Techstars Global Online Startup Weekend Unite to Fight Covid-19 UK

    Friday, April 24 - 26, 2020

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, London, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Techstars Global Online Startup Weekend Unite to Fight Covid-19 UK

Friday, April 24 - 26, 2020

Friday, April 24 - 26, 2020
Event starts at 11:00 am

Entirely Virtual Online Event!
But we wish it was here...
Because Barton in the Beans may be the best place name ever.
Barton in the Beans, UK

Buy Tickets

Your idea in 54 hours!

About Techstars Global Startup Weekend COVID-19 Edition: This series of online Techstars Startup Weekends are run at a country level, focused on developing solutions that directly tackle COVID-19-related challenges. They are 54-hour online events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs - you'll connect with amazing mentors, industry experts, founders, and partners who are ready to help you get started.

Each country will bring together hundreds or even thousands of participants that will work on prototypes for three days. This event is not only about bringing together developers who can work on software-based solutions for the crisis. It’s an opportunity for everyone interested in the topic to inspire and be inspired and to work together on developing inclusive solutions. Here is the website for more details

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday April 24th

11:00 am
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

5:30 pm
Teams finalised
Teams should be finalised before the event kick-off so you can hit the ground running this evening

6:30 pm
Event Kick-off
Join us on YouTube Live for the event intro and objectives

7:30 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalise teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. This is virtual so stay and work as late as you like!

Saturday April 25th

9:30 am
Morning check-in with formed teams
Check in with your team and start planning your weekend. How are you going to tackle your objectives?

10:00 am
Coach Meetings Start
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

10:00 am
Ask Me Anything with Rachel Dunscombe, NHS Digital Academy

2:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status report, calls for help!

5:00 pm
Give yourself a break and find your inner calm with this guided meditation session

6:30 pm
Ask Me Anything about your presentation! Hosted by your organisers and facilitators

Sunday April 26th

9:00 am
Get pitch-ready!
Make sure your pitch is well underway and get ready to submit

10:00 am
Status check, final calls for help!

12:00 pm
This is it! What you've been working towards. Submit your pitch and demo and wait to find out if you make it to the final 10

12:30 pm
Judging starts!
While the judges are deliberating, join us for some fun and games in the sw-family room

5:00 pm
Tune in on YouTube Live to see the final pitches

6:00 pm
Judging & Awards
Who will be the winners? Join us on YouTube Live to find out

6:30 pm
#StayHome for our AFTER PARTY
You did it! Time to celebrate, recharge and remember to stay safe.


Rachel Dunscombe
CEO @ NHS Digital Academy

CEO NHS Digital Academy / KLAS / NCA / Visiting Professor Imperial College / No3 CIO 100 2017 / Most Disruptive CIO - Talent Unleashed 2016/ KLAS Advisory Board member / CHIME Ambassador / ITIL Masters / CHCIO / PMP / APMP 

Rachel will be joining us for an Health focused 'Ask Me Anything' session on Saturday morning. She has a broad knowledge of the health environment in the UK and her experience could be invaluable to helping you assess the validity and plausibility of any health-related ideas your team is working on.

Event Judges

Emma Obanye
Serial Entrepreneur: Currently Founder @ Mindful Team

An experienced startup entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of creating unique digital products facilitating and managing teams.

Emma co-founded, ran and sold music start-up Buddybounce, the music social loyalty platform that attracted the attention of artists, labels and brands. Clients included Cheryl Cole, Conor Maynard, O2 and Penguin Random House.

She is currently focused on her new venture, Mindful Team - a health check and agile retrospective platform that allows businesses and teams to implement, measure and track a continuous improvement culture.

Emma is also the Entrepreneur in Residence at the non-profit enterprise and entrepreneurship advocate, Capital Enterprise.

Martin Bryant
Founder @ Big Revolution

Martin SFP Bryant is a consultant, speaker, writer, and educator in the fields of technology and media.

He works to help technology companies craft a narrative around their products and business, and to develop high-quality content. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of international technology publication The Next Web, and Community Editor at Tech North, where he shone a light on the stories of startups and entrepreneurs in the North of England.

Martin has interviewed top technology executives onstage at some of the world’s biggest technology conferences like the Web Summit, SXSW, and LeWeb. He delivers engaging fireside chats and panel discussions, and is also in demand to MC whole events.

He also delivers workshops on emerging technology, helping individuals and businesses understand how new trends and products will change the way they live and work. He often appears on TV and radio, and has given insight into technology news stories on the likes of BBC Breakfast, Sky News, You & Yours, and Good Morning Wales.

