Startup Weekend Manchester

    Friday, November 4 - 6, 2016

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

Friday, November 4 - 6, 2016

Friday, November 4 - 6, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Auto Trader Group plc
1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester, UK M15 4FN

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  • Do you seek knowledge and want to meet other like-minded people?
  • Do you have an idea you want to execute?
  • Do you want to get hands-on and learn about business design, marketing research and developing a prototype?
  • Do you want to get mentoring from experts in their field and industry insiders?
  • Do you want to start building your future in just 54 hours?
Then grab your ticket to Startup Weekend Manchester today - and join the global Startup Weekend Family! The event takes place 4-6 November.

More about Startup Weekend: 
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.  Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a co-founder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic, but fun, world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life! 

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Friday November 4th

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

7:15 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Before I Die!
Doug Ward talk!

7:50 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas. Take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

10:00 pm
Venue closes at 10pm.

Saturday November 5th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

10:30 am
FreshMinds, FreshIdeas
Crash course on Customer Validation with team FreshMinds

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
Venue closes at 10pm.

Sunday November 6th

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 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

8:00 pm
Venue closes at 8pm.

8:30 pm


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

James Codling
Co-Founder & Managing Director at VentureFounders, Founder and Director at Carmelita

VentureFounders is a UK-based equity investment platform designed to make Angel and Venture Capital style investing more accessible, affordable and transparent.

We believe that this market should be open to all who can afford and understand the risk associated with early stage investment. As an investor through VentureFounders, you can invest from a minimum of £1,000 in some of the UK’s fastest growing and most exciting companies.

With a solid foundation in financial services expertise, the VentureFounders team is comprised of FCA approved, highly skilled investment professionals with extensive private equity, investment management and business growth experience.

If you’re looking for investment opportunities or are a business seeking investment visit our site and see what we can help you achieve.

Dr. Ansar Jawaid
Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Precision Medicines

Ansar is the Founder and CEO of Precision Medicines Ltd, which is a biotech developing cancer personalised medicines. Ansar is an Advisor to numerous  multinational and SME pharma and healthcare companies. Ansar has held Senior Director roles spanning Global Commercial and R&D at AstraZeneca for over 12 years where he supported the development, approval and commercialisation of 8 drugs globally. Ansar received a BSc in Genetics from King's College London and undertook his PhD training in Statistical Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London and the University of Oxford.

Martin Bryant
Community Editor @ Tech North

Martin is a technology journalist with a particular interest in European startups, apps and the constant evolution of digital media. Based in Manchester, he co-founded the city's Social Media Cafe events that helped kickstart a lively cross-discipline digital community, and co-founded TechHub Manchester, a shared working facility for technology startups. He is now Tech North's Community Editor, helping provide a voice for the people, companies, organisations and ideas that are pioneering the new digital economy of the North.

As broadcasting graduate, Martin is well-versed in the British media industry and moved into the online media sector after having worked in education, helping children learn TV and radio skills.

Jon Corner
CEO The Landing MediaCityUK and Chairman, RiverMotion Group

As CEO, Jon has successfully positioned The Landing as a future driver of business collaboration at MediaCityUK, engaging a wide range of commercial stakeholders and clients. He has created a unique business proposition for SMEs, enabling The Landing to attract global media organisations, including designers of interactive media, engineering, software specialists and content producers. In his role providing a strategic steer, he also ensures that The Landing complements and enhances the activities of major broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV at MediaCityUK.

Coaches and Mentors

George Bettany
Programme Director and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Ignite Accelerator

George Bettany is Programme Director and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Ignite Accelerator, the UK’s leading pre-seed accelerator programme. He is a mentor and advisor at the pre-seed accelerator programme. George is the founder of Matchchat and founded Now Native in 2014. With his experience as board advisor, mentor and founder for several startups and startup teams, George is the person to talk to about your business development and lean startup questions. 

Nicole Yershon
Radical entrepreneurial spirit, consultant & speaker

Nicole is a globally recognised Innovation expert and Founder and CEO of Nicole Yershon Innovation People 
Her 27 year career has seen her dragging multiple top tier advertising agencies kicking and screaming into the 21st Century – from an analogue to digital world. Most recently she founded and led the Innovation Labs for Ogilvy & Mather, and is now showing global brands how to exploit her experience. 
A multiple gold award-winning pioneer and change agent with a broad knowledge of emerging technologies, she has flooded Second Life for the environment, provided for Fanta, inaudible audio languages to kids, and AR with IBM at Wimbledon to measuring pleasure with EEG headsets for a chocolate brand, among just a few 
She judges for Cannes Lion, d&ad, media guardian & British Women Entrepreneur of the year. Nicole has Appeared on TV for Young Apprentice & Gadget Show. Has been voted many times as top 100 UK digital talent in Wired & Drum – has written articles on innovation & disruption – She tells her story at conferences around the world, is an honorary fellow of Ravensbourne college, a Fellow of the RSA & Chair of the BBC Online Advisory Board.

