The 54-Hour Startup Event

After the roaring success of Sync the City 2014 and 2015, SyncNorwich & UEA are again bringing it to you this autumn. Sync the City 2016 is a 54 Hour event that brings together budding entrepreneurs with experienced business mentors and technology expertise, during which groups of entrepreneurs, developers, business managers, marketing gurus, graphic artists pitch ideas for new startup companies. For a flavour of last year, please see the 2015 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 three day frenzy of start-up building that could win you and your team £4,000 in cash prizes (£3,000 judges’ winner and £1,000 people's choice), as well as sales training from Sandler Training and one year associate membership of 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.

The Startup Conference

Something new for Sync the City 2016, we are holding a Startup Conference that runs alongside the 54 Hour Startup event. The Startup Conference will run on the Friday.

We are lucky enough to attract a amazing lineup of Mentors to support the Startup teams. Some of which have built their own successful startups. They are experts in funding, building prototypes, finding product market fit, marketing, business models, customer validation, user experience, technical knowledge and much more.

We will have a program of talks and workshops in which our mentors will share their knowledge.


A panel of experienced judges with startup and investment experience.
They are waiting to see what Norwich can do!

Jacyn Heavens
Judge and opening keynote speaker

Jacyn Heavens is a serial entrepreneur best known for being the founder and CEO of Epos Now. While running a bar, Jacyn identified a gap in the market for an affordable, customisable POS solution and began to develop his own software. Jacyn started Epos Now with £85,000 of his own money, and still has 100% ownership. He employs 200 people throughout the UK and the US, ensuring profitability of over 20,000 businesses across 109 countries.

Juliana Meyer

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.

Lisa Price

Lisa has spent the last 14 years working within software delivery across a range of roles, business sectors and company types. The last five years have seen Lisa working with cutting edge mobile technologies, including BLE and NFC, where the experience of joining a start-up and growing the company have taught her many valuable lessons. Taking on her latest challenge within a large corporate, Lisa continues to challenge them in their approaches in order to achieve great things. She is passionate about building high performing teams and coaching businesses into being as great as they can possibly be.  

Abhi Naha

Abhi has worked in the mobile and telecoms industry for 20 years. Currently at Cambridge Wireless, he is responsible for marketing, business development, attracting young entrepreneurs and engaging with SIG champions. Abhi has been a Cambridge Wireless Founder Member and SIG champion for over nine years. Founder of several technology start-ups and new business units in Cambridge and Silicon Valley he has brought an entrepreneurial culture to Cambridge Wireless.

Cathy White

Cathy is Head of Communications for Tech City UK, a not-for-profit accelerating the growth of digital businesses and skills across the UK. Previously she worked for Seedcamp, an early-stage fund, and is a Director of GeekGirl Meetup UK, a not-for-profit inspiring women in tech.


Ali Clabburn
Founder, CEO, Possibilist, Norfolk boy

Sharing economy pioneer, social entrepreneur, 18 years of leading, a multi-award winning bootstrapped start up. No technical skills but an admirer of the amazing potential tech has for solving social problems.


Brian Norman

Brian Norman is an innovative technologist with over 16 years’ experience as a web developer, UX designer and mapping geek. After many years of experience in the travel industry leading development teams, Brian co-founded and in 2007 to focus on leading a team to deliver first class consumer web, mobile and mapping experiences for clients including Transport for London, London 2012 Olympic Games, Microsoft and Skype.


Dom Davis

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 messes about doing development and devops. Dom has been writing code since his childhood sometime in the last millennium – he hopes some day to become good at it.


Kathryn Wright

After 9 years in a customer facing environment, I managed an online Q&A site with UGC and had a crash course in Google Analytics and Adsense before becoming MD of Discountvouchers, primarily an email marketing business. I love tech and the fast paced digital industry. I especially like business development, increasing business profit and efficiencies & stats analysis.


Stephen Keable

Stephen works at Allies Computing handling Customer Experience and Marketing, with a background across advertising, front end development and user experience consultancy.

