work as a typographer/graphic designer in the print industry. 
While in Australia Jo co-created and launched mass-market publications for Murdoch owned Pacific Publications, worked with startups ranging from in-flight interactive content development, ecommerce, music, entertainment and news, which included personal experiences with both early-stage investment and acquisitions.
Jo has excelled in roles in publishing, communications, marketing and digital platform development building communities of interest online and off as diverse as Parents/Children with Parenting Australia, and Investors/Private Equity with Professional Investor.
Jo is passionate about the development of a community enabled learning network. The Venture Centre team has prototyped a system so that the expertise, skills and experience which is held amongst the people of a geographic area is identified and shared through learn-by-doing events, projects and early stage startup development. The goal of this innovative social enterprise is to increase the economic and social value created for and by the people in the community to improve equality of economic opportunity.

Dave Moskovitz
Professional Geek

First and foremost, Dave is a dad and husband, but most of the time he describes himself as a professional geek.

Dave is passionate about a lot of things, especially the things that enable his family to develop and thrive, as well as the communities of which he is a part of. Dave is involved with WebFund and Ligntning Lab where he launches online startups, and Think Tank Consulting where he helps clients with governance, strategy, sensible exploitation of IT, and lexicography.  Dave is an active member of AngelHQ, Wellington’s Angel Investment Club, and is a director in a number of companies including The Appreciation EngineDomain Name Commission LimitedPublons, and Starup New Zealand Limited. Dave is on the InterentNZ Council, and a strong supporter of Open Source software. Dave thinks that software patents are stupid.  He's also a Councillor (director) at Open Polytechnic because he thinks distance learning is about to completely disrupt tertiary education, and he believes OP’s non-MOOC blended model is a winner for delivering vocational education in New Zealand and around the world.

Coaches and Mentors

Tobias Gerschner

Tobias is an experienced entrepreneur and startup founder. With a background in tech, he works with New Zealand and international companies to develop fit-for-purpose solutions.

Sam Parkin
Software Developer, Social Entrepreneur

Born in New Plymouth, raised in Raglan and currently living in Wellington, Sam is an experienced analyst developer and founder of multiple startups. Specialising in early stage tech solutions and lean methodologies he has over 30 years programming experience, and is passionate about community empowerment provided through platforms such as Wellington’s PHP programming language and Linux user groups.
Sam is a Foundation member of Enspiral http://www.enspiral.com - a bold experiment to create a collaborative network that helps people do meaningful work. This decentralised network of social entrepreneurs is finding the balance of autonomy and collaboration, and innovating new processes and tools in business, technology, and social change.
A self selected geek his outside interests usually revolve around technology: hardware hacking with his 3D printer and the Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms although he also claims to own more guitars than the number of songs he knows how to play on them.

Dan Khan

Dan's entrepreneurial exploits are vast. After exiting a US$100M social network venture in the UK in 2000 as a lead software engineer, he has since co-founded six further ventures over the last 12 years. In 2010, Dan helped launch Startup Weekend NZ, and in 2012 designed and led Lightning Lab, New Zealand’s top startup accelerator. His many projects have included developing social networks, freight forwarding systems, web development and design services, mentoring marketplace, jewellery design, charity guidance, and a clothing company. He speaks nationally on early stage startup execution and lean startup methodologies; mentors early stage startups, and helped Auckland’s early-stage startup ecosystem with regular startup-focused events. Dan is passionate about connecting people through technology and innovation, with a goal to building a sustainable early-stage web/mobile startup ecosystem in New Zealand. He is currently the Director of ZeroPoint Ventures, a new type of accelerator supporting companies in New Zealand.

Paul Spence
Co-founder of Iwantmyname

Paul is a co-founder of iwantmyname a Wellington based domain name registrar that serves around 100,000 customers globally. He has also been involved in 18 Startup Weekend events as a participant, organiser, mentor, sponsor or judge, including a recent guest spot as an international judge at Bali Startup Weekend: Social Innovation. Paul is also the New Zealand editor for Startup Digest, a weekly newsletter of all the coolest startup, tech and innovation related events. You can reach him @GeniusNet on Twitter.

Brendon King
Serial Entrepreneur

Brendon has been the driving force behind Kapiti-based Creative Coast since its launch in 2008. He has been involved in both the promotion & development of digital creative services and content.
He was the executive producer of 2012 independent NZ feature length film 'Eternity'​, and now is focused on VR technology with his company Immersify.  He has been a featured speaker with Spark Ventures, and has spent time with Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey, and others in Silicon Valley. Passionate about business acceleration, and realising Kapiti's potential, Brendon has skills in startup, business, investment and marketing - as well as several years as a Saatchi and Saachi digital advertising creative.