Martin is based in Manchester, UK and works across the UK, Europe and beyond.

Nicola Haywood-Alexander
Certified Health CIO International

Passionate about empowering citizens, Nicola is accomplished in delivering service user centric strategy and transformational change across the public sector.

Experienced as a CIO, Chair and Director, she is creative and forward thinking in terms of strategic solutions, delivering complex, cross-organisation change. Nicola’s passion comes from being part of a clinical and engineering family, with lived experienced of healthcare; dedicated to social good.

A background in engineering, followed by a successful career enabling Local Government services to achieve meaningful improvements under the best value agenda, and then in Higher Education, where Nicola established and led the first business transformation services and corporate PMO in the HE sector, before moving to the NHS.

Anu Adebajo
Investment Manager @ British Patient Capital

Anu is an Investment Manager at British Patient Capital focusing on investments into growth and venture capital funds and sitting on fund Advisory Boards. 

Prior to this Anu spent 5 years at the Angel CoFund, a £100m equity fund that made co-investments alongside business angels into high growth companies.
 Anu is an advocate for the representation of ethnic minorities in the Venture Capital and Private Equity industry.

She previously ran an award winning online beauty ecommerce startup and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Nottingham.

Coaches and Mentors

Naomi Timperley
Founder @ Tech North Advocates

ne of the top 25 in Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in UK IT 2019. Naomi has been inspiring businesses to strive for growth through innovation and disruption for over 10 years. She is also an experienced partnerships and engagement consultant with established relationships across the UK and globally.

Naomi is a published author, speaker and panellist, a graduate of the Meridian programme by Common Purpose and the Socrates programme by the Aspen Institute. She co-founded Tech North Advocates which is part of Global Tech Advocates in 2016. In 2015 Naomi was part of the original Maserati 100 which was a definitive list of Britain’s most successful business leaders actively supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs – Maserati and the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE).

She has experience working with startups and growth businesses particularly in tech, digital and creative sectors. She has mentored several hundred businesses.

Naomi is Chair of the University of Salford Business School Industry Advisory Board, sits on GMCA’s Innovation Board and is Chair of Digital Culture organisation Future Everything.

Ian Graham
Founder @ Viatic Ltd

An experienced change leader, specialising in city and social innovation with a particular focus on the use of open innovation and collaborative / creative methods in a range of settings. I work with cities on the strategy for or use of innovation in their context, including York, Tallinn, San Sebastián, Aberdeen, Bradford, Syracuse and Cape Town, plus a wide range of other public and private organisations such as NHS England, URBACT, Climate KIC, the University of York, Hack Partners, Aviva UK and Birmingham City University.

I bring a wealth of experience in the design and delivery of innovation-led collaborative events, hackathons, business support and strategy development, workshop design & facilitation, organisational culture change, training, coaching and mentoring.

A qualified and accomplished coach and facilitator, I am a firm believer in the importance of supporting people to find their calling and make the best of themselves. I founded VIATIC as a specialist innovation and change agency to work with others in creating meaningful and sustained change in their cities, companies, organisations or fields of interest. This is essentially all about the journey - working with people to understand their vision, help define the route and support them on their way.

Kirsty Devlin
Head of Growth @ Manchester Codes

Kirsty is a passionate technologist, self-taught coding bootcamp graduate, and a vocal advocate for increasing diversity and BAME representation in tech. She recognises technology and the community around it to be a powerful tool in promoting social mobility and economic growth in areas that are often overlooked.

Kirsty invests much of her time and energy outside of work to ensuring that opportunities are available to those minority groups and individuals who have been historically under-represented in and under-served by technology. She is particular interested by fresh and innovative startups.

✅Top 100 Change maker Awards 2020 - The Big Issue, 2020.
✅Top 50 "Most inspiring, prominent, and influential black voices in UK tech" - Tech Nation, 2019.

James Sancto
Co-Founder & CEO of We Make Change

James Sancto is the Co-Founder & CEO of We Make Change, an online platform that enables anyone, anywhere to use their skills to support the causes they care about. In under two years, their community has grown to over 20,000 ChangeMakers in more than 100 countries. They recently launched the #WeFightCorona movement to enable people to find how they can help during the coronavirus crisis. 
In 2019 he was selected as an EU Young Leader of Industry by the European Commission. He regularly speaks about youth empowerment and volunteering, including at the International Volunteer Forum in Russia and EU Industry Day in Brussels.

