Inaugural 2015 Central Coast Startup Weekend hatches venture potential

Startup Weekend Central Coast – September 18th, 2015

StartupWeekend Central Coast 2015 Attendees celebrate their 54hr achievements.
StartupWeekend Central Coast 2015 Attendees celebrate their 54hr achievements.

Congratulations to our 1st Startup Weekend winning teams for 2015!

They were:

Winner: MakerToMarket – a platform to better connect makers with higher quality suppliers to help them scale their businesses

RunnerUp: Wheelie – a crowd sourced share bike platform for city commuters leveraging smart locking hardware and route analytics

Honorable Mention: BuzMe – a novel transport option to bridge the gap between taxis and buses with smarter minibus transport

Crowd Favourite: Diruka – an Invoice Factoring and Xero integration for cashflow financing that unlocks the value trapped in your outstanding invoices.

With 8 teams formed during the weekend at Gosford Smart Work Hub, our experienced judges had a tough time of it, listing 6 of them across the panel of 3, forcing a quick showdown to argue their selection merits and shortlist our finalists.

As the first Startup Weekend for Central Coast, the quality of connections that were formed between members of participating teams was memorable. The heart and spirit that were poured into each teams entry was uplifting – to go from complete strangers to coherent teams delivering a polished concept, many of which were online+interactive, over 54hrs is quite an achievement. Our judging panel rated them as equal to pitches they regularly encounter from the Sydney startup community.

Here’s what one of our event judges, Tony Burrett, Chief Operating Officer from Blue Chilli (Sydney Incubator and Accelerator) had to say:

“It was awesome – there were some fantastic ideas here. So many more people here than I would have expected coming to the Central’s clearly a hotbed of entrepreneurial guys should be congratulated for the quality of the event and the quality of the ideas that came out.”

The 58 ticket holders for the weekend experience were diverse, too, with ages from 16 to 60 and plenty of University of Newcastle students participating as a way to sharpen their learning. With the event rating highly for attendee experience and feedback, we know there’s an appetite for just this style of event.

We’re now looking forward to planning what’s next and working with our first Alumni to progress their first rounds of work as they move from Idea to Action.

Thanks for giving it everything folks. You made us proud.

Stepping stones on the Central Coast Startup journey

We caught up recently with the Wyong Council team behind their Be Your Own Boss expo, hosted at University of Newcastle Ourimbah Campus, to meet, greet and swap notes about how we can best support the work of each other in fostering local talent. We’re keen to grow local entrepreneurial capability, together, with minimum overlap.

In a local innovation and entrepreneurs ecosystem, it’s important to have a number of elements in place to help you make the journey to starting your own venture. The crew at Startup Weekend have a great post on the Entrepreneurs Journey that’s worth taking a closer look at in

Let’s take a closer look at their model and see how events like BYOB and StartupWeekend work together:

The Entrepreneurs Journey - ladder image
The Entrepreneurs Journey

The the Wyong Action Team, working in partnership with the University of Newcastle Central Coast Campus, put on the Be Your Own Boss initiative as a youth engagement expo to get people thinking differently about their future careers, weaving the option of a self-directed venture into the discussion. That’s a really good way to work at Level 1 (Inspire), with tales from other local business owners about their own journeys.

But what happens next?

If you were one of the #BeYourOwnBoss attendees and would like to discover the answers to that, we encourage you to come along and explore StartupWeekend Central Coast. It’s designed to help complement and build on the initial work of Inspire, helping you to move to Level 2 (Learn) Level 3 (Found) or Level 4 (Startup) on the Entrepreneurs Journey. Run as part of the Up Global entrepreneurs community, it’s a well proven formula, used across the world with other startup communities to help you on your own journey, delivered over a 54hr weekend of intense incubation of your ideas.

Want to find out more? Come and join in on 18-20September 2015 at the Gosford Smart Work Hub:



Get in touch with us at startupcentralcoast AT

Mum’s birthday gift startup wins Startup Weekend Adelaide

Startup Weekend Central Coast is part of a global movement of startups. In Australia the startup scene is extremely active. The StartupWeekend event format has been held six times in Adelaide with great success, with the most recent winner now receiving a scholarship from Flinders University.

