Techstars Startup Weekend Sheffield

    Friday, November 22 - 24, 2019

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

Friday, November 22 - 24, 2019

Friday, November 22 - 24, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Castle House, Castle Street
S3 8LS
Sheffield, UK

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?   Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.   What do you need to bring?   Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.   Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.   Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:  
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.
In Sheffield, the Techstars Startup Weekend has turned into a tradition which we want to keep alive for years to come. We believe that an event like this can not only celebrate the our startup ecosystem, but also boost it and be the cornerstone of its development! Come and become part of our ecosystem!

  Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!   Still have questions, feel free to reach us at     
Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!   No talk, all action!


Friday November 22nd

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

7:20 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

Saturday November 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

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
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 24th

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

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Adiam Amanuel
Founder & Creative Director @ 721 APP

As winner of the Tech Startup Weekend (Sheffield 2019), Adiam Amanuel is on an adventure to pushing the boundaries with her 721 travel app. Having travelled & worked extensively abroad, as well as launching her first business in Shanghai, she is certainly no stranger to approaching problems creatively.  
She’s here to share her journey as an entrepreneur, the success of 721 app, and the power of not giving up.

Event Judges

Francesca Noble
Enterprise Project Coordinator

Enterprise Project Coordinator for The Business Village Barnsley, helping to deliver The ScaleUp 360 programme in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University. The ScaleUp 360 accelerator programme is designed to provide free business support and advice to ambitious businesses and entrepreneurs in the Sheffield City Region in order to help them sustainably scale their ventures.

Giles Moore
COO @ Campus Capital, Founder @ Rekkommend

Multi-award winning CEO and New Business Director with 15 years’ experience developing and executing effective short and long-term growth strategies, marketing and brand development in both start-ups and long-standing international businesses. Set up own VC funded tech business; Airstoc in 2014, winning multiple awards including the Northern Stars & Tech City UK Award for ‘Best New Start Up’.

Oh and he started Airstoc at a Startup Weekend Sheffield, that he won! So knows how to take it from idea to a funded business!

Mark Hughes
CEO and co-founder of Tutorful

Mark is the CEO and co-founder of the biggest tuition company in the country, Tutorful. Since the founding in 2015, he has been on a mission to change the shape of the tuition industry. Before that he worked as a business analyst for 7 years and is Cambridge-educated. This man is impressive beyond belief, and we're lucky enough to have him judging!  

Maria Keshavarz
Director @ Spice and Herb Emporium / de-NOVO

Maria Keshavarz, 4th generation organic saffron grower from the Middle East, is a 25-year-old local entrepreneur. She is a director of three business across two industries, one of which supplies award-winning organic saffron and spices to Michelin star restaurants worldwide. She has collaborated with international treasures such as Nigel Slater, Ottolenghi, Andi Oliver, Albert Adria and more recently Frederic Larquemin (Executive chef at Palace of Versailles). Her recent creation at de-NOVO is a range of exotic flavours of gin and cellos that combines the long history of her families heritage with the new experiences of her dual nationality.
Maria is currently in her final year of her MBA at the University of Sheffield and hopes to continue her endeavours post-graduation by expanding her two recent ventures internationally.

Coaches and Mentors

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.

Neil Chandler
Founder @ Cathartic

Neil has spent the last 20 years working for FTSE100's, over the years Neil has innovated on both Wall Street and Fleet Street.
Recently Neil has been building startups in the Fin-tech and Med-tech space as well as Social Enterprises.

Lauren Nicholson
Early Stage Programme Lead

Lauren is a former founder and now works as Early Stage Programme Lead for Tech Nation. She has experience in market research, customer interviews and development, taking a business from concept to launch and growing sales as well as product management.

She has competed in a number of Startup Weekend Sheffields and placed several times so knows what it takes to do well!

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.

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.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars 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.




In-kind Sponsorship

Organizing Team

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

  • Denislav
  • Harry
  • Lei
  • Phil


Galin Zhelyazkov

True Serial Technical Entrepreneur with passion for developing new start ups, building their structure and internal operational processes and employing a professional management in the stages of growth and maturity of the business.

Event Blog

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