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.

State of the Australian startup ecosystem in 2015

Some of the key developments in the Australian startup landscape over the last year –

  • Wotif (ASX-listed travel booking) was acquired by US-based Expedia for A$703 million
  • Ezidebit (payments software) was acquired by US-based Global Payments for A$305 million
  • Campaign Monitor (email marketing software) raised the largest single funding round by an Australian tech company (A$320 million from US VC funds led by Insight Venture Partners)
  • Atlassian (collaboration tools for software developers) raised A$192 million from several US funds in preparation for an anticipated US public listing, valuing the company at A$4.2 billion. Atlassian also announced in Jan 2014 that it would domicile in the United Kingdom due to a combination of more favourable regulatory structures and greater access to investment.
  • Aconex (construction software) listed on the ASX, raising A$140 million and valuing the company at A$312 million
  • BigCommerce (e-commerce storefront software) raised a A$65 million funding round from US investors including SoftBank Capital and also Telstra Ventures, bringing the company’s total VC funding to A$162 million. BigCommerce is now headquartered in Austin, Texas.
  • Temando (e-commerce fulfilment software) received a A$50 million strategic investment from European mail and shipping solutions company Neopost, giving Neopost a majority stake in the company
  • Invoice2Go (mobile invoicing software) raised A$45m from US VC funds led by Accel Partners and Ribbit Capital
  • DesignCrowd (design crowdsourcing) raised a A$6 million funding round led by Australian VC fund AirTree Ventures
  • Nitro (cloud-based document editing) raised A$19 million from US VC fund Battery Ventures. Nitro moved from Melbourne to San Francisco in 2008 where it now employs 150 people.
  • LIFX (WiFi-connected LED light bulbs) raised A$15.6 million from US VC funds led by Sequoia Capital following a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in which it raised A$1.7 million in six days
  • Canva (design software) recruited Guy Kawasaki (chief evangelist and investor at Apple during late nineties)
  • SafetyCulture (workplace safety software) raised A$2.1 million in a round led by Atlassian cofounder Scott Farquhar and Blackbird Ventures
  • ingogo (taxi and mobile payments app) raised a A$9.1 million funding round, including $1.2 million from sophisticated investors through crowd equity platform VentureCrowd
  • Culture Amp (employee analytics) raised A$8 million from two US VC funds (Felicis Ventures and Index Ventures) and one Australian fund (Blackbird Ventures)

Startup Weekend comes to the Gosford Smart Work Hub

smart hub gosford 2   smart hub gosford

With spring just around the corner it seems fitting that the Gosford Smart Work Hub will be the site where new ideas will come to fruition as part of the Start Up Weekend Central Coast, September 18-20.

Already the home of innovation and collaboration, the Gosford Smart Work Hub will play host to budding entrepreneurs as they take over the facility to cultivate new businesses concepts for the future.

The Gosford Smart Work Hub is the perfect venue for Startup Weekend Central Coast, as it has all the technology to make the weekend a success. Access to the National Broadband Network, Wi-Fi, video conferencing as well as formal and informal meeting spaces and of course a kitchen and coffee where conversations occur and ideas are discussed.

Thank you to the Gosford City Council and the NSW Government as the Smart Work Hub is now a centre for innovation, entrepreneurship and growth right in the heart of Gosford and the Central Coast empowering local entrepreneurs, business people and teleworkers.


Fancy being a mentor for our startup weekend in September?

What is this about?

As a mentor or coach, you have the opportunity to share your knowledge with the startup community on the Central Coast

You may have heard that is coming to the Central Coast and we’re looking for mentors of many types; business people, designers, coders and marketers. Startup Weekend is a global collaborative movement that encourages people of all types to pitch or be part of a new startup project. It is run by enthusiastic volunteers and supporting businesses and organisations. Though we also need helpers of all sorts. In particular we need smart and wise heads that can guide our startup teams.
For more information check out the webiste, we think you’ll find we’re in a great space.

Do I need experience?

Yes you do. You may be experienced in a specific or a specialised part of business. If you remember how you felt when you were just starting out in your business that’s even better. We know you’ll understand the challenges that a new business startup faces. If you do we’re looking for you to help our startup weekend in Gosford on Sept 18-20.

What will mentors do?

Mentors are there to guide the startup teams over the course of the weekend. You won’t be expected to pick your favorite team, indeed you’ll be asked to spread your knowledge over all of the teams. Spend the weekend or just two hours, but your input will be of value to our startup teams, and you will meet lots of people too.

What sort of roles are these?

These are ‘for the love of it’ roles, in other words it’s voluntary.

Get involved

Please contact –

Article by David Abrahams

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