After struggling to find the perfect present for his mother’s birthday, Michael Goudas came up with an idea to help others faced with the same predicament. The team of is now off to Venture Dorm with a scholarship, will also receive $3000 of consulting services from BDO and six months co-working space with eNVIsion.

“I think what differentiated us was that not a lot of the other people actually focused on the business aspect,” Goudas says. “I was able to be a little bit more realistic with my expectations, and maybe that’s something that rang true with the judges.

“We had a good balance with the pitch,” he says. “We covered off on a lot of things, and we had mock-ups of the website, some sales, and we’d thought about how we are going to manage this business.”

It was a “massive rush” to go from pitching the initial idea on Friday night, gathering a team together, developing the startup, and pitching it to a panel of judges on Sunday night, Goudas says.


Discover more about Startup Weekend Central Coast at

StartupWeekend comes to Central Coast NSW, Australia

Panoramic view of Gosford area and Brisbane Water.
StartupWeekend Central Coast NSW. Background image by PureSilk Images, WoyWoy NSW.

What is ‘StartupWeekend?

StartupWeekend is an initiative of Up Global (see, a non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities, who believe that entrepreneurs are critical to driving a strong global economy and a better world, doing their part by supporting the grassroots leaders who are at the core of every strong entrepreneurial community.

Community Powered: Every leader in the UP community understands the transformative nature of entrepreneurship and is committed to empowering others around them. These individuals catalyse progress, connect entrepreneurs and supporters, drive innovation, and provide tools for their communities.

The organisers of Startup Weekend Central Coast welcome interest in the region’s first formal StartupWeekend event, run as part of the Up Global and Techstars movement for the benefit of our local community.  From Mongolia to South Africa to Canada to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams and start business ventures. Over 30,000 entrepreneurs in over 100 countries rally together in the name of innovation and community each year. The event is now being brought to the Central Coast by your two local volunteer organisers, Carolen Barripp and Brian Hill.

Why people should come to this event:  Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or anyone can learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, all participants will build long-lasting relationships and may even walk away joining a startup or attracting an interested investor.

Why will this help our community:  We want to help pivot the conversation from ‘job seeking’ in a market of limited opportunities to entrepreneurship as a viable, enjoyable pathway. We want to inspire unemployed youth to realise that starting a business can be exciting and rewarding and that they can be the future business owners on the Central Coast. We know that there is stronger than ever support for starting your own business at a global scale, with fantastic resources from groups like Up Global and Techstars to help provide resources along the entrepreneurship journey and with their support, Startup Weekend Central Coast will be a catalyst to help support the Central Coast startup community.

Meet the Team:  The co-organisers, Brian and Carolen have many years of varied business experience between them and want to help others create their own destiny, fuelled by their own passions and drive. Starting up a business can be challenging, but there are plenty of resources and willing hands to help you along the way. The Startup Weekend allows a short period of time for intense focus and validation of your idea to help prepare you to take the next steps. It’s a real ‘learning-by-doing’ lab that’s cuts so much time out of the startup journey, in an intense learning experience, collaborating with others from the community and being supported by experienced mentors.

What we hope attendees get from the event:  For people who have no experience running a startup and are passionate or curious about entrepreneurship, Startup Weekend is about learning how a startup works, the challenges it has to overcome and how to address a market need. Along the way, you’ll learn how to co-work with others, how to collaborate in a team, but most importantly, gain an invaluable life experience with other Central Coast passionate advocates. It is reallly worth it!

Who are the (current) mentors: We’re in the last stages of assembling a team of experienced mentors who’ve walked the Startup and Entrepreneurs path, with plenty of local business successes and also in the larger business sectors. We’ll have more to announce on them shortly.

Who are the judges: The first of our Judges is local business entrepreneur, David Abrahams from Organise Internet (, based in Gosford. As a local Google systems integrator and experienced technologist, David has been part of several startups and takes an active interest in growing entrepreneurial skills for individuals and businesses here on the Central Coast. We’re in the last stages of confirming several more local, experienced judges for Startup Weekend Central Coast.

Event Information:

Up Global ( are on a mission to make the world a more innovative and prosperous place, one community at a time, believing that entrepreneurs are critical to driving a strong global economy and a better world. They do this through a range of experiential programs such as StartupWeekend, StartupNext, StartupWeek (see

Tech stars ( is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to build their business.