Startup Weekend Toowoomba – Tourism & Events takes on a Science Flavour

On June 16th – 18th in Toowoomba we tackle the verticals of Tourism & Events.

One of our sponsors would like to see what we can raise in regards to Science Tourism. But what is Science Tourism?

Science Tourism is a proposed area of focus for existing and new tourism experiences. It refers both to the intentional development of a strong science narrative that could be woven into the wealth of tourism experiences already available, and the exploration of new opportunities for visitors to learn, experience and appreciate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation through rich tourism experiences.

The Challenge over the weekend for interested entrepreneurs is to develop “new experiences” or include science into “existing experiences” to create new Science Tourism or Science events.

The opportunity exists throughout much of Australia to expand our tourism narrative and promote and package tourism products in new ways. By working collaboratively with STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) providers and Tourism Operators, Inspiring Australia would like to explore how tourism products can help meet two major outcomes:

  1. Increase science engagement in the wider community
  2. Realise economic benefit from growth in tourism income and audience, through enhanced STEM content in new and existing products

Examples of current Australian “science tourism” experiences that could be incorporated into the strategy:

Description Australian Examples
Science Centre

Science museums that emphasise a hands-on approach, featuring interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to experiment and explore.


Questacon (Canberra,ACT),

CSIRO Discovery Centre (Canberra, ACT),

Science Centre & Planetarium (Wollongong, NSW),

Scitech Discovery Centre (Perth, WA),

Phenomena Factory (Inveresk, Tasmania),

Imaginarium (Devonport, Tasmania)

Zoo/aquarium/wildlife park

An establishment which maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation or display to the public


National Zoo and Aquarium (Canberra, ACT),

Taronga Zoo (Sydney, NSW),

Taronga Western Plains Zoo (Dubbo, NSW),

Crocodylus Park (Darwin, NT),

Australia Zoo (Bewong, QLD),

Adelaide Zoo (SA),

Healesville Sanctuary (VIC),

Werribee Open Plains Zoo (VIC),

Perth Zoo (WA)

Bushwalking in National and State Parks

An area of land (or occasionally sea or fresh water) protected by the state for the enjoyment of the general public and preservation of wildlife and vegetation. Sometimes have additional visitor centres and interpretive signage


Royal National Park (Sydney, NSW),

Flinders Ranges National Park (SA),

Koscuiszko National Park (NSW),

Purnululu National Park (WA),

Kakadu National Park (NT)

Examples of international science tourism experiences:

ETH Zurich uses the celebrity of its alumni to attract visitors, industry and prospective students, and then engages them in a program of curated learning opportunities to reinforce its status as a world-leading university. The university promotes itself as an iconic Swiss destination upholding national values, and offering cultural and gastronomic experiences with excellent facilities and customer service.
Space X (USA) was founded to revolutionise space technology, with the ultimate goal of

enabling people to live on other planets. The company uses public engagement to reinforce its corporate mythology and in turn inspire its current and future employees. The research facility’s design is futuristic and was used as a location for the sci-fi film Iron Man, giving it celebrity status for Marvel Comics fans. The company uses this celebrity status in its marketing. The facility is only open to visitors with an inside contact, but this exclusivity builds its appeal for ‘box ticking’ fans and science enthusiasts alike.

Ecoventura runs guided package tours to the Galapagos Islands. Tourists experience wildlife of this famous national park through adventure activities and enjoy the exclusivity of small and private group cruising. The company goes to considerable lengths to promote its environmental credentials, but is not a science-based organisation. This integrated business manages and monetises all aspects of the package. In 2016 the United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimated Nature Tourism accounts for 20% of total international travel and continues to grow.

So to be in the running for fortune and fame join us at Startup Weekend Tourism & Events. To compete for the Science prize launch a startup in the Science Tourism Space.

Audacious Ideas is what we're all about in Toowoomba this November

Startup Weekend Toowoomba
November 13th, 2015

This is Startup Weekend “Audacious Ideas”

Our Third Startup Weekend here in Toowoomba is shaping to be the best yet.

If you are even remotely interested in Entrepreneurship, Startups, Business creation, Design Thinking, Marketing or just being around awesome people doing awesome stuff.

Feedback from past Startup Weekends is that they can be life changing. They are mostly about learning about agile lean business startup ideas where you find out the importance of the pitch! Validating your ideas! And executing a minimum viable product, all inside 48 hours.

teams prizes awards

We really hope that the people who participate in Startup Weekend Toowoomba this years get the most they possibly can out of the event. By experiencing the thrill/nervousness of pitching an idea on Friday night, creating a team, the challenge of seeking true validation of the concepts and basis that idea is based on and then the pressure cooker of putting together a final pitch on Sunday for the Judges that evening.

event meal catering

We have a great line up of mentors ranging from experienced entrepreneurs, past Startup weekend alumni and local business leaders.

