EVENT RECAP: Coffee and Jam #204

Today at Coffee and Jam #204 we had a Startup Weekend focused session to give a peak into what the real thing is like!

First Speaker: Geoff Brash - Trustee at Ministry of Awesome.

What is startup weekend?

Startup weekend is an intensive, fast-paced competition to start a business in 54 hours. People of all different ages, backgrounds and areas of expertise come together to share ideas, form teams and launch startups. It is an exciting and widely recognised event that takes place in cities all over the world.

What happens?

It all begins on a Friday evening after work, at around 6pm. Attendees gather and 60-second ideas are pitched. Teams are then formed around these ideas, and it’s up to YOU to convince the people you want to work with to be on your team! Then everything gets cracking – brainstorming begins, plans are made, markets must be validated and deadlines are meet. It all wraps up with a final pitch on Sunday evening when you celebrate everything you’ve achieved over the 54 hours and the winners are announced.

What are the judging criteria?

We judge based off how well formed your business model is (how you make money), the validation (is there a need in the market), the execution and design. We encourage people to get out of the building and interface with the world. This isn’t just a brainstorming weekend, you’re building a real business here so you need to gather real input.

Should I attend?

This weekend is for designers, developers and anyone with a passion for startups who wants to experience what it means to start their own business. 

You’ll get a whole lot of great stuff out of it, including: Having a great time, learning how much you like startups, creating something cool and real and meeting fantastic people.

Startup Weekend Christchurch has less than 30 places left for the 19th  - 21st May, so if you want to attend, get in touch now!

Second Speaker(s): Startup Weekend Panel, Geoff – GBJ / SWChch, Erica – MoA / SWChch, Kendall – Banqer, Keryn Davis - Core, Peter – Anteater

 What can you tell us about your Startup Weekend experience?

Peter – I had always wanted to start a business. Startup Weekend gave me the opportunity to learn an unbelievable amount about how to do that. Actually, my Startup Weekend experience never ended – ‘Anteater’ is still going now.

Erica – I loved being exposed to the diversity of ideas at Startup Weekend. Interacting and getting involved with so many impassioned, awesome people definitely gave me an overview of what it means to be an entrepreneur. 

Keryn – Going into my first Startup Weekend, I was coming from a background in education, so I was interested to see what the business industry was all about. I was worried about how much use I would be over the weekend, as I didn’t tick either of the ‘designer or developer’ boxes. Nonetheless I found I still had a whole lot to contribute. 

Kendall – Startup Weekend exposed me to the fact I don’t deal with conflict very well, but I still gained so much by putting myself out of my comfort zone and taking risks to push myself to do things I normally wouldn’t.

Geoff – For me, Startup Weekend’s all about the amazing people you meet. I’m already an impatient person naturally, so seeing so many people get so much done over just one weekend is incredible.

What advice do you have for first-timers at startup weekend?

Geoff – Take yourself out of your comfort zone. This is a low risk situation so just go for it.

Kendall – Put yourself into that mindset of conviction and confidence and don’t loose it, even if you have to fake it till you make it!

Keryn - Trust the process. The disruption is intentional so go and make the most of it.

Erica – Be open to ideas, trying new things and taking risks.

Peter – Say yes to as many different things as you can. What you get out of this experience is proportional to what you put in.

Special goodbye 

We wish a huge, loving goodbye to Catarina. This is her last week at Ministry of Awesome before she begins her next step of adventures and makes her mark on the Wellington network. Catarina, you have been an asset to the team these past two years. Your energy, invaluable knowledge and incredible contribution will be missed. We love you and can’t wait to see where the future takes you.

Lots of love, from your team at Ministry of Awesome.


Heather Milne is the director of Hello Honey. She sells fundraising batches of local honey for not-for-profits and orgnaisations. For more information visit www.hellohoney.co.nz

To get in touch, contact Heather on 0211725914, or email her on heather@hellohoney.co.nz


INVENTIONATOR17 is looking for coaches and mentors for a youth innovation event for year 7 – 8 kids. The event will be held at Vodafone on 30th and 31st May.

Contact Margot McKeegan for details on her email margot.mckeegan@core-ed.org


Annelise Wander and Marcelo Botega are both looking for work in Christchurch.

Annelise is a professional barista and is currently a volunteer barista at the XCHC café. Get in contact with her on annerwander@hotmail.com

Marcelo is an experienced and fully qualified accountant. Get in touch with him on marcelobotega@hotmail.com


Generation Zero want to make New Zealand Carbon free by 2050, so they need as many people as possible to sign the cause to pass an Act to make this happen. Jump online to check out more and get involved! http://www.generationzero.org


Coffee & Jam is Christchurch's longest running weekly meet up for entrepreneurially-minded people. It’s a great place to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things, meet people, learn and share in a creative space, hear about other events in Christchurch and indulge in a little bit of free coffee, jam and bread.

If you have an idea you'd like to pitch get in touch with Gina at gina@ministryofawesome.com.