Startup Weekend Nelson 2017

    Friday, September 8 - 10, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Nelson 2017

Friday, September 8 - 10, 2017

Friday, September 8 - 10, 2017
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Arts & Media Building (G Block), Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT)
61 Nile Street
Nelson, New Zealand 7010

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Welcome to Startup Weekend Nelson 2017

Startup Weekend in Nelson is in it's 3rd year and we are super stoked to have a few of the teams from the first Startup Weekend still going. We have seen many of you come through other events throughout the years and we are so proud to see that Startup Weekend has had a significant impact to many people in the Nelson region.

So, what is it all about? In short, take a weekend off, it's going to be rainy anyway, and join other people learning and having fun building a company in a weekend. We often hear "I have nothing to offer" or "This is not for me" from those that after the weekend are the most keen to carry on realising their ideas and coming around to our follow up events. If you want to learn more about yourself and about a fun way to learn for a weekend with a lot of fun people then Startup Weekend is for you - even if you never thought of yourself as an entrepreneur and the word "startup" does not really resonate with you.

We will guarantee you fun, tons of learning that you can apply in day to day life and maybe we even get one or two companies that carry on.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday September 8th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in. Please note Welcome event is at T Block (T301), 69 Nile Street, Nelson

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

6:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:45 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 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 September 9th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 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

11:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday September 10th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Pitch Practice
Practice pitch to our coaches

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

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.

Suse Reynolds

Suse is driven by enthusiasm to play a key role in the promotion of New Zealand excellence. Currently she is pursuing this as a passionate believer in the power of angel investment to generate world changing businesses. Suse sits on the Board of the Wellington region's angel network, Angel HQ and is Executive Director of the New Zealand Angel Association.

Mark Houghton Brown

A professional Director with a background in agriculture, finance, sustainability, technology, governance and marketing. Also an investor and serial entrepreneur with core interests in health & innovation. - what excites me is helping grow fine teams to address significant markets whilst improving efficiency & quality of life - and using appropriate methodology to create a better future. I am an experienced leader, - aggregating capital and skills in the pursuit of progressive solutions which have material growth prospects and positive impacts on the environment, and ultimately an organic farmer, supportive partner & father of boys.

Coaches and Mentors

Sacha MacDonald

Sacha MacDonald of Ngā Puhi, Ngati Ruanui, Ngā Ruahine and European decent has over 20 years experience in business management, human resources, capability development and accounting.  Frequently called upon for organisational capability, recruitment and human capital development projects.  

An entrepreneur herself, currently founder and co-founder of 4 separate businesses, Sacha utilises her years of experience managing businesses and teams to effectively deliver excellence.

A graduate of the Darden School of Business and an EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women 2017, Sacha is driven on creating agile and scalable business models where people are at the heart of the organisation.

Richard Chadderton

Richard 'Chad' Chadderton Chad advises companies on strategy and raising capital from banks and investors. He has spent 25 years in London working in the Capital Markets, investing in global equities and bonds. His clients included Rio Tinto, British Red Cross, Unilever, Queens College Cambridge, World Wildlife Fund, Raiffeisen Bank, UBS Global and more. He came to live in Nelson almost three years ago and set up a Corporate Finance boutique where he helps companies present themselves to potential investors.

Jen Lund

Jen has a deep love for people and uses various tools to help others become focused, creative and resilient.
Born in Germany, she studied social law and professional coaching. A sabbatical in 2010 turned into moving to New Zealand and assisting people in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes.
Her work history covers government, social welfare, coaching, training, project coordination and recruitment in various countries and industries as well as being branch president of the International Coach Federation. 
According to Gallup, her top five strengths are strategic, activator, relator, maximizer and individualization. 
In her free time, she loves reading about all things psychology, doing hot yoga, running community meetups, driving around New Zealand in her mobile office van and drinking too much coffee.

Gordon Munro

Gordon Munroe As well as a Ph.D in Molecular Biology, Gordon has over twenty years experience in business systems and their associated infrastructure. He has owned and operated his own businesses and has worked for a range of organisations primarily implementing and maintaining large IT systems such as JD Edwards ERP software and managing IT systems. He now works as an Independent Business Technology consultant advising businesses on how business needs can be met by technology. He is passionate about the way technology enables businesses to work smarter.

