Startup Weekend Adelaide Draws Sell-Out Crowd

By Ben Luks, Startup Weekend Adelaide Volunteer

Converging in a newly created university campus, over 100 entrepreneurs participated in the sixth Startup Weekend in Adelaide, South Australia. Tickets for the event sold out fast, with a large number of participants attending the Weekend for the first time. The event was hosted by Flinders University at their new  state-of-art campus in Tonsley, south of Adelaide. Orren Prunckun, one of the event’s organisers, said that the participation rate was a positive sign of entrepreneurial activity in Australia.

“We are thrilled with the response,” he said. “It is clear that entrepreneurship is growing in Adelaide and across the country as a whole. Startup Weekend gives these entrepreneurs a chance to kick start their business dreams.”

Some of the innovative ideas launched at Startup Weekend include Beerfo.com, aiming to provide the widest selection of beer to the doors of its members. Another team, Stackademics, plans to provide student accommodation in shipping containers. Sasha Dragovelic, one of the Weekend’s participants said that the value of the event was clear. “Startup Weekend is not just about business planning, it is about ‘business doing,’” he said. “It is amazing that a group of people can come together one evening and actually build a real business in less than 54 hours.” With the final presentations less than five hours away at the time of writing, it is obvious that, win or lose, all the participants will walk away with valuable and practical experience in the thrilling world of entrepreneurship.




Giftoid “wraps up” Startup Weekend Adelaide 2015 with top gong

Giftoid “wraps up” Startup Weekend Adelaide 2015 with top gong
– Matt Hardy

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New Venture Institute at Flinders at Tonsley would like to congratulate the talented team behind personalised online gift service Giftoid for taking out first prize at Startup Weekend Adelaide 2015.

The event was keenly contested, with judges praising all exhausted participants for the consistently high quality of Sunday night’s 13 final presentations. Each team’s core business idea was positively received, but it was Giftoid’s outstanding mix of team strength and effective business model that lifted it to the top of the list.

The full list of winning teams and their prizes is as follows:

1st Prize: Giftoid

  • Consulting services from BDO to the value of $3000
  • Scholarship to Venture Dorm powered by Mega, at the New Venture Institute, OR Summer School 2016, at Flinders University
  • 6 months’ co-working space with eNVIsion, at the New Venture Institute
  • Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet
  • enovAsia Market Acceleration Services
  • 25% off web development services from MonkeyDo.

2nd Prize: Shake Mate

  • Consulting services from BDO to the value of $2000
  • 6 months’ co-working space from Majoran
  • Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet
  • Miriam Castilla Smash It – 30-day Boot Camp.

3rd Prize: AnySpace Global

  • Consulting services from BDO to the value of $1000
  • 6 months’ co-working space from Majoran
  • Miriam Castilla Smash It – 30-day Boot Camp.

Crowd Favourite: BeerFO

  • Promotional video production from Flinders Creations to the value of $5000.

We would like to thank everyone involved in the planning and staging of this wonderful event for their effort and enthusiasm, including our dedicated judges – Frank Seeley, Belinda Jennings, Andre Eikmeier and Grace Lever – and many tireless volunteers.

And of course, we wish all our participants every success as they continue on their entrepreneurial journeys. We look forward to staying in touch and offering further guidance and support as you turn your ideas into reality.

www.matthardycopy.com.au




Startup Weekend Adelaide Draws Sell-Out Crowd

Startup Weekend Adelaide Draws Sell-Out Crowd

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Converging in a newly created university campus, over 100 entrepreneurs participated in the sixth Startup Weekend in Adelaide, South Australia. Tickets for the event sold out fast, with a large number of participants attending the Weekend for the first time. The event was hosted by Flinders University at their new state-of-art campus in Tonsley, south of Adelaide. Orren Prunckun, the event facilitator, said that the participation rate was a positive sign of entrepreneurial activity in South Australia. “We are thrilled with the response,” he said. “It is clear that interest in entrepreneurship is strong in Adelaide and Startup Weekend gives these participants the opportunity to see if entrepreneurship is right for them.”

