The University of Southampton

Leto sponsors Southampton Startup Weekend

Published: 
8 November 2012
Illustration

Leto, an innovative company co-founded by ECS alumnus Alex Berezovsky, is the main sponsor for the Southampton Startup Weekend, one of a number of events taking place simultaneously across the globe this weekend (9-11 November), to celebrate innovation and enterprise in the tech community.

The Startup Weekend has spread virally across the world into almost every tech community. People of different backgrounds (developers, designers, marketers and many others) come together for an intensive 56 hours. During this time the aim is to develop startups (web or/and mobile applications) that aim to “rewrite the rules of the new economy” using open data provided by Government.

Leto is the main sponsor for the Southampton event. The London-based technological innovation company works closely with startups by offering them lean software development, while also offering innovation consultancy for larger companies that wish to expand on their services and products.

Leto was co-founded by ECS Computer Science alumnus, Alex Berezovsky - now CEO of the company which has already employed eight Southampton alumni as graduates or interns.

On the first day of the Startup Weekend (Friday night) people have an opportunity to meet and network; afterwards, those with bright ideas in mind start pitching to try and inspire others, and the teams form around the winning ideas.

Technically, there is only one day and two nights to work on the product (including prototype development and writing business plan), as Sunday morning is spent wrapping things up. Final presentations and the winner announcement are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Southampton Startup will be judged by Don Spalinger, Director of Research and Innovation Services at the University, Professor Simon Cox, Associate Dean for Enterprise in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, and Penny Smout - CEO of Hawk Conservancy Trust, who has more than 15 years’ experience working with startups in the US and UK.

Southampton Startup Weekend will be a great test of ECS students’ techie stamina and their skills and enterprise, but it’s an even greater opportunity to experience the entire product cycle - from its early draft idea stage to actual product launch.

Throughout the event, contestants have an opportunity to get help and one-to-one advice from mentors, so they can build on their personal and team strengths. Prizes for the national competition will be awarded by David Cameron in London, and the top startups will be invited to the awards ceremony in London, not to mention a fully paid trip to Silicon Valley in California.

Southampton is one of five UK destinations with similar events being held in London, Cambridge, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as in many cities around the world.

You can follow progress of the Southampton event at: http://southampton.startupweekend.org/

Our picture (above right) includes Alex Berezovsky (third from the left) and other members of the team including ECS alumni (from left to right) Joe Conway, Martin Warne, Trinity Gorman and on the right Sukh Plaha. Second from the right is Oleg Gerasimenko, co-founder of Leto.

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