Kāpiti Startup Weekend 2020

12th, 13th and 14th of November 2021

Greatest Startup Weekend Ever.

Get your ticket now! Now Online

Why Startup Weekend

A weekend for you to test your startup idea, business plan, and teamwork while meeting cool people and eating delicious food!

The Details

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups! 



Startup Weekends are specifically designed for entrepreneurs interested in receiving feedback on an idea, looking for a co-founder, or who want to learn a new skill. We also welcome anyone looking to test the entrepreneurial waters. 

Supportive & Hands on!

Startup Weekends are risk-free environments where everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves and dive into the exhilarating world of startups 

What about COVID-19?

Kāpiti Startup Weekend will run at alert level 1 & 2.

What will happen if alert levels change between now and 12th of Novrmber—rest assured that we will be following the best public health advice to create a safe and comfortable experience for everyone. 

In the event that our in-person weekend must be cancelled, full refunds will  be issued.  No ifs buts or maybes. 

This is Online event! 

Registering yourself now helps us plan to make the weekend as safe and enjoyable as possible—many thanks to those who have already!

What is a Startup Weekend ?

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

What Kāpiti Startup Weekend Participants Say


What happens at Startup Weekend Kāpiti


Your home for the weekend will be the Kotare Room in the Ramaroa Building at Queen Elizabeth Park.


Ben Gilpin, of Gilplans Architecture, designed the complex. He says “with a rich history of Maori heritage and use by US Marines in WW2 Ramaroa’s design had to respond to all aspects of the site’s heritage. The design incorporates two separate gable buildings linked via a gullwing roof, tilted walls and large decks for mixed use, which refers both to the traditional Maori wharenui and the tent structures from the Marine camp.”


Online but in person.

Your home for the weekend will be a virtual works space in Gather.  

Don’t worry you wont be alone. A team of mentors and facilitators will be along side and supporting you the whole way through.



Hands on!

Startup Weekend is an experience – so don’t sit on the sidelines during the weekend. Pitch an idea, learn a new skill, talk to as many people as possible, and step out of your comfort zone. It’ll be the best thing you do that weekend!

Startup Weekend Kapiti

Judges for Kāpiti Startup Weekend.

Marcel van den Assum

Angel Investor & Chairman

Marcel van den Assum is a professional director, independent advisor and angel investor. He is immediate past Chairman of the Angel Association of NZ, founding investor in Lightning Lab accelerator, and a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

His roles include Chairman of Flick Electric Ltd, Merlot Aero Ltd, Sprout Agritech Ltd and Wipster Ltd, and Director of Regen Ltd and Education Payroll Ltd, along with Independent Advisory Board positions with New Zealand Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Health. 

Prior to his governance career, Marcel was CIO of New Zealand’s largest company Fonterra for 5 years, and previous to that Managing Principal of Unisys New Zealand and held leadership roles in various global functions. He has worked across many industry sectors, government entities, and in most geographies.

Alongside family and friends, art, music, mountain biking and snowboarding, food and travel are Marcel’s interests.

Marcel van den Assum

Scott Houston

Founder & Entrepreneur

Scott Houston was the founder and CEO of GreenButton, an award winning global cloud computing software company. GreenButton was acquired by Microsoft in May 2014 and Scott now works with other Hi-Tech companies that are expanding offshore. 

During his time at GreenButton the company won many accolades including NZ Emerging Hi Tech company of the year, Fastest Growing Tech company in the Deloitte Fast 500 and a number of Innovation awards. Scott was also a finalist in the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2012 and named an Innovation Hero by the Innovation Council in 2015.

Previous to his time at GreenButton Scott was the NZ Regional Manager for Silicon Graphics, Chief Technical Officer at Weta Digital for the Lord of the Ringsmovies and Founder of the New Zealand Supercomputing Center.

Scott has previously been on the board of Nyriad and Seequent and now sits on the boards of Montoux, Automio and Farrago.

He is also a NZTE Beachheads Advisor.

Nick Harley

Director of Marketing, Raygun

Nick is Director of Marketing at Raygun – A Wellington based company selling products that help software teams detect and diagnose issues in their code.

Having spent the last 15 years in and around startup businesses, including several of his own, he is no stranger to the successes and failures that come with building upon an idea from the ground up.

Joining at its infancy, Raygun is now one of New Zealand’s fastest growing tech companies, recently announcing plans to invest $15M and create 70+ new jobs in the Wellington region to support their rapid growth.

Between the company HQ on Courtenay Place and Seattle offices, the company supports thousands of customers over 100 countries, including Coca-Cola, Dominos Pizza, Samsung and Microsoft.

Originally from the UK, Nick now calls the beautiful Kapiti Coast home with his partner and two daughters.

Nick Harley - Raygun

Poppy Norton

CEO & Co-Founder, Collaborate

Poppy has recently been appointed as CEO for Collaborate, a social enterprise that she, and three other young women founded in early 2015. Collaborate is a platform that democratises volunteering, by connecting people to volunteer opportunities that match their skills and interests. Poppy leads the volunteer-powered team of 18 young people around the country. 

Poppy’s kaupapa is to empower and upskill young people across New Zealand, which she brings to her own team, providing mentoring and training. Prior to stepping into the CEO role, Poppy was the Digital Marketing Strategist and Community Outreach Lead, and she still plays a large role in this space.

During the day, Poppy is a Student Liaison Officer for Victoria University of Wellington, which sees her travelling the country to recruit new students and assist them with their transition into the University.

Poppy has a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Psychology and Educational Psychology.

Both roles have a large focus on empowering young adults to discover and achieve their full potential. She has a great amount of experience volunteering in the community and brings this knowledge and passion to her role in Collaborate. Poppy’s leadership and passion has been recognised and was a recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership award, 2016, was named one a finalist in the 2017 and 2018 Women of Influence Awards and has been awarded a Kiwibank Local Hero Award 2018.

Over $8,000 in Prizes for Kāpiti Startup Weekend.

Event Schedule

Day 1:

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees are encouraged to bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team.

Day 2 and 3:

Over Saturday and Sunday teams design and develop business plans while constantly streamlining their startup vision.


On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes, listen to judges’ feedback and in some cities, win prizes.

5:30 pm
Registration Opens
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:15 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:45 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 pm
Begin Work
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 (12am midnight)
8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Check in
Teams 1 minute update

12:00 pm
Grab some lunch and mingle with other teams

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

4:00 pm
Pitch practice
Mentors give teams a first run through and feedback on their pitches.

6:30 pm
Time for dinner and we are bringing in one of the fabulous food trucks from Kapiti

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, ask for help (if you need it)

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow (12am midnight)

8:00 am
Arrive, breakfast & coffee. Waffles and healthy smoothies!

10:00 am
Pitch practice
Second pitch practice for teams, chance to polish your presentations.

12:00 pm
Grab a sandwich to power through the next few hours of excitement!

12:30 pm
Check in
1 minute updates from teams

3:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Pitches begin
Each team gets 5 mins to pitch their startup weekend idea

6:30 pm
Time to relax and celebrate your achievements!

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Awards are presented to every team who participated, and we get to see who is crowned the winner of Kapiti Startup Weekend 2018!

8:00 pm
Wrap-Up and Go Home!
Thank your team mates, swap numbers to keep in touch, and think about joining the organising crew next year!

9:00 pm
Crew cleanup
The crew will be undertaking clean up of the venue, ready for classes on Monday. Time for all participants to go home!

Key Partners

Thank you to our partners with out their support and encouragement Kāpiti Startup Weekend would not be possible.

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