19 - 21 NOVEMBER 2015

Sync the City

Build & Launch a Startup in 54 Hours - for fun or profit

Photo by Tim Stephenson

It's happening again!

Calling all software developers, hackers, designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, students, product managers and business people!

After the roaring success of Sync the City 2014, SyncNorwich & UEA are again bringing it to you this autumn. Sync the City 2015 is a 54 Hour event during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies. For a flavour of last year, please see the 2014 event site, videos and photos.

You will form teams around those ideas and develop a working prototype and demo, and present to a panel of judges.

This is more than your average Hackathon. It’s a 3 day frenzy of Startup building that could win you and your team £4,000 in cash prizes (£3,000 Judges winner and £1,000 peoples choice), as well as sales training from Sandler Training, 1 year deskspace at Whitespace and 1 year Associate membership of the Norfolk Network.

Come and experience what it’s like to work in a tech startup for 3 days - for fun, or maybe even for profit! For some background details about what to expect at the event, see our blog post on Norfolk TechJournal.

Tickets are £45 (£25 for students) and they include food and drink for the entire event. For enquiries contact SyncNorwich@gmail.com

Organised by John Fagan, Fiona Lettice, Sean Clark, Susi Waters, Julie Schofield, Paul Cutting

Jon BradfordManaging Director, Techstars

Jon is the Managing Director of TechStars in London. Previously Jon was the co-founder and CEO of Springboard. Jon loves to help start-ups and their founders achieve their true potential. Over the last 2 years, Jon acted as an advisor to many other multi-company accelerators from Montreal to Moscow. Since launching Europe’s first bootcamp accelerator in 2009 - The Difference Engine – he helped to launch Springboard now based in Cambridge and London. In addition, he has also founded ignite100, a re-invention of the Difference Engine, that combines a 13 week accelerator with follow on funding of up to £100k per team and Startup Wise Guys in Estonia, Eleven in Bulgaria and TexDrive in Moscow. In a previous life, Jon trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen, and subsequently has worked in various start-ups and turnarounds. He has worked in London, throughout Europe, Australia and also the United States.

Juliana MeyerCEO, SupaPass

Juliana Meyer is founder and CEO of SupaPass, a digital music platform giving music superfans VIP access to their favourite bands. SupaPass gives labels and artists a smart way to monetise their digital content, unlocking new revenue streams and amplifying their reach. Started from a bedroom in Norwich, SupaPass is working with some of the UK’s biggest global music artists and has received international recognition including being named “Best European Startup” by SXSW Hatch. SupaPass gives each artist a home where superfans can be together and share the passion. Superfans are first in line, rewarded with exclusive opportunities, and recognised as important in the success of the artist’s career. They finally find everything in one place and never miss out again. Juliana is an award-winning songwriter and performer, trained with an Oxford Engineering Degree, and set up her first business at the age of 16.

Grant HardyManaging Director, Liquid11

Grant founded Liquid 11 Ltd in 2002 as a technology company that centres on the telecommunications industry. Early days were all about perseverance and innovations, investing significant time and money into creating products and services that are not only useful to businesses but also real value for money for customer. This ethos has continued throughout the life of the business and at the heart of everything is value for the customer. The flagship product – SwitchboardFREE - created 10 years ago to assist businesses of all sizes manage their calls and ensure they never miss a call again, has over 50,000 registered users, boasting customers such as Groupon, Porsche and Tesco. Grant’s passion and desire to investigate into emerging technologies has led the business to offer a diverse range of products and services over the years. Significant growth has allowed the Company to diversify its offering from call management, contact centres, bill payment methods, DVD sales and distribution through to tools for call centres and more recently office space for technical companies. We even have ideas around protein production from flies…Yuck! Grant’s talents were nurtured in sales and marketing, but over the years he has worked in sales, technical and training across a number of industries. In total, nearly a thirty year career, selling amongst other things cars and hair products, ringtones and property before entering the world of telecoms. There is no rest for Grant at the weekends, as he can normally be found at on the Norfolk Boards or at sea enjoying water sports with his young family.

Julie WestGrowth Programme Coordinator

Julie was CEO of Tastes of Anglia, The regional Food and Drink Group a membership organisation which offered business support and marketing expertise to SME food and drink businesses in the eastern region. ToA also boasted a trading arm Tastes of Anglia Table. I was a Director of Operations working within Stepping Stones Group a growing east Anglian business with upwards of 35 staff across the entire group; my role was driving strategic development and to introduce processes for the management of core operational activities including delivery of HR, (including training), marketing, brand management and communication. I have a degree in Business Studies and Management and a land based background.

KEYNOTE - Graham GannonGoogle

Graham leads a rapid prototyping team that builds data analysis and business intelligence tools at Google. He previously worked in strategy and operations as a senior analyst, and as a business product manager on Google’s CRM systems. Prior to joining Google, Graham worked with a number of high growth startups as a strategy and product advisor. Graham holds an MSc in Band Leadership from University of East Anglia and an MSc in Social Science of the Internet from the University of Oxford; where his academic research focused on computer human interaction and individuality. While at UEA he was a founding member of the Young Entrepreneur Society and was an EDP Young Entrepreneur finalist in 2011.

