Past event…

Event Ended

Student Amenities Building, Massey University

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Nov 22
  • 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
  • Finished for the day


Nov 23
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • One minute update pitches/asks for help
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • One minute update pitches/asks for help
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day


Nov 24
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • One minute update pitches/asks for help
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home, collapse!
National Sponsors
Event Sponsors

Shona Grundy

CEO and Co-Founder of Trigger Happy   |  

Shona has been the driving force behind the growth and strategic implementation of Trigger Happy's first of its kind iPad platform, TOON HERO.  

Trigger Happy won Company of the Year, Pre Commercialisation at the NZ Hi-Tech Awards 2013 and the Media, Music and Entertainment award at the recent NZ Innovators Awards.

Prior to leading Trigger Happy, Shona was in music industry and in animation television plus was Executive Chair of the Auckland Screen and Digital Content Leadership group in 2011/2012.

 In 2009, she was nominated for the Veuve Clicquot NZ Business Woman of the Year and for the Women in Film and Television Entrepreneur of the year.  

Shona is a self-confessed ‘victim of pop culture’ and loves anything to do with music, fashion and entertainment.

Dan Khan

Entrepreneur, Investor, Startup Accelerator Director   |   LinkedIn

Dan lives and breathes early-stage tech business. Over the last 15 years he's held numerous management and founder roles in seed/angel and venture backed tech companies in the UK and NZ, as well as public company experience.

He's had lots of fun building great products and works hard to apply everything he's learned (both successes and failures) in his interactions with other entrepreneurs and early-stage companies, whether its as an employee, mentor, board member or investor.

Dan is passionate about building a sustainable tech startup ecosystem in New Zealand, to which end he currently heads up Lightning Lab, New Zealand's only short-term, mentorship-driven startup accelerator offering terms favourable to entrepreneurs.

Vaughan Rowsell

CEO, Vend   |   LinkedIn

Entrepreneur and Internet technologist.
CTO of over 10 years now CEO and founder of Vend, the world's most awesome retail POS.

I won't rest until I have saved every retailer from bad retail software.

Neil Richardson


Neil is currently Chairman of New Zealand Home Loans, Child Matters and SmartTrade and is on the Board of the Momentum Foundation, Te Awa River Ride Charitable Trust and Quantec.

Neil is also a Co-Founder/Major investor in Endace and Imarda and currently sits on the Board of Imarda. He was previously Chairman of OHL, Visique, Norris Ward McKinnon, AgResearch, Seales Winslow and The Foundation for Research Science and Technology and a Director of WEL Energy. He was also previously Managing Director of Gallagher Group. Neil is also an Adjunct Professor at Waikato Management School.

Neil holds a Bachelors Degree (with Merit) in Commerce (Marketing) and a Masters Degree in Commerce (marketing strategy and consumer behavior) from the University of New South Wales and a Juris Doctor Degree (business and trade practices law) from Southern Illinois University (USA).

Proud Supporters

Alan Froggatt

HEAD MENTOR   |   LinkedInGoogle+

(& SWNZ National Director)

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, one of which generating over a $1.2M profit for investors within the first year of business.

Mike DelPrete

Head of Strategy at Trade Me   |   LinkedIn

This guy is a powerhouse of talent. A high-level business strategy pro with a proven record of building strong tech teams, in product development, technology sales, usability, managing start-up growth, and he rocks at building an awesome company culture too!

Star gaming entrepreneur Mike DelPrete is looking forward to being in the midst of Kiwi entrepreneurs at Auckland Startup Weekend. He Founded Agora Games in 2005 and he's a startup junkie.

Mike fills his precious spare time with as much interaction with entrepreneurs and startup companies as he can. He grew Agora to the point where it reached 55 million gamers worldwide with online features to connect web-based gaming communities. The company works closely with game developers and includes such legendary titles in their stable as Mortal Kombat, Call of Duty and Guitar Hero.

At TradeMe, Mike leads M&A activity, seeking out interesting businesses and new opportunities for TradeMe to work with.

With that experience and more, the programme for Startup Weekend – an intense zone for creating, building and pitching smart startups over 54 hours – is an environment Mike knows well.

