Startup Weekend Queenstown

    Friday, October 17 - 19, 2014

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

Friday, October 17 - 19, 2014

Friday, October 17 - 19, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Queenstown Resort College
7 Coronation Drive
Queenstown, Otago 9300

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Queenstown's First Startup Weekend! Get Involved!

We're stoked to announce Queenstown's first Startup Weekend and we'd love you to be a part of it. 

Do you often find yourself :
  • With lots of innovative ideas?
  • Wanting to express yourself and develop in a way you can't during 9-5?
  • Have an inner geek just wanting to socialise and build something cool?
  • Have a flair for design and keen to express that as part of a project?
  • A team builder and keen to be involved building something cool in 54 hours?
  • ...or just want to be part of a cool innovative weekend in Queenstown?
If so...we want you!

You may have seen other Startup Weekends around New Zealand and it's coming to Queenstown on Friday 17 - Sunday 19th October 2014.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday October 17th

6:30 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

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 October 18th

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 October 19th

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

Robin MacIntosh
Programme Manager Research and Development Ngāi Tahu

Robin’s interest and experience is in bringing interdisciplinary skill sets together to create and solve faster and better.  Business development and the commercialization of science have been Robin’s focus over the past few years working with Landcare Research and now Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu where she is working with the Tribal Interests team.  Living in New Zealand, Canada and Australia she has worked with scientists, marketers, surgeons, IT professionals, farmers, students, statisticians and telephone repairers. Her formal background is in economics, agricultural science and children’s literature.

John MacDonald
Director at Real Time Booking Systems Ltd

John has been working in the Tourism Industry since 1984. He has a broad range of experience, which includes roles as a Ski Guide and Driver, Managing Director Danes Shotover Rafts Ltd and Queenstown Information Centre, Chairman Destination Queenstown, Chairman Queenstown Winter Marketing Group, Managing Director Whyte Waters Group Ltd. 

John has been very involved tourism marketing and in the development of tourism publications as Publisher and creating innovative web based software systems. His views on the tourism industry, government and the economy are at times provocative so we're sure to enter some great debate!

Michael Hesp
Director at Thexton Armstrong Hesp Limited

Michael has held a wide range of roles in finance and general management across a number of industries. 

These include roles as diverse as being part of a management buy-out team to being one of the team that restructured and then wound up the New Zealand Wool Board. 

He has both prepared and evaluated new business proposals ranging from boat brokerage to cuisine schools to student accommodation.
Michael is a CA and holds a Masters of Applied Finance from Victoria University.

He is enjoying his new role assisting small business owners achieve their business visions.

Coaches and Mentors

Nick Churchouse
Head of Customer Engagement at Creative HQ

Nick is a national facilitator for Startup Weekend NZ and will be ensuring this events goes like clockwork (or at least as much as Startup Weekends can). Nick loves bringing the customer insight, relationships and human experience into the early stages of Startups so will be a great asset to bringing some realism and validation into your ideas.

Geoff Brash
CEO GBJ Innovation

Advisor, investor and director for high-growth startups.

Xing Dong Yan
CEO at JCCA Chartered Accountants & Business Consultants

Xing Dong is a good friend of Startup Weekend having run two in Invercargill as part of Innov8 Invercargill... the home of the World's Southernmost Startup Weekend! Xing Dong is the CEO of JCCA Chartered Accountants and therefore has a great exposure to many types of businesses, and is passionate about the growth of businesses in Southland and around.

Michael Sly
Owner, Taramea Ltd / Wilding & Co.

Talk about innovation...what about distilling wilding pine trees into perfume? Michael is an experienced Director and Owner in businesses ranging from Web Agencies to Property Development and Perfumes.

Dorenda Britten
Design Thinker and Design Strategist


Stu Sharpe
Founder, Cannonball Software

Stu is a seasoned programmer and technology consultant, who has been involved with two iconic New Zealand companies. The first as Lead Programmer, then Technical Director at Wellington's PikPok (formally known as Sidhe), creating video games for Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo platforms. The second as a contributor to products created by Dunedin's Animation Research Ltd, including the official mobile apps for the America's Cup which won an Emmy award in New York earlier this year. Stu is co-founder of Cannonball Software Ltd and founder of the Queenstown Technology Group.

Royal Reed
Bilingual Lawyer at Prestige Lawyers and TV Presenter

Ever wondered how the legal system works in the Startup World? Royal Reed owns an award winning legal firm Prestige Lawyers. Royal is bilingual and has great experience bringing companies to NZ and has worked with many startups in both NZ and Asia. Royal also presents on TV, consults on Chinese strategy and serves on other boards.

Kelly Barry
Director at Maverick and Maven

Kelly is a bona fide maverick when it comes to start ups. 
Kelly was honoured this year for her innovative and philanthropic event, Rumble in the Rubble and was named winner of the New Zealand Association of Event Professionals Young Event Professional for 2014. The NZAEP awards recognise events that have positively impacted New Zealand, its regions or local communities.
Kelly also works as a project manager with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Economic Development team and brings a mix of professional guidance and maverick edginess to the start up bench.

Richie O'Meara
Director at Affleck Dodd O'Meara

Richie is a Partner in Affleck Dodd O’Meara, the ‘Accounting Superheroes’. He has a varied background across a number of industries in NZ and overseas including media, tourism and technology where has a worked as a CFO, Management Consultant and Analyst. He has a great appreciation of the commercial reality for new business ideas and has a wealth of experience in funding and structuring for high growth entities. 
Richie holds a Masters in International Finance and is a CA.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Jose
  • Nathan
  • Darren

Event Blog

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