Some of the innovative ideas launched at Startup Weekend include Beerfo.com, aiming to provide the widest selection of beer to the doors of its members. Another team, Stackademics, plans to provide student accommodation in shipping containers. Sasha Dragovelic, one of the Weekend’s participants said that the value of the event was clear. “Startup Weekend is not just about business planning, it is about ‘business doing,’” he said. “It is amazing that a group of people can come together one evening and actually build a real business in less than 54 hours.” With the final presentations less than five hours away at the time of writing, it is obvious that, win or lose, all the participants will walk away with valuable and practical experience in the thrilling world of entrepreneurship.

Blog Post by Ben Luks, Startup Weekend Adelaide Volunteer




We’ve started our engines!

Startup Weekend Adelaide
July 17th, 2015

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We’ve started our engines!
– Matt Hardy

We’re up and away – Startup Weekend Adelaide kicked off last night at the Flinders at Tonsley, hosted by New Venture Institute, in a whirlwind of energy, ideas and activity.

Although many nervous faces were visible as our 100-plus participants began to arrive, by the time they’d all enjoyed a bite to eat (thanks Bing Boy!) and realised their peers were all in the same boat, the nerves were quickly replaced with infectious enthusiasm.

Among the highlights were:

  • Guest speakers Mal Chia, Uber Australia’s Marketing Manager and former Startup Weekend Adelaide winner, and Andre Eikmeier, VinoMofo founder, highlighting the critical need for participants to focus their efforts on developing an effective business model, rather than fixating on the “idea”.
  • Andre getting everyone in stitches – and more importantly, relaxed – with stories of his many and varied failed personal enterprises prior to achieving his current phenomenal success. “Don’t let fear stop you, just f*#$ing do it!”
  • Close to 100 one-minute pitches that ran the gamut of human enterprise, with plenty of innovative thinking on show. Although, having said that, we have to admit the opening line that got the most deafening cheer of support may have been, “Who likes beer?”. Nothing wrong with innovation that quenches a thirst, of course!
  • The buzz and hum of a room full of people all chattering away as they formed the teams that will develop, over the next two days, the top 16 ideas presented on the night. The spirit of collaboration was absolutely wonderful to be part of.

So now the hard work starts.

With team’s formed and roles within them identified, they’ll regroup this morning and, with their mentors’ assistance, start working through the long list of commercial considerations that every startup business must address.

Bring it on!

www.matthardycopy.com.au

 

 




How to emotionally and financially bootstrap a startup

How to emotionally and financially bootstrap a startup
– Finn Peacock, Founder of Solar Quotes

If you are starting a business, the truth is it will probably fail.

We all know the stats. Most new businesses fail. That’s why most successful entrepreneurs succeed on their 3rd , 4th or 5th business.

If they gave up because their first few businesses failed, they’d be back in the rat race by now.

A big secret of success is to not let the initial businesses that fail take so much from you emotionally and financially they you can’t get back on your feet and have another go (possibly after regrouping with a short stint back in the rat -race so you can recover your finances and energy).

How to have Emotional Robustness     

Don’t take money from family or friends. If you lose their money this will amplify the stress because you’ve lost the money of people you care about. When this happens you’ll feel really guilty about trying again.

Don’t go into your initial businesses with friends. The success rate of continuing a friendship when a business goes bad is not good. And if you lose your friends you are going to be miserable. Friendships are more important than business. If you disagree with that statement, you need better friends.

