Startup Weekend. Why do we do it? Three Big E's; that's why

Lowndes Jordan has been a strong supporter of Startup Weekends since I mentored at the first one in Auckland in early 2011. Since then, Ben Morrison or I and often both of us have mentored at all the weekends in Auckland and at Palmerston North and Tauranga.  Of the 21 Startup Weekends run in New Zealand, we've mentored at over half of them and sponsored most of the Auckland ones!  StartupLaw also provides a StartupPack legal services prize for the winning team.

As the Auckland Startup Weekend site says:
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
So, why do we do it?  Ben and I sat down and discussed this after the most recent Auckland one a few weeks ago, which we both agreed was the best we'd been involved with in terms of our overall experience.  Here are the three things that stand out - the Big E's:

  • Excitement - it's hard to describe the atmosphere of a startup weekend. 100 or so people divided into teams that have just come together. Mix together concentrated, extreme, hard work, adrenaline, creativity and that all important ability to collaborate productively, in one physical space.  Add great food, coffee and the odd beer or vino, plus mentors, organisers, friends, investors, judges, media and guests.  Stir well.  It's intense.
  • Ecosystem - As lawyers who work with entrepreneurs at all stages of the business lifecycle, it's great for Ben and I to be able to assist and really get to know our future leaders and to reconnect with our current ones. There's always something new happening in this space so the discussions and opportunities are wide ranging. This year for example, there was a lot of talk about the new equity crowd funding regime and the other great changes being brought in by the Financial Markets Conduct Act. Cunning new business plans often challenge intellectual property law, so I get to stretch myself in that area too.
  • Excellence - New Zealand has had the greatest number of startup weekends per capita of any country.  It shows.  The organisation headed either nationally or in Auckland by Alan Froggatt, Rowan Yeoman, Heath Milligan and crew runs like a well-oiled machine.  The calibre of the mentors with whom we shared the teams' journeys, was brilliant. The  BizDojo team who run the GridAKL premises used this time were superb (as an aside, GridAKL's going to be a real game changer I think - see the video of the GridAKL opening).  All capped off by Judges, Candace Kinser, Nick Churchouse, Rod Snodgrass and Victoria Crone.  Awesome.  This is excellence in New Zealand collaboration.

No question; we'll be back. You should come along too.

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Hi there,

Do you know when is the next Startup Weekend in Auckland?


Hi Paul,
The next date for Auckland has not been set yet but you can sign up for notification at

POSTED BY Paul | Wed 25 June 2014Reply to Comment