Techstars Startup Weekend Zurich

    Friday, November 15 - 17, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Zurich

Friday, November 15 - 17, 2019

Friday, November 15 - 17, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Chainwork AG
Dufourstrasse 43
Zurich, ZH 8008

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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. This event is powered by our main partners Sparrow Ventures, Chainwork AG and Hostpoint AG.

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.
What next?
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 or check out the attendee FAQ.

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Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement! No talk, all action!

Event photography and video: 
Please be aware that this event may be attended by a photographer, for capturing content to be used in online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example web pages, brochures or leaflets. By Participating at the event, you grant Techstars Startup Weekend permission to capture photo/video of the event. You can find the exact legal terms on our FAQ Page but to summarize, we want to share your success with the world.

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Friday November 15th

6:30 pm
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:45 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:45 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams form around top pitches and start 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 November 16th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Saturday kick-off
Warm up with Sean Paul

12:30 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

1:30 pm
Optional 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 November 17th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Sunday kick-off
Warm up with Sean Paul and speech from Julia Devecchi, founder of HappyBites

12:30 pm

3:00 pm
Hand in presentation
Hand in final presentation, clear your workspace and use the time to practice your pitch

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:00 pm
Enjoy a dinner and drink, exchange your pitching experience

7:30 pm
Awards & Event closing

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Julia Devecchi
Founder HappyBites

Half way through my Business Bachelor's I went to my first Startup Weekend in Australia. Not having been entrepreneurial at all until then, that weekend changed everything. Since then I've started a not-for-profit, pitched to Heathrow, and have now founded HappyBites in Switzerland - vegan supplements in the form of edible cookies that are healthy and delicious. I am passionate about the simplicity of things and making things happen. 

Event Judges

Jana Nevrlka
Founder/CEO Cofounding

With one successful and one failed cofounding experience behind her, Jana Nevrlka has spent the past 5 years learning what’s required to build better business partnerships – and applying that knowledge to helping cofounders across Europe build successful and lasting businesses. She combines her legal and business background with her entrepreneurial experience.  Jana writes and speaks extensively on the subject and also coordinates the development of the standardised solution for dynamic equity split based on the slicing pie method - in direct cooperation with Mike Moyer - across Europe.

Felix Brunner
CEO and Founder

Sparrow Ventures is a Zurich-based Venture Builder and Growth Equity Investor in the fields of E-commerce, Logistics Tech, FinTech, Digital Health as well as Happiness, Community & Lifestyle. As part of Migros, Sparrow Ventures is systematically growing innovative ideas into companies and invest in startups that have the potential to become the leader in their field. In his capacity as CEO, Felix is focusing on providing the right assets, the right skills and the right backing from within Migros to hugely accelerate the scaling of the portfolio. Before Sparrow Ventures, he was the Chief Digital Officer and the Head of Portfolio Operations of the Department Retail at Migros. He served as an active board member for various start-ups and is currently chairman of MIACAR and board member of Sharoo. When it comes to advice for entrepreneurs, he has five key messages: 1) execution is everything, 2) obsessive customer focus is king, 3) say “no” 8 from 10 times, 4) only employ people you would work for yourself, 5) have a whole lot of fun and see your entrepreneurial journey as an (ad)venture.

Coaches and Mentors

Julien Lepetit
Director Europe

Julien helps businesses wishing to build trust and grow sales to actually making it happen. With his background in engineering, finance and science, he uses a simple, pragmatic and tangible approach to helping people change their mindset and behaviors. By keeping things simple, he makes sales and business development accessible to all. When he trains and coaches business executives, professionals, and salespeople, there is one objective: boosting their trustworthiness, and tangibly affecting their business relationships.

Anja K. Willms
Venture Architect at Sparrow Ventures, Founder of Shileo

Anja founded Shileo - a food-tech startup that sells healthy superfoods made of konjac scientifically proven to aid weight loss. With a profitable and sustainable approach, Shileo has been scaled in rapidly growing space across Europe whilst running fully automated. Anja now joined Sparrow Ventures in Zurich as a Venture Architect where she is in charge of the initial idea evaluation to implementation. She describes entrepreneurship as a rollercoaster ride of emotions that greatly taught her "If you can dream it, you can achieve it." With this guiding principle, she is empowering other entrepreneurs especially female founders through activities as a blogger and speaker on events such as "Future Females".

Fabrizio Soncini
Startup-Trainer l Entrepreneur l Intrapreneur

Fabrizio is an expert for entrepreneurship, sales, marketing and business development. In the last 10 years Fabrizio has been involved in setting up 4 start-ups in different industries, all of which are successfully established in the market. This enabled him to identify clear indicators of success which he gives start-ups and scale-ups on their way.

Sandro Kunz
Founder / Business Angel / Startup CEO

Sandro is an active figure in the Swiss startup scene. Next to successfully establishing and running the companies behind the SaaS offerings and he also is an active investor in a handful of startups. Sandro has first-hand experience with scaling international teams, product design, business plan modeling and coming up with innovative marketing ideas for a tight budget. Furthermore, he also has extensive knowhow of financing for both bootstrapped and venture backed startups.

Eszter Tanczos Olver
Partner at EJ Capital AG

Eszter is an enthusiast to bring new medical technologies to every day ́s health care. Eszter has founded and led innovative businesses as CEO in the field of regenerative medicine, medtech, and biotechnology. She has led the development, industrialisation and international launches of various innovative products in different medical disciplines; such as in dermatology, dental surgery and orthopaedics. Eszter believes that disruptive technologies will fundamentally shape health care making it accessible and affordable for broad populations. Eszter holds a Doctor of Medicine obtained from the Semmelweis University of Budapest, and she has also been trained as business and international multi-track peace mediator. Eszter is also involved with young entrepreneur coaching and advising innovative companies in their business strategies.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Zurich 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.



Location Partner

Food & Beverage

Organizing Team

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

  • Lidia
  • Emma
  • Clelia
  • Sabrina
  • Erik
  • Santhiago
  • Tugi
  • Thomas
  • Dominique


Sean Paul Shanor
Founder & Coach at Synergy Space

Sean Paul Shanor is a Norwegian American entrepreneur, facilitator, coach, and speaker with a drive to connect, enable, and inspire individuals to fuel their passion, build startups, and empower others with the right tools and ecosystem support to succeed. He is a techgeek, jack of-all digital-analog-trades entrepreneur that has learned how to piece together startups at low cost, high impact, and by facilitating key partnerships to leverage assets any team needs.

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