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Massey University College of Creative Arts, Wellington

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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.

The event starts on Saturday evening 16 Feburary, 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 Saturday 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.

Sunday morning is all about market 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 Monday 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. Many exciting businesses have come out of Startup Weekends.

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.



Feb 16
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • 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
  • Teams sketch out MVP
  • Plan out validation
  • Go home and get some sleep


Feb 17
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Market and Customer Validation
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Go home and try to get some sleep


Feb 18
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Start preparing final pitches
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Practice your pitches
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors

Joshua Vial

Founder, Enspiral   |   LinkedIn

One of Wellington’s well-known startup entrepreneurs Joshua has a passion for business, technology and social change. He is co-founder of BuckyBox, a recent startup getting international press already and was one of the founders of Enspiral, a local co-working startup consultancy. His background is in web programming (rails, php) but claims social change is his real passion, spending a lot of his time trying to change the world for the better.

Rowan Yeoman

Serial entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Rowan is interested in technology and innovation that is going to impact the world positively. He has a passion for working with and creating high performing teams of inspired and committed individuals. His background includes experience with practice methodologies that allow groups of individuals to consistently deliver great results on things that matter.

Thiago Almeida

Developer Evangelist, Microsoft NZ   |   LinkedIn

Has over ten years of experience working as a solutions architect and technical leader. Thiago talks about Windows Azure, solutions architecture and technical leadership in delivering integration and middleware solutions using Microsoft products and services.

Linc Gasking

Serial tech entrepreneur

Linc is a startup entrepreneur who is passionate about trying to solve big problems. Linc has started over thirty tech companies during the past twenty years in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. This includes, acquired by DreamWorks, Imagine Entertainment and Vulcan Ventures in 2000.

Tom Reidy

CEO & Founder Catalyst90   |   LinkedIn

Catalyst90 is an agency specialising in creating lasting engagements for clients using Social Media, email, text message, and technology marketing. Tom was also co-organiser of TEDxWellington.

Dave Allison

Strategist, Creative HQ   |   LinkedIn

A chartered accountant with an honours degree in chemistry, Dave joined Creative HQ after a decade with global consulting firm PWC. Working largely with SMEs and start up companies over the past few years, he recognises a good idea and a potential global opportunity. Dave also manages Wellington angel investor forum Angel HQ.

Michael Elwood Smith

Strategist, Creative HQ   |   LinkedInGoogle+

An experienced strategist and entrepreneur with an electronics engineering degree. Michael’s career in ICT in NZ, UK and Switzerland, and work at Creative HQ with many successful entrepreneurs provides a rich background to help people working in startups and high-growth companies. Michael is a practitioner of ‘lean startup’ and ‘business model canvas’

Mike Del Prete

Head of Strategy, TradeMe   |   LinkedIn

Mike founded Agora Games a U.S. based online games community management system venture and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry globally. He exited that company and recently migrated to start afresh in New Zealand.

Lenz Gschwendtner

CTO and Co-founder - 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.

Paul Spence

COO and Co-founder - iwantmyname   |   LinkedIn

Apart from handling the operational side at iwantmyname, Paul is involved in organising tech events around town (including Startup Weekend). He's a keen writer, commentator and user of social media and edits Startup Digest for New Zealand. He also mentors young entrepreneurs involved in technology commercialisation.

Karen Bender

Growth Manager, Grow Wellington   |   LinkedIn

Karen not only has an entrepreneur background, but she also applies her considerable energies to assist other people in business, through her role within our economic development agency. Karen is also a Wellington Startup Weekend organising team member.

Amanda Santos

Business advisor   |   LinkedIn

With a background in sales management, Amanda is a facilitator and change maker familiar with senior executive and board roles. She's been involved in leadership across both large and small firms and including the technology sector.

Dave Moskovitz

Chairperson Webfund   |   LinkedIn

If there's a tech startup event around town, you can be sure Dave is involved. A self-professed software geek, he's also an angel investor with a focus on internet companies. He founded Hyperstart to work with technology start-ups and is an advisor to venture accelerator Lightning Lab. Dave is an international Startup Weekend organiser and an accomplished musician.

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