Past event…

Event Ended

Polperro Building, 132 Halsey Street, Auckland, New Zealand

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!



May 9
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • 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.
  • Finished for the day


May 10
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • 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
  • Finished for the day.


May 11
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrap up & Networking
  • Go home!

Winners Announced

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3 Hours to Showtime

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Event Sponsors
National Sponsors

Candace Kinser

CEO, New Zealand Technology Industry Association   |   LinkedIn

Candace Kinser is the Chief Executive Officer of NZTech, the national association representing the technology industry of New Zealand. NZTech’s members represent over 25,000 employees in the tech sector for the country. Technology is the third largest industry behind dairy and tourism for New Zealand, and is set to become the highest revenue earner for the nation by 2020.

Prior to running NZTech, Candace led the successful software start-up Biomatters, which creates the award winning scientific software GeneiousPro. In less than five years, Biomatters grew from a fledgling start-up company launched in the ICEHOUSE to become one of the leading scientific software companies in the world used in over 65 countries, and recognised as the Hi Tech Emerging Company of the Year for New Zealand in 2012.

Candace has degrees in Anthropology and Political Science from the University of Hawaii, a Post Graduate and Masters Degree in Business from Massey, and has advanced education in BioPharma from Rutgers University and Asian Business Governance from Melbourne University. She has been selected as one of the 'Top 10 female CEOs for New Zealand,’ is an active Director for McCashin’s Brewery, a Trustee for the Well Foundation of Waitemata Health, is on the Advisory Board for the School of Business at Massey University and an Advisor for the University of Waikato Cyber Security Group. She has previously served as a Director for NZBIO and the NZ Health IT Cluster and has been appointed to a number of other government, sector and higher education advisory panels.

Nick Churchouse

Venture Manager at Creative HQ   |   LinkedIn

Nick works with entrepreneurs and early stage companies in Wellington’s startup hub Creative HQ and has been part of Startup Weekend since 2011 as a participant, organiser, facilitator, and mentor. As a former journalist and deep sea diver he understands pressure and loves the fast, fun and furious atmosphere of every Startup Weekend event.

Rod Snodgrass

CEO - Telecom Digital Ventures at Telecom New Zealand   |   LinkedIn

Rod heads up Telecom Digital Ventures, a business unit formed in early 2013 to look at new technologies and the new consumer needs and business opportunities that these will create. Telecom Digital Ventures is a dedicated growth business unit that has an arms-length operating model, and the necessary scope and resourcing to be open, agile and fast in pursuit of its goals. Rod, previously the Chief Product Officer at Telecom, has a huge amount of local and international technology and innovation experience. He has a strong background in internet, broadband and mobility, including with Ericsson Cellular, as well as running Xtra and the Fixed Line division in Telecom and a stint as Telecoms Group Strategy Director. Most recently he was Chief Product Officer. Rod brings broad industry knowledge and expertise from being on the Mobile World Capital Advisory Board, Telco Futures Forum and Southern Cross Cables Board and previously on the Boards of the Icehouse, TMT Ventures, 3 Australia and Yahoo!Xtra amongst others.

Victoria Crone

Managing Director, Xero New Zealand   |   LinkedIn

Victoria has 15 years of experience in the telco sector, across research, marketing, sales and strategy - on both B2C and B2B markets. She has managed all aspects of the marketing mix - across traditional (voice, mobile) and emerging products (IPTV, Broadband, SaaS), as well as proposition, retention and acquisition.

Specialties: Customer Proposition Development


Jennie Leng

Coach- Founder, Raise Usability Ltd

Jennie's business is helping people to really understand their customers’ needs and behaviour. She is an expert in all things digital, especially strategy, design and usability. Jennie has industry experience in telecommunications, retail, travel, finance and not-for-profit and is a Business Mentor. She is passionate about useful design and creating online experiences that are, in a word, effortless.