ENDNOTE - Neil GarnerCEO, Proxama

Neil founded Proxama in 2005 (then called Glue4 Technologies). The business focused on creating services that link people and brands using consumer technologies. In 2008, the company was rebranded as Proxama with a focus on the applications of mobile, smartcard and NFC technologies. Neil passionately believes in using emerging technologies to create valuable services for people. Prior to founding Proxama, Neil ran a division of a niche consultancy, Consult Hyperion, where he led the systems implementation teams for a number of ground breaking products including Vodafone’s m-Pesa, MasterCard’s PayPass, Sky and Barclaycard’s SkyCard and American Express Blue card. Neil has a MEng and DPhil from York University and is a Chartered Engineer. Any precious time at home is split between renovating an old property and enjoying life with his wife and three young children.


Thursday 19th November

  • 16:30
  • 17:00
  • 18:00
  • 18:35
  • 19:00
  • 19:30
  • 19:45
  • 20:30
  • 20:30
  • 21:10
  • 23:00
  • Registration
  • Dinner
  • Welcome & Keynote
  • Overview of the event - rules etc
  • 1 minute Pitches
  • Voting
  • Team Formation
  • Tech Workshop: Available Tools and API's
  • Business Workshop: Getting Started
  • Teams start their first tasks
  • Close

Friday 20th November

  • 8:00
  • 8:15
  • 9:00
  • 9:00
  • 9:30
  • 10:00
  • 10:30
  • 11:00
  • 11:30
  • 12:30
  • 13:15
  • 14:30
  • 15:00
  • 15:30
  • 16:00
  • 16:30
  • 17:30
  • 18:00
  • 19:00
  • 19:30
  • 23:00
  • Open
  • Mentor Q&A and ad-hoc workshops
  • Workshop: Fake it until you make it: dealing with imposter syndrome - Dom Davis
  • Tea & coffee
  • Workshop: How to cope with Sync the City - Elizabeth Scholefield
  • Workshop: Business Model Canvas - Ben Taylor
  • Workshop: Rapid Prototyping - Brian Norman
  • Workshop: Guerrilla user testing - Brian Norman
  • Workshop: Design - Matt Davey and Josh Davies
  • Lunch/tea & coffee
  • Teams Status update, Call for help, inspire each other
  • Workshop: Growth Mindset - Duncan Cardwell
  • Workshop: Deploying to Azure in 10 mins - Brian Norman
  • Workshop: Lean Canvas - Lu Li
  • Workshop: Managing time and Relationships - Ermine Amies
  • Workshop: Digital marketing - Joe Cooksey (Barclays)
  • Workshop: Sync the City Tips - Joost Noppen and Steve Jones
  • Dinner/tea & coffee
  • After-dinner status reports, call for help
  • Ad-hoc workshops
  • Close

Saturday 21st November

  • 08:00
  • 09:00
  • 10:00
  • 10:30
  • 11:00
  • 11:30
  • 12:00
  • 12:30
  • 12:45
  • 13:00
  • 15:30
  • 17:00
  • 18:00
  • 18:30
  • 19:00
  • 19:10
  • 20:40
  • 21:00
  • 21:10
  • 21:30
  • 21:35
  • 22:05
  • Open
  • Tea & coffee
  • Workshop: Barclays - Access to Finance
  • Workshop: Techstars Tips - Ben Taylor
  • Workshop: Pitching - Lu Li
  • Workshop: Pitching - Jo Vertigan
  • Lunch/tea & coffee
  • Teams Status update, Call for help, inspire each other
  • Overview of how to win a prize from our sponsors
  • Final ad-hoc workshops
  • Presentation Prep & Tech & Demo Check
  • Mentors assess teams
  • Dinner/tea & coffee
  • Event open to public (for final pitches)
  • Welcome All
  • Team Presentations
  • Refreshments & Judging
  • Michael Ni’man - SyncTheSchools - I Hacked Norwich
  • Endnote - Neil Garner, CEO, Proxama
  • People's choice vote
  • Awards Ceremony
  • Close

Ben TaylorCEO, Rainbird

A degree in Artificial Intelligence, formally a Computer Scientist at Adobe. An organic gardener and restorer of vintage caravans. Rainbird is Ben’s brainchild.

Dom DavisCTO, Rainbird

Dom Davis is a veteran of The City and a casualty of The Financial Crisis. Not content with bringing the world to its knees he then went off to help break the internet before winding up in Norfolk where he is now CTO and technology evangelist at a rapidly growing startup. Dom is an enthusiastic and impassioned speaker [read: he gabbles] who uses a blend of irreverent sarcasm and flippant humour to bring complex subjects to a broad audience. Whether or not they understand him is up for debate, but he likes to believe they do.

Duncan CardwellIT Director, Adnams

Duncan co founded IT Services business P1 Technology Partners in 2003 and logistics tech business Orchestrator in 2007. Over 12 years Duncan’s business journey involved pretty much every challenging situation imaginable from nearly going bust to raising over £1m in funding and everything in between including an acquisition, a disposal,  setting up a development centre in Ukraine and a manufacturing facility in China.    Duncan is now fulfilling the role of IT Director at Adnams, remains a Non-exec Director at Proteo and a Non-exec Director of business peer support group, Norfolk Network.

