Startup Weekend Brisbane | Creative Tech

    Friday, March 10 - 12, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Brisbane | Creative Tech

Friday, March 10 - 12, 2017

Friday, March 10 - 12, 2017
Event starts at 6:00 pm

QUT Creative Industries Precinct - Z9 Building, Ground Floor
Gona Parade
Cnr Musk Avenue/Kelvin Grove Rd), Kelvin Grove
Brisbane, Queensland 4059

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Startup Weekend Brisbane | Creative Tech | 10-12 March 2017

Calling all hackers, hustlers and hipsters!

Do you have a bright idea that could disrupt an industry? Know how to turn problems into solutions? Think you have what it takes to launch a business idea in a weekend? Then, listen up. QUT Creative Enterprise Australia will host Australia’s only Startup Weekend for Creative Tech!

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where hackers, hustlers and hipsters from creative and tech come together to make their business idea a reality. It's a high energy weekend, where you'll be able to meet new people, pitch an idea or join a team, and launch a business, all in one weekend!

Join forces with other developers, designers, entrepreneurs and technologists to build real solutions to the world's most pressing problems in just one crazy weekend and get a taste of what it's like to be an entrepreneur! Fuelled by knowledge, passion, enthusiasm (and some great food and drink!), it’s a fantastic way to make great ideas happen. So come join us, and bring your idea to life!

What you'll get with your ticket...

  • 7 delicious meals over the course of the weekend
  • Snacks and refreshments
  • Free Startup Weekend t-shirt
  • Opportunity to pitch in front of top founders
  • Access to some of the Australia's best startup mentors
  • A network of new local developer, designer, educator, student & entrepreneur friends 
  • Creative coworking space in the heart of QUT's Creative Industries Precinct
  • Opportunity to win some cool prizes
  • An awesome portfolio piece

What is creative tech?

In its simplest form, creative tech is the intersection of creative enterprise with technology. It combines technology, psychology, art and design to create immersive, personalised and multi-sensory experiences. Through the interplay of cross-cutting ideas in art, fashion, screen, advertising, product design, digital media, multimedia, games, computing, robotics, engineering and electronics, creative-tech is connecting the physical and digital world in completely new ways.

Areas where creative entrepreneurs are at the forefront of tech adoption include:
  • Wearable technology
  • Digital media and music
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Internet of things
  • Virtual marketplaces
  • 3D printing
  • Robotics
  • Multi-sensory experiences
Right across the sector, creative tech startups are continually one step ahead of the zeitgeist as new technology is developed with a creative mindset. While the potential of this new arena is still being fully realised, already companies including Canva, Oculus Rift, Shoes of Prey and Holition are leading the way.

These organisations operate on scalable models that not only improve accessibility to their products and services, but also deliver integrated user experiences. And this is just the beginning.

Is my idea or solution relevant to creative tech?

This Startup Weekend is designed to collide new ways of combining creative and technical skills to create cross-disciplinary business ideas in a fun and interactive way. We encourage ideas across a wide range of areas including art, fashion, screen, advertising, product design, digital media, multimedia, games, computing, robotics, engineering, and electronics.

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Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday March 10th

6:00 pm
Doors open
Doors open ready for registration to begin

6:30 pm
Register your name and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday March 11th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday March 12th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Mark Sowerby
Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur

Mark Sowerby is the Founder of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited, an ASX listed (ASX: BLA) alternative asset manager investing across private equity, venture capital, private real estate, water, infrastructure, hedge funds and agriculture. Established in 2006 as a Queensland based startup, Blue Sky has invested expansion and venture capital in more than 30 Australian companies, pioneered investment in Australia’s water rights markets, and launched the world’s first listed diversified alternatives fund (ASX: BAF). With more than $2.4 billion in assets under management, Blue Sky has delivered net investment returns to investors of 16.7% per annum compounding since inception. Mark serves on the Board of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Racing Queensland, and was recently appointed by the Premier as Queensland’s first Chief Entrepreneur. 

