Over 70 of the city’s budding entrepreneurs came together across the weekend for the Gold Coast Hub’s inaugural innovation event – A Startup Weekend.
The weekend saw over 20 ideas pitched, which were shortlisted into five working groups. The winning team, “TradeMingle,’ brought to life their vision of replacing trade-shows, with an online catalogue using functionality akin to Instagram and Tinder. In just 48 hours the team created a working prototype, generated $4,000 revenue and received interest from an Angel Investor.
Gold Coast Hub CEO, Ms Sharon Hunneybell hailed the event an important step for the ‘Hub’ and specifically for innovation on the Gold Coast.
“This weekend was a milestone for the Gold Coast entrepreneur and innovation community, as it was the first step in creating an innovation space for the Coast,” Ms Hunneybell said.
Participants from across the city’s innovation, tech and investment scene were on hand to provide mentoring and assistance to those taking part in the weekend. They volunteered their time to provide mentoring for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
This included representatives from Local and State Government, Gold Coast Angels, Founders Forum, IT Forum, a number of the Gold Coast Hub’s partner organisations and a visit from State Member for Burleigh Heads, the Hon. Michael Hart MP.
The judging panel consisting of serial entrepreneur Dan Norris (founder of Black Hops Brewing, Author of 7 Day Startup), Meryl Johnson (founder and CEO of Bean Ninjas – a tech-based financial business aid) and healthcare expert Armin Weiner (CTO of healthcare tech provider MedSoft).
The crowd favourite enterprise was ‘Artsi’ an app which allows users to take photos of the walls in their homes, and then swipe left/right on the best matching art pieces and decorations from local artisans.
The Gold Coast Hub was founded earlier this year by the leadership team behind the Gold Coast based software company, Opmantek, with support from Advance Queensland’s Advancing Regional Innovation Program which aims to turn the state’s regions into hubs for innovation and enterprise and the full-backing of the City of Gold Coast.
It is the result of a six-year mission to develop a model for international business creation on the Gold Coast centred around a physical precinct where the formula can be applied across multiple enterprises.
“This weekend showcased the potential of the Gold Coast Hub team and we cannot wait to showcase the talent and opportunity to the city, the rest of Queensland and the entire world,” said Gold Coast Hub CEO Ms Sharon Hunneybell.
“Our entire model is based on collaboration and it’s important to note and thank the following event partners for their contributions across the weekend Envirotech Education, Opmantek, Red Bull, HiVibe Water, Optus (who provided internet for the entire weekend), as well as Startup Weekend organisers, mentors. This event is the first of many and we cannot wait to unveil the plans for the site and build on events such as this going forward as we seek to place innovation at the heart of the Gold Coast economy.”