Rick Shera

Partner at Lowndes Jordan, top niche, corporate, commercial and ICT law firm   |   LinkedIn

Rick (@lawgeeknz) is a partner at Lowndes Jordan, New Zealand’s first ISO9001 accredited specialist corporate, commercial and IT law firm. He provides legal services to private and listed companies, business individuals and multinationals. Rick's primary sphere of expertise is internet, IT and intellectual property law, including:

• Media law
• Internet services including website development and hosting, and advertising and linking arrangements
• Domain names
• Telecommunications
• ISP issues
• Hardware and software development, licensing and implementation arrangements
• E-commerce relationship agreements
• IP protection and licensing
• General internet law issues – copyright, online liability, jurisdiction, crimes and privacy.

Richard Scott-Will-Harknett

Holacracy and Agile Coach   |   LinkedIn

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.  He has held full budgetary P&L responsibilities for business units as well as contributed to the formation and execution of organisational policy and strategy.

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. He is currently supporting the use of Holacracy in areas as diverse as a Malaysian government agency and an international women’s collective across Australia, NZ, India, USA and Europe.

We are looking forward to having Richard join us for Startup Weekend.

Richard McLean

Business Development for Tech Products/Markets   |   LinkedIn

Richard is a New Zealand based specialist in the development of IP based global businesses. He has been doing it since 1988 (yes they did have tech companies back then) and has a passion for rapid growth and the creation of company value. Over the years Richard has played an active role in the success of many New Zealand technology companies.

Richard is the founder of Concept to Market Ltd, first established in 2001. He is a shareholder and also served on the board of WinScribe Inc for five years including three as Chair – one of New Zealand’s successful global software companies. He is currently Chairman of SPM Assets Ltd, an Asset Management software company. Also recently appointed as chair of the FAB Group which encompasses NZ’s CACI clinics, Toni & Guy hairdressing, Smashbox cosmetics, Label.m hair care products and Murad Skincare products. He is also the father of one very busy little girl and an average and infrequent golfer.

This year Richard has invested in and co-founded a new startup company called Spark 64. The company was founded to commercialise UVSense a smartphone and sensor combo that helps people manage their UV exposure for the optimum dose of vitamin D whilst avoiding sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer risks.

Over time Richard has held senior management positions in technology companies, including ‘sweat equity’ positions with growth companies. He spent nearly 10 years helping to build a small technology company through an IPO and into a large public company, which eventually listed on NASDAQ. His skills and experience range from sales and marketing to group management and governance.

Steve Corbett

CEO, ecentre   |   LinkedIn

John Manktelow

Auckland Technical Lead, Xero   |   LinkedIn

John is your virtual CTO. He has 15 years of experience in the technology startup scene in New Zealand and abroad. He's worked with many new companies: guiding their product roadmap and leading the transformation of their ideas from back-of-the-napkin to large successful products.

Currently John is guiding Xero's rapidly growing Auckland-based product teams on the road to millions of customers around the world.

His expertise is in productising technology ideas and taking them to market. He's founded and co-founded several businesses and provides advice to many more.

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 heads up market validation and market strategy within Telecom Digital Ventures, the innovation and new revenue arm of the Telecom group, where is is busy driving a lean startup way of operating into the business. He sits across multiple exciting new investment opportunities and large scale projects....which he can't talk about right now!

Outside of Telecom, Oliver has a particular interest in the education sector, where he is a capacity partner for the springboard trust, mentoring principles of low decile primary schools through their strategic planning process.

Rudi Bublitz

Flying Kiwis Angel Investor and Mentor with Head and Balls​   |   LinkedIn

Rudi brings an extraordinary wealth of experience and proficiency to Auckland Startup Weekend. An angel investor since 2010 Rudi has taken an active role in guiding startup companies to investment readiness and in providing due diligence. He received the 2011 Active Angel Award for his service to the angel community and he was on Advisory Board and chairman of the screening committee at Ice Angels. Presently he is setting up a new angel group Rudi has been a pitch coach for Geeks on a plane, mentor and advisor to Spark participants, a mentor at Lightning Lab in Wellington and the list goes on. Rudi currently has an interest in seven startup companies, several in which he plays an active role as director or advisor.

Rudi has first hand startup experience as co-founder of Team 121, growing this business in the UK from 2 to 400+ consultants in under 10 years before selling out to Logica in 1999. Rudi is himself a top SAP consultant with 25+ years experience in business process improvement, challenging people and changing systems to fuse SAP best practice with incumbent ways of working. With these skills and experience, we have a mentor in Rudi who will provide practical business acumen combined with Teutonic no-nonsense advice.​

Supported by
Alan Froggatt
Colart Miles
Heath Milligan
David Russell
Samantha Mackay
Mike Zeff
Rowan Yeoman
Deirdre Dawson
Janine Barr

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