Ten Reasons to Start a Business as a Student

We all know the countless perks to being a student (eg. DISCOUNTS!). Anyone partially interested in business would also know the vast advantages to starting and owning your own business. Throw these factors together, and you’ve got the perfect combination and reasons why as a student you should start your own business! Let us share with you the top 10.


Let’s face it. It is undeniable that university students can (and most often always do) have additional time on their hands. Although we all desire to start our assignment the day they are given out, the reality is we do it in the last minute, and do it well. That’s why founding a startup during uni is perfect timing because unlike the real world (with real jobs and real working hours) you can manipulate your schedule to fit in around your business and still get done what you need to!


Universities have an incredible amount of resources available to students. These are not only limited to professors, academics, library subscriptions and successful alumni. But also, programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office suite, Solidworks and Github that are freely available for student use. After all, who doesn’t love freebies?


One of the best ways to learn is from others that have followed a similar path to you. Founding a Startup during university allows you to access a plethora of mentors willing to help. Don’t underestimate the power of the ‘student card’! Businesses are often a lot more willing to provide insights and valuable information to a student rather than a current or future competitor (Little do they know this is exactly what your going to become).


When you begin a startup, you need to test and redefine your idea and product over and over again. At universities, there are so many students around that can easily assist you with this!


In fact it’s probably actually a good thing to fail during university! Statistics say 92% of people’s first start-ups fail. Of course, we all dream to be in that 8% and become the next Facebook, Twitter etc but really failing in uni is probably the best place to do it! You learn fast, you don’t have to worry about mortgages, kids and other responsibilities and most importantly you are studying to create a feasible back up plan so not everything depends on the success of your startup!


Universities are massive places and so it’s often difficult to meet and find friends that have similar interests to you! Startup communities are a lot smaller (especially in Australia currently!) and are very collaborative and welcoming. The best way into a Startup community is to either be a founder of a startup, join a startup or attend startup weekends and workshops! The people you will meet will inspire you in what they are working on and the free food and drinks isn’t bad at events either!


Let’s not lie, saying that you have founded or co-founded a business does make you stand out from the crowd! Of course this should never be a sole reason to found a startup however. More importantly for potential employers it demonstrates that you have diligence, passion, most likely teamwork and management skills and have a commercial understanding. These are skills that are not easily gained during your average university course!


One of biggest difficulties getting into a startup after university is getting back into the learning mindset. As students you are told (and forced) to be an active learner by absorbing information and applying also to question what’s happening in the world. Think of exploring a startup as a brain exercise… that can make you billions.


Okay yes, contrary to what was said about it is okay to fail… it is always awesome great to get it right! Plus you will never get it right if you don’t give it a go. There have been countless student startups that have managed to successfully make their way into the success list.

10. ITS FUN!

Starting a business most definitely has its highs and lows and its inevitable stressful moments, however the passion that you will towards something and the time you put into it – actually makes it fun! Don’t mock it until you try it!

If this article has got you thinking – join us for Startup Hatch where you can test out being a student entrepreneur for a month and attend a series of awesome workshops!

After the Show Was Over- Some Facts & Videos From the Weekend

The 2016 Startup Weekend for Health Brisbane was another awesome event.

Videos were produced for the event that celebrated team journeys through the weekend for teams SIDLET (baby sleep pattern diagnostics), Mind your Mob (Assisting in Mental Health for Indigenous Australians), Working Mouse (a corporate team using the Weekend for employee training purposes) as well as interviews with participants, facilitators and mentors.

Check them out at  Youtube Startup Weekend for Health Brisbane Playlist

176 Tickets were sold inclusive of participants, organisers, volunteers, mentors, sponsor ticket and attendees for Friday and Sunday night pitching. 78 people participated as part of the Startup teams.

Participants came from a variety of backgrounds, including clinicians, researchers, students, non-technical and entrepreneurs. Most had NOT been to a startup weekend before and this was a fantastic opportunity to experience first hand the power of collaboration that comes with the Startup Weekend format.