Cole Wilkinson
Partner at Pitcher Partners

Cole has a depth of experience working with clients ranging from start up technology ventures to large private companies and Australian subsidiaries of international listed corporations. His services provided to these clients go beyond the required compliance activities, with an in-depth understanding of their business and industry allowing Cole to provide more meaningful advice on a variety of financial management, business and taxation matters. This deep understanding of client’s affairs also provides a stronger base to assist clients with the capital raising process, 3 way modelling and other management reporting requirements to assist them in building successful businesses.

Elaine Stead
Investment Director at Blue Sky Funds

Elaine is the Investment Director at Blue Sky Venture Capital and is responsible for the management of the Blue Sky venture capital fund and portfolio for Blue Sky. Established in 2012, the venture capital division has expanded to bear its second fund, VC2014, and over $40 million in assets under management across a broad range of industry sectors.

Elaine has worked for a number of years as a venture capitalist and management consultant to the venture and industry across Australia and the United States. As an Investment Manager at CM Capital Investments, a venture capital fund with $250 million under management and a dual focus on healthcare and digital technology, Elaine focused on investment origination, portfolio management as well as portfolio company performance. Elaine has also worked in strategic management consulting, with both NASDAQ and ASX listed and private companies based in Australia and the US.

Originally trained as a stem cell biologist, Elaine has since spent the last decade within the innovation and investment spectrum, initially in technology commercialisation assisting public institutions and founders translate and commercialise their technology across a broad range of industry sectors including agriculture, healthcare and IT.

John Hummelstad
CEO/Chairman at Concept Safety Systems

John has more than 25 years of experience in the corporate development sector, assisting businesses, both nationally and internationally, to recognise their potential and to expand globally.

His interest is focused on identifying and mentoring high growth companies; assisting on the journey from product, through funding rounds, identifying and executing strategic opportunities with some of the world biggest tech companies to meaningful exits crystallising shareholder returns.  

Whilst highly skilled in business development, John is also experienced in the software and IT industry having worked for global corporations including IBM Software Group Asia Pacific, IBM Venture Capital and Microsoft Venture Capital and Serena Software.

He continues to be actively involved in bettering Australia’s technology industry and by offering ongoing assistance to several of the nation’s leading software companies including non-executive director roles in:  Ephox Corporation (Palo Alto), Revelian Pty Ltd (Brisbane), Chairman and CEO of Concept Safety Systems (Brisbane), Director - Independent Capital Partners and Chairman of Hummingbird House Children’s Charity (Brisbane).

He holds a Masters Degree from Macquarie Graduate School, Executive Leadership Certificate – London Business School and Leadership 21 Program Mt Eliza Business School.

Rowena Barrett
Professor and Head, School of Management, QUT Business School, QUT

Professor Rowena Barrett is an expert in thinking innovatively and being entrepreneurial to get things done. She leads QUT Entrepreneurship, a whole-of-university initiative to provide and connect learning opportunities enabling all QUT students and staff to develop their entrepreneurship mindset, capability and competence.
Rowena is an experienced and authentic leader who brings integrity, purpose and commitment to engaging people across many domains inside and outside the university around entrepreneurship.  She brings academic and practical understanding of motivations and drivers for entrepreneurship. She seeks to ensure QUT plays a key role in the widerQueensland entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Coaches and Mentors

Ian Perkins
CEO & Chief Strategic Advisor at Blurb Consulting

Ian is the Chief Strategic Officer of Blurb Consulting, a Brisbane based boutique strategic advisory business. He has 32 years’ experience in the fashion industry and has assisted companies in a myriad of industries, to position or reposition their brands in the marketplace and provide strategic advice towards building long term, profitable business solutions. Ian has had the privilege to mentor designers who have participated in CEA’s Fashion Accelerator, which have gone on to run successful fashion businesses. His first hand knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the industry, provide members with an honest and realistic view on what is required to position their products into the market.