Christine Cawthorne
Content Strategist & Director @ Crocstar

Christine heads up Crocstar - a content agency that makes the complex simple.

They help brands and organisations with content strategy, tone of voice, creative content (copy, video and social) and training.

Previously, Christine was the Content and Style Trainer for the Government Digital Service, and trained over 2,500 content designers, government departments and arms-length agencies how to write in the style.

Talk to Christine about how to convey your unique value proposition simply and effectively for a strong pitch and to help the judges understand what you're all about.

Lucas Sanchez
Founder & Director of Hermanos Brothers

Lucas Sánchez utilizes music, social sciences, and education to foster innovation and systemic change. He’s co-founder and Director of Hermanos Brothers, an impact-oriented creative bureau based in Bogotá that focuses on inspiring cultural and behavioral changes through holistic and artistic communications experiences. He has been involved in different roles in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Colombia, mainly in the creative and cultural industries sector. He works as a musician, sustainability consultant, artistic projects manager, and workshop designer & facilitator.
More recently he has been involved in the design and development of sustainability strategies for entertainment events, as a board member of a local2global sustainability network (NELIS - Next Leaders’ Initiative for Sustainability) and he is currently working on his new music project. Lucas has a formal disciplinary background in Music, Political Science, and Holistic Science (member of the Schumacher College network).

Natalie Record
Digital Housing and Planning Policy Lead

Natalie is an Urban Planner who works to support the design of new digital services that meet the needs of communities. Frustrated by the data inefficiencies in the planning system, and lack of geospatial technology used in the wider planning industry as private planning consultant, Natalie co-founded a PropTech startup called Walulel in 2016 with a friend from her MSc Sustainable Urban Development programme at the University of Oxford. At Walulel, Natalie co-designed a geospatial intelligence engine to enable local authorities and communities in London to understand their neighbourhoods and make data-driven decisions. Natalie now works in Central Government and leads on Digital Housing and Planning Policy at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government  (MHCLG) in the Digital Land team.  The team works in the open to help citizens, local authorities and the PropTech sector to get better access to trusted land, planning and housing data. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the team has pivoted to build the Shielding Service for vulnerable people with GDS to help provide government support to the clinically extremely vulnerable, including emergency food parcels. Natalie has provided cross-government policy support for this new digital service.

Mónica Nagore
Project Manager / Social Innovation @ The Young Foundation

Passionate about social innovation and an experienced senior project manager. Proven to get results of a high standard designing and implementing complex multi stakeholder projects.
Long track record of supporting communities, entrepreneurs and organisations in understanding current challenges and facilitating creative co-production processes to deliver solutions and social impact.

Experienced in collaborating with multiple and diverse European partners, universities, research centres, local authorities and social labs. 

Graham Paterson
Chief Product Officer

Most recently, Grapahm was Chief Product Officer at Catapult, a platform to connect people looking for part-time work, with great companies, including Clarks, Dune, New Look, Topshop.

Before that he spent 3 years in senior product roles at Deliveroo, and prior to this he worked on product at Intuit and Transferwise. 

Graham is a writer at Product Dogs, a blog on how to build better products.

David Fu
CEO and co-founder of Streetlight schools

David Fu (online alias ‘davidthefu’) has worked and engaged with hundreds of stakeholders globally at the intersection of innovation, education, entrepreneurship and equity. He is a self-aware leader who translates ideas into reality, creating innovative products, programs, services and companies to tackle big, complex problems. He serves as CEO and co-founder for South African education startup Streetlight Schools, has led expansion for US education startup incubator 4.0 Schools, and worked as an investment banker for Barclays Capital.
He is a trained economist balancing data and narrative with expertise in finance, operations, nonprofit fundraising, leadership coaching and community building. On the side, he invests in empowering entrepreneurs, changemakers and creatives, and has coached over a hundred entrepreneurs globally.

Sanjay Parekh
Tech Start-up and Scale-up Advisor

A seasoned CEO/COO, tech entrepreneur and advisor helping real businesses in the digital sector to grow and scale effectively. An impressive track record of developing and successfully exiting start-up and scale-ups in the UK, with a focus on FinTech, Smart Home, SaaS and Tech for Good.

A reputation for making the hard decisions, delivering outcomes that maximise the success of growing businesses. Experienced working with a range of diverse competing stakeholders including Corporate Partners, VC investors, senior NEDs, and highly-experienced technical founders.