Matt DaveyProduct Desinger, 1Password

Matt is a highly experienced Graphic Designer, Creative Director, business founder and is currently a product designer on the 1Password team.

Ermine AmiesBusiness Development Coach

An expert in Sales Training, Business Development Skills, Sales Management Training and Business Coaching.

Brian NormanCTO & Founder at Earthware

Web developer with MS technologies for over 10 years. Experienced technical team leader and project manager. 8 years experience in the travel industry with a specialism in interactive end user mapping solutions using Google Earth, Microsoft Bing Maps For Enterprise (Virtual Earth),Google Maps, OSM and others.

Ali ClabburnCEO, Liftshare

Liftshare.com is a multi-award winning social enterprise from the UK. Set up by Ali Clabburn in 1998, while he was a student at university, to help fellow students to save money by sharing car trips, the company started working with local authorities and businesses in 2001 and over 30 million trips have now been shared through its network of over 700 lift sharing schemes. Without realizing it Ali was a pioneer in the sharing economy. He is passionate about the social value of sharing and excited by its potential to solve many of the worlds challenges. Liftshare.com have been at the cutting edge of online technology for 17 years and the team are continuously disrupting themselves in order to keep in touch with the ever increasing speed of change driven by consumer demand for more personalized travel services.

Lu LiCEO, Blooming Founders

Lu Li is a creative entrepreneur and optimist, who is passionate about female entrepreneurship and Lean Startup methodologies. She was born in Beijing and got educated in Germany, where she obtained her MBA from a top 5 business school. She has gained professional experience at McKinsey and Procter & Gamble before taking the leap into entrepreneurship 3 years ago. She is currently building her third business, Blooming Founders, a startup support network helping enterprising women turn their ideas into flourishing businesses. Her mission is to develop Blooming Founders into the global go-to network for female entrepreneurs, eventually creating more successful companies led by women. Her life motto is: Live a life less ordinary.

Nick WalterSales and Marketing Director, OnePulse

Nick is Sales and Marketing Director of OnePulse, a digital platform that allows businesses to send quick surveys to targeted groups of smartphone users around the UK and get responses back instantly. Nick has been working in digital technology for the last 7 years; initially, as a social media-marketing consultant before starting his own ventures, and now helping early stage companies gain traction and get investment. He mentors startups around London and has taken OnePulse from a concept through to an up-and-coming brand that has just secured $1million in funding.

Paul CuttingAgile Coach, Axon VIBE

A former developer covering the Microsoft Stack, who fondly remembers when UX was deciding which way round the OK and Cancel buttons went on a Windows app! Now an experienced Scrum Master, Agile Coach and JIRA Ninja supporting a globally distributed team at Axon VIBE.

Elizabeth ScholefieldPsychologist, Axon VIBE

An expert in psychology bringing an alternative take to mobile app design and growth hacking. Elizabeth is a diverse member of the Axon VIBE design and growth hacking teams, focussing on the key communication strategies in app design, examining the habit loops and how users engage with the potential product. Elizabeth is also an experienced growth hacker and can guide teams on creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to promote products and gain exposure.

Chris VenablesTechnical Manager, Liquid 11

Studied Computing & Accounting at the University of Gloucestershire and graduated in 2007. Then Joined Liquid11 full time after having completed a work experience placement a year earlier. In the early days was responsible for replacing some of the core applications and services to cope with increasing demand such as Liquid11s flagship product SwitchboardFREE. While having a wide range of experience in both software and hardware my passion and expertise lies in telecoms, both traditional TDM and SIP based technologies having designed, built and managed system of all sizes from small office based phone systems to large cloud based platforms handling thousands of customers and millions of minutes each month. On a personal level I’m a father of a 3 year old, Avid fan of Formula 1 and take a keen interest in business, business start-ups and product design & development.

Jo VertiganDigital Strategy Lead, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

Currently I am working for BAE Applied Intelligence developing their Enterprise Digital Transformation offering but having run, been an advisor and supported many early stage businesses I really enjoy getting involved. I have worked in sport, geo spatial data, social network analysis, fashion, Technology, PR, Genomics, Financial Services from boot strapped biz to Global Multi nationals.

Joost NoppenLecturer in Software Engineering, UEA

Joost Noppen is lecturer in Software Engineering at the University of East Anglia in Norwich (UK). Joost holds an M.Sc. degree and a Ph. D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Twente in the Netherlands with a special focus on computational intelligence in Software Engineering. Joost has held positions in leading Software Engineering research groups across Europe, such as the École des Mines and the University of Lancaster, where he has worked in international research projects. In 2008 Joost was awarded a prestigious Marie Curie Intra-European fellowship from the EU for his work on Software Product Line development.

Josh DaviesCEO & Founder, FXHOME

Josh has been the driving force behind successful video and photo products for over 10 years. Having assembled a growing team of experts from around the world, Joshua now leads projects from conception to reality, contributing his extensive design knowledge and a keen understanding of the indie filmmaking scene.