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I’m glad you asked!

A startup weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to validate and develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.

The concept of a Startup Weekend was first introduced to me by a colleague at Startup Mackay several months ago, however it was first Founded in July 2007 in Boulder, Colorado by Andrew Hyde. Startup Weekend is now run by Techstars.

Queensland has seen a recent surge of startup activity, with Cairns, Townsville and even the Atherton Tablelands hosting Startup Weekends.

On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

Beginning with 60 second open mic pitches on Friday, 60 – 120 attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

The winning teams are gifted with extremely useful prizes to help them on their path creating their new startup venture.

The Startup Weekend Organization is built around an extended network of hundreds of passionate, skilled, and empowered volunteers around the world. Every event is operated semi-autonomously, with all aspects of the event being planned and executed by a team of local Organizers. They provide a small, full-time Events team which provides ongoing support to each Event’s Organizing Team throughout the event planning process.

As a rule, in order to host a Startup Weekend, the organisers have to attend a Startup Weekend first – hence why I attended the recent Brisbane Startup Weekend at Steve Baxter’s co-owned River City Labs.

We are well on our way to bringing Startup Weekend to Mackay, we already have on board a great organising team, major sponsors, expert mentors, and a great venue.

Now we are looking for participants who are keen to learn, build innovative or disruptive new things, and meet interesting and motivated people!

The ticket cost is extremely reasonable, between $75 and $100 (less for students).  Your ticket covers seven meals, snacks, access to exclusive resources from our sponsors, and of course, all the coffee you can drink.

Examples of Startups created from Brisbane Startup Weekend include carvalues.co & powerdialer.co.

To join up or find out more, jump over to our website:

http://www.startupmackay.org/events/startup-weekend-mackay/


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DENNIS MURPHY