As this Startup Weekend is a part of Global Startup Battle all participants have the potential to enter their startup ideas into the global competition where they may win fabulous prizes that could even see them pitching at major events around the globe.

Startup Weekend Toowoomba – LEARN, NETWORK, STARTUP


Shark Tank raising Startup potential for the Darling Downs

Shark Tank’s Steve Baxter is judging and supporting the local event
Shark Tank’s Steve Baxter is judging and supporting the local event

A shark from popular entrepreneurial show Shark Tank is coming to Toowoomba this weekend.

Steve Baxter, one of Australia’s most successful tech entrepreneurs is judging Startup Weekend Education, alongside local entrepreneur Chris Mills.

Organiser and Startup Toowoomba founder David Masefield is excited about the growth opportunities of the event, “we are running an education themed Startup Weekend this time round which will teach entrepreneurship and create new opportunities and technology in education and learning”.

“Building on the success of last year’s event, we are extremely lucky to be supported in the weekend by the likes of Steve, Chris and The Glennie School who have come on board early after seeing the potential for the weekend”.

The three day event kicks off on Friday night, 15th May at The Glennie School with dinner and pitches. A dual stream event, the Startup Weekend will operate with a Youth track, for budding entrepreneurs aged 18 and under, and an Education track, for education-related concepts.

The Glennie school leaders pose with Startup Toowoomba after hacking out their pitch ideas for Startup Weekend Education
The Glennie School leaders pose with Startup Toowoomba after hacking out their pitch ideas for Startup Weekend Education

“It gives participants the chance to pitch ideas that they think will make a difference and hack them out over the weekend long competition”, said co-founder Leanne Griffin.

“We are seeing change all over the world with young people really driving exciting new ventures. We have the same hopes for this Startup Weekend, a chance to improve education and change learning”, Ms Griffin said.

Based on Silicon Valley style learning, the lean startup style approach is a global initiative that is used by the world’s leading companies and entrepreneurs.

“This really is a fantastic opportunity for Toowoomba, especially with Steve and Chris alongside. As one of the five sharks on Shark Tank, and a very experienced entrepreneur and investor, Steve knows what it takes”, said Mr Masefield.

 Tickets for the event are still available from

Startup Weekend Toowoomba venue is the GRID : Hybrid Arts Collective

Startup Toowoomba are very pleased to announce that they will be holding the first Startup Weekend Toowoomba at “the GRID : Hybrid Arts Collective, an awesome venue right in the middle of town. It’s a space that absolutely oozes creativity with oodles of room for building new businesses and social enterprises across a weekend.


David Masefield & Leanne Griffin, founder of Startup Toowoomba are seen below casing the joint and bringing bags of great ideas into one of the spaces at the GRID. This space is sometimes home to a circus school so if your business idea is a balancing act or consists of juggling your time then Startup Weekend Toowoomba is right for you.  The GRID has incubated several successful Toowoomba business startups in creative industries and are just as excited as we are to be the venue of choice for Startup Weekend Toowoomba.

grid 1

Want tickets to Startup Weekend Toowoomba then you can get them right here : Startup Weekend Toowoomba is Awesome! 14th November – 16th November for GSB & GEW.


Toowoomba's First Startup Weekend – You can be a part of history and Start a new Business

SW toowoomba beakerStartup Weekend Toowoomba
November 14th, 2014

What part of the story will you play when Startup Weekend rolls into Toowoomba for the first time ever?

Will you be able to say that you created a new business in 54 hours?

  • That you met some amazing friendly and talented people this weekend?
  • That you found out that you were more talented in more areas than you thought?
  • or you learnt new methods that you had never tried before to start a business?
  • Perhaps you found a team of like minded people who helped you develop the basis of that social enterprise you have wanted to launch for the last few years?
  • Could it just be that you really enjoyed the vibrant fast paced atmosphere?
  • Maybe you’re a mentor or coach and you found that you got more out of the event by far than you put in?

I know for a fact that you will…

  • Meet new people and make great friends.
  • Learn much more than you ever thought you would.
  • Be fed and watered on a regular basis with good food and drinks.
  • Have more fun developing an idea than you know how to measure.
  • Most of you will cheer, laugh and shout, some of you will yell and some will cry.
  • Some of you will declare Startup Weekend to be the best weekend ever!
  • and I know….for a fact that all of you will have a hell of a story to tell after the 1st Startup Weekend Toowoomba.

Be there or miss out!  from someone who has been there before.

cheers, David Masefield (Toowoomba SW Organiser)

PS. They say a picture tells a 1000 words – here’s 4 from Startup Weekends around the world…Sunshine Coast, Melbourne, Seattle USA and  Gaza, it’s truly global. They certainly look like they’re having fun! And you will too!

SW Seattle
SW Seattle
SW Sunshine Coast
sw adelaide
SW Adelaide
SW Gaza