Steve Engledow

I have over 14 years of experience in delivering end-to-end technical solutions encompassing a diverse range of use cases and technologies.

I have a strong preference for working in agile, cross-functional teams iteratively delivering quality-led solutions with automated pipelines.

I believe in driving success by maintaining technical strength, leading by example, and enabling open communication across all levels.

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is one of the founders of Foolproof, a design agency with studios in Norwich, London and Singapore. He’s played a part in the previous Syncthecity events, including being one of the judges in the inaugural year.


Jason Gregson

With over 25 years of experience in the IT industry from the early days when the only comms online was BBS (Some of you will have to Google bulletin boards) with a 2400 bits/s connection all the way to today in building cloud based reliable, resilient, cost effective, globally scaleable systems, that actually work as opposed to untested Disaster Recovery systems that just don't.

Our team (MyLib) won 2014 Syncthecity and I was part of 2015 with Zest, which did not do so well :)

Supporting both the commercial and technical parts of businesses, I love to share my experience and expertise with anyone that will listen.

Good luck all and above all else, have a great time.


Alex Broome
Business Manager | Barclays

I've worked in financial services since 2007, and in business banking since Spring 2015. So far this year I have helped over 250 local businesses start up or move their accounts to Barclays. I'm really looking forward to taking part in Sync The City to better understand how it feels to start a business, and the challenges that my clients face.

Jeremy Glenn
CTO - Epos Now

Jeremy graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BSc(hons) in Hospitality Management before pursuing a career in technology. Having worked for the NHS as a software developer he relocated to Norwich to work in software consultancy before working for various Blue Chip companies in finance and insurance (Nat West, Royal London, Aviva, Virgin). In 2002 Jeremy joined a small startup (Brandbank) providing web content to online grocery retailers in the UK. At Brandbank he built the IT team and as CIO was instrumental in growing that business across 17 countries and £18m turnover and ultimately to a successful acquisition by Nielsen. Jeremy joined Epos Now as CTO in October 2016 to bring strength and leadership to the team, to take the software to the next level and enable expansion into other markets.

Tom Haczewski
Director -

Tom started his professional career at Virgin Money as an Ecommerce Marketing Analyst - basically, what we would call a UX designer about 12 years ago - and moved on to agency life about 7 years ago, running a digital team and working with ASDA, HMV, Arco and many more. He now runs The User Story, a UX and usability consultancy in Norwich, helping a range of clients from big multinational ecommerce sites to fledgling startups. His team is also working on a suite of next-generation tools for UX practitioners including a research manager tool, and a revolutionary usability research recorder.

Ermine Amies
MD - Sandler Training

Ermine Amies is the woman to talk to when you want to sell more. She’s sold to banks, pension funds and corporates across Europe. She’s seen what works and what doesn’t. At Sandler Training, she works with clients on their attitudes and behaviours as well as sales techniques. She helps them hire and onboard A player sales staff and management. Ermine doesn’t pull her punches. No one pays her to be nice. She delivers real results and stops the problems you face with your selling and sales management forever.

Ben Taylor
CEO & Co-founder - 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.

Tom Price
API Product Manager - Aviva

Tom started out working at Nokia as a Software Engineer and 11 years later he is driving technical innovation at Aviva as an API Product Manager. He's worked at both large multinational organisations and start ups in a range of roles within software delivery. He's passionate about Agile, mobile software development and API strategy and is looking forward to sharing his experience with like minded people.


Hayley Johnson
COO - Epos Now

Hayley Johnson was appointed the chief operating officer (COO) of Epos Now in 2013 and is responsible for day-to-day operations within the business. She has a passion for people, driving excellence from her staff, with a relentless focus on delivering world class customer service. Hayley calls upon her experience as a former senior manager of Aviva Plc, where she has worked for 14 years. Hayley is passionate in assisting SMEs to become profitable, developing solutions that can put them ahead of the competition.

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