48 Hours to Start a Startup – Launch48 Weekend at TechHub Manchester

48 Hours to Start a Startup – Launch48 Weekend at TechHub Manchester

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Over the weekend I attended the Launch48 Weekend at TechHub Manchester and have it say it’s one of the best events I’ve attended in the tech/business sphere, it involved little sleep, lots of networking, idea creating, learning and most importantly getting involved hands on in creating a startup in 48 hours.

What is Launch48 weekend?

Launch48 are a company who run entrepreneurial events for startups across the UK and the world, they run these ‘Launch48 weekends’ in London and this was the first one in Manchester. I only found out about it at around 11pm via Twitter on the Thursday and thought I had missed out on it but a quick few tweets and I found that there were a few tickets left so I grabbed one quickly. The cost is £49.95 and this includes 7 meals (breakfasts, lunches and evening meals), free soft drinks and beer in the evenings. You also get access to mentors, sponsors, a goodie bag and access to loads of great people.

The Agenda


The weekend starts on the Friday around 6pm and involves the initial networking, then anyone is welcome to pitch their idea, it’s a very informal pitch limited to 60 seconds, So you can pitch even if you hadn’t planned to, you’ll find a lot of people do end up pitching when they had originally not planned or were reluctant to as it’s a relaxed and fun atmosphere but if you don’t have an idea then you don’t have to pitch. Following the pitches everyone votes for the ones they like, this shortlists them and then they pitch again and the final selection of startup ideas are chosen by vote. 5 of the startup pitches were selected and teams of around 5 were created by people going to the idea they liked and felt could help the most.

After the selection of teams you brainstorm the basics and work until around 11pm, then you’re off home and up early for a 8.30am start on Saturday, this is when the real building and researching of the idea starts, we brainstormed, researched, went out in Manchester city centre to retailers and asked questions, this meant a change to our initial business idea but a positive one. The Saturday continues until as late as you want it to and involves starting to develop a MVP (minimum viable product)


The Sunday/final day you develop your MVP more, prepare the final pitch and get your business and marketing plans ready. 5pm and it’s final pitch time, 5 minute pitches with 2 minutes of Q&A, all 5 teams had come up with a brilliant presentation of some great startup ideas. After this it’s beer and pizza and final networking, speaking to people who you may not have had a chance to speak to.

Overall the whole event was brilliantly setup, The guys from Launch48 were great organising, helping, advising and making the event work although the one thing I’d advise would be that Simon take some table tennis lessons as he was took a few too many defeats on the table tennis located in TechHub office space. viable product), then up again for a 8.30am start on the final day.

Would I recommend this for you?

Absolutely, it’s a fast paced, hard working weekend but you’ll meet like minded, entrepreneurial people and make some great friends, you’ll also potentially come out with a real startup that you can continue in the future. Don’t worry if you don’t have a pitch as you can just join a team. The event brings together business and marketing people, designers, developers, students and other people who all bring something to the table. 

When’s the next one?

The next UK one is in Birmingham on the 17th-19th May, I’m more than likely to be attending this one.

So what startups were created during Launch48?

What's The Dealio

Well I joined the pitch of a startup that was aiming to help local independent business increase footfall, get new customers and get deals, events and information out to people in the local area, ultimately helping small businesses.

We came up with the name WhatsTheDeal.io and developed a prototype app, spoke to retailers who were all very enthusiastic and finished the weekend with a pitch explaining the startup and the ideas behind it.

The other teams came up the following startups. 

RentFriend – a social platform enabling students to rate and review landlords 

TipiHub – bring entrepreneurs and startups together under one roof

CrowdDoctor – bringing together issues in the health sector with tech people to develop and crowdfund solutions

MumTime – a website to help parents exchange free time (babysitting) with each other.

The Highlights














The weekend was one long highlight however the networking and meeting like minded people is one of the best parts, that too with a weekend where your not simply listening you’re actively involved in starting a real business. I cannot ignore though the great table tennis that TechHub Manchester have which saw a lot of competition.

You can find out more via the Launch48 website by clicking the logo below and if you’re located in Manchester and looking for a co-working space then it’s worth looking at the TechHub Manchester site.


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1 Comment

  1. We are seeing a lot more new startups coming to our events compared to just a year ago, and this is mainly due to the fact that there are more startups out there, and they need events with relevant content and a casual environment in which to talk, drink, connect and share. More people are taking the plunge to set up their own business, and we are seeing an increasing demand from digital and tech startups to participate in our pitch training workshops that we organise on behalf of UK Trade and Investment.

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