ON the Friday, there were 33 idea pitches resulting in 12 teams being formed.

Pitch List

Most teams remained together throughout the weekend with a few adjustments.

The 12 teams pitched their new businesses on Friday night to an audience of approximately 130 people.

Final Pitches

Congratulations to the winners from the weekend, including:

  • Overall winner – Nom Nom Snap  – An app to derive nutrition information from photos of food.
  • Most innovative business – Sidlet – Infant Sleep Patterns
  • Most validated initiative – Mind Your Mob – indigenous Mental Health


We had some awesome sponsorship support. Many, many thanks to:

Sponsors T Shirt

Thanks to the 20 mentors who provided their free time to assist in the event. We bow down to your wisdom and support!


Many thanks to our judges Dr. Chris Zapalla (President of AMA Queensland), Mr. Steven Dahl (CEO, Smart Clinics), Dr. Judy Halliday (UniQuest) and Dr. Clarence Tan (Singularity University).

Judges judging


We raised some money as well – Four organisers / mentors also raised money for Leukaemia research at the event by participating in the World’s Greatest Shave initiative and shaving their heads on the Sunday, raising $4,500.

A Group Shave

Thanks to all the participants, mentors, organisers and sponsors for your brilliant support of this event!!

Bernie Woodcroft, Lead Organiser

CM CRC supporting Startup Weekend Health Brisbane and making big data work for health

CM CRC Callout
Startup Weekend for Health Brisbane

CM CRC supporting the Startup Weekend Health Brisbane and why big data is important in health.  Click here.

Samih Nabulsi explaining why Cook Medical is supporting the Startup Weekend for Health.

Cook Medical

Cook Medical’s General Manager Samih Nabulsi explaining why Cook Medical is supporting the next Startup Weekend for Health

IP Australia promotes the value of Startup Weekend for Health

IP Australia

Global Business Challenge and Health innovation

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 3.00.47 pmVideo of Dr Peter Bevan highlighting the challenge of health innovation

Dr Peter Bevan from QUT is organising the next Global Business Challenge later in 2016.  It focuses on Health as well. Check it out here www.2016gbc.org

Compete for the chance to win $AUD 325,000 in cash and prizes AND a host other possible benefits.

Maybe your health startup weekend idea can flourish and take out the Global Business Challenge!

If you are interested in the GBC, you should register so you can also be viewed by teams who may want to collaborate with you. Registration is free.  You just need to complete the 1 pager tech register page for you tech on the GBC website.

What is this health innovation weekend all about?

From Friday evening 11th March to Sunday 13th March 2016, Brisbane will be hosting Australia’s very second Startup Weekend for Health where up to 100 health entrepreneurs will spend 54 hours formulating and pitching a new health related business. The Weekend is not for profit and volunteer run.

Startup Weekends are designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. They are a global phenomenon that has seen over 1,000 events held in over 150 cities worldwide, see here. The weekend events are centred on action, innovation, and education.

Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through testing, business model development, and basic concept creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos to a panel of entrepreneurs and health experts. Participants are challenged with building functional startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. Queensland has already hosted 8 Startup Weekends across the state.

Australia’s first startup health weekend was held last year:

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The Big Challenge?

The event will be the first in Australia that specifically targets Health, and for good reason. The pressures on health innovation are clear: ageing population, chronic disease burden, escalating costs, mental health and indigenous health challenges. At the same time, shifts in technology – Internet, devices, mobility, genetics, cloud processing etc. – are enabling new health service paradigms projecting a 1 trillion dollar shift in health spending moving to innovation.

There will be massive change. It is imperative for Queensland to play its role in this innovation.

Startup Weekends are a way of doing just that.This will be the second Startup Weekend solely focused on Health in Australia! It will be hosted at Queensland’s iconic Translational Health Institute (TRI) co-situated with the PA Hospital in Brisbane.