Rick Shera

Coach- Partner, Lowndes Jordan, corporate, commercial and IT lawyers   |   LinkedIn

Rick has a Masters degree with first class honours in internet law from Auckland University. He heads up Lowndes Jordan's ( intellectual property/information technology team, which acts for cloud service providers, telcos, ISPs, media companies, digital publishers and authors, webdesign houses, software developers and network providers/integrators, as well as providing IP and ICT advice to general business and corporate clients. If your start-up doesn’t fall within one of those categories, you’re probably in the wrong place so make the most of finding out from Rick about gnarly issues like IP protection, online legal issues, business structuring and commercialisation!

Clive Kemp

Marketing Specialist at GPS Log Book (Division of Detonation Creative   |   LinkedIn

Clive is this Auckland Startup Weekend's Brand Man! He has more than twenty years of marketing, media and design experience. From this he refined a simple, yet incredibly effective process, for creating rapid brand expansion. The awesome thing about is, he's bringing this top notch knowledge to Startup Weekend and he's willing to share.

Clive's areas of specialisation are: -
• Brand origination, development and management
• Hands on Creative delivery
• Design, Illustration, Photography, Web and Online,
• Media and Marketing
• Media Strategy, Planning and Buying

Lenz Gschwendtner

Co-founder of iwantmyname   |   LinkedIn

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.

Richard Scott-Will-Harknett

Holacracy and Agile Coach   |   LinkedIn

Richard returns to Startup Weekend again as a mentor having previously supported teams in the November 2013 event. With over 15 years' experience in IT, project and programme management and 10 in other sectors, Richard assists individuals, teams and organisations that are trying to make the transition to adopt agile either as a first step or who need some help in an existing implementation. In addition he is an experienced facilitator, presenter and trainer.

Richard brings a pragmatic ‘let’s get on with it’ approach built through 9 years service as a British Army officer. This pragmatism is coupled with a grasp of commercial realities developed as Richard served on the management and leadership teams of several organisations.

In recent years Richard has become one of a very few people worldwide to be both qualified and experienced in Holacracy (a form of enterprise wide agility and dynamic governance) combined with traditional agile methods/frameworks.

David Clearwater

Venture Director, Hikurangi Foundation   |   LinkedIn

David is a commercial manager with expertise in digital product development, ecommerce, marketing, project management and early-stage ventures. As Venture Director at Hikurangi Foundation, David runs the team responsible for finding, enabling, investing and growing the next generation of social enterprises.Previous roles include online channel manager at Vodafone (Czech Republic), general manager of Milkround Online (UK) and project manager and strategist at DNA (Wellington). David is also the Facilitator of Startup Weekend Wellington.

Phil Cockfield

Co-founder Respondly   |   LinkedIn

Phil is equal parts designer and developer. He has experience at both startups and large scale development corporations. In recent history he spearheaded efforts in the US to unify UX across Quest Software (now Dell)’s 23+ R&D labs worldwide through reusable UI componentry. He then went on to help reboot the UI of Favstar, a well loved consumer Internet app used by over 3 million people each month.

Phil is currently working on Respondly, co-founded with Favstar founder Tim Haines. Respondly is a Team Inbox for Email & Twitter, a tool for smart teams to collaborate in real-time around Twitter and email.

A long time student of Integral theory, Phil decided to explore SW upon discovering two of the NZSW organizers were deeply ensconced in Integral methodologies. Phil is interested in what development organizations could look like structured around Integral principles, observing early examples such as GitHub’s “Framework for Happiness.”

Ben Morrison

Partner at Lowndes Jordan   |   LinkedIn

Ben is a corporate, commercial and trust lawyer with experience in a wide range of transactions, structures and arrangements. He is also
a member of the New Zealand Venture Capital Association and a regular mentor to entrepreneurs at eCentre Massey and at StartUp Weekends around New Zealand.

