Past event…

Event Ended

Enterprise Zone, 210 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4AE


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Startup Weekend is an awesome experiential learning opportunity that brings together people from all backgrounds and experiences to build concepts into minimum viable products in just 54 hours.

Pitch, test, validate, business model, design and build an idea in just one weekend. Whether you want to crash test an idea of your own or work on somebody else's idea, this test of your problem solving, team working and creativity skills is a fast-paced, fun event packed full of learning and the opportunity to meet some awesome new people.

Beautiful, interesting, awesome ideas are brought to life at Startup Weekend. Be a part of that creation.

Startup Weekend is for everyone – a dream team typically involves a mix of ages, genders, nationalities and backgrounds. You do NOT have to be a student to attend Startup Weekend and, in fact, many attendees aren’t.

You’ll have access to expert coaches throughout the weekend, as well as great workshops, fab venues, and a whole load of delicious local food to keep you fueled.

As well as all that, you will also have the opportunity to pitch and demo your product to a panel of judges on the Sunday. But no pressure – Startup Weekend aims to create teams, not startups.

Come find your co-founder, create something beautiful, build something amazing.

Buy tickets



Nov 15
  • Workshops (optional)
  • Registration starts
  • Pizza, salads and networking
  • Welcome and speaker
  • Rapid pitches - try to bring along an idea!
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming - be honest and direct about what skills are needed
  • Formalise teams - take an inventory of skills and get to work
  • Venue closes - see you in the morning!


Nov 16
  • Venue opens
  • Simple breakfast - cereals and croissants
  • Back to work! Focus on customer validation
  • Lunch - sandwiches, savouries and cakes
  • Call for help - do you have all the skills you need?
  • Back to work! More customer validation, and start build/design
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Back to work! More build/design, and start presentation
  • Venue closes - see you in the morning!


Nov 17
  • Venue opens
  • Simple breakfast - cereals and croissants
  • Back to work! Customer validation, build/design and presentation
  • Rehearse presentations
  • Lunch - sandwiches, savouries and cakes
  • Nearly done! Make sure presentation is ready to go
  • Final presentations
  • Break for judging
  • Awards!
  • Wrapup
  • After party!

Emma Owens

Founder and tech entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Graduated in 2012 and began working on social media marketing, SEO and blogging with Roundwaves ( - a large platform of YouTube channels and websites which, working with musicians in developing countries, create music with a solution. We give consumers different concepts of music to help solve everyday problems e.g. insomnia. We even make music for dogs!
Viewership: 3 million hits a month

Roundwaves became a fully automated business and so we started on the next venture - Rormix -

Rormix is an app to help users discover emerging music videos. Rormix began as a a YouTube network which I managed and promoted. We then increased the team to 5 people and developed an app for Android and iOS. we have reached more than 1200 downloads in our first 2 weeks.

Responsible for app marketing and artists relationships. I liaise with artists from around the world and help create a database of talented, undiscovered musicians and their videos.


David Bailey

Designer extraordinaire, founder of Kiosk   |   LinkedIn

David is the creative director for the BBC and owner of Kiosk, a renowned design & art direction studio based in Sheffield.

Kiosk operates as a small/flexible studio producing branding, art direction, design solutions and consultancy for various music, arts, TV and leisure industry clients. Prior to setting up Kiosk, David was a key member of the world famous Designers Republic, (1997 – 2005).

David is often asked to give talks on his experiences as a designer to industry peers and design students.

In 2012 the renowned UK design awards body D&AD included David/Kiosk in a list of "50 Creative Greats", which included the likes of Quentin Blake, Rankin, Terry Gilliam and Storm Thorgerson.

Lea Woodward

Business strategist and serial entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Lea is a business strategist, teacher of online technology, serial entrepreneur, wife and mother (to two under 5s). In previous incarnations, she's been a management consultant for Accenture and a holistic health coach.

In 2007, she coined the term 'location independent' to describe the ability to work from anywhere, which has since become a global movement - and still runs the site of the same name as a resource to help others work from anywhere. She is also the founder of Startup Training School - an online school designed to help 1,000 business owners (primarily women) each year, gain the strategic, technical and tactical skills they need to build their own online ventures.

Along with her illustrator husband, she runs zero2illo - an online resource to help professional illustrators improve their business skills - and together they host an annual conference in the UK, alongside a series of smaller, innovative workshops.

In 2009 Lea was named as one of Forbes’ Thirty Women Entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter, and her writing and business advice have been featured in online media outlets including Time magazine, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc.

