Techstars Startup Weekend Sheffield November 2017

    Friday, November 17 - 19, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Sheffield November 2017

Friday, November 17 - 19, 2017

Friday, November 17 - 19, 2017
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The Diamond
Leavygreave Road
Sheffield, UK S3 7RD

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Turning Startup Weekend Sheffield Up To 11!

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!

Startup Weekend is a worldwide movement that brings together entrepreneurs, designers, developers and startup experts to build creative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems -  all in one exhilarating weekend.

Maybe you’ve got a world-changing idea that can be brought to life through technology, entrepreneurship and some solid elbow-grease? Perhaps you’re uninspired at work and looking to take part in something a little different?
Over the 54 hours from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon you’ll be thrown into the ideal environment to connect with some amazingly talented individuals, discover your own entrepreneurial journey, learn what it really takes to found a real company and start building your way to success.

You’ll pitch your ideas, form awesome teams, speak with real customers and access experienced mentors, before finally taking to the stage to present to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs with backgrounds in design, development and startup investment.

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.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 17th

6:00 pm
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
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 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

11:45 pm
Venue Closes
Get some sleep, see you in the morning!

Saturday November 18th

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

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

1:00 pm

2:00 pm
After-lunch 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

7:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

7:25 pm
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
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 19th

9:00 am
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

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.

8:30 pm
The judges reveal the top teams!

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


Dimitri Frixou
Managing Director

Managing Director of Frix Media,  recognised as one of the fastest growing social media agencies in the East Midlands.

Working with over 2million followers on a daily basis we can engage customers worldwide,

Clients range from Harley Davidson, Kia and Licor 43

Event Judges

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.

Dan Dukeson
Director of Engineering

Dan is Director of Engineering for, and was formerly co-founder and COO of Sheffield-based startup Receptive - which was acquired by Pendo in April. Pendo provide solutions to drive product adoption, customer loyalty, and team innovation. Dan has been through the startup journey a few times and is now part of a newly minted unicorn startup - following Pendo's announcement of $100m Series "E" funding in October.

Gemma Barnes
User Experience Specialist

Gemma is a facilitator and designer, in that order.  Having worked in design for over a decade she has gained extensive experience from working in full service design and development agencies and is currently working for the Ministry of Justice in Service Design. Gemma is highly skilled in user research and interaction design. As a visual designer she has worked with clients including Tesco, AXA, HSBC, Disney and Oxfam to deliver creative concepts and brand assets. And as a specialist UX designer she has broad experience working on big ticket projects for public and private sector clients, including Sheffield City Council, Ideal Standard, Kier, Willmott Dixon and Westfield Health; helping to improve their user experience.

Penny Raven

Pennie is a Sheffield-based entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is the founder of HR Guardian Angels and the non-profit organisations "Sheffield SOUP and "Pecha Kucha Sheffield".  She supports many local entrepreneurs tackle growth and future readiness from a people perspective through her Organisational Leadership and Consulting practice, and is Co-Founder of Avenues to Zero - a pioneering physical space for a new way of living, learning, earning together.

In addition, Pennie has founded two passion projects: "My Life Programme - The Future 500" and "Jobs in Sheffield" (a free recruitment tool for independent Sheffield companies).

Coaches and Mentors

Phil Hornby
Head of Product Management Platforms @ Continental Automotive

By day a corporate product leader at Continental Automotive, out of hours an aspiring entrepreneur. Phil is also a veteran of a number of Startup Weekend events as both a participant and organiser.

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!

Jon Rhodes
Co-founder & Director at Paper

Jon is a co-founder of Paper, a user research and design studio based in Sheffield. Jon has been managing digital projects for 12 years for clients including the Department for Education, Co-op, London Luton Airport and Westfield Health

He's also the co-founder of, a free-to-attend mentoring event for small businesses, charities, and social enterprises.

Lahari Parchuri
Senior Enterprise Advisor

Lahari, also a past participant of Startup Weekend, works with social enterprise start ups or people with ideas, to set up a social venture to enable them get off the ground as quickly or as slowly as they choose.  Originally from India, Lahari also holds a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and previously worked as a Software Engineer. Her key interest is in developing communities, through solving social problems for a better world.

Joanna Zatorska
iOS Developer, The Floow Limited

Joanna is an iOS Developer currently working in the telematics industry in Sheffield. She has worked with startups, taking them from initial idea to the final profitable products, and also has experience working on solutions for an NGO; supporting the local homeless and unemployed. Alongside this, Joanna has extensive experience in automotive and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Ali Riley
Enterprise Education Manager, SFHEA

Ali is an enterprise educator, and has spent the last six years working with staff and students at The University of Sheffield to develop their enterprise and entrepreneurship skills. She supports students to develop their confidence in public speaking, communication, and pitching their ideas. In 2014, Ali was a member of the education team to be awarded the national 'HE Enterprise Educators Award'. 

Emily Brownell
Marketing Manager

Emily is Marketing Manager at Switchstance.  She has co-ordinated and delivered marketing campaigns, for both Switchstance, Gurgl and their clients which include amongst others Vodafone, NHS and Sheffield City Council. Emily uses digital marketing techniques and insights to make businesses stand out online whilst also working smarter.  

Google Digital Garage Expert

From the Sheffield Google Digital Garage, an expert will be on hand to offer advice for web analytics support and applications in marketing strategies. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Sheffield November 2017 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 Sheffield is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Alex
  • Chrissie
  • Giorgio
  • Sarah
  • Simon


Ali Sohail
Co-founder at deskOteque

Ali is an active startup community organizer, speaker and entrepreneur.

He is a co-founder in deskOteque, a platform that helps flex workers find the working space around them and pay-per-use for access. It has verified venues like coworking spaces, bars, cafés and restaurants available. 

Ali is also an experienced trainer, public relations professional and a certified peak performance coach. His passion lies in connecting people and helping them realize their (entrepreneurial) vision.

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