Startup Weekend Wellington

    Friday, May 26 - 28, 2017

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

Friday, May 26 - 28, 2017

Friday, May 26 - 28, 2017
Event starts at 5:15 pm

115 Tory Sreet
Te Aro
Wellington, New Zealand 6011

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Startup Weekend 2017 is here! Bring your ideas along to Startup Weekend Wellington!

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

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

Registrations open now.  Sign up to startup  

What is a Startup Weekend? 

Startup Weekend is where startup enthusiasts get together to form new businesses in a 54-hour marathon of inspiration, perspiration, collaboration, and fun! 

Who should come to a Startup Weekend?

Anyone! All levels of experience and skill are welcome to join us on this intense, marvellous ride.

There are three ticket types for this Startup Weekend:
- "Developer" tickets for the people who can do clever things with code and technology. 
- "Designer" tickets for those who can make things and experiences beautiful. 
- "Non-technical" tickets for those who can bring a business alive through business models, marketing, or other entrepreneurial voodoo. 

Why do a Startup Weekend?

  1. Learn how to startup a business through doing it instead of just reading about it.
  2. Build your network by spending a weekend with Wellington’s doers and makers.
  3. Meet potential co-founders, there’s no better way to find people you want to work with – Founders from three out of the six finalists at Webstock Startup Alley 2015 had been through a Startup Weekend.
  4. Step outside of your comfort zone – Try your hand at something new.
  5. Actually launch a business – Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months.
  6. Work on an idea that could actually help people.
  7. Get face time with local tech and startup leaders who come along as coaches and judges.
  8. Join a global community of over 45,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.
Need no more convincing? Get tickets here

Still not sure if it's for you? Read on.

How do Startup Weekends work?

Enthusiastic teams, amazing mentors, Lean Startup methodology are thrown together in a cool space with good food and great things happen.

No, but really how do they work?

The weekend will work something like this - On Friday night a bunch of people will turn up excited, and maybe a bit nervous because they don't know what the weekend has in store for them. There will be ice-breaker games and dinner, before the pitching begins. Everyone is encouraged to pitch (but you don't have to). If you do pitch you will have one minute (no more) to tell everyone what your idea is and convince people to join your team.

Team forming will be an amazing whirling of people out of which around 10-15 teams emerge. Teams will find a place to set-up base and will spend the rest of Friday night forming a plan of attack. Some teams will get started straight-away, others will go home and be ready to start the next day.

Saturday will be about validation and building your product and business. Validation means getting out and talking to customers. You will find out if your idea is something people want, and if it's not what they want, how can you pivot your idea and solution to find a market. You'll keep on validating all weekend - who are your customers? How much will they pay? Do they like what you're building?  Are they willing to buy? You will be using these insights to build your product and your business model, which will be key ingredients for your pitch.

The pitch is what Sunday will be about. On Sunday by dinner time someone (or a few someones) from your team will be doing a 5 minute presentation which tells the judges about your business - what you've built, who you intend to sell to, and what you plan to do next. The best teams win prizes, and everyone will eat, drink and be merry and go home buzzing from the experience.

What happens after Startup Weekend?

Where you go from there is up to you. Notable startups that were born at Startup Weekends in NZ are: BanqerTranscribeMeTwingl, Orientation Aotearoa and many more. But the real value you'll get from the weekend are taking an idea through to execution in 54 hours using Lean tactics, and working closely under high pressure with the best startup  people Wellington has to offer.

So who is it for again?

Whether you just want to find out what the world of startups is like in a fun environment, you're a developer or designer looking for the next big thing, or you are an entrepreneur looking for a team to turn your idea into reality, Startup Weekend is a fantastic way to test your own abilities and meet great people along the way.
Ok, I'm convinced. Buy tickets here

Hmm...maybe, I'm not sure.... Read some of our blog postsask a question, or come to one of our free warm-up events beforehand.

The last few Startup Weekends in Wellington have sold out, so make sure you get in early! There may be door sales at the event itself but this will be considered on a case by case basis.

If your ticket class has already gone, we encourage you to join the waiting list. There's always a few cancellations, and those on the waiting list get first swing at tickets for the next event.


Friday May 26th

5:15 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:45 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 May 27th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:15 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

9:00 am
1 minute updates, then start validating, building, designing - Get out of the building - validate problems and solutions with real people. Explore business models.

12:00 pm
Lunch and 1 minute updates

6:30 pm
Dinner and 1 minute updates

7:30 pm
Pitch practice #1
First practices of your five minute pitches are done to a team of mentors

11:55 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday May 28th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
1 minute updates
Tell everyone where your team is at

10:00 am
Pitch practice #1

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Pitch practice #3

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
Final presentations begin

7:30 pm

8:30 pm
Judging & Awards

9:00 pm
Clean up & go home!

Event Judges

Bruno Bordignon
Director at Limited

Bruno advises NZ and international clients on corporate and commercial law. Bruno has advised over 50 NZ startups in relation to many of their key business milestones including, building teams, capital raising, expansion into new international markets, business acquisitions, and many successful sales. He also advises on the investor side, acting for angel clubs and one of New Zealand’s most active high-growth technology investment funds. Outside of, Bruno is an active angel investor and is a board member of Angel HQ Incorporated, a Wellington based Angel investment club.

Kristen Lunman
Programme Director - Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator at Lightning Lab

Kristen is passionate about women in leadership, governance, and founder roles. Kristen is a senior strategy and operations professional with over a decade of experience running marketing and product teams at multinational organisations. As Wipster’s former COO and Head of Marketing, Kristen has had tremendous success scaling product growth and understanding the customer journey and providing exceptional customer experiences. Kristen is currently directing New Zealand’s first fintech accelerator, supporting startups to accelerate their fintech ventures and furthering the vision to position New Zealand as a fintech hub. This role requires deep digital expertise and a good understanding of the underlying fintech technologies, markets and challenges.

