Startup Weekend Fashion

    Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Fashion

Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018

Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018
Event starts at 5:30 pm

The Glasshouse (QUT Kelvin Grove)
Gona Parade
Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059

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New York. Paris. London. Brisbane?

Introducing Australia’s first Startup Weekend Fashion, brought to you by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia Fashion360. In just 54 hours, teams are formed to sketch designs, craft business models, and pitch business ideas to a panel of judges and expert mentors.
Technology and social environmental impacts are quickly changing the way we produce and consume fashion. From recyclable fabrics, to 3D printed jewellery, posture correcting shirts and digital marketplaces. Fashion is no longer a simple needle and thread but extends into our lives in ways we have only just begun to explore.
As the needs of customers continue to evolve, so must brands and retailers if they intend to survive.
If you have ever thought about starting your own clothing label, getting involved in the fashion industry, building a fashion marketplace or solving real-world problems affecting customers and retailers then Startup Weekend Fashion is for you.
We welcome ideas spanning the circular economy, marketplaces, e-commerce, design, niche markets, supply chains, smart-textiles, digital fabrication, 3D printing, retail technology, and sustainability. 

What you'll get
  • The opportunity to pitch in front of top founders and fashion industry members
  • 6 delicious meals over the course of the weekend
  • Startup Weekend Fashion satchel
  • A network of like minded people
  • The chance to win some great prizes
  • An awesome portfolio mention as having participated in Australia's first startup fashion weekend.
What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend is a 54 hour weekend event, that allows for fashion lovers, designers, developers, marketers, outside thinkers, trendsetters, and those who revel in disruption to pitch business ideas, form teams, and develop a working prototype / demo to present by Sunday evening.
If this sounds of interest to you, please join us for an unforgettable weekend of ideation, creativity, technology and development.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 16th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:45 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 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 November 17th

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
Mentor Meetings
Mentors 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

9:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 18th

9:00 am
Get ready for a day of productive working

10:30 am

11:00 am
Final opportunity to ask questions

1:00 pm
Mentor Meetings
Mentors 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

6:00 pm
Judging & Awards

7:00 pm

8:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Jonathan Ward
Executive Designer

Jonathan Ward is one of Australia’s most prominent designers and is recognised for his innovation, creativity & vision. He has upheld a longstanding career in the Australian fashion landscape with over three decades in the business. Ward is known for product excellence with a vast design portfolio including women’s couture, ready to wear and lifestyle products. Ward was the Executive Designer at the iconic Australian company, R.M.Williams for 15 years and is currently the creative director of a new lifestyle brand called Shleep. He is an Ambassador and Judge for the Wool4School project for the Woolmark Company. His fashion philosophy is simple: Dress to suit your personality, lifestyle, and occasion.

Anna Rooke
Managing Director, Creative Tech Ventures Fund

Anna Rooke was the founding CEO of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) and led the organisation for over a decade. Under her leadership, CEA established and expanded its offerings to include accelerator programs, the Coterie, Creative3 and the CEA Startup Fund.The CEA Startup Fund started its journey in 2013 and is Australia’s first early stage fund for creative ventures in Australia. Anna took a hands-on management of the portfolio including the role as Chairman of Fame & Partners Pty Ltd until February 2016, supporting the company from startup through to Series A investment.Anna has over 20 years’ experience leading commercialisation, incubation and business development initiatives in Australia and the UK, and has worked with companies spanning the fields of biotechnology, information technology, and the creative industries. Prior to her relocation to Australia in 2006, she was the Director of the UK’s first National Science City and created the first $1m ‘proof of principle’ fund in Yorkshire to enable entrepreneurs to exploit their commercial potential.Anna is passionate about building a vibrant and scalable creative industries sector in Australia. In July 2018, she was appointed as the Managing Director of the Creative Tech Ventures Fund and as a Non-Executive Director of CEA’s Board.Anna is also a member of the Advance Queensland Expert Panel, Queensland Startup Committee and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Rachel Burke
Artist & Designer

Rachel Burke is a multidisciplinary artist and designer based in Brisbane, Australia. Creating specialty, wearable art pieces and communal art projects (including her most popular, Apomogy), Rachel documents her creative journey and daily art practice on her Instagram page @imakestagram. Known for her vibrant, tactile designs, Rachel's style is immediately recognisable and is sought out by clients across the globe. Rachel's latest art project is a series of tinsel clothing and decorations titled 'Tinsel Town.' The Instagram worthy creations were inspired by Rachel's love of unusual juxtapositions - the mundane mixed with the extraordinary. Rachel has worked with many clients to create immersive 'tinsel experiences' including ACMI, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Melbourne Central and more. Rachel has created custom tinsel creations for many notable performers, including Kesha, Meghan Trainor, Sarah Blasko, and Danii Minogue as well as comedian Em Rusicano and actress Justine Clarke. Rachel has just released a new DIY craft book 'Be Dazzling', published by Hardie Grant.

