Past event…

Event Ended

Startup Weekend Melbourne Women is an event designed by women aiming to create a nurturing and welcoming space for women to:

  • Get inspired
  • Improve skills
  • Build your network
  • Test some ideas

SWWomen Video!

About Startup Weekend The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement across 450+ cities where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to pitch ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups – all in just one weekend.

Sweet spot

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: Teams of hustlers, hipsters and hackers are formed 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 an opportunity for feedback. About Startup Weekend Melbourne Women:

Women have a unique and fresh take on design, development and creation, which we feel is vital to the growth and evolution of startup companies. We know that the women of Melbourne are full of creative and entrepreneurial talent, and in a safe environment that inspires risk taking and innovation we know they will create something amazing. In the past, women have represented a small percentage of SWMelbourne attendees – that is about to change.

We are a passionate group of female entrepreneurs who decided to come together and design a new experience to welcome and empower creative, talented and curious women. We have built the experience from the ground up through a series of workshops and design sessions with  women and men at the beating heart of the startup Melbourne ecosystem, to make sure that we understand the current challenges and opportunities.

The main organisers are  Marina Paronetto, current main organiser for the Melbourne Startup Weekend and Tammy Butow who recently organised #Shehacks. Marina and Tammy are working with an amazing group of women to make this dream a reality! How is Startup Weekend Melbourne Women different Compelling Facts… FAQ



May 16
  • Registration Starts
  • Kick off!
  • Pitching & Team forming
  • Dinner
  • Light talks
  • Yoga
  • Doors Close


May 17
  • Doors open
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Morning Tea Call for needs & skills
  • Lunch
  • Meditation
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Yoga
  • Doors close


May 18
  • Doors open
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Morning Tea
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Afternoon tea
  • Judging & awards

Laura McKenzie

Chief Executive Officer at Scale Investors Ltd   |   LinkedIn

Laura brings 15 years experience in corporate finance, microfinance and venture capital to Scale. She has worked with PwC, Opportunity International and Starfish Ventures across three continents. Her expertise includes identifying, valuing and managing portfolios of innovative companies. She is passionate about unlocking the potential of early stage businesses and connecting female entrepreneurs with capital. Laura is a member of the organising committee for the Nexus Australian Youth Summit, on innovative philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. She is a Williamson Fellow.

Leni Mayo

Founding Investor at Influx Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Web developer, founding investor @ 99designs, flippa, Learnable, SitePoint, tweaky.

Susan Wu

Hacker, Entrepreneur, Investor.   |   LinkedIn

Susan Wu is a hacker, entrepreneur and venture capitalist who splits her time between San Francisco and Australia. As an angel investor and advisor, she's been actively involved in the earliest stages of some of the world's leading consumer technology startups, such as Twitter, Square, Obvious (Medium, Lift and Branch) and Findery, amongst others.

Kate Bennett Eriksson

Digital Change - Head of Innovation @ PwC AU   |   LinkedIn

Kate is the Head of Innovation as part of PwC’s Digital Change focus and specialised in mobile, telecoms and internet technologies, disruptive offerings and business models across range of large Corporates and Startups. She is passionate about the role of digita innovation and growing startups and disruptive new corporate ways of doing business in Australia.

Bronwen Clune

Editor, StartupSmart at Private Media   |   LinkedIn

Bronwen Clune is a journalist and writer. She is vice-president of the Public Interest Journalism Foundation and works as a freelance digital director.

Michael Ilczynski

Managing Director Product Development & Strategy

Michael is responsible for Product development and strategy for SEEK’s Australian and New Zealand online employment business. In this role, he oversees SEEK’s Product, Strategy, Online Delivery and Technology & Architecture teams, and serves as a Director of IDP Education and Swinburne Online (both 50% owned by SEEK).


Phoebe Yu

Founder & CEO:   |   LinkedIn

Founder and CEO of Ettitude, responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the company and overseeing day-to-day operations. I founded Ettitude in 2008 with the vision of making eco conscious living easy, affordable, and rewarding through a convenient online shopping environment.

Alex Young

Digital Innovation Manager   |   LinkedIn

Alex has lead the growth and maturing of a number of capabilities within Medibank Private including it's mobile channel from a health apps and sales/service perspective as well as the Digital Marketing & Innovation team responsible for Search and Social Media. As the newest member of the Strategy & Innovation team he explores the outer edges of health technology with an aim to support the future vision of Medibank.

Tal Rotbart

Development Practice Manager at SEEK   |   LinkedIn

Goal-oriented Agile technologist & coach experienced in a wide range of business solutions, with strong communication and client-facing skills, architecture and team leading experience.

Over 16 years experience in the IT Industry and has been involved in the full life-cycle of many large-scale projects from inception to delivery.

Experienced in carrying out projects through their full lifecycle, including building self-organising teams, ongoing business requirements gathering and exploration, prototyping, alternative evaluation, design, development, testing and support.

Susan Jones

Owner at Ready Set Startup   |   LinkedIn

I am passionate about startups - particularly the potential for business to empower and change people and communities. I also get excited about women entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship in the developing world.
I'm a startup coach. I help entrepreneurs with idea creation and validation through my blog at
I also lecture in Entrepreneurship at Swinburne University, work on my own startup and mother 2 kids.

