Past event…

Event Ended

UCOL Palmerston North

I've Never Been to Startup Weekend.  What's It All About?

Startup Weekend Dunedin 2K15 from Jose Mathias on Vimeo.

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. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!


Judges Confirmed

by swpalmynorth

Wow, what a line-up.  We’ve got some very important people lined up to judge Startup Weekend Palmerston North.  Have a […]

In the news…

by swpalmynorth

Winning startup gets kids involved in meals What’s 4 lunch tops Palmerston North Startup Weekend. Monday, August 27 2012 || […]

Day 2 Update

by swpalmynorth

9:55 pm | Palmerston North, New Zealand The room is semi-silent but there is a definite buzz surrounding everyone here […]

National Sponsors

Dean Tilyard

CEO, BCC   |   LinkedIn

Dean Tilyard is Chief Executive Officer of commercialisation centre the BCC. Dean works primarily in seed and start up investment for technology businesses and the commercialisation of technologies from science institutions. He led the successful formation of angel investment group MIGAngels which currently holds investments in seven start-up companies. Dean is a director of two start-up companies and a founding council member and current Treasurer of the NZ Angel Association. Dean holds a first class honours degree in economic and political geography.

Ruth McDavitt

Account Manager, NZTE   |   LinkedIn

Ruth McDavitt is an account manager at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise by day, but in a past life, has been there done that with startup commercial and social enterprises, in NZ, Europe and North America. She’s a connector and advisor on topics like export market development, R&D funding, startup, high growth, strategic and operational planning, social enterprise.

Tracy Thompson

CEO, Polybatics   |   LinkedIn

Tracy is an expat US citizen who has worked in senior capacities for seven start-ups including LifeScan (Johnson and Johnson), BioTrak (Roche) and Cholestech (NASDAQ: CTEC) recently acquired by Inverness Medical. In addition to his start-up experience, he held senior management positions in the merger and acquisition business of the $1.7 billion life sciences division of Agilent Technologies (formerly part of Hewlett-Packard) and GeneChip manufacturer, Affymetrix.

Russell Brebner

Head of Product. Fingertapps   |   LinkedIn

Russell has been a business Entrepreneur since graduating from University in 1996 and forming his first company with his brother David. At their peak they have employed up to 45 staff in multiple sites both in NZ and overseas. Their latest company Fingertapps employs 20 people and is focused on developing Touch and Gesture based applications for PC, iOS and Android devices. Their partner list includes - Intel, AMD, Dell, Sony, Acer and ASUS.

Suse Reynolds

I am driven by my enthusiasm to play a key role in the promotion of New Zealand excellence.

Currently I am pursuing this as a passionate believer in the power of angel investment to generate world changing businesses. I sit on the Board of the Wellington region's angel network, Angel HQ and am council member of the New Zealand Angel Association.

Specialties -
Angel investment, international trade and commerce, communications and public relations, central and local government.

Fuelled in Palmy by

Rachel Hoskin

Head of School, Photography, Arts and Design, UCOL

Rachel has worked as a creative in the advertising world and has been lecturing graphic design for 11 years. She is now managing the Photography, Arts and Design school at UCOL and is passionate about exploring new ideas and helping develop people within their fields.

Chris Barker

Marketing strategist, Jumprope   |   LinkedIn

Chris is a strategic marketer & customer champion with more than 20 years’ experience across a range of organisations, industries and geographies. He was one of the first marketers in NZ to be accredited as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Chris loves working with start-ups and has specialist skills in marketing strategy, brand development, brand management, brand audit, communications audit, campaign planning, B2B marketing, B2C marketing, B2E marketing and social media.

Dr Mandy Rudge

School of Photography Arts and Design, UCOL

Mandy is passionate about project management and supporting people to creatively solve problems. She knows that, with the right support and the right attitude, people can achieve more than they ever dreamed of.

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

Sheldon Nesdale

Coach   |   LinkedIn

Sheldon is a marketing professional who is very passionate about small businesses, believing they are the backbone of New Zealand’s economy! He also loves marketing and believes it is the heart of a successful business

Linc Gasking

Social Entrepreneur   |   Google+

Linc has started over thirty tech companies during the past twenty years in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. This includes, acquired by DreamWorks, Imagine Entertainment and Vulcan Ventures in 2000

Shelley Ashton

Word Salad

Shelley started a business consultancy in London when she was 19 concentrating on investment banks. After 13 years running her consultancy business, Shelley moved to NZ for the lifestyle. Writing has been a huge part of her work and the part she loves the most. Her clients are varied - Meat exporting organisations, sawmills, IT companies, design companies, Councils, Business Consultancies, Drug Agencies - because everyone needs some form of writing for their business.

Michael Elwood-Smith

Business Strategist to high growth startups   |   LinkedIn

Michael is passionate about helping high-growth potential companies from New Zealand take on the world!

He's a real world business strategist & advisor founded on practical operations experience (20 years) within the Information Communications Technology industry. Large and small technology companies, senior roles within New Zealand and Europe, market development in Asia and USA, and leadership of early stage growth companies.

Michael is a practitioner of 'lean startup', growing ventures from proof of concept to international sales scale. Experience with internet, web, software, mobile applications and data transmission.

Ben Morrison

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

Ben is a partner in the leading niche Auckland law firm Lowndes Jordan, and provides New Zealand legal advice on a wide range of transactions and structures. Professional passions include business start-ups, foreign investment in New Zealand, corporate and property acquisitions, trusts and charities, and the creative industries. With a wealth of experience in advising start-ups, ranging from lean bootstrappers to global launches, and as the creators of and The StartUpPack™, Ben and his partners at Lowndes Jordan are committed to supporting entrepreneurship in New Zealand.

James Bell-Booth


James is a successful business development and sales professional. He has successfully lead all areas of sales and channel development for software export companies into North America, Asia and Great Britain. Among his client relationship are leading companies in the computer hardware market including - Intel, AMD, Dell Inc, HP, Acer, ASUS & Sony Corp. James' passion is helping New Zealanders take their products, knowledge and passion to the world.

Amanda Linsley

Business Matters (NZ) Limited   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Amanda has many years experience in business development, project and interim management and is passionate to pass her knowledge onto SME businesses, particularly those in the start-up phase and helping them to succeed. She has ‘walked the walk’ having previously set-up and operated three businesses in the UK taking two through to sale/acquisition

Local Supporters
Dave Moskovitz
Warren Bebb
Dave Craig
Jeremy O'Donnell
Jill Nixon
Media Sponsors
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