Startup Weekend Sheffield

    Friday, June 2 - 4, 2017

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

Friday, June 2 - 4, 2017

Friday, June 2 - 4, 2017
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The Diamond
Leavygreave Road
Sheffield, UK S3 7RD

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The 10th Startup Weekend Sheffield - that's more than 500 hours of starting up in Sheffield!

Being an entrepreneur is about taking control of your own destiny. Whether you're working in a boring day job, graduating and have no idea what your next step is, or just need to focus and be creative for a weekend, Startup Weekend Sheffield is for you!

3 days to learn how to be an entrepreneur!

Learn how to validate assumptions, design products that have value to your customers, and build scalable companies. All this without having to write a pointless business plan or sit through another 'advice session'.

No matter what your skill-set, you're guaranteed to find your creative spark at Startup Weekend Sheffield. Come and be a part of this global movement right here in Sheffield.

Buy your ticket now before it's too late!

More info for new attendees here:

Code of conduct here:

Startup Weekend Sheffield is a non-profit event run by a community of passionate volunteers.


Friday June 2nd

6:00 pm
Registration and Networking
Arrive at the venue (The Diamond) and get checked in. Enjoy some dinner, share ideas, practice pitches, and get to know fellow participants.

6:00 pm
Pizza, garlic bread, salad, pasta, jacket potatoes, chicken drumsticks, etc.

7:00 pm
Welcome and Speaker
Learn more about the agenda for the weekend and listen to an inspirational speaker.

7:30 pm
Rapid Pitches
Optionally line up to pitch your idea.

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches.

9:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas.

10:00 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. Start thinking about customer validation.

11:45 pm
Venue Closes
See you in the morning!

Saturday June 3rd

9:00 am
Venue Opens for Breakfast
Arrive at The Diamond and eat breakfast. Sign up for meetings with coaches throughout the day.

9:30 am
Back to Work
Focus on customer validation, and start thinking about your business model.

1:00 pm
Sandwiches, salad, samosas (meat and vegetarian), sausage rolls, pasta, chicken drumsticks, meats, cheeses, etc.

2:00 pm
Group check-in, status reports, call for help.

2:30 pm
Back to Work
Focus on your business model, and start thinking about design/build.

6:00 pm
Chicken pie, vegetarian pie, lasagne, chilli, rice, vegetables, garlic bread, salad, etc.

7:00 pm
Group check-in, status reports, call for help.

7:25 pm
Group Photo
Join us for the traditional Startup Weekend Sheffield group photo!

7:30 pm
Presentation Advice
Get some tips from a panel of coaches on how to deliver your final presentation.

8:00 pm
Back to Work
Focus on design/build and preparing your final presentation.

11:45 pm
Venue Closes
See you in the morning!

Sunday June 4th

9:00 am
Venue Opens for Breakfast
Arrive at The Diamond and eat breakfast. Sign up to rehearse your final presentation with coaches.

9:30 am
Back to Work
Keep working on design/build and preparing your final presentation.

11:00 am
Rehearsals and Tech Check
Choose a time to rehearse your final presentation with coaches, and check your tech works with the AV system.

1:00 pm
Roast beef, roast chicken, sausages (meat and vegetarian), nut roast, vegetables, Yorkshire puddings, etc.

2:00 pm
Group check-in, status reports, call for help.

2:30 pm
Back to Work
Focus on getting things finished, especially your final presentation!

4:30 pm
Wrap Up
Wrap up your work and get ready for the final presentations.

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Cheer on all of the teams as you present your work to the expert judges.

7:30 pm
Break for Judging
Enjoy some dinner whilst the judges make their decisions.

7:30 pm
Sandwiches, salad, samosas (meat and vegetarian), pork pie, pasta, chicken drumsticks, meats, cheeses, etc.

8:30 pm
The judges reveal the top teams!

9:00 pm
After Party!
Join us for the after party!


Paul Beech
Co-Founder @ Pimoroni

Paul is a well-known member of Sheffield's designer/hacker/maker community. He has worked in digital design at various organisations including Gremlin Interactive, Zoo Digital and dust. In 2012 Paul co-founded Pimoroni after developing the hugely popular Pibow case for the Raspberry Pi.

Pimoroni help people learn about electronics. They design and build all sorts of fun and useful products for hacking and making, and now employ over 30 people in Sheffield. Pimoroni sell their products internationally and were recently ranked 14th in the Northern Tech 100 league table, highlighting them as the fastest growing tech company in Sheffield.

Event Judges

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.

Emma Cheshire
Co-Founder and CEO @ Dotforge

Emma has a wealth of experience in technology innovation, adoption and integration, and fund management. As a co-founder of Dotforge she was responsible for raising the initial investment funding of £500,000. Since 2015 she has focused on Tech4Good, working with investors to establish Dotforge Impact as an internationally recognised programme for technology-led social innovation.

