Startup Weekend Wellington HEALTH November 2015

    Friday, November 6 - 8, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Wellington HEALTH November 2015

Friday, November 6 - 8, 2015

Friday, November 6 - 8, 2015
Event starts at 10:00 am

Otago University
23A Mein St
Wellington, New Zealand

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NZ's first Health-themed Startup Weekend

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! This Startup Weekend will be health-themed, so teams will be working on health-related startup ideas.

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 four ticket types. There are "Developer" tickets for the people who can do clever things with code and technology. There are "Designer" tickets for those who can make things and experiences beautiful. There are "Non-technical" tickets for those who can bring a business alive through business models, marketing, or other entrepreneurial voodoo. And for healthcare workers, administrators, academics, health-techies and any others that work in the health sector, there are "Health Professional" tickets.

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 - It's a Health-theme 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? Buy 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 Startup Weekend Wellington Health 6-8 November will work something like this - On Friday night (6 November) 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 health-related 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: Banqer, Orientation Aotearoa, TranscribeMe, Twingl, 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 or healthcare professional 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. Get tickets here.  

Hmm...maybe, I'm not sure.... Read some of our blog posts, ask a question, or come to our official Startup Weekend HEALTH Warmup event on 19 October.

The last few Startup Weekends in Wellington have sold out, so get in early.

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 November 6th

10:00 am
Pitch practice

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Welcome + intro
Learn about the weekend that awaits you

7:30 pm
Grab a bite and meet people

8:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

10:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:30 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

11:55 pm
Venue closes at 1am

Saturday November 7th

8:00 am
Doors open, breakfast
Grab some food and get stuck into it

9:00 am
First 1min updates

12:00 pm
Lunch, 1min updates

6:30 pm
Dinner, 1 min update

10:00 pm
1st Pitch practice

11:55 pm
Venue closes at 1am

Sunday November 8th

8:00 am

9:00 am
Last 1min update

10:00 am
2nd Pitch practice

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
3rd Pitch practice

2:00 pm
Tech Check

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Candace Kinser
Advisor & Board Director

Former chief executive of the NZ Tech Industry Association, Candace has headed up a global genetics software company Biomatters, was national industry manager for health at Telecom NZ. She is also a former director of the NZ Health IT Cluster and holds advanced qualifications in biopharmaceuticals. 

Dr Virginia Hope
Medical Director Health Group, ESR

Virginia is a deeply experienced health practitioner and leader in the sector, chairing the two DHBs in the Wellington region and leading the health programme at ESR. She is a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to health, and has worked in several jurisdictions throughout New Zealand health care. 

Dave Murray
Vice President, Engineering, Volpara Solutions

Dave leads the engineering team at Volpara Solutions, following twenty years in the medical device industry for GE Healthcare, TomoTherapy Incorporated (now Accuray), and as a consultant. His experience covers numerous international markets including Europe and the US.

Martina Battisti
Senior Lecturer, Entrepreneurship, Massey University

Martina is Massey University’s startup expert and has been a mentor and speaker at numerous Startup Weekends. She is an editor for the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research and director on the Small Enterprise Association Australia and New Zealand. 

Coaches and Mentors

Josh O'Connor
IT Operations Manager at Pacific Radiology Group

Josh has worked in IT for over 20 years, with over a decade dedicated to medical IT. He has provided IT services to small 2-3 people firms right up to large organisations such as Compaq (now HP) and the NZ Defence force. He has led the IT department at Pacific Radiology since 2007.

Frances Guyett
CEO at New Zealand Health Innovation Hub

Dr Guyett comes to us from Melbourne where she has been working with the RMIT University Science, Engineering and Health College as Director, Industry Engagement and Commercialisation. Prior to that role she spent six years as chief executive of RDDT Laboratories in Melbourne - a research organisation providing services to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and chemical industries specializing in medical devices, oncology, cardiovascular and dermatology research. She has held other senior industry appointments in business development and pharmaceutical companies in Australia, Japan, Europe, the United States and Latin American countries. Dr Guyett is passionate about working alongside others to bring about opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and potentially, the wealth of countries. She has worked around the world over the past 20 years in a range of roles that have provided her with rich experiences working alongside innovators.

Kevin Sheehy
Director and Co Founder at Genulin Interactive

Kevin is an ex-GP who has experience working at the NZ regulator (Medsafe) and previously represented the pharmaceutical industry as head of Medicines New Zealand. He is now consulting on diverse Health-IT and medical technology projects with the dual objective of improving New Zealanders’ health and prosperity. He is the Health Lead for Navigator Limited (a consulting firm) and is president of the NZ Association of Clinical Research 2015 Exec committee. Kevin trained in Cape Town and has worked in clinical practice in South Africa and the UK, both in private and public healthcare. “Developing a successful health technology based company is a complex challenge, but helping kiwi companies navigate the crucial areas of health economics, clinical research and market access is where I excel”.

Jose Ganga
Director, RentLogics

Jose is the founder of Rentlogics and a practiced tech entrepreneur with experience around the world. He also organises Startup Weekend Queenstown.

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.

Vanessa Young
R&D Investment Manager at Grow Wellington

Vanessa works at Grow Wellington, where she assists technology and manufacturing companies with growth aspirations and disruptive thinking to build a strong business cases to access Callaghan Innovation R&D funding and technical expertise. Grow Wellington is the economic development agency for the Wellington Region.

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.

Nick Johnstone
Developer at Powershop

Nick graduated from the first cohort of Enspiral Dev Academy and now working at Powershop, training developers and writing code. He is the co-organizer of Railsn00bs, a meetup for anyone who wants to learn code and has participated in Startup Weekend twice so far. He is passionate about problem solving and communities and enjoys programming, downhill skateboarding and making cool things.

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.

Suse Reynolds

Suse is an active angel investor and has a keen interest in science and technology commercialisation. She is the executive director of the Angel Association of NZ. 

Kirsty Irvine
Team Leader & Senior Analyst at Capital & Coast DHB

By day, Kirsty leads a team of lean, mean...analysts. She is a fan of all things tech and geeky and believes that innovation will save the world. Or perhaps even her creaky knee joints. As a Startup Weekend alum, she hopes to help inspire and be inspired by the cool ideas at the upcoming SW.

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.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Wellington HEALTH November 2015 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

Via Innovations (Canterbury District Health Board) is the premiere sponsor of New Zealand's first Startup Weekend HEALTH

Visit Website


National Sponsorship



Organizing Team

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

  • David
  • Nick
  • Sarah
  • Laura
  • Sarah
  • Aimee
  • Becky
  • Shayne
  • Lingy


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.

Event Blog

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