Global Startup Weekend Women - Brisbane

    Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Global Startup Weekend Women - Brisbane

Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018

Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018
Event starts at 5:30 pm

River City Labs
Level 3, 315 Brunswick St
Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006

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Women. Girl Geeks. Developers. Designers. Marketers. Business Folk.

This is a call for you to get your idea off the ground surrounded by like minded women.Startup Weekend women is your chance to collaborate and get involved with a group of motivated individuals who are hell-bent on disrupting their industry of choice.The event is aimed at female participants however men are welcome to participate, mentor and encouraged to get involved.

About Startup Weekend Brisbane Women:
Women have a unique and fresh take on design, development and creation, which we feel is vital to the growth and evolution of startup companies. We know that the women of Brisbane are full of creative and entrepreneurial talent, and in a safe environment that inspires risk taking and innovation we know they will create something amazing.

We are a passionate group of female entrepreneurs who decided to come together and design a new experience to welcome and empower creative, talented and curious women. 
Startup Weekend Brisbane Women is currently seeking sponsors and volunteers. Please contact Tarryn Thiele if you would like to support this event:

What are you waiting for? Found a company, find a co-founder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside your usual 9-to-5. You are guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. Put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now.

Refund Policy: No refunds will be granted within 7 days of the event if food and drink have already been ordered. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Friday February 9th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the River City Labs and get checked in

5:45 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:30 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:45 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:30 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalise 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

11:30 pm
Doors Shut
Go Home

Saturday February 10th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Lean Startup Workshop
Presented by Aaron Birkby. Recommended attendance for all participants.

12:30 pm
Lunch & Check In

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

6:30 pm
Dinner & Check-In

11:30 pm
Finished for the day. Go Home

Sunday February 11th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Pitch Workshop
Each member of the team pitching should be attending this workshop run by Mentor-in-Residence Peter Laurie.

10:00 am
Last mentoring session… ASK QUESTIONS

12:30 pm

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
Final Presentations

7:00 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm
Wrap-Up & Go Home

Event Judges

Steve Baxter
Entrepreneur, investor, and ‘Shark’ on Shark Tank Australia

Tech start-up multi-millionaire Steve Baxter is a proud Queenslander, born in the remote town of Cloncurry and raised in Emerald in the State’s central highlands. 

He left school at 15 and joined the Army, enlisting in its apprenticeship program. There, he became an engineer working in the field of electronics, telecoms and guided weapon systems.

In 1994, at the age of 23, Steve put his life savings of $11,000 on the line to launch his first start-up, the pioneering internet service provider SE Net, from the spare room of his Adelaide home.Servicing more than 35,000 customers, SE Net was eventually acquired by Ozemail/UUNet under the stewardship of its founding Director and now Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

In 2001, Steve teamed with a schoolmate to launch his second start-up, PIPE Networks. Eight years later they sold it to the TPG Group for $373 million.Steve spent a year working with Google in California in 2008, leading a project to deliver high-speed telecommunications systems across North America.In the past three years he has become a major early-stage investor in Australian start-ups, helping to launch a host of companies which together boast a valuation of more than $100 million.

Three years ago, Steve launched River City Labs in Brisbane, a leading co-working community to encourage entrepreneurs in Queensland.

In 2013 he co-founded Right Pedal Studios, a mobile gaming accelerator, and StartupAUS an advocacy group for Australian tech startups.

In 2015, Steve joined SharkTankAU as one of the 5 "Shark" investors. 