Sarah Day
SUW Facilitator

Richard Butler

Richard has worked in the IT industry for 20 years as both an employee and owner of 2 separate businesses. He loves working with small businesses to help them achieve success. He has lived in the Nelson region for 15 years and enjoys the opportunity this region presents to live and work in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. He’s committed to developing this region into a hub of technology and innovation in New Zealand and the world.

Chloe and Florence Van Dyke

Chloe is the founder of CHIA + AWAKA. The company is recognised as a leader in the beverage industry in innovation and nutrition. CHIA + AWAKA is widely distributed throughout New Zealand and overseas. Export markets include Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Chloe is passionate about start ups, innovation, business planning and strategy, and export markets

Karol Laska

Karol’s business focus has been on development of various properties, infrastructure assets and start-ups combined with investment, funding and governance activities. Being a businessman with an entrepreneurial spirit I have found important and beneficial to be myself, to have a dream, to follow my passion and to make things happen by focusing on what can be done to make the dream come true rather than on obstacles ahead.

Jane Treadwell-Hoye

Jane is known for her passion for new ideas, people, technology and challenging the status quo.   She is in continual learning mode and encourages curiosity. 

Jane established epifani, a consultancy specialising in strategic approaches to client-centric engagement through organisational transformation, after 25 years working in professional services firms and large corporate environments. Working closely with her clients she strives to ensure that every client applies a customer lens to their strategies, enabling them to be truly customer-inspired in their approach to business. She partners with them to use customer insights, disruptive thinking and agile approaches to develop new ways of engaging customers.
 Prior to starting epifani, Jane headed up the Customer Experience Design team at Spark, a team tasked with creating and designing a more customer-inspired company culture delivering amazing experiences for customers as the company transitioned from old Telecom to new Spark. She previously lived and worked in London and Singapore for more than 8 years and mentored a number of small businesses, and start ups, during that time.  Before heading overseas, Jane founded and ran her own NZ business information and knowledge management consultancy, Knowwhere Consulting, growing it to 14 staff, with clients in NZ, Australia, Asia and the UK from a range of industry sectors including government, local authority, tertiary education, professional services - legal, accounting, architectural and engineering, and manufacturing.  

Jane has previously worked with, and mentored business owners, in Auckland, Dunedin and Melbourne.

Julian Clark
Associate Partner-Business Advisory

Julian is an Associate Partner and Business Advisory specialist with Findex Nelson. He is a Chartered Accountant with thirteen years experience.  His areas of special interest are forecasting and planning, business advice and financing assistance. Julian has mentored at start up weekends before and is excited to bring his knowledge and expertise to the Impact Nelson start up weekend

Organizing Team

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

  • Sacha
  • Christine
  • Lenz
  • Markus
  • Jen
  • Manuela
  • Leon
  • Christine


Lenz Gschwendtner
geek, mentor, punk

Lenz is founder of Springtimesoft Consulting, a Wellington New Zealand based consulting agency and co-founder of iwantmyname, a global player in the domain name industry. Prior to moving to New Zealand Lenz was part of fast growing startups in Germany and did his fair share in corporate IT management.Lenz has been managing teams for most of his adult life and is known to run highly effective and motivated teams that deliver exceptional results without compromises in happiness. Lenz is a mentor for startups at any stage of development and helps drive many industry activities that help grow a better startup community in New Zealand and world wide. Pay him coffee/beer and he will happily give you feedback on your current project or open up his network to find the person you need.

Pascale Hyboud Peron
Co-founder & Director | Venture Centre | Tauranga NZ

Hi I am Pascale Hyboud-Peron, I am a learning facilitator, using tech to take learning where it has not been before.  My experience is with the provision of technologies and frameworks to enable open knowledge sharing and community building. I have re-booted my teaching skills to walk the learn-by-doing talk and fell in a magic potion: entrepreneurship.  I have been involved with Startup Weekend as a participant, an organiser and a facilitator since 2014. I live the ‘SW vibe” daily as a co-founder of Venture Centre, a social enterprise focused on building the capability of the entrepreneurial community from the ground up.  I get to combine my passion for methodologies and tech and apply them to the real world, in real time. I work with grassroot teams, lighting the path from idea to scale, introducing new skills and connections through workshops and events. My kick? Witnessing the mindset shift and working with people where the learning is mutual.

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