Startup Weekend Wellington May 2016

    Friday, May 27 - 29, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Wellington May 2016

Friday, May 27 - 29, 2016

Friday, May 27 - 29, 2016
Event starts at 5:00 pm

Biz Dojo Wellington
115 Tory St
Te Aro
Wellington, New Zealand 6011

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CALLING ALL DESIGNERS, DEVELOPERS AND IDEAS FOLK: Startup Weekend returns to 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. 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. 

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 our warm-up event beforehand.

The last few Startup Weekends in Wellington have sold out, so make sure you 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 May 27th

5:00 pm
Registration opens
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Startup Weekend kicks off with a welcome, details on the event, and a warmup game

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

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
Line up to give your pitch if you have an idea - note this an encouraged but completely optional

8:30 pm
Form Teams
People vote for their favourite ideas, then 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

11:55 pm
SW closes for the night at 1am

Saturday May 28th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

9:15 am
Start validating, building, designing
Get out of the building - validate problems and solutions with real people. Explore business models.

12:00 pm
1 min update and lunch
Tell everyone where your team is at and then grab lunch

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm
1 min updates + Dinner
Update everyone on progress and have dinner

10:00 pm
Pitch practice
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 29th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
1min updates
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

9:15 am
Pitch practice

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Pitch practice

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


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.

Pauli Sosa
Global Facilitator Startup Weekend

Passionate entrepreneur of public relations and organising events. Co-Founder of @MUVCordoba. Community Leader and Global Facilitator at @StartupWeekend @UpGlobal @Techstars

Event Judges

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.

George Smith

George has a passion for early stage technology companies and consumer FinTech. He was founder and CEO of Glassjar, who developed mobile payments for groups to manage shared expenses. Glassjar was the first New Zealand company to be accepted into Y Combinator (W15), previously going through  Lightning Lab.

Abbe Hyde

Re-formed academic; Abbe used to study entrepreneurs now she is one. Studied disruptive innovation - not just the buzzword - and applied it to entrepreneurs creating sustainable innovations in the transportation industry. 
CEO and Co-founder at SuchCrowd. 

Coaches and Mentors

Rochelle Furneaux

Rochelle is the Director of Enspiral Legal Ltd and provides both Enspiral and private clients with legal advice in relation to social enterprise and traditional business.

Anna Guenther
Chief Bubble Blower, PledgeMe

A super supporter of Startup Weekend, generous with her time and energy, Anna is a crowdfunding marvel and has developed her own successful startup into a successful crowdfunding platform, with close to $9 million being raised. And if you aren't following her on twitter, you are missing out!

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.

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.

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.

Tan Huynh
Sector Development Manager, ICT and Digital

Tan has quite a bit of experience in ICT, and has held management positions in product management, marketing and business development in New Zealand and overseas. Tan is all about helping the ICT and digital sectors to grow in Wellington.

Jose Mathias

Jose Mathias entered the startup scene in New Zealand with a blog about entrepreneurs, where he spoke to hundreds of men and women who had created profitable businesses from the problems they saw around them. Later he joined a startup in their marketing team and participated in growing their online presence exponentially. He now works with businesses around New Zealand to achieve similar goals.

Merrin Macleod

Merrin is a designer, and works for the young and nimble energy company Flick.

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.

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.

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.

Drew Broadley
Resident Entrepreneur

An experienced startup founder, Drew has a passion for startups and is generous with his time and energy to help them succeed. Drew is also the curator of an online slack community supporting early-to-mid stage startup founders.

Rollo Wenlock

Rollo is a startup CEO of Wipster, and has a passion for the Wellington Startup Community.

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.

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.

Craig Roach
Solutions Architect at AWS

Craig is experienced in lean and agile methodology, which comes in very handy during Startup Weekend. He is also experienced in ICT, so will be able to offer assistance in cloud computing and solutions architecture, and other types of dev things.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Wellington May 2016 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

  • Sarah
  • David
  • Max
  • Samantha
  • Zaharah
  • Kelcey
  • Rosie
  • Hannah
  • Elizabeth
  • Ceara
  • 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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