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Announcing The First Ever, Aotearoa Online Startup Weekend


Community members from all over Aotearoa are coming together to tackle the new challenges created by Covid-19 in the first-of-its-kind Techstars Global Online Startup Weekend series.

Next weekend, participants from all over Aotearoa will come together online to form teams, solve problems, and build startups, all with the goal of tackling the challenges created by Covid-19. For the first time ever, local Startup Weekend organisers from across Aotearoa are joining forces to host this nationwide weekend event on May 1st - 3rd.

This is a call to anyone with a passion to help; developers, inventors, designers, teachers, medical professionals, scientists, marketers, finance, lawyers, students, people with startup experience and those without. If you work at a supermarket, if you’re a trainer or sports coach, work in hospitality, or in tourism — Startup Weekend needs you.

It’s a chance not only to remove geographic barriers but sector barriers also, to discover and build truly meaningful and lasting solutions. Pauli Sosa, organising team member and Community Manager at GridAKL, says this is the New Zealand grassroots approach at it’s best. “We’re seeing the response from all across the country to chip in and do what needs doing to support our neighbours, local businesses, children, and essential workers. It’s so inspiring to see resourceful Kiwis get together to act on important problems.”

Startup Weekend isn't only about building startups — it's empowering our community to have the skills, tools and attitude to create a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem across Aotearoa. Participants gain and test skills ranging from business model canvassing, prototyping and customer validation to decision making. They will be mentored by an experienced team, with a diverse range of backgrounds and industry knowledge.

Previous Startup Weekends in Aotearoa have shown that participants take the positive impact of the experience back into their day-to-day lives. The ripple effect is to the organisations they go back to and so on throughout the Aotearoa community.

Casey Davies-Bell, Director of Community at Kiwi Landing Pad which supports entrepreneurs with global growth aspirations, says Startup Weekend plays an important role. “Startup Weekend has deep community roots throughout NZ for entrepreneurship and allows participants to rapidly connect, upskill, and test the viability of ideas that could have a meaningful impact on the recovery of NZ.”

Aotearoa is one of more than 60 countries around the world participating in this important event hosted by Techstars, the global platform for investment and innovation: “Unite to Fight Covid-19.” Online tools including Discord, Zoom and Youtube Live will be provided to connect participants with their teams and mentors as well as the community of participants from around the world, so all you need is an internet connection and a comfy spot to work from.

For regular updates and event details visit

To participate, sign up here:

About Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and experts from all domains come together to do amazing things. It has been running in Aotearoa since 2011, and is across over 11 regions with thousands of previous participants now a part of the global alumni community.

Over 54 hours ideas will be pitched and teams formed; customers and problems validated; prototypes built; revenue models and customer acquisition mapped out; before a final pitch night on Sunday to a panel of expert judges.

Previous participants of Startup Weekends have gone on to develop their startup or a different idea with their team; found employment or partnership opportunities. Others return invigorated to their day-to-day life with new processes, skills, resilience and significant insight into their own potential. One outcome is always the same - they will leave having met a bunch of like-minded people who care about change. They are now part of a strong and growing community.

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