She's given online lectures to students at the American College of Management and Technology in Dubrovnik, and at the Hult International Business School (Dubai campus) and her own projects have been featured in international media outlets, including the BBC, The Guardian, The FT, Cosmopolitan, La Repubblica, The Sydney Morning Herald, China Trends magazine and more.

Daniel Kirby

Tech entrepreneur, co-founder of Techdept.   |   LinkedIn

Daniel sold his first business around five years ago: branding agency DKPM – with clients including Sony PlayStation, BAFTA and Hasbro (are you a Cluedo fan? That’s their game board!).

In 2004, he co-founded the world’s first transatlantic sonic branding agency, Sonic ID – working for Kenzo, Zurich Connect and BP among many others. In 2012 this became part of The Illustrious Company.

Daniel is now Managing Director of Techdept, a web design and technology company which makes custom web sites and innovative social & mobile apps for clients like American Express, British Gas and Permira.

Techdept also offers a range of Business Apps that help fix specific business problems using the internet.

Daniel is also actively involved in a number of tech startup projects, and was a founding partner of Co Lab Partners - which aims to collaboratively develop new tech businesses. Our first project is (think eBay for farmers) which is currently disrupting the farmer's market...

Bernard McMahon

Sales and marketing manager   |   LinkedIn

Senior Manager with 38 years business development experience in a broad range of companies.

Trained with Dunlop, specialised in sales and marketing. Appointed by United Biscuits in 1978 becoming Marketing Director of the Frozen Foods Distribution Company with a turnover of £30m in 1981. Diversified into advertising initially as Business Development Director of a regional agency. After 2 years I became Managing Director and majority shareholder of a Sheffield advertising agency.

In 1991 formed a new multimedia development company Yellowcat Limited five years later sold this to the management team and joined Interactive Developments, a Microsoft Partner e-commerce developer, to grow the sales of that company aiming at a trade sale in 2 years. This was achieved when the company was sold to Parity plc.

In 2000, founded Emulous Group with 2 former ID managers to create another Microsoft Partner in the e-commerce and e-learning development market. This company was sold in two stages to RPS Group plc.

In April 2003 launched Just Good Business Limited a specialist company creating start-up businesses for inventors and others with ideas where their own expertise gaps were sales and marketing, investment and business management.

In 2006 I opted to be self-employed, enabling me to operate independently to provide a range of services based on my management experience, while pursuing my interests in the voluntary sector and my church.

Meal Sponsors
Organisers and Coaches

James Taylor

PR and marketing man, founder of Roaring Mouse   |   LinkedIn

James Taylor is the founder of Roaring Mouse, a communications agency providing PR, content creation and social media support to digital, technology and advanced manufacturing businesses.

An award winning communications consultant, James has worked for major technology brands and start-ups on both sides of the Atlantic. These include Experian, BT, Gartner, Sun Microsystems and NTL.

James and his team help innovative businesses capture the attention of those they wish to engage and influence, in order to build brand awareness, communities, web traffic and sales.

His company embraces what makes its clients different to create compelling corporate stories and communicate them powerfully through a wide range of traditional, online and social media.

Janet Grant

Business advisor and general pre-start guru   |   LinkedIn

Janet is a SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative) accredited business advisor and a member of the Institute of Leadership & Management. She provides 1-1 business support, specialist advice, information and guidance to students and graduates to help them start, develop and maintain their own sustainable businesses. Janet also manages and approves the University of Sheffield’s proof of concept and growth funding, as well as guiding and liaising with International graduates who have been accepted and granted a UKBA Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa. In addition Janet manages the University’s new business incubator USE@theKroto, a 10 desk business unit on North Campus for students, graduates and researchers who are developing and commercialising their business ideas and embarking on the route of self-employment.

Janet represents the University at collaboration meetings with our fellow ten universities across Yorkshire and Humber who form the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project Partnership and is also involved in The BIG Challenge, a Sheffield city wide business competition for 11-19 year olds.

Outside the University, Janet helps run the family construction business where she manages the office and accounts. She lives in Sheffield with her husband Mark and their three children who are aged 18, 9 and 4.

Marc Johnson

Developer, Tech Lead and Coach   |   LinkedIn

Marc is a developer with 10 years experience, who has spent most of the last 5 using agile and lean software development. He has worked in insurance, media and education using a variety of technologies. He spends his time helping people and teams grow their capability in a sustainable and continual way. Figuring out how to do this better has led him to look for ideas and connections in a wide range of subjects.

