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Why Mentor

Develop skills, have fun and pay it forward to a new generation of NZ entrepreneurs

The Mentoring team is made up of talented professionals and entrepreneurs like you who are looking to pay it forward to a new generation of New Zealand Entrepreneurs. 

Mentors in previous New Zealand Startup Weekends have not only contributed valuable information, advice and networks to these budding ventures, they also connect with other Mentors, share their ideas, ventures and resources and have some fun doing so. 

As a Mentor you’ll also have a chance to meet other talented and extraordinary individuals who will make up the mentoring team and of course have the kudos of being involved with SW and listed on our site as a mentor.

Mentoring passionate participants, seeing innovation grow across a dozen or so teams, working alongside other mentors and developing insight and skills can be extremely educational, fun and very rewarding.

Mentor Talents

Ideally Mentors have passion and expertise in some of the following – Startups (lean), web, market validation, commercialisation, pitching, business, design, etc and can work with a talented group of peers as a team. We are particularly looking for those who advance early stage startup teams and their understanding as they go through idea pivots, team dynamics and the challenges of lean startup.

What is Startup Weekend

What Startup Weekend Mentors Do

Mentors will check in on teams and co-ordinate with the Lead Mentor and other Mentors about the teams process.

In particular:

  • Ensuring teams are moving through the Start Weekend process
  • Challenging thinking, asking the “obvious questions”
  • Providing intros to specialist mentors and other external people
  • Providing any other help that the teams may need

Startup Weekend Mentor Commitments

Most people do 40 something hours in a 5 day week. Startup Weekend does that in a little over two days. Many Mentors love the energy Startup Weekend creates and stick around for the entire 54 hrs. Its a unique experience. 

You will need to be available for 80 to 90% of the time that Startup Weekend is running. That means a couple of late nights and early starts over the weekend. It is expected that  Mentors attend a briefing late on Friday night (about 10 PM) as teams are forming.

We especially encourage Mentors to come along to the final pitches and prize giving on Sunday afternoon/evening. It’s the culmination of all the good work and its amazing to see what the teams have done.

  • You will need to be available for 80 to 90% of the time that Startup Weekend is running.
  • Mentors attend a briefing late on Friday night (about 10 PM) as teams are forming where we go over the Startup Weekend Auckland mentoring process.

What Startup Weekend Mentors Say...

Really valued the Mentor debriefs, learning about how others are coaching, facilitating etc. Enjoyed the bird’s eye view of all the teams – learn just as much is when I was a participant.


First time and nerves overcome by a very supportive mental team. Land that many people with shared passions deliver incredible results. Extremely well organised. Lots of personal learnings around process and team engagement.


Learnt a lot about the dynamic of teams and how to mentor a team. Very different to mentoring an individual person. Learned about Socratic enquiry; lots of practice asking good questions. Learning about the journey that people go through from start to finish. Learning the way teams get together over time.


It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and learn from a great group of mentors. It was great to learn more about the lean campus in the start-up process. Very rewarding to see participants grow over the course of the weekend.


I came here looking to work with great people. I was incredibly impressed with the quality, intelligence, motivation and welcoming into the event. So thank you!!


The impeccable way the space was maintained for mentors. The structure, depth and theoretical frame made mentoring so much of a learning opportunity. The emphasis on helping teams through process and interpersonal dynamics rather than through content or specific experience.

Phil Cockfield

Great event as always. Still learning more and more about teams and helping them to look deeper into the process. Massive learnings as always for me and hanging and gain insight from the mentors is always so valuable. It is my business course.

Sam Kidd

Great to be a part of a larger team helping people things they weren’t aware they could.

Mike Zeff