What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekends are 54-hour long events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, build products and launch startups! Teams go from an idea scrawled on a napkin to a working prototype and maybe even paying customers, all within a single weekend. Startup Weekends are a global phenomenon with events being held in 700+ cities across the world; in New Zealand alone, events have been held everywhere from Auckland to Invercargill.

Why attend a Startup Weekend

Many people want to be entrepreneurs, but find it hard to commit on top of study/work/family commitments. Startup Weekends are the ideal high-impact/low-commitment vehicle for you to test both your ideas and yourself to see if entrepreneurship really is your cup of tea. Not everyone can spare 3 months, but everyone has a weekend to spare. 

(For more reasons, see  What do I get out of it  below)

How does it work?

We begin on Friday night with open-mic pitches, where participants get 60 seconds to pitch their ideas to the crowd and try to recruit the best talent in the room! Teams form around the most exciting/viable ideas, and spend the rest of the night planning for the battle ahead. The whole of Saturday and much of Sunday) is a mad dash to build, validate, pivot, polish and test your Minimal Viable Product (MVP). The weekend culminates with a pitch-night where teams present their MVP to a panel of judges, guests and fellow participants. At the end of it all, a winner is crowned and everyone celebrates over a few casual drinks and gets a chance to network before saying goodbye!

Judging Panel

Mike Zeff has been involved with Startup Weekend New Zealand from the beginning, and played an integral part in building Startup Weekend in New Zealand to what it is today. He has also worked for a diverse range of companies including Microsoft, CLEAR Communications, ASB and Air New Zealand.
Tali Rose has worked in digital roles across local and multinational corporates and agencies, and is a passionate advocate for the competitive edge that quality UX can bring to a business. Most recently running the Digital Experience function at Webby award winning Tourism New Zealand, Tali is also a mum of three and wife of one.
Rod Snodgrass is a seasoned executive and director with 20+ years’ experience in corporate strategy, innovation, digital growth and transformation in the New Zealand Telco, Media, Internet and Digital sectors. Rod has sat on numerous local and global Boards and has a passion and proven track record in building and executing corporate, market, business and product shaping strategies and innovation.
Misti Landtroop is Head of New Markets for Australia and New Zealand for Latipay in the high-tech financial services industry. Her background includes nearly 20 years in senior leadership roles at both Microsoft and, over the past two years, she has led her own consultancy firm providing strategic, leadership and governance advisory services for early stage startups.

5-7 MAY 2017

Massey University Albany Campus

Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre

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Huge Thanks to our Event Sponsors

What do I get out of it?

– You will get a taste of what it’s like in the startup world, and learn a ton first hand about every step of building a startup (at the very least, it’ll be a memorable weekend away from your usual daily routine).

– You might find your perfect co-founder soulmate with whom you’ll go on to launch a multi-million dollar startup, be it on this weekend or down the road.

– You will get a chance to network and mingle with some of the top brass in the New Zealand entrepreneurship/investing communities – individuals that would otherwise be very hard to reach – and ask them questions to your hearts content.

– You will greatly expand your network and build lasting relationships with the most innovative, creative and motivated people in Dunedin. This could mean a new client, employer, business partner, or even a friend!

– Plus, if your team wins, you will get heaps of additional resources and mentorship to help you get your startup off the ground. There are also plenty of investors in the crowd, so if your pitches were something special, you might even get funding (it happens!).


But I’m not an entrepreneur…

You don’t have to be! (and if you want to be, this is a great place to start)
At every Startup Weekend, participants come from all walks of life ranging from students to educators, bankers to doctors, even retirees! Worried you don’t have the skills? Thats why we have experienced mentors here to guide you (and Startup Weekends are about learning anyway). Too young/old? We have had participants as young as 12 and as old as 70 (not kidding!), so if you fall within that range, your’e sweet!

National Sponsors