Massey University/Startup Weekend: Shared Vision in an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem


From day one, Startup weekend has been about creating an ecosystem of innovation that organically meshes as part of a global community. From day one, Massey University has shared that vision and they’ve supported it with practical resources and input that has helped make Startup Weekend the iconic, inclusive and dynamic event within the ecosystem that it is.

Massey University Supporting the entrepreneurial Ecosystem

The benefits to participants of this shared collaboration are expressed in part, in the way of prizes. Auckland Startup Weekend winners are invited to participate in the Massey ecentre incubation programme that continues to help Startups through provision of mentorship and practical business validation advice – the kind of advice entrepreneurs need to realise potential. Partnerships with organisations like Massey University are fundamental to ensuring that Startup Weekend doesn’t end on Sunday and that teams progress to see their hard work made business reality. The sentiment is expressed by Massey University Professor Ted Zorn.

“Massey is really excited about the Auckland leg of Startup Weekend because of our close ties to the Auckland business community. Through our Albany campus we have built close connections with local entrepreneurs through our onsite business incubator the ecentre and our research staff and many graduates.

“Startup Weekend fits perfectly with our goals of creating relevant learning opportunities, building relationships with the business community and contributing to New Zealand’s economic success. We wish everyone participating in the Auckland event the best of luck in developing their business concepts and  relationships – it’s exciting to think that a lot of hard work over a single weekend can lead to a viable business being launched.”

The ecentre/Massey University Grass Roots Approach

Sabrina Nagel, previous startup weekend organiser, mother of twin girls and business strategist at the ecentre describes her first Startup Weekend experience.

“I can still remember the first ever New Zealand start up weekend like it was yesterday. It was at BizDojo in Auckland and when I walked in on the Friday night, the room was cramped with predominantly male participants eating pizza and trying to make conversation. It is amazing how far this event has come over the last couple of years;  last year it was held in 5 NZ cities, we now have waiting lists for events, the number of female participants has increased, the prizes became meatier and we even eat healthier (even though I like pizza myself). It is just amazing to see how enthusiastic, energised, and excited participants are and even better how much each individual learns during the weekend.

“Whether it is finding a team, making friends or improving presentation skills and self confidence, there are so many takeaways for everyone involved. That is the other aspect that has always fascinated me; everyone involved has such a good time: mentors, judges, teams and the audience. It was no surprise for me that the ecentre, whom I work for, fully stands behind an event like this as the SW philosophy is very much in line what we are about. We are also a not for profit which helps entrepreneurs realise their dreams by helping them to turn their ideas into global successful companies using lean methodologies. Because the more we can teach entrepreneurs to be successful, the better it is for the NZ economy as a whole. You really have to support the grassroots to generate big trees.”

The ecentre prize for winners of Auckland Startup Weekend

Sprint programme for 3mths (value 2100+gst) which includes:

  • Access and introductions to ecentre experts, mentors, investors
  • Access to ecentre wider networks, contacts and partners
  • Tutorials and workshops on theory and application of market validation
  • Introductions and advice on government funding and support
  • Capability development workshops
  • Personal mentoring/coaching
  • Use of a desk and ecentre facilities (wi-fi, meeting rooms, café)