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ecentre, Gate 5, Oaklands Rd, Massey University, Albany

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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 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

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.



Jun 15
  • 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
  • Head home to bed


Jun 16
  • 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
  • Last push. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow
  • Head home to bed


Jun 17
  • 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
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
National Sponsors
Event Sponsors

Candace Kinser

CEO of NZICT   |  

Candace Kinser is the Chief Executive Officer of NZICT, the national association representing the Information and Communications Technology organisations for New Zealand.
Candace is an experienced CEO and Director in the technology and life science sectors for both corporates and start-ups. Known as an evangelist for commercialising innovation, she is passionate about using technology to enhance business and grow capability. Candace is also experienced in dealing with government officials and agencies at the most senior levels both in New Zealand and internationally on policy issues, lobbying for industry affairs and in creating linkages. She is also enthusiastic about getting young women interested in higher education and careers in technology, science and business from a young age and is an active guest lecturer at universities.

Nick Gerritsen

Owner at Crispstart Ltd   |  

Nick Gerritsen is a Marlborough-based catalyst and entrepreneur.

He specialises in commercialising New Zealand technology propositions from the ground up, and has been leading New Zealands contribution to the global clean tech revolution. He is also involved in projects in the internet /online, and screen production sectors.

He is a director of leading algae crude oil developer Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, along with Celsias, and Carbonscape amongst others. He is also one of the founding team behind Pounamu Productions.

He operates within a global network across the innovation and capital markets.

Nick graduated from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB). During his legal career, he advised leading corporates on intellectual property and later enjoyed a string of successful business ventures, most notably in radio, and software sectors. He has been a consultant to New Zealand On Air, Radio New Zealand, Te Mangai Paho (the Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency), and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Nick is based in Picton

Brett Roberts

CEO of Wharf42   |   LinkedIn

Brett Roberts is Chief Executive of Wharf42, a Tauranga-based technology connector and co-founder of Business IQ, a business and technology strategy consultancy with offices in Auckland and Los Gatos, California.

Before starting Business IQ in January 2010, Brett spent 12 years with Microsoft New Zealand in a variety of senior management roles including OEM Director, Director of Platform Strategy, Director of Innovation and National Technology Officer. Prior to that he was Asia Pacific Volume Licensing Manager for Software Spectrum Inc. who he joined in 1993 after 13 years at Air New Zealand where he worked as an Avionics Engineer, software developer and IT manager.

His areas of expertise include business and technology strategy, innovation, enterprise and government sales, B2B and B2C marketing, general management, government relations, communications and PR.

Brett has a Diploma in Business (IS) from the University of Auckland, is immediate past Chairman of the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Computer Society and is an Executive in Residence at the ICEHOUSE business incubator.

Misti Landtroop

Country General Manager, Pitney Bowes

Misti Landtroop is New Zealand Country General Manager of global physical and digital communications leader Pitney Bowes.

Before joining Pitney Bowes in May 2012, Misti spent nearly 15 years in the IT industry including 10 years at Microsoft in the United States and New Zealand in a variety of senior management roles including Director, U.S. West Region Microsoft Dynamics, Chief of Staff – Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group and Director, Microsoft NZ Small, Mid-Market Solutions and Partners.

Misti also served as President and CEO of a Dallas-based Microsoft partne r(mobileDATA Technologies Group) and started her career in the journalism and communications fields serving as Corporate Communications Manager for Alliance Data Systems, Managing Director at Cougar Advertising, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager for Westcott Communications and News Director/Field Reporter at a Fox Television affiliate.

Misti received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University, is a current capacity partner with the Springboard Trust, past member of the American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand, is a former member of New Zealand Global Women and has served on the Seattle Lupus Foundation committee and Seattle Urban League Youth IT Challenge.

Proud Supporters

Alan Froggatt

Head Coach   |   LinkedIn

Alan founded Genratec, an Integral Leadership Development and Generative Coaching company. Genratec has developed its own proprietary methodology, a platform chosen by over 2600 individuals, leaders, celebrities, entrepreneurs, business owners & others in over 7 countries to develop their capacity for professional performance. He has founded/co-founded several other business, including generating over a $1.2M profit for investors within the first year of business.

Mike Zeff

Coach   |   LinkedIn

I love software, what it can do and how it can contribute to national economies (particularly New Zealand). I am constantly amazed by the creativity of software developers (including all disciplines covered by that very broad term) as they solve problems, create new experiences or just help me get stuff done.

Rowan Yeoman

Coach   |   LinkedIn

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

Nick Churchouse

Coach - Venture Manager, Creative HQ

A business head with a writer's mindset, I am immersed in startups and early stage ventures.

A dynamic space to be involved in, working with startup strategy gives me significant opportunity to fit my knowledge and experience of an array of businesses and industries to the tasks facing small and medium enterprise.

My central goal is to champion and further entrepreneurship.

Rick Shera

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

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 and online commercialisation!

Jennie Leng

Coach- Founder, Raise Usability Ltd   |  

Jennie's business is helping people make their websites easier to use, easier to find and easier to understand. She is an expert in all things digital, from design and usability to online marketing and social media. Jennie has industry experience in telecommunications, retail, travel, finance and not-for-profit. She is passionate about useful design and creating online experiences that are, in a word, effortless.

Clive Kemp

Coach- Founding Director of Detonation Creative Ltd. (

Twenty years of marketing, media and design experience has helped me to refine a simple, yet incredibly effective process for creating rapid brand expansion.
Areas of expertise:
● Creative approach to all things commercial
● Brand creation, development and strategy
● Advertising, Design, Marketing and Media advice
● Hands on design assistance (logo, web, corporate identity, marketing collateral etc.)
● Facilitate creative “workshops/sessions” to solve brand challenges
Entrepreneurial Software Experience: Developed several advertising media procurement systems and technologies and launched them to market in Africa and Middle East, and am currently introducing them in New Zealand.
Industry Areas: Consumer, FMCG, IT, Media, Advertising, Design

Mike Skinner

Coach- Founder of Hemingway Partners, and ecentreSprint Programme Director

Mike Skinner is a product-marketing practitioner with extensive and proven practical experience in the telecommunications, financial and software services industries. He has a solid track record in product & market analysis, market transformation strategy, product & service development and programme management in New Zealand, Asia and the United States

Ben Morrison

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

Ben provides legal advice on a wide range of commercial transactions and structures. Areas of special expertise include corporate structures and governance

Joel Macfarlane

Coach - Datacom

Over the last 15 years I've worked in almost every part of the software industry. With a strong technical background I've created startups, managed corporate software teams, sold, marketed, consulted and generally enjoyed being part of our vibrant tech sector.

I'm also a big proponent of Lean Startup thinking, mixing that with a focus on online marketing.

Jimi Hunt

Coach - The Creative Difference

Jimi Hunt is a man of many talents spanning the entrepreneurial space. Owner of his own businesses in a few different sectors, it is his expertise in ideas, branding, design and marketing that can help new businesses stand out from the rest and achieve success.

Toby Ruckert

Coach - CEO Unified Inbox   |   LinkedIn

Toby is a serial entrepreneur ( - - with experience in E-Commerce, SaaS, Fundraising and Outsourcing/Fulfillment, both locally and in European and Asian markets.
He is also an avid pianist and blogs on

More Mentors coming soon...

We're adding to our coaching team as we speak.

Supported by
Rowan Yeoman
Sabrina Nagel
Alan Froggatt
Jessica Gillon
Mike Zeff
Dave Moskovitz

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