Emma also co-founded Futurelabs, a leading hub for technology startups and scaleups in Leeds, and is a founding board member of Capital Enterprise North, supporting tech startups to access support and early stage investment.

Sara Pates
Head of Enterprise @ University of Sheffield

Sara heads up all things enterprise at the University of Sheffield, where she has driven forward the reshaping of startup support for students and graduates.

Sara is also a Director at Sheffield Technology Parks, a Director at Enterprise Educators UK, and is working to connect communities and entrepreneurial networks through the Sheffield City Region.

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.

Coaches and Mentors

Laura Bennett
Director @ MakerHub

Laura has had a broad career to date, spanning international development, non-profits, social enterprises, and the digital tech sector. She has designed, built, and run bespoke business support programmes for digital tech entrepreneurs, including Founders’ Network for Tech North, the Startup MBA for Founder Centric, and the Startup Tribe for Escape the City.

Laura is a Director on the board of MakerHub CIC, an organisation dedicated to providing incubation, business support, and co-working solutions for digital tech entrepreneurs in Sheffield. She has mentored startup and social enterprise founders (UK & international) at the University of Sheffield Social Enterprise Accelerator for South Korean MBA students, and at the Gaza Sky Geeks pre-Accelerator bootcamp for entrepreneurs.

Samantha Deakin Hill
Founder and Director at Campus Capital

Samantha Deakin Hill is the Founder of innovative venture capital firm, Campus Capital. She has 8 years experience of supporting high growth potential businesses to scale and has mentored these ambitious founders from concept validation and first product launch, through to Seed and Series A investment and beyond. Samantha is a Techstars Community Leader and Global Facilitator and is the curator of Startup Digest, Sheffield's premier startup events calendar. She lives for events like this and loves the opportunity to see ideas right at their birth at Startup Weekend. Outside of work, Samantha is also Mummy to a gorgeous little girl, reads epic fantasy novel series, and occasionally climbs the odd rock.

Brice Fernandes
Director @ Sigma Forge

Brice is a freelance software engineer and entrepreneur. Besides winning Startup Weekend Sheffield twice, he has built several online products from scratch and been a coach and mentor at the University of Cambridge's Judge Business School startup accelerator.

Brice has a deep and broad understanding of technology and a wealth of experience with startups. Talk to him about your product, your user experience, your pitch, or if you want to hear startup war stories.

Michael Howe
Founding Partner @ Campus Capital

Michael is Founding Partner at Campus Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in high growth potential startups, and CEO at Otus Labs, which he founded in 2012 to empower companies and brands to understand who their customers are.

Since the age of 14 Michael has run several successful companies (and some not so successful ones) across multiple industries including e-commerce, digital marketing, manufacturing and technology. He has gained an extremely wide base of actionable knowledge stretching from business operations through to finance, product design, marketing strategy and sales.

Cari Kirby
Marketing Manager @ Team Cooper

Cari has over 10 years experience shaping and delivering marketing strategies across a wide range of industries and markets. She has worked at a creative agency operating within B2B and B2C markets on both national and international brands and campaigns. She has also gone it alone as a freelance marketing consultant helping SMEs develop their marketing strategy and tactical delivery plans.

Cari is currently Marketing Manager at Sheffield's Team Cooper, who make HTML5 games for brands.

Simon Scott
Principle Designer @ Razor

Simon is Principle Designer at Razor, a Sheffield based company who put people before technology to solve business problems. His broad range of design experience extends from products to software, and he specialises in service design, user experience and creative thinking.

Elizabeth Shassere
Founder and CEO @ Textocracy

Elizabeth Shassere has over 20 years of leadership and management experience. From large government agencies to startups, she has led teams through transformation and improvement. She is currently founder and CEO of Textocracy Ltd.
Elizabeth wrote her first book, Becoming a Fearless Leader: A simple guide to taking control and building happy, productive, highly-performing teams, because she believes anyone can feel confident to lead when given simple, clear guidance on basic team leadership principles.
She coaches at startup weekends and volunteers with Gaza Sky Geeks because she believes in the power of future leaders in entrepreneurship to change the world for the better.

Oh and she started Textocracy at a Startup Weekend Sheffield, that she won! So knows what makes a great pitch!

Ash Young
Founder and MD @ Evoluted

Ash is Founder and MD of Evoluted, a Sheffield based digital agency that specialises in complex e-commerce builds and digital marketing. He is passionate about building platforms that connect with users but also deliver tangible results for the client.
Ash has experience from both the agency and client side, having built up an e-commerce vehicle to more than £2 million annual revenue before successfully exiting the company.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Sheffield 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.

Platinum Sponsors

After Party Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors


Organizing Team

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

  • Eva
  • Giorgio
  • Chrissie
  • James
  • Harriet
  • Chris


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!

Event Blog

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