Sel Watts

Known to many simply as Sel, I am Sue-Ellen Watts. I have disrupted the HR industry pretty much since
my career began over 17 years ago. My team and I match vision with action to enable our clients to bring
the power of commercial HR into their boardrooms, to their lunch rooms and beyond. We love to deliver
results with gutsy honesty married with commercial prowess.
Launching my Brisbane-based HR business wattsnext in 2007, it has been a steep learning curve to say
the least. I started my Brisbane office at aged 30 just months before the 2008 global financial crisis with
no business plan, no financial backing, no local connections and no family support – and a newborn baby!
Never one to let the odds defeat me, I am proud of the past decade and all its big lessons.
Fast forward to today, my Founder and CEO role at wattsnext is backed up by solid expertise in advising
CEO’s and Founders on people related challenges and opportunities. I have a true understanding of what
it takes to grow a business and a love and passion for entrepreneurialism.
wattsnext also would not be successful today if it wasn’t for our incredible team of experts who are
committed to our clients. The team can be best described as forward-thinking and results-driven HR
ninjas; who strategise, innovate, engage and get things done!
Due to this awesome team I have been able to fuel my entrepreneurial flame by undertaking my most
recent start-up Scrappi. Scrappi is a reverse incubator with the purpose of building scalable, global tech
businesses that enable intrapreneurs to be part of the world of entrepreneurship. We recently launched
our first startup Your Secret Sauce which was successful crowdfunded.
I am open about my shortcomings when it comes to official qualifications, having dropped out of
university three times. Needless to say, there is power in admitting that traditional education and
traditional paths to fulfilment and success are not my forte.
In spite of this, I have a deep love of learning and that is what I offer those around me in spades. As a self-
confessed personal and professional development addict, I have gained my knowledge from hundreds of
external sources including many hours of coaching, mentoring, courses, workshops, and travel, reading,
conferences and networking gatherings.
With the current celebration of the modern day ‘entrepreneur’, it is my view that we need to debunk the
glamour and myths around what this buzz word really means. Some entrepreneurs are born and some,
like me, are made, and neither is better or worse. I am however very proud to have been recognized as a
finalist in the Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Awards and the Owner Manager of the Year at the
Australian Institute of Management Awards.
For me, being an entrepreneur has meant always carving my own path and making a positive ‘dent’ in the
world. It is about living life on my own terms and always exploring the new. Never giving up and staying
hungry in every aspect of my career and beyond.
Over nearly a decade, I have opened offices in Brisbane and Sydney and my big dream is to give to New
York someday in some way, a place where I find inner calm, crystal clear focus and a strong sense of
belonging every time I visit the city….which is a lot!
Watch this space! For now, I am focused on continuing my role as Founder with wattsnext whilst I also
work with the Scrappi team on our exciting startups as well as my continued love of travel and increasing
my global education. Staying curious drives, me to always strive for more.

I also am a proud mother to three sons who are learning a lot about resilience, gratitude, visualising
dreams, never settling and striving for a dream with everything they have!

Simone Joyce
Managing Director

Simone has operated at many ends of the digital industry and corporate spectrum - from locally and internationally seed-funded startup founder in Brisbane and Dubai, to Operations Manager of an Australian Franchise, to Chief Strategy Officer of a cross-border digital payments company.   

Through her consultancy partnership, Simone has provided advice on digital business growth, commercial model and structure to a range of large enterprise and SME clients. 

An accomplished business leader and public speaker, in 2014 Simone was recognized as a finalist in the national Rexona Business Women's Forum, has been awarded the Rivercity Labs CUA sponsored entrepreneur program in 2015 and been accepted into UQ's germinate program and Dubai's Turn8 Accelerator program.  

Simone is currently co-founder and managing director of a digital payments company poised to bring payment solutions to the auto industry and attack problems endemic to the direct debit industry.  She continues to advise, judge and mentor other nascent business leaders.

Coaches and Mentors

Peter Laurie
Startup Mentor

Peter is a software engineering professional who focuses on delivery of projects to a high level of quality in an effective, efficient and elegant manner. He has been in the software industry for 17 years.

Peter is an electrical engineer by training, a software engineer by choice, a business analyst by necessity, and a consultant when required. He has a Bachelor Electrical Engineering, a Graduate Diploma of Computer Engineering, and an MBA that focused on Strategy and Entrepreneurship.

Peter runs a small software engineering firm called Junta. Junta focuses most of its energy on developing prototypes and proofs of concepts for people with great ideas or interesting problems.

Chris Drake

Bailey Haddad
Digital marketer and founder

Bailey is a Digital Marketer and Founder of Previously she worked remotely for various US-based financial publications and New York Times bestselling authors. She specializes in Content Marketing, Growth, and Branding. Prior to living in Australia, she spent time working in Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. She also holds a Masters in Marketing and Commercial Strategy. 

