Techstars Startup Weekend Sheffield

3-5 December 2021

Sheffield Hallam University's iLab
Address: Pond Hill, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2BG
Techstars Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches, the event continues through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, culminating in Sunday night demos and presentations.

Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education.

Whether you are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Techstars Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.
Learn, Network, Startup
Alexandru Agatinei
Here to help founders of early stage tech startups to build great solutions for their user's problems
Selected by the organising team to help you throughout the weekend
Vansay Vivanh
Vansay (Von) is a North American product designer residing in Sheffield and working at the local startup, Tutorful. He has been doing design for over 10 years in both the US and the UK. His experience includes working on websites, applications, design systems, and brand consistency. Von won the Startup Weekend Sheffield events in 2018 and 2019. He's an advocate for inclusive design and learning to make products more accessible.
Morgan Killick
I founded a tech company back in the early naughties and for the next 15 years collected real-world experience of founding, running and growing a business - all the way to exit! After that, I was keen to do what I could for a new generation of entrepreneurs by helping them learn from my successes (and mistakes).

Having established that I have useful things to say, and valuable connections to make, it seems like I make a pretty good mentor. So I spend most of my time these days advising startups and scale-ups on behalf of a variety of programmes, accelerators and incubators all across the city and beyond.

I have lost count of the number of business I have founded, co-founded or helped launch. Silicon Valley will not have heard of me, but I am often a strategic advisor, operating behind-the-scenes, to celebrated local business success stories over the last few years.
Giorgio Cassella
Previously Community Lead for Startup Weekend Sheffield and Startup Weekend Derby, Giorgio is a veteran attendee, organiser and mentor of Startup Weekend events.

As Marketing Director at Sheffield-based full-service digital agency Evoluted, recently named Independent Agency of the Year, Giorgio leads the marketing side of the business to drive growth for clients across a range of sectors via SEO, paid media, digital content and more.

Giorgio is also founder of, the UK's corporate esports league and co-founder of a "stealth mode" SaaS product due to be announced in late-2021.
Paul Ridgway
Paul is an experienced Software Engineer turned Strategic Technology Leader.

Since graduating from The University of Sheffield with a First Class Honours Masters Degree in Software Engineering Paul has turned his hand to Technical and Operational Leadership, co-founding and growing a successful technology start-up in the UK to become a sustainable global business worth millions of pounds and employing over 100 people. In addition to the original design and build of the entire technology stack, he hired and developed a team of over 80 engineers and other technology professionals and led them to deliver high-quality software, on time and on spec, to customers all around the world.

Paul operates successfully at all levels of business working with developers, product teams, leaders and executives, often acting as a bridge between different business functions, translating requirements into specifications, expressing highly technical concepts with easy-to-digest real-world metaphors and designing solutions for complex problems.

Paul's interest in Engineering extends beyond Software to electronics, embedded systems, and other real-world applications.
James Ridgway
James is an experienced Software Engineer and Leader of Engineering Teams.

Since graduating with a First Class Honours Masters degree in Software Engineering from The University of Sheffield James has worked across numerous technology stacks from Android development and web development through to data science analytics and building distributed platforms of microservices. His approach to engineering is quality focused, with an emphasis on consistency, best practice and technical excellence.

Experienced in technical leadership James has transformed poor-performing, high-attrition teams to delivering regularly and consistently. In transforming teams, James has re-built team cultures, instilled best practices, embedded continuous improvement processes and enabled individuals and teams to reach their potential.
Helen Williams
Helen transitioned from a corporate sales management role in London almost 5 years ago to pursue her own goals of business and entrepreneurship. She has since set up two businesses, one for property investments and the other in personal and business coaching for individuals, business owners and start up entrepreneurs.

The coaching business, HEW - Helping Entrepreneurs Win, is founded on 3 key pillars of Health, Excellence and Wealth ensuring that the individuals we work with has the inner focus on themselves, hence the personal development as a strong foundational base and continuity throughout the creation and application of their business strategy.

It ensures that health, wellbeing and self awareness is at the core with a logical structure of developing mindset and skillset throughout. We fully appreciate that the individual behind any business set up and concept is the most valuable asset and therefore nurture this in every form including confidence, self belief and resilience.

Transferable skills and awareness learned within the pillars including the relationship and emotional awareness around money are all transferred into business, creating solid ground for sustainability and longevity whatever the goal of the business owner or start up.