His expertise encompasses:

• Acquisitions and dispositions of shares, business assets and properties by domestic and offshore entities.
• Formation and governance of companies, limited partnerships and joint ventures.
• Commercial property development and associated construction, finance and security arrangements for projects including marinas, pacific island resorts and managed apartments.
• Commercial leasing for clients including nationwide retail chains and multi-tenanted commercial building owners.
• Establishment of private equity funds.
• Devising and implementing appropriate trust structures for domestic and offshore parties seeking to hold and protect assets in New Zealand.
• Advising businesses, from large multi-nationals to closely held private companies, in a range of industries and sectors, in relation to all legal aspects of day-to-day operations.
• Advising business start-ups and ventures in relation to formation, ownership arrangements, initial capital raising, and growth towards ultimate sale, merger or public offering.

Sam Kidd

Product Evangelist at   |   LinkedIn

Sam now heads up the product evangelist role at TeamworkPM started life seven years ago as a side business to Irish based Digital Crew's web development agency and has now grown to be one of the leading players in the Online Project Management space. Sam moved back to NZ back in 2013 to help support customers in different timezones as's HQ is based out of Cork Ireland.

Sam has been involved in a number of ventures including internet security, college management systems and even retail businesses. He has extensive experience with marketing, e-commerce and online advertising and early stage businesses.

This is his 7th involvement in Startup weekends around New Zealand.

Sue de Bievre

Accountant, Business Advisor & Entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Sue is Involved in a plethora of local organisations in the Central North Island with particular interest in the development of the economy. Sue has been the Chair of Enterprise Great Lake Taupo, the economic development agency for the central North Island for the past 4 years.

She has just stepped down to focus on her latest start -up, Limited which is a revolutionary new business, offering business an entirely on-line accountant - - real accountants on-line.

Sue has been involved with 12 start-ups both here in NZ and in the UK, across a range of sectors from hospitality to import/export of specialist chemicals, including the start-up of a bungy jumping company. In her role in Economic Development, Sue recently initiated a programme for entrepreneurs and now works extensively with this growing group in the central north island.

Sue brings a range of practical hands on experience to the start up scene from financial modelling through to the attraction of funds to projects and to how to hire and manage your first team members!

Oliver Smith

Head of Market Strategy and Validation, Telecom Digital Ventures   |   LinkedIn

Immersed in the telco industry for the last 8 years, Oliver has worked across virtually every area, from finance, strategy and planning, through to pricing, marketing and customer value propositions, whilst operating and growing portfolios of up to $1bn revenue

Currently, Oliver wears two 'hats' at Telecom Digital Ventures, the innovation business unit within Telecom NZ Group.
In the first hat, he heads up market validation and market strategy where is is busy driving a lean startup way of operating into the business.
In the second hat, he runs, a new sub-brand ISP designed and built using lean techniques.

Stephanie Creasy

Strategy Director at Digital Arts Network Auckland

Steph is Strategy Director at Digital Arts Network – NZ’s largest digital experience agency. She has worked for over 16 years in the digital design environment. She is passionate about all things digital – embracing the mix of visual communications, user empathy and technical curiosity.

A true generalist she has played many roles across various practices

Kenina Court

Principal, Crowe Horwath (NZ) Limited   |   LinkedIn

Having built from scratch her own accounting business and then selling it to Crowe Horwath three years ago, Kenina works with a wide range of businesses at all different stages of the life cycle, from start up to exit. Her hands on experience in the commercial world means that she is able to help clients with innovative and pragmatic solutions to the various challenges they face in their businesses. Kenina is definitely an out of the box thinker and one of her favourite sayings is that ‘There’s always another way to skin the cat, I just haven’t found it yet!’. Some of the areas Kenina enjoys working in include business modelling, entity structuring and wealth creation.

Her commercial experience also comes in handy with her and her husband’s retail business which is expanding throughout the North Island.

Sabrina Nagel
Line Silseth
Rowan Yeoman
Alan Froggatt
Dierdre Dawson
Mike Zeff
Heath Milligan
Jenny Xu
Janine Barr
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