With a passion for transformative technologies, and a pioneer of SaaS and Smart Home, having co-founded, developed and then successfully exited cutting-edge UK-based VC-backed B2C and B2B businesses. Through ‘The Business of Meaning’ podcast, he now shines a light on exciting purpose-driven businesses that are pursuing meaning as well as profits.

He now helps organisations innovate, fundraise, build winning strategies and create deeper connections with their customers through his consulting practice.

Karen Stafford
Director @ Intel

Risk taker by birth, Technologist at heart, Advocate by action. I’ve spent my 20+ years career at Intel in Engineering and Strategic roles. Since joining Intel Capital in 2010 I’ve closed many highly strategic and confidential deals with tier one customers, suppliers, and start-ups (business development, M&A, and equity) that have shaped Intel and industry innovation globally. I make deals, I even hold a few patents.
As the Regional Director Central- Northern and Eastern Europe for Intel Capital, I’m honored to lead a team of deal making professionals who hunt for innovations in technology that shape the way we work, live and drive.
I believe that advocating for diversity and opportunity isn’t just the right thing to do. Making sure everyone has a voice and an opportunity is great for innovation.

Fabrice Kouaghu
Analytics Expert @ GE Healthcare Partners

Fab is a strategy and management consultant at GE Healthcare Partners, specialising in Data, BI and AI. At the forefront of GE Healthcare’s ambition is to become the leading provider of outcomes-based and analytic solutions through Strategic Performance Relationships, Clinical Command Centers, and Consulting Solutions--three areas primed to drive transformational change in healthcare organisations.

Amandine Flachs
CEO & co-founder of WildMeta

Amandine is the co-founder of WildMeta, a young AI startup. Supporting early-stage entrepreneurs in emerging technologies for the past 9 years in France, USA and UK, Amandine has helped transform technical solutions into understandable commercial offers, launch innovative products, build communities, and bring technical & non-technical teams together to kickstart projects and approach new markets.
Amandine is an active Venture Scout for the London-based fund - Backed VC. She also dedicates some of her time to mentor early-stage startups through accelerators & programmes and volunteers with diversity initiatives.

Shravan Shankar
Co-founder of AtWorks

Shravan Shankar is a co-founder of AtWorks, an impact-focused ecosystem platform to support entrepreneurs and new innovations to scale and grow. With a particular focus on sustainable development for over 10 years, he has consulted for large to small organisations in Asia and Europe, towards more sustainable outlooks; developing large-scale funded projects focused on sustainable development; and national policy and advocacy work for the Governments of India and Sri Lanka.
He currently focuses on collaborating on delivering solutions in areas from waste and circular impact, climate change and smart cities. With AtWorks, he is working to develop startup ecosystems for climate impact and circular impact ventures in India and South Asia, collaborating with organizations from Climate-KIC to create a climate impact venture ecosystem in South Asia, and The Incubation Network supported by Circulate Initiative, which aims to create an effective venture and innovation ecosystem to tackle plastic waste and ocean plastic pollution. Shravan works closely with Sofies on several assignments related to plastic and e-waste.
AtWorks' infrastructure stack has been recognised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a Circular Economy Solution for India. Shravan has also been recognized with a National Award on Smart City Solutions as part of the Government of India's Smart City Mission.

Jon Burton
Sound engineer working at the highest level for various international artists

Primarily involved in live work, but with extensive studio, and broadcast experience.  

I started with an interest in sound whilst at school, buying sound equipment whilst working in a music shop. My first rental was to The Walker Brothers who rented a mixing desk I had just bought. Over the next thirty-five years I worked as a freelance sound engineer for a wide selection of artists, from Lulu to Blue, Radiohead to The Stereophonics.

I started working as the sound engineer for The Prodigy in 2004 and did countless festivals, and tours, in the proceeding fifteen years. Most recently I have worked with Biffy Clyro and Gabrielle.

During this period, I have also started and help set up and run several Chocolate shops with my wife, Rachell, in Sheffield, Scarborough and York. I am also a partner in a multi-studio recording complex in Sheffield, The Laundry Rooms. This was established in 2009 and is a vibrant musical hub currently home to a wide selection of engineers, musicians and producers.
In 2018 I lectured on ‘Entrepreneurship and Business studies’ at the University of York.

In 2019 I joined the University of Derby and currently lecture on Entertainment Engineering on the BSc and Msc degree courses.
My interests include music, art and all things sound!