Marius Ursache
Founder & CEO at Eternime

Marius received his MD degree but quit the medical field after graduation. He founded Grapefruit, one of Romania’s first digital agencies that has won over 25 international design awards. After leaving Grapefruit in 2014, he founded Eternime, a startup that collects and preserves the thoughts, stories and memories of people through intelligent avatars for eternity. He has also built the Digital Entrepreneurship Toolbox, an online tool used by over 3,000 startups and investors, based on the book Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet, a 24 step framework to product-market fit. He has mentored entrepreneurs at the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamps, Singularity University and at startup accelerators around the world.

Dr Tim MacTaggart
Chief Entrepreneur-in-Residence at QUTbluebox

Dr Tim MacTaggart has 25 years’ experience in business, including cleantech technology commercialisation and startup creation.  He is currently the QUTbluebox Chief Entrepreneur in residence and founder of an IoT startup, Smart Sensor Technologies.  With particular strengths in hardware commercialisation, startup formation, mentoring and program management, Tim brings a strong execution focus to QUTbluebox’s startup support programs, including as the manager of the University’s premier accelerator program and QUT Foundry co-working spaces. 

Philippe Ceulen
Head of Programs

Philippe is passionate about communities and technology. Cambodia was his home for the most part of his professional life, where he was active in building the startup ecosystem and running his coworking space The 1961. He co-founded the travel tech startup WOW, worked with Airbnb to grow the Cambodian market and has been a volunteer with Techstars for several years. His current focus is on accelerator programs for creative tech startups at Creative Enterprise Australia.

Jeremy Jones
Director - Business Advisory Services at Pitcher Partners

Over seventeen years in public practice Jeremy has continued to broaden his skill set to gain experience in all aspects of accounting, taxation and business advisory. Combining a solid knowledge of the taxation laws with a strong commercial footing, Jeremy is quickly able to gain the trust of his clients. His areas of expertise lie in assisting family owned businesses determine, and then achieve, their financial goals. By working with his clients he is able to structure their financial affairs to balance protecting the family assets gainst minimising the impacts of taxation, all the while accumulating wealth. In every case, Jeremy’s aim is to become the trusted advisor for life.

Darren Tonkin
Founder of Storyboard

Darren’s passion for business started from a young age where he would sell collectables to his peers at school and online.  He found his passion for creative technology in early 2016 when he started building Storyboard. Releasing the first beta in September 2016. In the first month of beta testing Storyboard appeared on the front page of the Apple App Store as part of ‘Apps we Love’ and had thousands of users. Storyboard was also nominated in the 2016 Tropical North Queensland Innovation Awards, winning the Mayor’s Inspire Award. Darren was named the winner of Creative Business Cup Australia with Storyboard and travelled to Denmark to represent Australia in the international competition.

Darren stayed in Europe and launched Storyboard internationally as well as releasing the android version. Having successfully launched internationally, Darren has experience in international expansion and marketing campaigns. One such campaign was ‘Light Up Taipei’ which saw Storyboard broadcasted across Taiwan’s largest television network, with thousands of users and Storyboard taking over Taipei’s New Year’s celebrations.

Ben Wood
Senior Associate at McCullough Robertson Lawyers

Ben has a broad range of experience in assisting clients with issues relating to corporations and securities law, with a particular focus on public and private capital raisings, mergers and acquisitions and restructures.
Ben has assisted clients across a range of sectors including financial services, life sciences, technology, food and agribusiness, health, and resources. This has included acting for ASX listed and large unlisted public companies, small to large proprietary companies, and early stage companies.

Ben is originally from the UK and is also admitted as a lawyer in England and Wales.

