We always know when it’s Start Up Weekend. Our phones start ringing Saturday morning with participants asking how quickly we can approve their projects, and then they stalk us through social media and email to get advice and quotes for their final pitches (often under the competition slide!).


    Photo cred: Mark Tantrum - http://marktantrum.com/

    If you haven’t heard of it before, Start Up Weekend is an international event for designers, developers, and business folk to play at starting a start up – cramming weeks of validation, branding, and development into 54 hours of emotion. Start Up Weekend may actually be harder than a start up – with all the highs and lows compressed into a weekend.

    So far, four teams have successfully crowdfunded through us – from Dunedin through to Wellington, and we’ve given advice to crews from Invercargill through to Auckland. We’ve had everything through from biotech jewellery through to a water management social enterprise.

    This last weekend, I actually ended up attending as a mentor – mainly to support the growing start up culture in one of my fave cities, Christchurch, but also to give the rest of our team a break from Start Up weekend project rush request 🙂

    Me and some of the mentors / teams at Start Up Weekend

    During the weekend we had two projects launch, and one fund in seven hours. The excitement of real time validation in the pressure cooker of starting a start up is pretty powerful. The project that successfully funded on Sunday, One Great Gift, went on to take home 2nd place.

    If you’re interested in what Start Up Weekend is, and how to get involved check out their website. They’re running weekends from Tauranga to Invers, and it’s a great way not just to test out ideas – but to network, learn, and build more of a community around the entrepreneurial space in NZ. Next one up: Auckland in May.

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