Startup Weekend 2021: Action, innovation, education

Blog Post, Bundaberg, Innovations, Start-ups

On Friday afternoon, ten nervous participants were welcomed into the Generator and introduced to the weekend facilitator, Baden U’Ren, a nationally recognised entrepreneurship educator, leading Bond University’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation disciplines for over a decade.

Dinner and drinks were served at the generous space of the clock tower building as attendees settled in. Baden opened the night with inviting everyone to present their ideas to the group. Six different business ideas were put forward. After a quick voting process three top ideas were chosen, and three teams were formed.

For the rest of the Techstars Startup weekend, the teams went through business model creation, prototyping, designing, and market validation with the support of the facilitator and a group of local mentors. Baden took the teams through the 54-hour educational event where anyone — developers, designers, business developers, marketers, teachers, students, and everyone in between — can come together to pitch an idea and launch a business, all in one weekend. Special masterclasses were offered: “How to sell before you have something to sell”, “The future of commerce” and “How to pitch and influence people”. The Generator coworking space provided the perfect backdrop and atmosphere for the participants to work on their tasks and focus on creating the best pitch possible for Pitch Night.

On Sunday night after dinner, each team had 5 minutes pitching time. It was remarkable to observe the transformation from the original shaky six pitches on Friday night to the confident, polished and researched final pitches on Sunday night. The information, tools and models that were available throughout the weekend, enabled the teams to present a professional final pitch in front of their peers and a panel of three judges.

The judges didn’t take long in making their decision. The winning teams were awarded prizes and applauded by everyone. The event finished by celebrating the successful Bundaberg Techstars Startup Weekend with drinks, music and lots of laughter.

The feedback from participants was that everyone enjoyed meeting and collaborating with like-minded, innovative, driven, and passionate individuals.It was a great opportunity to test new ideas, meet potential co-founders and build a local support network.

Event metrics:

10 attendees, 6 ideas pitched, 3 teams formed, 13 sponsors involved. We had 5 mentors, 3 judges, and keynote speaker, Baden U’Ren, a PhD qualified entrepreneurship educator who helped our participants grow during their learning experience at Startup Weekend.  

Our top 3 winning teams’ ideas were: 

  1. First place: Meta Ninja: a safer digital marketplace. Prize: a scholarship to the Founders Institute program (valued at $1500).
  2. Second place: Belongg: an online micro training/induction for employees in hospitality. Prize: 2x 3 months membership to The Generator (valued at $900 each).
  3. Third place: Bundaberg Pet Sitter: pet sitting with online bookings. Prize: Marketing and promotion pack from Impact ($250 value).

One big final THANK YOU to

  1. Organisers: Damien Tracey and Leonora Lumby from CLS, Tamar Boas from The Generator, Brooke Fossey from Regional Business HQ, Nikki Sorbello from Crush Communications, Nathan Spruce from Impact, Steve Howard from TAFE, Marcus McCormick from Skills Unite and Daniel Hicks from Quantum Esports.
  2. Speaker: Baden U’Ren.
  3. Mentors: Michael Barber (IT lawyers), Julian Dickie (Pro Marketing), Tanya O’Shea (Impact), Larine Statham-Blair (Crush Magazine), Jack Milbank (AgPro).
  4. Judges: Kelly Dwyer (Charltons Lawyers), Tamar Boas (The Genearator), Nathan Spruce (Impact).
  5. Sponsors: Advance Queensland, Bundaberg Regional Council, Founders Institute, ACS. Catering sponsors: Bundaberg Guzman Y Gomez, Bundaberg Dominos Pizza, Bundaberg Subway, River Cruz Café, Alowishus, Street Bean Coffee Bar, The Club Hotel, Yellow Monkey Coffee.