Anne-Marie Walton
CEO at Wantu & Manager at Fire Station 101 Innovation Hub

Anne-Marie jumped headfirst into Startup Land almost 2 years ago, when she started on a Lifestyle App to help busy parents and carers do fun activities together with kids. 1000's of people have downloaded the App, she's won prizes, received (some small) grants and has even been invited to speak overseas. Wantu is just one part of what Anne-Marie does, her full-time job is running Fire Station 101, Innovation Hub in Ipswich where she supports other startups to grow and scale their businesses.

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.

Nick Pestov
Co-founder and CTO of Amity

Co-founder and CTO of Amity

Carrie Hillyard
Dep Chair Mater Medical Research Institute. Chair Fizziofit, Fitgenes; Angel investor. Director NFP and ASX.

Experienced in life science R+D, commercialisation, venture capital and mentoring entrepreneurs. Carrie is currently deputy Chairman of the Mater Medical Research Institute and angel investor and chairman of two private companies.

Ayla M Soutar
Web & eCommerce manager

With a love & passion for all things digital Ayla Soutar's career has been at the crossroads of marketing & technology - a powerful fusion that creates memorable digital experiences. Looking for an edge as an undergraduate, she found learning to code, early industry experience, and strategic personal branding helped her build a strong network in Brisbane & Logan, and, landed her jobs in the digital teams of national brands. Now, Ayla is the Web & eCommerce manager at Village Roadshow. She uses her experience to design conversion funnels, increase traffic to the website & improve engagement, and develop new web content.

Ayla believes every young person should have an opportunity to choose a career in tech. She is creating these opportunities through her work with Student Entrepreneurship programs, Kids Coding Clubs, and, organising Logan's first Startup Weekend. Ayla is also creating opportunity for wealth equality through TOBYpro, a she startup founded to address the rising crisis of housing affordability and its impact on long term independent wealth which will be launching in 2018.

Laura Campbell
Director at Deloitte Digital

Laura is a Director at Deloitte Digital with a passion for customer-centric digital experiences. She has a diverse background spanning marketing, PR & digital, and has been leading in the digital transformation sector for 10+ years. She is known for her pragmatic approach and engaging leadership style. 

Bea Stathy
Special Counsel at Law Squared

Bea is a Special Counsel at Law Squared in Melbourne.  She is a specialist technology adviser with experience in commercial, intellectual property, privacy and technology-related matters.  Her work areas cover a variety of sectors, including fintech and biotech, but a large part of her practice relates to software and IT-related issues.  She also has a particular interest in cloud services and data security technologies, and she keenly observes issues at the intersection of privacy and “big data”.   Law Squared is an innovative law firm with deep roots in helping entrepreneurs and high-growth businesses, and Bea is always happy to leverage her knowledge to assist the tech community.

Colin Kinner
Startup Ecosystem Builder, Entrepreneur Trainer

Colin is one of Brisbane's startup experts, having worked with several hundred startup teams over two decades. He is founder of Startup Onramp, a training and mentoring program for first-time startup founders. He has previously run a startup accelerator, an incubator and an early stage VC fund.

Jess Blomfield
founder of Coworkally and Hey Jess

Jess Blomfield is the founder of Coworkally and Hey Jess. She’s fascinated with the psychology and productivity of free-agent and remote workers, and is currently completing a PhD in organisational behaviour and the future of work at Griffith University. She has a diverse background that spans chemical engineering, university lecturer and tutor, and community educator in sustainability and social change. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Global Startup Weekend Women - Brisbane 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





Organizing Team

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

  • Tarryn
  • Aaron
  • Peta


Peta Ellis
Chief Executive Officer, River City Labs

Startup Community Activator Peta Ellis is a Communications Professional with 15+ years’ experience in Marketing Communications, Media Relations, Publicity, Social Media Marketing and Public Profile Management.   Since 2012 Peta has worked alongside Steve Baxter, the founder of River City Labs to grow Brisbane's Startup community and establish RCL as Brisbane’s most prominent Coworking community of Tech Startups , Entrepreneurs and industry mentors.

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