Startup Weekend Bristol

    Friday, March 16 - 18, 2018

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

Friday, March 16 - 18, 2018

Friday, March 16 - 18, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Engine Shed
Station Approach
Bristol, UK BS1 6QH

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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!

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Friday March 16th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

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

7:20 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 March 17th

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 March 18th

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 are ready to help… 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

Luke Aikman
Founder & CEO at Nudge Digital

Luke has built digital agencies, .coms and businesses. He specialises where digital and commercial strategy meet. He currently sits on the board of and advises businesses from startup to multinationals. 

Richard Turner
CEO at Catalyst Venture Partners

Experienced NED and Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the venture capital and private equity industry. Skilled in Fund Raising, Business Planning, Investor Relations, Deal Sourcing, Exit Strategies, and Management. Richard is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. Since founding Catalyst Richard has worked with and helped create over 50 companies including Razor Fish, TBSC, ClassWatch, and Claritum. Richard is a Director of Catalyst Talent a specialist recruitment company  and Catalyst IFG a loan finance company.

John G. Courtney
Business Director, Mentor and Consultant

'I have been a Company Director for over 35 years and set up 6 different businesses in digital marketing, management consultancy, corporate finance, sporting goods, agricultural chemicals and pharmaceutical trading.
I am honoured to be currently ranked number 30 in UK Entrepreneurs Top 100 (City AM) as well as number 6 in the Top 100 UK Digital Agency Influencers (Directors Centre)
Now I am helping businesses with digital, marketing, strategy, funding and exit strategies while acting as a Chairman and Non-Executive Director as well as Business Mentor and Consultant.' -

Richard Godfrey
Founder and CEO of Rocketmakers

Richard has over 25 years of experience in the software development industry. He has held senior technical, business development and management positions in Deloitte Consulting (8+ years) and Microsoft (8+ years) before starting Rocketmakers. Some of the key projects Richard has helped deliver include the UK's first DNA database, London Stock Exchange Trading System and the British Library's book digitisation/visualisation. These days his focus with Rocketmakers is on finding, developing and investing in amazing start-up and scale-up opportunities especially in the South West.

Coaches and Mentors

Nick Sturge
Director, Engine Shed

After graduating with a first in Electronics with Computing and short spells in medtech startups, Nick joined Inmos, part of a global semiconductor business. From there he co-founded Motion Media Technology developing video communication equipment, listing on the main market of the London stock exchange in 2000 with a peak market cap of £270m.Nick grew the Bristol SETsquared business incubator, for high-tech, high-growth businesses to be ranked the world’s best university business incubator, in 2015.In 2013, Nick co-founded the now infamous Engine Shed, a collaboration between the Bristol University and the City Council, which houses the re-located SETsquared Centre and other projects to drive the scale-up ecosystem.

Jack Pearson
Co-founder & CEO of EngX

Jack is a design engineer and entrepreneur with a fascination for technology and business strategy. 

He is currently the CEO of EngX, a hardware startup developing the manufacturing solution for mass customisation. With EngX he worked with a small team to scale the company from concept to VC funding and early revenue, working in every area of commercial and technical development. 

This process has involved living and working in Shenzhen, where he developed an understanding of the city's manufacturing ecosystem.  

Jack also supports other companies in the creation of their commercial strategy and innovation.  

Rachel Elizabeth Baker
Business Development Manager at Rocketmakers

'I quit my 9-5 day job when I was 21 and founded my first company in the UK called Rachel Andrews, I went onto build partnerships with the likes of Tony and Guy and covered everywhere from Essex to Brighton. I then moved to Vegas to be part of the Downtown Project  and went on to successfully build my the second start up this time in the USA (Maidly) For this startup I had to raise money so I made a funny deck and pitched to lots of investors, resulting in a preseed round of $75k in a couple of months. (I only set out to raise $20k :-) I have successfully completed multiple accelerators in the States and taken part in 500 startups too.'

Dionysis Zindros
Co-Founder of OpenBazaar, PHD Candidate in Blockchain

Dionysis is the co-founder of OpenBazaar, the first cryptocurrency-based anonymous decentralized marketplace. He has founded several start-ups in various fields from social networking to video game development. Dionysis is a PhD student in cryptography and blockchain technologies at the University of Athens. He has published and presented at world-class conferences such as Black Hat, Financial Crypto, Real World Crypto, FOSDEM, BSides, ECESCON, FOSSCOMM. His professional experience includes working for DeviantArt in Los Angeles, the Incident Response Development team at Google in Zurich, and the Product Security team of Twitter in San Francisco. He currently works for IOHK as a researcher.

Ash Phillips
Founder of Yena, Advisor to multiple startups

Ash Phillips is the founder of Yena, a global community for rebellious minds, with a membership that helps people start & grow remarkable businesses in a fresh way. He's Bristol born and has HQd his business here too, now expanding their reach to 10 cities across the UK, with international growth expected this year. Also a startup advisor, commentator on behalf of the next generation of founders, and won awards such as Mentor/Advisor of the Year from TechSPARK UK, as well as being listed on the Maserati 100 in 2017. 