Kaye Petherick
Director, External Relations, Creative Industries Faculty, QUT

Kaye’s background is as a project manager and  consultant delivering strategic planning, regional economic and industry development planning, market assessments and feasibility studies in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Europe and Japan.   Kaye has managed a range of projects in both the private and public sector in Queensland including in tourism, education, professional services, property development and the arts. Kaye joined QUT in 2001 and was part of QUT’s project management team for the Kelvin Grove Urban Village project until she took up a position in the Creative Industries Faculty in 2009.  In her roles with the Faculty, Kaye’s responsibilities have included business development, commercial consultancies, corporate education, continuing studies, partnerships and external engagement.

Gary Morgan
Executive Director at MPT Innovation Group & Founder of People Insights

Gary Morgan creates outcomes for his clients by helping them to develop their innovation and business strategies, capabilities and capacity to introduce new or improved product and service offerings, in order to create impact, grow their businesses and create value. An experienced board director, He has over 20 years experience as an executive and consultant developing and driving innovation, strategy, business performance, international collaboration and growth in organisations. Gary Morgan is currently managing director of MPT Innovation Group, a private company specializing in digital innovation, strategy and value creation, and founder and CEO of People Insights Group, a performance technology and consulting company. 

Martine Cotton
Director at Music Industry Inside Out

Martine Cotton is the founder and director of the music industry's go-to professional development education website, Music Industry Inside Out. She's been kicking around live music since she was 17 and worn many many different hats over the years, including artist manager, venue manager, booking agent, festival booker, stage manager, tour promoter, tour manager, professional photographer, event manager, website builder, social media and marketing manager and consultant, music industry educator and mentor. Martine also works at Splendour in the Grass in her spare time. All of these roles have been fuelled by a life-long passion for music, the arts, technology, innovation and the creative community.

Xavier Keary
Lawyer at McCullough Robertson Lawyers

Xavier Keary is a corporate lawyer at McCullough Robertson, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets.  Xavier has worked with disruptors across a range of sectors including HR, real estate and finance. Prior to working at McCullough Robertson, Xavier worked for a start-up in Berlin, Germany, where he oversaw Business Development for English-speaking markets. 

Thuy Nguyen
Fashion Development Manager, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia

A true advocate for the Australian fashion industry, Thuy Nguyen has devoted more than 20 years to her trade and to the development of fashion entrepreneurs. Thuy immersed herself in the textile clothing and footwear industries working for many varied fashion companies. At the same time she was operating a bridal couture business then positioned herself to become a Vocational Education Trainer (VET). Soon, all of her career choices shaped a pathway that naturally transitioned into her current position of Fashion Development Manager for QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA).Thuy says that CEA became the environment she needed to transfer all the knowledge and skills that she had accumulated over the years into promoting and driving early stage fashion startups and emerging designers. With a dedicated space for creating fashion and being able to mentor one-to-one with designers and through a range of workshops, the last six years with CEA have been a wonderfully fast-paced journey for Thuy. Her specialist areas include design and range planning, styling, sampling, production management and also pattern development and specialised grading. Her expertise has moved across a diverse market from women’s, men’s and children’s fashion attire to corporate wear, swimwear, active wear and through to exclusive couture one-offs. Combined with an analytical mind, Thuy pays meticulous attention to detail and possesses excellent competency in her technical expertise. Her passion for ensuring that our future fashion creatives understand the necessary components required to produce a quality, market ready fashion brand, is ingrained from the first day they walk into the StitchLab until the day they unveil their final concept for market. Aside from the extraordinary commitment, Thuy has demonstrated to the industry and to our past and present designers, she’s also one of the truest people you’ll ever meet and a real asset to the CEA team.

Tyson Young
Co-founder at Zero Blink

Tyson is the Client Relations Manager and Co-founder of Brisbane based digital agency, Zero Blink. As a lover of all things digital, he’ll never pass an opportunity to talk tech and strategy. He’s an experienced motion graphics and app designer which blend seamlessly to create engaging, thought provoking and exciting digital experiences. 

Johnny Cheng
Co-Founder & CEO at Amity

Johnny Cheng is the co-founder and CEO of Amity, the interactive messaging app featured on news publications around the world including TechCrunch, New York Times, and Gizmodo.   

