Startup Weekend Taranaki

    Friday, October 18 - 20, 2019

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

Friday, October 18 - 20, 2019

Friday, October 18 - 20, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Manifold Coworking Space
21 Devon Street West
New Plymouth, Taranaki 4310

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with? 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

See what it's all about

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Friday October 18th

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

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

7:00 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 19th

8:30 am
Open Door

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 20th

8:30 am
Open Door

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

David MacLeod
Chairman of the Taranaki Regional Council

David MacLeod has a range of international and national experience in governance and business in Taranaki. Born and bred in South Taranaki, David’s current governance roles include Taranaki Regional Council Chairman, director of Port Taranaki, director of Parininihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation (PKW), which owns 20,000 hectares of farmland, and Managing Director of Greaves Electrical, Taranaki's largest electrical contracting business, which he established after initially training as an electrician. He was Fonterra's first Maori director, a position which he stepped down from in November 2017 after being elected in 2011. David has a large network of contacts both regionally and nationally including many business leaders and Central Government MP’s and executives. A Justice of the Peace also, David has been described as one of Taranaki's busiest people, but says he only commits to work he is passionate about.

Justine Gilliland
Chief Executive at Venture Taranaki

Justine Gilliland commenced as Chief Executive in March 2019. Prior to joining Venture Taranaki, Justine held the position of Deputy Director General Sector Partnerships and Programmes at the Ministry for Primary Industries, where she led multi-million dollar investment programmes, Māori partnerships, regional development, and the establishment of Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) and the 1 billion trees programme. Justine previously led MPI’s research and development and other external grants and funds programmes, and ran the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the building failures in the Christchurch earthquakes. She has held numerous other public sector leadership roles across strategy, communications, policy, operations, and innovation investment functions, and has been admitted as barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
Justine grew up in Taranaki, attending Sacred Heart Girls’ College before completing arts and law degrees at the University of Otago. She relocated back to the region in November 2018 with her husband and young family.

@ tbc


Coaches and Mentors

Mike Bellomo
Technical Director

Michael is Technical Director at Analysis Paralysis, an NZ-based data & analytics company passionate about applying imagination to information, revealing insights, solving problems & creating new opportunities. Michael’s roles have included working with a range of public and private sector clients.  He has deep technical knowledge across a range of software databases and platforms and languages.  His industry experience includes telecommunications, retail and local and central government.  He is also an ex-pat and often refers to himself as ‘ex-American’ after having lived in NZ for 15 years.

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 - 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.

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.

Natalie Wiseman
General Manager, Transitional Economy at Venture Taranaki

Natalie has an agile mindset and loves helping teams solve problems. She’s a registered Change Practitioner, and is passionate about using inclusive processes and collective impact planning to ensure a comprehensive view in project delivery. Natalie is leading the Taranaki 2050 work for Venture Taranaki, and helping facilitate the transition to a low-emissions economy for the region. She has a diverse marketing, change, communications and project management background. And, spent six years working in Tokyo before sharpening her skills in Sydney and Perth prior to her return to Taranaki.

Loren Anderson
Business Advisor at Velocite Ltd

Loren is a business strategist currently employed by Velocite Ltd as a business advisor. Day to day Loren works with businesses (startups through to large enterprises) across Taranaki supporting them to develop and execute business growth strategies. She is absolutely passionate about enabling the success of her clients and the role they play in the success of Taranaki. Outside of her role at Velocite Loren actively contributes to the local community and has held various volunteer positions which include sitting as an executive committee member of the Taranaki Young Professionals, a Taranaki Futures Accelerator programme mentor and is currently a Young Enterprise Scheme team mentor. Loren is also involved at a governance level in her family’s dairy farming business. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Victoria University and an Executive MBA from Massey University.

Joel Zimmermann
Strategy Analyst at TSB

Joel is passionate about innovation and strategy. He admires a well formulated strategy but is a firm believer in solid implementation because without it, a strategy is just words on a page.  Joel spends his work life at TSB and has held a range of roles including Business Analyst, Product Manager, Product Owner and now Strategy Analyst. Reporting directly to the GM of Strategy and Innovation Joel collaborates with all levels from CEO to front line. Using his broad understanding of banking and business Joel’s role is to enable and facilitate TSB’s strategic direction. Joel is a is a 2x Start-up weekend participant and 1x winner. He holds a Bachelor of Business in Management, Entrepreneurship and Small business from Massey University and is currently studying towards his Post-Graduate Diploma in Business

@ tbc


Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Taranaki 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.

Signature Sponsors



Organizing Team

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

  • Frank
  • Graham
  • John
  • Adarsh
  • Simeon
  • Katherine
  • Marcel


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.

Travis Cornwall

Consultant at EY

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