Matthew Mew
Founder & Director/ Design Chief at Huxlo

Matt is a Design Engineer who finds interest where software meets hardware. His design studio, Huxlo, designs and manufactures products using digital fabrication and modular systems.

Chris Guest
Founder of Lightbug

"Having graduated from Bristol in 2015, I jumped straight into start up life. I spent 2 years developing the world's smallest GPS tracking device and trying to kick start my fledgling start up into an actual company. 
A gruelling process that has exposed me to an incredible range of people and organisations, taught me a huge amount, and in the process made me an expert in my field. I now specialise in helping other companies realise their IoT strategies, building on my experience and accumulated knowledge to prevent others making the same mistakes I did. Hopefully I'll be able to do the same here!"

Tim Warren
Director, Blackfish Engineering

Tim Warren is a Director of Blackfish Engineering, an engineering design consultancy set up in May 2016.  Tim has over 20 years of engineering experience in the Aerospace and Marine Renewables industries. He has been involved in many different fields, including aerothermal analysis, fuel systems design, gas turbine blade manufacturing, tidal stream turbine design, large steel fabrication, systems engineering and engineering project management. Since forming Blackfish, he has worked on a number of Tidal and Wave projects, as well as test rig design and make projects, and learned a huge amount about setting up and running a new business. 

Ben Miles
Managing Partner, Bristol Consulting Partnership

In 2016, Ben completed a PhD at the University of Bristol in Nanophotonics and Nanophysics, before joining Ziylo Ltd, a start up from the University of Bristol Chemistry Department, as Lead Physicist.  While at Ziylo, he also joined and helped deliver Unit DX, Bristol’s first science incubator for early stage science companies located by Temple Meads.  In May of 2017, Ben formed the Bristol Consulting Partnership to help support early stage science companies with business and technical advice.  Recently, BCP has developed an initiative with Centres for Doctoral Training at the University of Bristol to offer entrepreneurial training to PhD students while leveraging the students’ technical skills to support early science ventures.

David Cottle
Former director at Kinneir Dufort

I am a product designer by training. My 30 year career in design consultancy has focussed on helping organisations achieve excellence in design, innovation and product development. This has given me the opportunity to work with global blue chip companies, SME’s and start-ups in the Medical, Consumer, Industrial and Technology sectors. As a designer I worked on a broad range of projects, taking client briefings, writing business proposals then delivering on project briefs from concepts through development and prototyping to final production specification.

Katie Stevens
Director at Greyhound Accountancy Services Ltd

“Katie discovered a passion for start-ups in her early 20’s and since then has dedicated her career to understanding the financial needs of small, rapid growth companies. Katie launched Greyhound Accountancy in Bristol in 2017, has participated in previous start-up weekends and business accelerator programmes and also has her own tech start-up currently in development.”

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Bristol 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.


Global Partners


Organizing Team

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

  • Odysseas
  • James
  • Charis
  • Janek
  • Tosia
  • Vladimir
  • Hector
  • Lavania


Simone Demelas
CEO of

Sardinian, currently based in Rome. Degree in Natural Sciences, GIS and Satellite Remote Sensing expert, after working as GIS analyst decides to begin to understand how business works and was amazed by the startup universe. It all started in 2013 with the participation at Startup Weekend Cagliari, from there he fell into the black hole, participating in a lot of startupsweekend and working on his own projects. He is currently CEO of ARMNet, a company that deals with integrating augmented reality to the management of infrastructure networks. Passionate about technology in every aspect, music, fitness, new trends. Crossfit addited but also good food addicted, house music hard listener. There is always a different way to see things and solve problems and there is a song everything.

Event Staff

Ffion Benham

Hey! My name is Ffion and I am currently in my second year at Bristol University studying Social Policy and Criminology. Startup weekend sounds like an amazing opportunity and so I'm very excited to get involved!

Evangelos Tzimas

 I am a 3rd year Mathematics student studying in University of Bristol. Some of the areas I have specialized are Analysis, Topology, Discrete mathematics and Set Theory and Logic. This year I will participate in the International Mathematics Competition with the university team and I aim for a distinction. I have distinguished myself before in national (Greek) mathematical competitions.

Constantina P. Petrou

Hi my name is Constantina, I’m from Cyprus and my friends call me by my surname which is “Petrou” ! I’m currently studying Psychology at the university of Bristol. I love bunnies, disco, taking photos and watching quality films. I am also obsessed with making playlists on Spotify. I’m looking forward to being one of the photographers to capture all the fun moments of this event. I wish you all a very creative weekend!

Manos Psyllakis

Hello! My name is Manolis and I am a second year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Bristol. Startup Weekend is a really intriguing program and I look forward to contributing to its fulfillment.

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