Jenny Wong

Web Developer at Reason Digital   |   LinkedIn

Jenny Wong, a hyperactive web developer by day and PHP North West organiser by night, whom stumbled upon her profession by combining together her love for electronics and the arts.

Her week days are spent working on LAMP stacks and bringing designs to life in the browser. She has worked on a variety of projects ranging from art portfolios to accountancy software. Her current work keeps her engrossed in the world of not-for-profits and charities.

Outside the office, you can usually find her in a swimming pool or cooking. They usually cancel themselves out.

John Gelder

Graphic designer and branding man, founder of Eleven Design   |   LinkedIn

John is founder and co-director of Eleven Design, a graphic design studio based in Sheffield that creates intelligent and effective solutions for print, web and brand identity.

Eleven work across a variety of sectors including education, the arts, SME's, charities and the public sector.

John has worked in design and branding since 1990 for a number of creative agencies and in-house design teams, for clients ranging from startups to global finance organisations.

John believes that design is fundamental to a brand’s success, and his 20-odd years experience in the business have given him insight into how brands can thrive and adapt to technological advances.

Yvonne O'Donovan

Business and enterprise specialist, serial entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Yvonne is Managing Director of Ambel, Head of Business and Enterprise at the School of Artisan Food and Founder Member of Hazelhurst CSA Coop and Transition Sheffield. She works tirelessly on enterprise projects mainly in the Sheffield city-region of England, having previously run companies in London, the US, Japan and Berlin. She is a serial entrepreneur in both private and community sectors with a deep understanding of the drivers of enterprise, small business and regeneration.

Yvonne was Chair of Finance at Digital South Yorkshire, Trustee of Site Gallery, the Photographers Trust Fund and Music Heritage, a partner of South Yorkshire Investment Fund, owner of Modo Records and Amber Associates, Council Member of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, CEO of Inspiral and The Kirkby Trust, and Lead in numerous EU and Lottery Capital programmes.

Steve Jubb

Californian Telecom Executive turned Sheffield PhD Student   |   LinkedIn

Steve Jubb has amassed almost thirty years of know-how in the telecommunications industry both in the UK and US. For the majority of his career he has worked with many instantly recognizable names such as Apple, Barclays, Boeing, Disney and Toyota, responsible for the customer experience.

Recognized as a customer service “Red Adair”, Steve is a specialist in recovering failing customer relationships and creating a constructive environment for future revenue growth.

An engineer at heart Steve left the business world last year completing his Masters in Environmental & Energy Engineering at the University of Sheffield and has gone on to PhD studies researching the transformation of the electricity network and development of Smart Grids.

Steve is passionate about understanding the effects of technology on society and is a committee member of the IEEE UK & RI Social Implications of Technology chapter. With any spare time remaining he pursues his love of trains.

Mark Heptonstall

Young Serial Entrepreneur, Startup Mentor, Author and Personal Development Champion   |   LinkedIn

Mark Heptonstall is a young serial entrepreneur from Leeds. He is currently Managing Director of a clean-tech consultancy & software development company, co-founder of an online group buying platform for new cars and Director of a Sport Management and business consultancy.

Mark would describe himself as being a Scanner (polymath/renaissance man) who has many passions, loves learning and likes to have many projects running at the same time. He constantly questions the norm & tests conventional wisdom to see if there is a better way to do things. He believes in working smarter not harder and that success comes after happiness, not before.

His main passion is learning about personal development & productivity. He finds that this helps him become a better mentor by applying the principles he learns. Mark also finds time for another of his passions - writing. His most recent article ’12 myths about starting a business’ was published on, a US based entrepreneur website.

One of Mark’s previous mentees was accepted on an Accelerator programme in Berlin where the company received a 25,000 euro investment. It has since completed the 3 month program, has 175,000 users and recently raised 1 million USD in Series A round funding.

In 2013 a well renowned entrepreneur website listed him (along with his longstanding business partner Oliver Todd) as one of the top 20 UK young entrepreneurs.

Harriet Holman

User experience specialist, musician and teacher   |   LinkedIn

Since graduating with an MA in Sonic Art (Music, ask her, she's happy to explain), Harriet has been working for software company epiGenesys, an innovative social enterprise and a subsidiary of The University of Sheffield.

As a lover of all things creative Harriet specialises in user experience design, aiming to ensure software is accessible, beautiful and usable. She also has a passion for learning and teaching, and enjoys organising the support that epiGenesys provides for students in computer science and software engineering.

Samantha Deakin
Chris Murray

Winners: Media Release

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