Zoita Mandila
Dentist & entrepreneur

Zoe has over 18 years of experience in dentistry from Romania and the UK, focusing on delivering not only a  high level of  clinical care but also on improving her patients' experience at the dentist. Her interest in effective communication skills led her to undertake a Diploma in Stress and Anxiety Management with the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis, where is currently the secretary for the Western branch. She is in charge with the  organisation of seminars and conferences aiming to promote the benefits of clinical hypnosis for healthcare professionals. 
As a dentist, Zoe has been a mentor for young dental professionals  and was invited as a speaker on the subject of Clinical Hypnosis for the St George University in Grenada.
Zoe is currently enrolled to a full time MBA at the University of Exeter and is looking to extend her skills into the business world. She is  interested in how people create and transform ideas into businesses that contribute to everybody’s wellbeing.
Zoe lives in Exeter and enjoys exploring Devon’s natural beauty as well as making occasional trips to the rest of the world.

James Taylor
Founder @ Roaring Mouse

James Taylor spent the first half of his career working for some of the biggest names in the technology industry and now specialises in helping startup and scaleup businesses across Europe build winning brands and accelerate growth through his PR and content marketing agency Roaring Mouse. In the last 20 years, James has successfully launched several technology startups, helped growing businesses attract finance, customers and industry recognition, supported company acquisitions and high-profile IPOs, and advised publicly-traded companies on both sides of the Atlantic on matters relating to their brands and reputations.

Maximilian Fischer

Max strongly believes that factories work fundamentally better with software. He is the co-founder of Actyx, a Munich-based software company that offers an app development platform to let developers build digital manufacturing solutions with incredible speed. At Actyx, he is responsible for managing partners who benefit of services on the Actyx platform. He completed his studies at ETH Zurich, Caltech, Duke and EPFL Lausanne. Before co-founding Actyx, he was researching in the area of applied physical chemistry and quantum mechanics.

Tomislav Kozačinski
Product Design + Stand-up Comedian

Product Design consultant, speaker, mentor and stand-up comedian with extensive business experience across digital and organisational landscape. I consider myself to be a well organised problem solver and a storyteller.

With over 11 years of design experience, I've been involved in all types of projects. Lately I've been working on B2B and SaaS web and mobile apps and managing digital products as a User Experience designer and creative team lead.

I'm passionate about sharing my experience and organising community events. I've started numerous user groups and hosted countless meetups. Since I moved to London I've been hosting Indie Club events - for self-employed, freelancers, business owners and people looking to go full remote in their career.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Global Online Startup Weekend Unite to Fight Covid-19 UK 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.

National Partners

Regional Partners

Organizing Team

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

  • Zoheb
  • Samantha
  • Puja
  • Kiran
  • Jonathan
  • Tomislav
  • Supriya
  • Kathrine


Zoheb Iqbal

Working with startups around the world, London-based Zoheb helps to accelerate and strengthen the growth of a world wide network of entrepreneurs. From early stages of the entrepreneurial journey to innovation within industry with companies such as Aviva, Lloyds banking group,  IBM, Google and EDF as well as governmental institutes, Zoheb works to facilitate, mentor and coordinate the experience of entrepreneurs everywhere. Challenging entrepreneurs to build in intensive programs centered on action, innovation and education. Zoheb is also an architect and co-founder of several startups.

Kathrine Marthinsen
Social entrepreneur

Kathrine is a social entrepreneur and founder of a public health company called Folkelig. She is an active community leader, facilitator and mentor based in Bergen, Norway. 

Event Staff

David McDougall
Product Leader / Innovation Consultant

Senior Product and Innovation leader experienced in building & developing high-performing Product teams and establishing innovation best practices. 

Chris Murray
Co-Founder and MD @ epiGenesys

Chris is a software engineer turned director at epiGenesys, a not-for-profit software development company which he co-founded in 2007. He teaches software engineering at the University of Sheffield, and has been involved in Startup Weekend Sheffield since its beginning in 2012.

Chris enjoys applying lean startup and agile principles in software development and in business. He loves visualising information and processes, especially using Lego!

Kisha Bradley
Founder @ Bright Box Makerspace

Kisha is a many time Startup Weekend attendee, organiser and impromptu facilitator, as well as strong promoter of diversity in tech and a passionate maker. 

She is the founder of Bright Box Makerpace in Sheffield, where she creates an environment where kids can imagine, create and play. Bright Box makes STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) activities accessible to socially excluded kids. They provide all the tools and materials children need to build whatever their imagination can dream up in hopes of growing their confidence and changing their perspective of what they are capable of. 

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!