Amity enables a new level of human interaction. It’s the first interactive messaging app to introduce Live Mode, where special features unlock when two or more people are in the conversation together. Amity introduces new layers of communication with interactive messages, high fives, the ability to request photos, videos, and locations, and much more – all in one complete app.

Mark Gustowski
Chief Executive Officer, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia

With over a decade of corporate advisory and management consulting experience, Mark has supported businesses through the development of B2B and B2C strategies, marketing and sales strategies, IP strategies, channel management and identification, capital raising, corporate structuring and partnering. Mark has also been involved in the development of four start-ups and has successfully run his own commercialisation advisory firm supporting fast-growth and innovation based companies prior to joining the CEA team. Previously, Mark has been responsible for driving international business development for a major UK based design and engineering firm including working on major projects such as London2012 and more recently has assisted the iconic Tonino Lamborghini brand build an Australian presence. Across Australia Mark has worked with over 1,500 businesses across almost all industry verticals and currently sits on the Advisory Board of a number of creative industries, innovation, FMCG and technology companies. Mark is passionate about supporting Australian businesses compete in global markets, has been an Australian Anthill Maven judge, is a Victorian Leaders Forum mentor and following his BAppSci completed the Venture Capital Executives Program at the HAAS Business School (UC Berkeley) on a Victorian Employer’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) scholarship.

Tylor Stewart
Chief Technology Officer at Fabric & Lead Developer at Binary Orange

Tylor is a Brisbane-based CTO of fintech startup, Fabric. He spent the earlier part of his life in a rural town, where he ran an IT business before moving to Brisbane. In the last few years, he has embedded himself in the Brisbane tech community, picked up a degree just for fun, and, most notably, helped found Code Network as the inaugural Vice President.  

Currently, Tylor is interested in financial data aggregation and the prospects it brings for both developers and users. It was this interest that led him to become cofounder and CTO of Fabric.  

Despite his quickly disappearing schedule, Tylor still makes time to attend local tech and startup events, where he engages with the community that brought him to where he is. Before startup life took over, Tylor took great pride in being a CoderDojo Mentor where his passion for seeing practical coding education come to the younger generation began.

Nick McLeod
Patent Attorney at Davies Collison Cave

Nick is a patent attorney specialising in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in the areas of engineering, electronic devices and computer software, including their application to the medical field.   Nick graduated from the University of Adelaide with a double degree in Mechatronic Engineering and Maths and Computer Science in 2005 and worked in the defence industry for several years before becoming a patent attorney. After working for several years as a patent attorney in Adelaide, Nick moved to Brisbane to join the Engineering practice at Davies Collison Cave.   Nick has experience working across a range of technologies in the medical device field including matters relating to diagnostic systems, drug delivery technologies, electronic monitoring systems, orthopaedic implants, and bioelectrical impedance analysis.

Zac Fitz-Walter
Co-Founder — Eat More Pixels

Dr. Zac Fitz-Walter is a user experience designer who believes that we can learn a lot from video games. He takes the most popular games and unpacks them, looking at how they effectively align with motivational science and research. He uses gamification design techniques and principles to help make tasks more engaging and motivating. He’s applied gamification to many different areas including training, education, health, wellbeing, business and HR.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Brisbane | Creative Tech team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Signature Sponsors

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) helps start, grow, scale and connect creative companies as Australia’s leading creative accelerator and investment fund. Since 2008, CEA has helped establish more than 70 startups, supported over 500 creative industries businesses and raised over $60 million in investment.

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Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Brisbane is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • QUT
  • Anna
  • Mark
  • Jacqueline
  • Ashton
  • Brittany


Aaron Birkby
EIR @ RCL Accelerator

Entrepreneur In Residence at River City Labs Accelerator powered by muru-D.  Co-founder and CEO of Silicon Lakes. Startup Weekend Australia. Weekly tech segment on ABC Coast FM.14 businesses, 4 successful exits.

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