Who does the Health innovation weekend target?

Health has a very broad definition and the organisers of the Weekend will be reaching out a broad range of sectors including: acute care and hospitals; General Practitioners; remote, mental and indigenous health; allied health; fitness and wellness providers, funders / insurers; aged care settings; and health researchers.

Cross collaboration is critical to new thinking and we will be seeking participants and coaches representing all of the above sectors as well as technologists and developers, designers and entrepreneurs from outside the health domain.

Who you’ll meet at Startup Weekend:

Participants in the Health Startup Weekend will come from a variety of backgrounds, such as: Clinicians | Healthcare professionals | Researchers | Non-Technical Entrepreneurs | Developers | Designers | Students

What you’ll get out of the event:

Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning a new skill or a new way of thinking. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.

Mentorship: Local health, tech and startup leaders participate and give feedback to participants.

Interact with the movers and shakers in your community.

Co-Founder Dating: The people who come to Startup Weekend are serious about learning how to build and launch startups. Create relationships that last long past the weekend.

Fun: During the weekend working alongside awesome people who share your ideas. Startup Weekend is meant to be fun and entertaining so enjoy it.

Solve local problems with your ideas. Do you think that one of your idea can change your town or have a positive impact in your group of people? Bring your idea notebook with you and start making a positive change in your local community.

Build Your Network: Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high quality, driven entrepreneurs- like you!

Learn New Skills: With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup

Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or give marketing a try. With nothing to lose there’s no reason not to step outside your comfort zone.

Learn How to Launch a Business (and Actually Do It!): Startup Weekend is the epitome of Lean Startup Methodology.

Get Access to Valuable Startup Resources: By participating in Startup Weekend you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Startup Weekend empty handed! Unique shirts and startup kit are in the bag thanks to our local and global sponsors.

Save Money: Startup Weekends are affordable ($99, only $49 for students). Your ticket includes meals, snacks, and all the coffee you can drink.

How will the weekend be publicised?

Organisers will be utilising both traditional media and social media channels to publicise the event. In parallel, we will be using channels from a range of health stakeholders both private and public to advertise the event. We will also be videoing the weekend so make yourself known.

Where do I sign up?

For more details and to purchase your ticket click here.

Thanks for your consideration!

Health Startup Weekend Organising Committee


Protecting IP

This is a great question and we get it quite a lot.  It demonstrates passion and personal commitment to innovation. While the topic will get discussed more fully at the Friday night introduction, here are some things to consider:

  1. Whoever pitches the idea needs to make their IP intentions clear to the team over the weekend.  It is really up to the idea owner to negotiate and be transparent with their team members.
  2. Most ideas have already been thought of somewhere in the world and it is those entrepreneurs that can execute well with laser customer / patient focus that will succeed.   The focus of the weekend is on executing and validating a business, not so much on the an invention or discovery specifically.
  3. There is of course a range of research knowledge and invention where inadvertent public disclosure can be a really big deal.  One way participants can deal with this at a Weekend is to wrap that knowledge inside a “secret sauce” package.  Just pitch that the package does something special without revealing any IP inside, and then focus the team on the weekend to use that package to build a business upon. Sometimes easier said than done :)
  4. There is also a possibility for you to bring along your own Non-disclosure Agreement and convince folk that want to join your idea to to signup (good luck with that!!).  As organisers, we will not be able to be a party to those Agreements or represent them as being appropriate and you may scare off possible collaborators.
  5. If in the end, you are really worried, then just don’t pitch the idea.  Bring along a different idea or join another team and learn through collaborating on their idea.  You will learn heaps about the startup process either way that you can then apply to your original idea later.

As a final comment, there is no formal protection for IP by the organisers at the Weekend.  It is a public event,  the pitches will be made to a public audience and you will be working in an open space with collaborators and mentors.  Keep any secret sauce up your sleeve.