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Creative HQ, Level 1, 7 Dixon Street, Wellington

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We’re like Outward Bound for entrepreneurs

Friday 10th to Sunday 12th April 2015 at Creative HQ in Wellington

Startup Weekend is where entrepreneurs, developers, and designers get together to form new businesses in a 54-hour marathon of inspiration, perspiration, collaboration, and fun! We attract people with all skill levels in a friendly, welcoming, yet challenging environment.

Why attend a Startup Weekend?

  • Learn how to startup through doing it instead of just reading about it
  • Build your network by spending a weekend with Wellington’s doers and makers
  • Meet potential co-founders, there’s no better way to find people you want to work with  founders from three out of the six finalists at Webstock Startup Alley 2015 had been through Startup Weekend
  • Step outside of your comfort zone – Try your hand at something new
  • Actually launch a business – Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months
  • Get face time with local tech and startup leaders as coaches and judges
  • Join a global community of over 45,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world

Notable startups that were born at Startup Weekends in NZ are: Banqer, Orientation Aotearoa, TranscribeMe, Twingl, and many more. But the real value you’ll get from the weekend are taking an idea through to execution in 54 hours using Lean tactics, and working closely under high pressure with the best startup people Wellington has to offer.

Want more reasons to come?

10 reasons for developers to come to Startup WeekendWhy designers and creatives love Startup WeekendPhoto gallery from our Startup Weekend in August 2013

What happens at Startup Weekend?

The event starts on Friday evening 10 April, with an icebreaker game and dinner, and then people pitch their businesses concepts to the crowd. 10-15 concepts will attract viable teams around them. By late Friday night, you will have sketched out your concept in some detail and everyone will have roles assigned and an inkling of how they’re going to achieve their goals over the weekend.

Saturday morning is all about validation – you’ll be contacting potential customers and finding out if there’s really a market need for what you’re building. If not, you’ll need to pivot based on the information you’ve picked up by “getting out of the building” and talking to people. Meanwhile, your developers and designers will be furiously building your products (or mock-ups), and your team will be attracting partners, advisers, and customers. You’ll need to start preparing your final 5-minute presentation on Sunday morning, because your team will need to pitch it by dinner time. After that, prizes will be awarded to the best teams.

Where you go from there is up to you. Exciting businesses have come out of Startup Weekends, but the real value is in the skills, new friends, and access to resources you require.

Whether you are just want to find out what the world of startups is like in a fun environment, you’re a developer or designer looking for the next big thing, or an entrepreneur l0oking for a team to turn your idea into reality, Startup Weekend is a fantastic way to test your own abilities and meet great people along the way.

The last few Startup Weekends in Wellington have sold out, so get in early.

If your ticket class has already gone, we encourage you to join the waiting list. There’s always a few cancellations, and those on the waiting list get first swing at tickets for the event following.



Startup Weekend Wellington August 2013

More photos from Startup Weekend Wellington August 2013 courtesy the wonderful Mark Tantrum




Apr 10
  • Doors open & registration starts
  • Welcome + intro
  • Dinner
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalise 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


Apr 11
  • Doors open, breakfast
  • 1 minute updates - then get out of the building and meet some customers!
  • 1 minute updates + lunch
  • Keep building, keep learning. Pivot your model?
  • 1 minute updates + lunch
  • First practice pitches
  • Venue closes


Apr 12
  • Doors open, breakfast & coffee
  • Last 1 minute update
  • Second practice pitches
  • Lunch
  • Last practice pitches
  • Clear the desks and get ready for pitching
  • Pitches kick off
  • Dinner
  • Prize giving and wrap up
  • Chill with a drink and celebrate
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors

Yoseph Ayele

Co-creator at KiwiConnect   |  

Yoseph is a co-creator at KiwiConnect, which serves as a bridge to connect world-class talent, impact capital, and high-tech innovation to the fast-growing New Zealand startup ecosystem. He is a passionate entrepreneurs and change-maker.

Anna Guenther

Co-founder and bubble blower at PledgeMe   |  

Anna is experienced in delivering complex work programmes, with a background in events, finance, project management and start ups. She completed a Masters in Entrepreneurship through the University of Otago, and wrote her thesis all about crowdfunding and the startup that she cofounded, PledgeMe

JD Trask

Founder of Mindscape   |  

From a self-funded start-up just 10 years ago, JD Trask’s company Mindscape now has over 6000 clients in 80 countries, including giants Microsoft, Xero and Dropbox. JD was also a founding member of Givealittle and sometime technology and business lecturer at Massey University.

Vaughan Rowsell

CEO - Vend, pioneer of the retail operating system for bricks and mortar stores.   |  

Vaughan is the CEO and founder of Vend, maker of cloud based retail software and champions for small to medium retailers worldwide. In 4 years Vend has grown from an idea to now power more than 13,000 stores worldwide, and still growing fast.

Silver Sponsors

Sam Kidd

Co-founder of TeamWorkPM and LawVu. LawVu is a SAAS application designed to give companies complete control over their legal services.

Lenz Gschwendtner

Co-founder of iwantmyname. A Perl and PHP hacker from way back, Lenz emerged from the European domain registrar industry intent on starting his own registrar business, whilst enjoying the Kiwi lifestyle. He is also involved in the open source scene and hangs out at most of the cool tech meetups around town.

Melissa Clark-Reynolds

Serial entrepreneur and
business leader. Founder of MiniMonos, the virtual world
for boys aged 8 -12, designed around the values of sustainability and generosity. Past judge for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and a member of advisory boards of several technology companies.

Paul Spence

Co-founder & COO at global domain name registrar iwantmyname. Curator NZ Startup Digest. Veteran of 10 Startup Weekends.

David Glover

Principal at Creative Strategies

Co-founder of Banqer, the winner of Startup Weekend Education Wellington August 2014 and BNZ Start-up Alley 2015. Ex-CEO of Learning Media.

Greg Twemlow

Business Coach at Creative HQ

Business coach, LEAN startup specialist and experienced director who knows a lot about tech business incubators.

Jem Yoshioka

Web Specialist at New Zealand Nurses Organisation

Diverse knowledge and experience in web development

Laura Reitel

Startup Manager at Creative HQ

Run several accelerator programs at TechStars in Colardo. Mentored and organized several boot-camp style weekends in Europe and Africa. Worked at startups. Passionate about helping early-stage startups realize and reach their full potential and sharpening slick investment pitches.

Martina Battisti

Senior Lecturer, Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Massey University

Management lecturer at Massey, and Director
of Small Enterprise Association Australia and New Zealand

Ollie Townend


Ollie is a designer and project manager for a post grad design enterprise incubator.

Richard Hulse

New Media Manager / Webmaster

New media manager and webmaster at Radio New Zealand.

Rochelle Furneaux

Director, Enspiral Legal Ltd

Director at Espiral. Specialties include commercial advice and documents, especially in the creative and technology industries

Sarah Day

Senior Advisor

New to startup scene, but well versed in developing and testing ideas and presentations

David Clearwater
Dave Moskovitz
Nick Churchouse
Laura Reitel
Sarah Day
Rachel Meikle
Sarah Pearce
Danielle Vandendungen
Lucy Luo
Elizabeth Claridge
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