Gerasimos Balis
Design and Entrepreneurship Researcher

Design and Entrepreneurship Researcher at the HighWire Doctoral Training Centre, looking at the contribution of design methods and techniques in entrepreneurship. Innovation coordinator at Lancaster University Students’ Union, supporting students start new ventures by applying an Enterprise Design approach. Was a mentor for the Start-up weekend in Lancaster University in November 2015

Colin Tan
Founder & CEO of Rentlord, EIR at Dotforge Impact

Colin is the Founder & CEO of Rentlord, a 500 Startups, Seedcamp and TechCrunch Disrupt company. He is also Entrepreneur-in-Residence and investor at Dotforge Impact, which applies technology to social ventures. Colin was a scholar in critical theory and is a published poet. He is passionate about education and exploring the intersection between technology and the humanities. Colin has also been Tutor in Culture and Literary Criticism at St John's College, Cambridge University and has a special interest in humanities and the arts.

Sophie Boydell
Delivery Manager - Open Innovation at Barclays

Sophie works within the Group Open Innovation team at Barclays based at Rise Manchester. Rise is an community where the brightest and best innovators can develop, collaborate and scale together. Sophie is focused on delivering innovation into Barclays, in creating collaborative partnerships within the organisation and Fintech community across the North West. Prior to this, Sophie spent 4 years in Barclays Corporate Bank, working in and leading teams dedicated to looking after Corporate clients across the North West.

Paul Bason
Director, Digital Innovation at Manchester Metropolitan University

Rupert Wingate-Saul
Investment Director @ AXM Venture Capital

Rupert is Investment Director at AXM Venture Capital, where he manages investments into creative and digital companies in North West England.

Rupert sits on the board of a number of venture-backed companies in sectors including FinTech, ticketing, big data, video gaming and predictive analytics.

Chris Thompson
Director of Innovation at FreshMinds

Chris is a Director at FreshMinds, leading strategic growth consulting for key clients. He has a strong innovation strategy and service development background, having worked both client and consultancy side with Rolls-Royce and PwC. He has worked on many projects in the professional services space, and has helped develop exciting new propositions across a variety of sectors. Chris is also the founder of BookFace, Facebook for books.

Chris Leo
Senior Consultant at FreshMinds

Chris leads project teams in the digital and tech sectors, He delivers large-scale mixed methodology insight and innovation programmes to a diverse and international client set. Thinking up new ways to get the voice of the customer heard within businesses gets him up and out in the morning. Chris pitched the winning idea at Start Up Weekend London this year and will be more than happy to show you the video!

Mathilde Leblond
Senior Associate at FreshMinds

As well as working at FreshMinds, Mathilde is the founder of SmartKitty, the winner of the most recent StartUp Weekend in London. When she’s not disrupting the payment splitting space, Mathilde manages projects delving into market opportunities, customer needs and concept development. She has extensive experience in behavioural insights; understanding customer habits, needs, and purchase drivers.

Ali Whittle
Consultant at FreshMinds

This will be Ali’s third Startup Weekend, he caught the bug two years ago, coming third with his money management app, Plutus. At FreshMinds Ali spends most of his time working on projects related to Financial Technology and the Internet of Things.

Shiraz Anwar
Hustler, Entrepreneur, Creative, Digital & Tech Advisor with Business Growth Hub

Hustler, Entrepreneur, Creative, Digital & Tech Advisor with Business Growth Hub

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Manchester 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.

Signature Sponsors


Venue Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Amalia
  • Emily
  • Dimitris
  • Zoheb
  • Philipp
  • Vojta
  • Lambros


Simone Demelas
CEO of

Sardinian, currently based in Rome. Degree in Natural Sciences, GIS and Satellite Remote Sensing expert, after working as an analyst in the GIS field decides to begin to understand how to do business and was thrown in the startup universe. It all started in 2013 with the participation at Startup Weekend Cagliari, from there it was swallowed into the black hole, participating in a lot of startups weekend, 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. There is always a different way to see things and solve problems

Event Staff

Tunde Oduniyi

Mihai Bujanca

Teslim Abass

Event Blog

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