Don’t go into business if you can’t handle other people thinking you are an idiot. Why? Because you are likely going to lose money trying out ideas that people close to you will think are crazy. At some point you will likely leave a well paid job, and jump off the property ladder. While your businesses are not generating income and everything looks like it is turning to crap, you are going to be the object of ridicule behind your back. You don’t live in Silicon Valley, you live in Australia. The highest levels of government are advising you to “Get a good job that pays well and is secure”. You are doing the opposite. Opting out of the rat race is a very unusual thing to do and you’ll be under enormous pressure to get back into it. If you worry too much about what other people think, you’ll be emotionally destroyed and will be unlikely to try it more than once.

How to have Financial Robustness.

The number one key to financial robustness when starting out is to not spend too much money too soon. That way if your business fails you don’t have to spend too long getting back on your financial feet. And this means bootstrapping.

Don’t spend thousands on legals before you have any revenue. There are lots of well meaning accountants and lawyers out there giving free advice to entrepreneurs. Unfortunately most of these guys have never bootstrapped a business, so their advice – at this stage of your business – needs to be taken with a large grain of salt.

Here’s the thing. Lawyers are fricking expensive. Like $200 per hour for a mediocre one. So you need to be really careful about hiring them early on.

You’ll get a lot of advice that you need legal advice on this and that. That you need rock solid terms and conditions on your website that take into account the most unlikely of circumstances.

You’ll get all sorts of advice about optimal company structures etc.

These professionals are paid to remove risk. You are an entrepreneur and you will succeed because you take risks that no one else will.

In my opinion one of those risks is this – when you start out and you have a business with almost no revenue, your website terms and privacy policy can be a free template that is not going to cover every eventuality.

I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs simply not get started because they’ve had a quote for thousands of dollars to ‘do the legals’ and they stop there. To which I say: “What are you trying to protect? You have no business, no revenue, almost no net worth (if you have a big net worth, then you can afford to lawyer up – no need to read this – it is directed at people like me that started with nothing). If the tiny possibility of someone suing you – because you do something they don’t like and you don’t have legal terms that cover your ass – happens, what are they going to take? Your push bike?

Don’t spend lots of money on legals and accountants until you start getting revenue. Then use the revenue to pay these things, not your savings. Yes it is a risk, but it’s a small one.

And set up as a sole trader to start with. It’s free. If your business starts to take off then get an accountant and get a proper company structure. If you are doing really well look into tax efficient trusts etc.

Use a cheap WordPress template for your website? Get a logo on Fiverr. If your idea is good and well executed no one cares that your logo is shithouse!

You don’t even need to spend anything on a backend for your website. Do the “wizard of oz” trick. When your users use your service, get the data they need emailed to you at your desk and manually do the action that your software will eventually do. Send the user the results by email. As far as they are concerned the service got completed.

Need an example? Say your service is to match them with a local car mechanic with a special algorithm that takes into account their needs, location and mechanic reviews. Get them to fill in a form, which is sent to you as an email upon completion. When you get the email, look through your list of mechanics and recommend the one that fits best using the algorithm in your brain. If you start getting so many requests that you can’t do it manually, then invest in the software. Not before.

Don’t pay hundreds per month for co-working. Work out of your local library with its free wifi until you have the profit to pay for a proper space.

Don’t apply for a trademark if you’ve got no customers and no brand recognition. Do it when your customers start going crazy for your brand.

And the biggest one of all – don’t leave your day job until you’ve made your first dollar of profit. If you haven’t got a day job, your savings start to dwindle fast, increasing the financial pressure if your business does not work out.

The first dollar of real profit is the sign that your business has legs. Wait until this point to leave your day job and you remove 80% of the risk.

You’ve decided you want to leave the rat race eventually, so take your focus off your day job and direct it to your start up. I’m not saying work on your startup when you are at work. Do it at home in the evenings and on weekends. But forget about your next promotion and start leaving work on time. Parkinson’s law says you’ll still get the same amount of useful work done for your employer anyway.

Repeat this process 3-6 times and the chances are you’ll end up with a business that works. Yes it is brutal, but boy it’s worth it.


Finn Peacock is the founder of Solar Quotes




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