Laura Bennett
Laura is one of the regional leads for the Tech Ecosystem Acceleration and Market-Making in South Yorkshire (TEAM SY) project, delivered by Capital Enterprise and Enterprising Barnsley.
Over the next two years until June 2023, TEAM SY will be working to bring new pre-accelerator and accelerator programmes to the region, and support existing programmes. TEAM SY is also working to "join up" the ecosystem so that tech and digital entrepreneurs are embedded in a thriving environment. Laura's role entails working with TEAM SY partners to design and embed acceleration programmes; signposting entrepreneurs; and connecting the dots between accelerators, incubators, and business support programmes across South Yorkshire. Alongside her role at TEAM SY, Laura is completing a PhD at Sheffield University Management School on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems.

Laura has a wide range of experience working with digital tech entrepreneurs across Sheffield City Region and more widely across the North of England. She was part of the founding team of Tech North (now Tech Nation) where she designed and ran Founders' Network, a bespoke business support and peer-to-peer learning programme for early-stage entrepreneurs. In a previous role at entrepreneurship consultancy Founder Centric, she was part of the team that designed and ran the Startup MBA and the Startup Tribe for Escape the City.
Maksym Sich
Max is CEO and co-founder of Aegiq. Having started as a quantum physicist, he is a serial entrepreneur with a focus on deep tech, with experience across different sectors including aerospace and hi-end manufacturing. Max holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Sheffield and a B.Sc. in Economics and Finance from LSE.
Event Schedule
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th
Learn the Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship
Demo Day
Global Startup Weekend Partners
Google for Startups
Google Cloud Platform helps startups build web/mobile apps and is offering participants $300 in credit to build their apps (link can be found here). Teams can use Google Trends + Market Finder to test if there is a growing demand for their product and in which markets.

> $300 USD in cloud platform credit
> Register at
GoDaddy Registry
GoDaddy Registry provides a domain name that many innovators and entrepreneurs all over the world use. As part of our partnership, each participant can register a free domain name with GoDaddy Registry (.co, .us, .biz). Read more here. Redemption codes will be given to participants by the organizing team.

> 1 x free GoDaddy Registry domain, per person
> Participants can redeem the code from:

For more information, visit GoDaddy Registry's site or reach out to
As a participating team you're able to apply for $1000 Miro Startup Program credit. Miro is a tool built for startup teams where you can brainstorm and validate ideas, design products, and apply product frameworks. The link to this perk will be shared by Techstars after the teams have been formed.

Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Sign up for Miro here
  2. Access the Startup Weekend Participant Board here
  3. Use this template to build your team board for added structure, resources and tools!
  4. Apply for $1000 Miro Startup Program credit (link will be provided by Techstars during the event)
  5. Wait for the approval from Miro (this can take 5-7 days)
    You'll receive an email from Miro once your application has been approved.
If you have any questions, please email

Local Sponsors and Partners
The Techstars Startup Weekend Sheffield team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.

Platinum sponsors
Gold sponsors
In-kind sponsors
Is this event for me?
If you are interested in entrepreneurship the answer is most likely yes. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, you'll fit right in as long as you are motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas. We believe that great ideas can come from anywhere.

The event is intended to be a collaborative and inclusive forum for sharing, learning, building,

and having fun. We expect each member of the startup community to be inclusive of all people and their ideas at Techstars Startup Weekend and we welcome all, regardless of experience, industry or background.

Do I have to participate in all three days?
Apart from the organizing team, mentors, speakers, event volunteers and judges, everyone who participates in the event is expected to participate in all three days. This is important not only to preserve your own learning experience, but also to minimize distractions or disruptions for the team you choose to join. We welcome any friends, family or colleagues you would like to invite to watch your final presentation to see all you have accomplished in just one weekend. Please check the registration page of your city's website or reach out to the event organizer for availability.
How do I register?
Every Techstars Startup Weekend event has a corresponding website with a registration page. Please see our events page at for a complete list of upcoming events. There are typically different types of tickets for different skill sets, like 'Business', 'Designer', 'Technical' or 'Enthusiast' for example. Organizing teams sometimes track this to ensure they do outreach to a diverse group with a range of participant backgrounds and skill sets in order to maximize the event's value for each participant by ensuring the team's effectiveness. You can choose the ticket type closest to what your experience is - don't worry if nothing precisely matches your background!
Do I need a team?
Everyone who attends the event as an attendee is expected to come to the event without a team and then join and participate on a team at the event. This is important to preserve the Techstars Startup Weekend educational experience. The ideal team consists of members with diverse backgrounds and experience who share knowledge to build a great minimum viable product (MVP) using the Lean Canvas. The more people you have on your team to help you do market research and business model development, the quicker you'll develop an MVP to pitch on Sunday.
What ticket type should I purchase to pitch an idea?
Pitching is open to every participant! We recommend you purchase the ticket that best represents your skill set.
Still can't find what you're looking for? Check out the our full Participant FAQ here
Questions? We are here to help!

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