Lancaster University Startup Weekend

    Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

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

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Lancaster University Management School Hub
Lancaster University
Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4YX

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Real people. Real ideas. YOU make it happen!

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. During the event weekend at Lancaster University (UK), you will have the opportunity to network, share business ideas, learn the basics of founding a startup, and find out what it takes to launch a successful business venture.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it is a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, designing, and market validation to prepare your business idea for the final judges panel on Sunday! The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for feedback. You will also have access to support and advice during the weekend from your local Startup Team and experienced mentors.

To follow all the latest event updates and connect with Lancaster University's growing entrepreneurial community, join our Facebook page today!


Friday November 21st

6:00 pm
Registration & Networking
Arrive at the venue, get checked in, network, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:40 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

9:30 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

Saturday November 22nd

9:00 am
Doors Open
Arrive back at the venue

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:00 am
Business Model Canvas Workshop
In this optional workshop Simon Harrison of Lancaster University Enterprise Centre will introduce you to 'business model thinking', using the Business Model Canvas, a design tool for mapping out new business ideas, or analysing how existing businesses function, and identifying the potential for innovation. For a more comprehensive intro to the canvas Simon will also be holding a workshop during daytime Friday 21st of November.

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

9:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

10:00 pm
Doors Close

Sunday November 23rd

9:00 am
Doors Open
Arrive back at the venue

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… 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!


Doug Ward
Founder of SpacePortX

Doug is an Entrepreneur Founder of SpacePortX, co-founder of TechHub Manchester and the social enterprise Tech Britain. He is also  an Advisor to the University of Manchester and to Number 10 Downing Street through which he also became a founding member of the UK and Business Technology Cluster Summit Group (now called TechCityUK Cluster Alliance).

Event Judges

Piers Ridyard
CEO at Nifty

Piers is the co-creator of the Nifty MiniDrive, which is one of the UK's most successful Kickstarter tech projects to date (

Robert Ellis
Innovation Unit Team Leader at Lancaster University

Highly motivated and results driven Digital Development Manager with extensive experience in the digital sector. Key skills include project planning and management, digital media strategy, marketing and client services.

Mark Woodward
European Managing Director at The Printed Cup Company

Mark founded the Paper Cup Company back in March 2005, initially distributing within the United Kingdom from his own home. Despite the onset of the global recession in late 2007, the company has sustained a fifty percent growth in trade year-on-year since its foundation. At present time their products can be found all the way from Lancashire to Saudi Arabia.

Doug Ward
Founder of SpacePortX

Doug is an Entrepreneur Founder of SpacePortX, co-founder of TechHub Manchester and the social enterprise Tech Britain. He is also  an Advisor to the University of Manchester and to Number 10 Downing Street through which he also became a founding member of the UK and Business Technology Cluster Summit Group (now called TechCityUK Cluster Alliance).

Coaches and Mentors

Simon Harrison
Enterprise Champion Project Manager

PRINCE2 qualified and internationally experienced project manager specialising in business development. Previously enjoyed overseas career (Kenya, Peru, Egypt), firstly in field of teaching and then in events production, training and project management, before relocating to the UK. Expertise in Music and other Creative Industries, committed to development of entrepreneurial behaviour in self and others.

Chris Bull

I am a reseracher and geek with eclectic knowledge and research tastes. My background is in software engineering and programming, with experience of a wide variety of technologies. My current research is part of the SAMS project, which aims to be able to detect subtle early signs of dementia in computer users through their day-to-day activities. I am also finishing my PhD; the research focused on "studio" education of software engineers, a practical project-based approach to education which aims to equip students with richer technical abilities and experiences, whilst building on strong collaboration and communication skills.

Danny Callan
Director of IceBoxDesigns

Danny is a Young Entrepreneur who founded his design company back in 2011. At present time they have worked with all kinds of companies ranging from startups to national organisations. Danny has also received a number of awards including Pro Manchester’s Young Entrepreneur and Professional Innovator of 2011. Dragon’s Den successor Imran Hakin and creator of the I-teddy had this to say about him; "Danny is a real character, he possesses natural business acumen – something that hasn’t been taught but is a natural way of thinking and being for him."

Chris Hill
IT & Business Process Management Consultant

Consultant with long career in IT and in Business Process Management. Wide experience of providing technical support and in managing Customer Service provision. Strong background in Project Managing large IT projects and Major Incident management, with a keen interest in the practicalities of Problem Management. Prince2 and ITIL qualified. Currently fascinated by community projects, the economic future of town centres, charity work, network marketing, the theatre and his granddaughter's cognitive development!

Mark Lochrie

Recently Mark has embarked on a new challenge in a different Research Associate role as a Creative Technologist at the Media Innovation Studio at UCLan. His research will form around creating playful experiences around a gameful design, primarily focussing on web and mobile platforms. Previously Mark has worked as a Research Associate at Lancaster University on the BARTER project and before then as a PhD student exploring participation of communities in mobile entertainment services. Mark has over eight years experience a freelance software engineer, designing and developing a range of mobile and web application across a range of platforms.

Vegard Jørmeland
Corporate Startup Guy // Innovation Catalyst at DNB

Vegard Jørmeland is part of the so-called Startup Weekend Generation - a group of young entrepreneurs and community leaders who started their careers at Startup Weekend!

By day he serves as Innovation Catalyst at one of Northern Europe's largest banks. By night he serves the community as organiser of events such as Startup Weekend, Lean Startup Circle, Startup Grind and others.

Vegard says "It is all about the people! To me Startup Weekend is not as much about building Startups as it is about building Entrepreneurs. At Startup Weekend we see people come back over and over again, and we see them grow into these ambitious, competent and truly amazing entrepreneurs. Who go on to do good for themselves, their companies and society as a whole. - And that gets me really excited!"

Henry Coggin
Founder COGMO Media & Marketing Ltd.

Piotr Motyka
Founder at COGMO Media & Marketing Ltd.

Josh Riddett
President of Lancaster Entrepreneurs

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Vegard
  • Piotr
  • Henry
  • Philipp
  • Josh
  • Josh
  • Amogh
  • Mari Louise


Sussi Bianco Nielsen
CEO at the Consultancy of Sussi Bianco.

CEO at the Consultancy of Sussi Bianco. With a background in computer science Sussi specializes in Health & Care Entrepreneurship, collaborating with municipalities and other public partners. Since 2013 she has run CareWare-Next: a national competition in welfare innovation - forming a Health Startup Community and running an accelerator program.. Sussi is an experienced member of the finalist jury in several national and international competitions in entrepreneurship (Guldægget, University Startup World Cup, SXSW) She is chairman of the board in Nonprofit WeLoveStartups and in commercial companies. “I sharpen the profile of companies, build communities and develop concepts leading to action. It is satisfying to act as a catalyst for creating visions and action in businesses, and value for people and in society. Fortunately my work life enables me to do it all” Her motto: Be ambitious. Work hard. Have fun.

Event Blog

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