Shaveer Mirpuri
CEO of Goat Ventures

CEO of Goat Ventures, an early stage technology VC. In 2016, Goat Ventures has taken positions in 7 NZ and US startups spanning IOT, VR, AR, computer vision, online marketplaces, and data/analytics. 
Goat Ventures is small group of award winning NZ investors and exited entrepreneurs that shifted in 2017 to invest in the future of big business by creating it. The latest is a $2M co-investment with MinterEllisonRuddWatts (NZ Law Firm of the Year at the Chambers Asia-Pacific Awards), to jointly form and oversee a new Legal Artificial Intelligence business, where the team includes 6 AI PhDs ex Microsoft, Spark, Xero, PwC, IBM, etc.

Shaveer also serves on the board of Rush Digital, a team of 50 hi-tech creators executing technology stretches across Oceania and The Americas, for organisations including Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Disney, and ExxonMobil. Previously at Wooga in Germany, a startup turned 300 employees, which raised $24M from major VCs. Engagements include various mentor/advisory roles at the Lightning Lab Accelerator, Vodafone Xone Incubator, addressing Chancellor Angela Merkel on her startup tour of Berlin, and many more. 

Suse Reynolds
Private investor, Director, Chair

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.

Coaches and Mentors

Amelia Devine
Resource Manager at Creative HQ

Amelia has come from a diverse background of fast-paced work environments. She excels at ensuring high-quality customer service and building strong relationships. Amelia is passionate about consistently adding value, creating great environments and seeing others thrive within them.

Clint van Marrewijk
Managing Director

Clint is an ex-mechanical engineer that somehow ended-up building software for a living. In his spare time he likes to read books and build things, and of course, give us a hand at Startup Weekend.

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.

Finn Lawrence
Co-founder at Mevo

Co-founder at Mevo. Innovation Consultant at Creative HQ. Front end developer. Lightning Lab Programme Manager. 

James Elliott
Management Consultant and Entrepreneur

James has a broad background as a management consultant spanning strategy, marketing, process improvement, product development and finance.

James has a passion for helping businesses and individuals identify and make progress towards their complex goals.  He is also an investor and runs Getting Things Done (NZ).

Martin White
Head of Business Agility at Trade Me

With job titles ranging from Build Controller to Software Development Manager, Developer to Delivery Manager, I have a wide range of experience from my 20-ish years in the IT industry. As a leader I adapt my style to the situation at hand, but always default to a hands-off style based on empowerment of my team (this isn't just a platitude, I consciously use a number of techniques to do this). My strengths are getting the best out of people, challenging established work practices to find better ways and continuously improving both myself and people around me.

Max Bessone
Founder at MAXMATTER Ltd

Max is a creative & conceptual thinker, a design freelancer with 14 years of experience between Italy, Australia, New Zealand and often involved in overseas projects and contracts. He’s worked extensively on branding, advertising, print materials, campaigns, POS and most of his experience has been focused on UX.

Mohammed Saud Khan
Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Strategic Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Mohammad Saud Khan is a lecturer in the area of Strategic Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Background includes Business Development, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, Mechatronics Engineering, and Technology and Economics. His current areas of interest include Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship, Teams, Organisational Behaviour and Uncertainty Management in relation to people, organisation and technology. 
Saud’s research has focused on investigating entrepreneurial teams within high-tech business incubators.

Paul Spence
Director, cofounder, COO

Early stage tech venture development. Business project management. Technology sector facilitation and collaboration. Virtual communities. Geosciences. Aviation industry.

Specialties: Domain registrar industry software development. New venture development.
Technology event project management. Innovation commentator / blogger. Social media marketing. Commercial pilot and flight instructor. Geologist & Meteorologist. Quality management, ISO 9000 auditor. 

Raphael Nolden
Co-founder and CEO - Osnova

Raphael began his career in the field of education and reserach, been a lecture for over 3 years at the University of Canterbury. He also has a background in medical physics where he co-developed a patent in the health tech sector.

Currently He is CEO and Founder of Osnova, the creators of Amy an Artificial Intelligence based private tutoring system for maths. He has been previously well associated with many startup weekends in New Zealand and TedX

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.

Sunit Prakash

Sunit is an experienced IT professional with global and local experience. He is an expert in lean and agile methods, and strategy, design, transition, operations & improvement.

Terry Shubkin
Chief Executive Officer

Terry Shubkin helps to develop the entrepreneurial mind set and capability in young people. Terry currently leads the team at Young Enterprise which works as the beginning of the start up ecosystem by helping students set up and run an actual business while they are still in school.Prior to moving into the ecosystem, Terry had almost 20 years in the IT industry working for many large corporates. Her early career was in sales and sales management, before she moved into General Management and leadership roles. Terry is a keen Startup Weekend Wellington supporter.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Ceara
  • David
  • Elizabeth
  • Finn
  • Hannah
  • Johanna
  • Kelcey
  • Laura
  • Lingy
  • Mais
  • Max
  • Rosie
  • Sarah
  • Hannah


David Clearwater
Regional Director at the Ākina Foundation

David has been participating, running and facilitating Startup Weekends since 2011.

His day job is growing social enterprise at Ākina Foundation, and his passion is where business meets technology meets social impact.

David is a commercial guy who loves building businesses, teams, products and people.

Laura Reitel
Mentor at StartupWiseGuys, Programme Director at Lightning Lab

Laura is well established on the startup scene crossing the globe from Estonia to Boulder in Colorado to NZ. Having worked for several VC's, Investor programmes and accelerators Laura is a superb addition to the team bringing a great deal of insight from the startup world.

Event Blog

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