Liz Koh

Liz established her financial planning company—Moneymax—in 1999, after a successful career in management. Her practical, common-sense advice has led to a flourishing business. She has built a profile locally and nationally through publishing a book  (Your Money Personality: Unlock the Secret to a Rich and Happy Life, Awa Press, 2008) and writing articles for newspapers, magazines and websites.   Liz has a Master’s degree in Economics. She is an Authorised Financial Adviser, a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Accountant and Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. She is a volunteer mentor with Business Mentors New Zealand, a past President of Rotary Club of Kapiti and is on the Wellington panel of the J. R. McKenzie Trust. Liz is Deputy Chair of the Nikau Foundation and was recently the Chair of the Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Brad Milne

Brad is the CEO of Avali Payments & MD of Symbiant Systems. He is passionate, driven and loves to see people thrive to their potential, in whatever arena. With a science education, a history of direct sales, and broad IT experience from multinationals, small companies, and government agencies, he brings a collection of skills and outside perspectives to each situation.
Brad cofounded Symbiant Systems in 2009 which provides essential software for airports and air industry providers, including Flight Information Display Systems seen at many NZ airports.
Avali Payments is in a soft launch stage and works to simplify payments while at the same time making it cheaper and more secure.
Brad loves life on the Kapiti Coast where he's a dedicated member of his church, and proud husband and father to 4 kids.

Averil Maher
Business Consultant

Averil is an experienced Business Coach and Success Strategist who helps people to recognise their gifts and talents, and how to then share them with the world, grow their business and make an impact. Averil specialises in helping people to develop the right mindset, understand money, marketing and how to run an effective business - and use some out of the box thinking. She has lived the journey herself, having created a thriving business from the ground up.  Averil is a Kapiti local, who works with local, national and international clients.

Katherine Speidell

Katherine was the youngest participant to lead a team at Startup Weekend Tauranga, and has been a mentor at Tauranga Mashup. She is also a TEDx speaker, and a leading young entrepreneur in Tauranga.

George Rybin

George is the Director of Webcorner, a full-service web design company. He enjoys providing client-based solutions across a range of IT requirements.With a passion for technology, he has experience in website design, development and online learning solutions as well as working behind the scenes in networking, problem solving and client support.

Ross Allen
CEO - Co-Founder

With a background in design, marketing, and strategy, Ross has the perfect balance of skills for helping companies achieve marketing success. Since founding Leverage in 2013, he has helped companies accelerate growth using design thinking, business strategy,  smart technology and bleeding edge marketing techniques. This has given companies the resources they need to grow their brands and capture qualified leads.

His passion for forward-thinking solutions and creative problem solving, Ross has established an extensive history of pushing innovative ideas to deliver commercial opportunities.  Ross has an MBA and BcApSc (Design)

Gary Weatherhead

Gary is the founder of Island Audio, a Kapiti based business specialising in acoustic space analysis. With a background in tech, business and building resilience, Gary brings a wide range of skills to Startup Weekend.

MJ Brodie


Susan Handisides
Business Consultant

Susan has a wealth of experience working with businesses and corporates to improve their people, cashflow, results and processes and enhance their work life balance through working smarter not harder. She is a chartered accountant, soft skills trainer, and career practitioner with considerable knowledge and expertise to enable people and businesses to improve their practices, relationships and profitability. Susan rounds out a capable and experienced Business Buddy team.
Susan has held a range of roles - from self employed to large corporates, and been involved with not for profit organisations and the state sector.
A long time Kapiti Coast resident Susan lives with her husband Steve, 3 teenagers and 3 cats, so gets the challenge of juggling work life balance. When she’s not working you’ll find her at the gym, hanging out with family and friends or involved in local community events.

Jim Taylor

Jim is another one of our fabulous UK imports that has joined our Startup Weekend Mentoring team this year. In his day job, he works for Theta, and leads emerging technologies architecture and manages their innovation programme. Jim knows about bots, cloud computing, machine learning, and working with Microsoft .NET technologies and Unity.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Kapiti Startup Weekend 2017 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.



Organizing Team

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

  • Rebecca
  • MJ
  • Tobias
  • Ross
  • Dave
  • Shane


Shane Reiser

Former COO of Startup Weekend. Doing about 2/year now. Maybe yours?

Event Staff

Rebbeca Tayler

Rebecca is a public servant by day, and a startup enthusiast at any other time (not to mention a Startup Weekend junkie!). She is the proud owner of quite-a-bit of fabric, and one day dreams of owning her own pillow emporium.  So far, the only progress she has made is making pillows for all her friends.

Steven Brown

Event Blog

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