Coaches and Mentors

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.

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.

Nicole Jordan
Strategy & Business Development Executive, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia

Nicole has over 15 years’ experience delivering organisational and operational efficiency across the business spectrum. These range from commercial startups to charitable business and multinationals. Nicole’s expertise includes being a founder, launching and managing large-scale international B2C companies, portfolio investment management, strategic brand building & marketing, operational strategy and business development.

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.

Alice Payne
Senior Lecturer in Fashion, QUT School of Design

Dr Alice Payne is Senior Lecturer in Fashion in the School of Design, Queensland University of Technology. Her research centres on environmental and social sustainability concerns throughout textile and apparel industry supply chains. Alice has examined perspectives on sustainability along the cotton value chain, the cultural and material flows of post-consumer textile waste, and design processes of mass-market product developers, independent fashion designers, and social entrepreneurs. She is co-editor of the forthcoming book Global Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion (Bloomsbury 2019). Alice is also an award-winning designer and has exhibited in Australia and overseas. In 2014 her design work was featured in the book A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion. Her recent work explores speculative approaches to design for disassembly. In collaboration with colleagues and students, Alice is also currently investigating bio-textiles – creating textiles from living bacteria to form a vegan leather.

Deanne Luke
Principal and Director of The Bleecker Group

Deanne Luke is the Principal and Director of The Bleecker Group. A consultancy focusing on system integration and business improvement for small businesses. One of their core focus is working with fashion and lifestyle brands in how they can better set up their business from an operation level.

Deanne has a varied business background covering HR, Marketing, Operations and Sales and more recently worked at the GM for LOUENHIDE, a Brisbane based handbag and accessory label. A major part of this role was how can a business operate better, streamline business process and connect systems together so that everyone was working smarter no harder. Now Deanne and her business The Bleecker Group works with other small businesses either starting out or 5-10 years into their business journey to provide guidance and direction in system implementation and day to day processes. Utilizing technology solutions that give you the ability to integrate omni channel business is one of Deanne’s passions and focuses when working with clients. But you don’t have to be a big business to do this. It is important to starting thinking about some keys things as you start so you can enable growth quickly and easily into the future.

Mark Neighbour
QUT Associate Lecturer, Fashion

Mark Neighbour has been part of the Brisbane fashion scene for the last 30 years with an background in the design, patternmaking and sampling area having worked with Gail Sorronda and Paul Hunt among others. Mark completed his MA (Research) - The Male Fashion Bias in 2009 and continues to explore his interest in creative patternmaking and garment construction. He has been involved with the QUT Undergraduate BFA Fashion since its inception and is employed as an Associate Lecturer in Design Studio for QUT Fashion.

Stephanie Yeo
Customer & Employee Experience, Red Eye Apps

Stephanie is an experienced people specialist who has been previously been responsible for creating environments that unleash the power of teams, creating workplaces that foster growth at every level and creating experiences that have lasting impact. With a background in Human Resources and exposure to Customer Experience, Stephanie is combining her two worlds at RedEye as Talent & Community manager. As an avid hackathon attendee, Steph loves bringing ideas to live, working with diverse teams and pivoting up a storm!

Laura Churchill
Owner and Director, Churchill Creative / Brisbane Fashion Month

Laura Churchill is the owner of multi-disciplinary fashion styling and event agency Churchill Creative. Laura is a stylist, runway and event producer and Director of Brisbane Fashion Month, an annual festival each October catering specifically to the promotion of Brisbane and Queensland designers. Laura also produces the annual Ekka Natural Fibres Fashion Parades and works with a number of private and retail clients to deliver high-end fashion events.

Organizing Team

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

  • Nicole
  • Philippe
  • Jacqueline
  • Alia
  • QUT


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.

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