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Startup Weekend Brisbane October 24th, 2014

River City Labs has hosted three Startup Weekends in the past three years. Each year at around 8pm on Saturday night the participants struggle.  They are tired and wonder what made them sign up to do this event in the first place – heck, it’s Saturday night and everyone is sitting at their computer still.

Most people only get a few hours sleep after the first Friday night full of energetic   pitches. Saturday morning everyone is keen to  return to meetup with their new found team members and start fleshing out their ideas.

Lunchtime comes around really fast on the Saturday as teams are still working out what they are doing, establishing who their potential customers may be, who is having the problem they thought needed solving and if they can do what they said they wanted to do in Friday’s pitch.

Like saints, the Mentors arrive and help  teams work through any issues and help steer them back on track and share their experience and knowledge in the areas needed. Working on a Startup is hard at the best of times yet with a brand new team,  new found problem to solve and different personalities to deal with, it can be a challenge.

Saturday afternoon is pivot time. Nothing makes you decide what to do quicker  than the looming deadline of less than 24 hours to go. Some stick to their guns and keep on building. Others decide to ditch their original idea and pick a whole new problem to work with. Better late than never and invalid assumptions make it easier to get rid of things that aren’t working.

After being fed and watered again at dinner, the lack of sleep and too much coffee and sugar starts to take its toll.  It’s not uncommon to feel battered, bruised and brain fried at Startup Weekend.

8pm is dark hour.

I have seen it three times now at all 3 Startup Weekends here at River City Labs. Chocolate, cakes, lollies, tea and coffee help. With the highs come the lows and vise versa. 8pm is low and 9pm is high. The sugar kicks in and gives everyone a boost to keep going. Something happens around 10pm, tonight we had some high fives and big wins with teams seeing sign ups and real (new) customer interaction.

Each time I run a Startup Weekend I almost forget how tiring it is and I’m only the organiser, I am not even building a Startup. Everyone feels it,  some thrive and some crumble, but by Sunday night all the lows are forgotten and people want to know when the next event is.

This is what keeps us all going,  contagious energy.

Take a look at the photos so far.


We will live stream our Startup Weekend Brisbane final pitches on YouTube here.

Full winners details will be posted here after Sunday night October 26th.


Lead Organiser, Startup Weekend Brisbane

Peta Ellis