Louise Papadopoullos

Service Designer PowerhouseHQ   |   LinkedIn

Louise is a service design consultant and creative workshop facilitator, with a background in anthropology, digital and product design. Her work challenges the role creativity can play in optimising services that organisations deliver and enabling interactions with customers to be more effective and efficient experiences.

Fox Woods

Ludicrous / web UX / web everything / nerd / Co-founder   |  

Girls Club @girlsclubxoxo with @slsteinfort / and the Milkshake Collective. Freelance UX and web consultant.

David Cate

Innovation Leader Strategy & Innovation   |   LinkedIn

Drive innovation adoption for NAB Australian region business to enable improved technology experience and customer satisfaction

Jeremy Bornstein

CTO and Factotum at N35t, Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Jeremy is comfortable leading organizations as CTO or VP of Engineering as well as working in the trenches as a programmer, architect, and engineering manager. As an executive he is a proven builder and leader of highly effective teams with a demonstrated ability to recruit, motivate, and inspire technical staff.

Jeremy has also done seminal research in the development of search, markup languages & protocols, and information extraction, and has created numerous software patents in those and other fields. After working at Apple as a research scientist, he founded companies in finance, gaming, toys, and real estate, and serves as a mentor for the Thiel Fellowship.

When he's not working, Jeremy enjoys playing music, practicing aikido, riding motorcycles, and cooking.

Aerin Langworthy

Marketing Manager - Sidekicker   |   LinkedIn

Aerin is passionate about creating great experiences for customers. She loves both the creative and analytical aspects of marketing and having worked with various Start Ups is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build businesses that have a real positive impact on the world.

Dr Maia Sauren

ThoughtWorks Australia   |  

Dr Maia Sauren is a biomedical engineering researcher turned software consultant. Maia moonlights for the Open Knowledge Foundation, a not for profit that aims to help open up data and information.

Sylvia Le Hong

Experience Design Consultant at ThoughtWorks   |   LinkedIn

Sylvia is as an Experience Design Consultant at ThoughtWorks with 8 years of experience in the conceptual design and evaluation of web and mobile user interfaces. She is currently based at to help deliver a responsive web portal for Real Estate Agents and Property Owners.

Richenda Vermeulen

Director of ntegrity   |   LinkedInGoogle+

A passionate digital marketing expert, Richenda Vermeulen is the Director of ntegrity, an agency that specialises in data-driven digital marketing. Founded 2 years ago with a vision to change the way the brands understood digital, ntegrity now works with the world's leading not-for-profits and Australian brands driven by digital innovation. Prior to launched ntegrity, Richenda spent 5 years as a social media manager for World Vision in Seattle and in Melbourne. She is a coordinator of Ladies of York, a regular contributor to the Financial Review, ProBono News and a lecturer at RMIT in migrant entrepreneurship.

Brigid Dixon

Community organiser, prolific planner, online media contributor, new Melbournian, graduate lawyer and general enthusiast.

Tahlia Mandie

Co-Founder, Congoe   |   LinkedIn

Tahlia is co-founder of Congoe, the white label apps for better events & networking. She is a writer, blogger and social media manager with a psychology and family therapy background. Tahlia is also a mother to two young children.

Inge van der Poel

Director at Huddle and Founder Elderberry   |   LinkedIn

Inge van der Poel, Director at Huddle and Founder Elderberry
Inge van der Poel’s enthusiasm is unmatched when it comes to applying human centred approaches and design thinking to achieve positive and lasting change in business and communities.

She is a Director of Huddle, a strategic design agency, that uses design to help organisations thrive in the 21st Century.

Inge’s passion for entrepreneurship, women in leadership and the wisdom of elders all come together in her new venture, Elderberry. Elderberry connects entrepreneurial spirited women with business elders and mentors.

Jackie Antig

Co-Founder at Art Galleria   |   LinkedIn

Jackie can be found exercising product development, communication and visual design at the intersection of art, data and technology. She is driven by technology which facilitates creativity and learning or technology which enables creators.

Victoria Cullen

Social Good Digital Matchmaker @squareweave   |   LinkedIn

Shehacks winner 2014, Hackathon addict, matchmaker and behavioural scientist at Squareweave, we do digital for social good projects.

Bei Yang

Web Application Developer at DCA - Database Consultants Australia   |   LinkedIn

Bei is a front end developer, who loves HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Her team won the grand prize at Melbourne's first Geek Girl Hackathon - She Hacks in 2014.

Julie-Anne Jewell Black

Producing Irresistible Communicators   |   LinkedIn

Julie-Anne Jewells Black is an international speaker, author and creator of Be Brilliant Now. Her training programs show emerging leaders how to be bold, sassy and influential communicators in life and business. She'll help you escape Groundhog Day, direct your future and be the star of your life.

Julie-Anne combines 22 years experience to share the secrets she’s learnt both on camera and behind the scenes as a production manager for the Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and top television producer for some of Australia’s favourite TV shows including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. She’s been interviewed for TV and radio in Australia and USA and featured in publications CLEO, MX and Executive PA among others.

She’s known for showing you how to step into the spotlight with a message you love, body language that inspires and superstar appeal that comes from being ready. You’ll leave feeling wowed and inspired about your own capacity to be brilliant now.

Tammy Butow
Marina Paronetto
Madeleine Judge
Karen Chow
Alexis Sydow
Cat dos Santos
April Staines
Hima T K
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Compelling Facts…

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Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care At successful companies, the median […]


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