Startup Weekend Cairns

    Friday, August 15 - 17, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Cairns

Friday, August 15 - 17, 2014

Friday, August 15 - 17, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The SPACE Cairns
187 Mulgrave Rd
Cairns, QLD 4870

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Be part of North Queenslands 1st Startup Weekend @ theSPACE Cairns

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brings together Cairns designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model... anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders! If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur and contribute to a more sustainable region, be part of Startup Weekend Cairns.

See what it's all about

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Friday August 15th

6:30 pm
Registration & Networking
Arrive, get checked in, get your drink tickets, eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Graeme Wood (Wotif Founder)
Official opening of Startup Weekend Cairns

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

7:40 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 you like

Saturday August 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast, tea & coffee

9:00 am
Roy Whybrow - Lean Canvas Presentation
Create your agile plan for the weekend

9:30 am
Dale Edney - Lean Startup Presentation
Lean startup, customer validation presentation

9:40 am
Begin Work
Teams regroup and set up workspace for the weekend. Start validating ideas, talking to customers... go teams, go

9:40 am
Coaches Available
Coaches floating to assist teams where required

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!

3:00 pm
Donna Patane - Founders Presentations
Founders agreements, entity options, shareholders agreements, etc...

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 you like

Sunday August 17th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches Arrive
Status reports, calls for help

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

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

5:00 pm
Dinner & Drinks
You're nearly there... finish strong

5:30 pm
Final Presentations
Good Luck Teams

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Judges: Luckbir Singh, Debbie Hancock & Bronwyn Voyce

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home


Donna Holm
Owner, Holm Made Toffee Co.

Graeme Wood
Digital Entrepreneur & Founder of Wotif

Graeme Wood is a digital entrepreneur of over 30 years’ standing. In 1999, he founded the online travel website and he remains happily involved with a number of start-ups. He also founded Wotnews, which pivoted into We Are Hunted, a music recommendation website that was sold to Twitter in 2013. Graeme provides support through the Graeme Wood Foundation. His philanthropic interests include environmental sustainability, the arts, and public interest journalism through Guardian Australia. He is passionate too about the transformative power of the arts for young people. In 2011, he founded Artology, whose goal is youth development and social change through the arts. Combining his interests in conservation and youth development, Graeme founded the Brisbane based not-for-profit Wild Mob, giving young people the opportunity to participate in conservation work and environmental education while experiencing some of Australia’s most iconic wilderness destinations. Graeme was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012. He was Suncorp Queenslander of the Year in 2008, has received an Honorary Doctorate of Economics from the University of Queensland.

Event Judges

Luckbir Singh
MacDonnells Law Partner and Practice Group Leader of the state-wide Commercial Team

Luckbir is a MacDonnells Law Partner and the Practice Group Head of the 50 person strong state-wide (Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns) Commercial Team. Luckbir’s approach is to understand his client’s business focus and desired outcome so as to provide a legal service, which not only provides a high degree of technical proficiency, but also reflects the practical commercial world realities. Luckbir was awarded the Queensland Law Society’s Outstanding Achievement by a Young Lawyer award in 2008. Specialties:Areas of Practice • Commercial law • Business acquisitions and disposals including due diligence reporting and mergers • Corporate advisory including corporate reconstructions and shareholder disputes • Not for profit advisory including governance • Property development including body corporate and joint ventures • Carbon farming initiative under the carbon legislation

Troy Haines
Cofounder of Cairns Innovation Hub

Troy is the founder of theSPACE, a Startup & Innovation hub which brings together budding entrepreneurs and innovators, to share, learn, connect and grow. theSPACE features a Coworking space, meeting rooms, access to coaching/mentoring and capital raising.

The founder of 4 entrepreneurial Startups and one successful exit, Troy coach’s entrepreneurs and innovators through the commercialisation process from idea screening through to growth and exiting. 

Bronwyn Voyce
Senior Economic Development & Innovation Officer Cairns Regional Council

Bronwyn Voyce is a young leader recently named on the AIM30 list, who is passionate about regional development, governance, policy and innovation in leadership and is making her mark on North Queensland. Bronwyn’s knowledge extends across the public and private sectors and into industry, corporate and SME markets. Her cross-sector experience has afforded her the platform to develop solid business acumen and strategic problem solving skills. Bronwyn has worked on significant projects across Northern Australia which aim to deliver tangible outcomes, enable real progression and diminish the disparities across social, economic, environmental and cultural contexts. As Senior Economic Development and Innovation Officer at Cairns Regional Council, Bronwyn injects her enthusiasm and can-do attitude into developing and implementing policies and programs with strategic foresight. Her key projects include; leading the development of a G20 Economic Leveraging Strategy for Cairns, enhancing the region’s innovation and entrepreneurship agenda and working with key national and international stakeholders to attract investment and grow business in the region.

Coaches and Mentors

Nicky Jurd
Director at Precedence Group Pty Ltd

Nicky Jurd is a friendly and approachable geek from Cairns, where she owns and manages Far North Queensland’s largest web development and hosting firm, Precedence. The firm has a strong emphasis on creating profitable websites for their client base of small and medium Australian businesses. Nicky has worked in the website development industry since 1996 and has assisted hundreds of businesses profit from their website through ethical marketing practices and well-planned website architecture. She has been a business owner for 13 years. She is a crazy foodie, coffee boffin and enthusiastic public speaker. Nicky has conducted many workshops on internet-related topics aimed at small business owners. She has been fortunate enough to hold workshops in conjunction with Facebook, the Queensland State Government, the Cairns Business Women’s Club, Gulf Savannah Development and Mareeba Chamber of Commerce.

Dale Edney
Founder Sam the Waiter

Dale Edney studied Entrepreneurship in Melbourne and currently lives in Cairns with his wife and son. He believes that customer facing technology has the potential to disrupt the hospitality industry and is currently validating this assumption via his startup Sam The Waiter. Dale has also advises companies across a range of industries on business growth strategies, structures and systems.

Darryl Posgate
Director Inspection Apps

Darryl was the winner of Startup Weekend 1 in August, is co-founder of This business has been running successfully for 5 years from a 'ground zero' start up in 2010. Inspection Apps has many Government clients, is expanding into the UK and US. Mypoolinspection has conducted about 14,000 pool fence inspections using Inspection Apps technology and around 25 pool fence inspectors in QLD and NSW. Darryl's experience is drawn from getting out there and giving it a crack! "I am bringing two sets of trousers to this weekend, because start up's excite the pants off me!" If I can help people channel their enthusiasm on the right areas and potentially avoid some the pitfalls I have stumbled into, the weekend will be a success. I look forward to speaking with everyone!

Dr John Hamilton (Ph.D)
Head Management & Governance, Director E-Business, College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University.

Professor John R. Hamilton (Ph.D.) researches competitiveness, innovation and strategic futures. He has extensive corporate national (and international) leadership and management experience. He consults on online and/or offline engaging interactive environments, and develops capabilities for business-consumer real-time interfacing. Current research interests include: corporate leadership, value-deliverance, social networks, corporate and virtual intelligences, cloud business scenarios, major-events management, tracking, and interactive learning. John manages the Acute Futures Group ( It deploys international R&D task teams with software developers from Norway, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia). The Acute Futures Group uses its unique value-deliverance systems to create custom-built, experiential, skilling scenarios for global and futures-focused organizations.

Roy Wybrow
Lecturer at JCU School of Business: Project Management & Entrepreneurship

Started career at Aircraft Research & Development in DSTO Edinburgh SA in 80’s where worked on GRU project, F111 Digitalization project, Jindalee Project and later F18 & BlackHawke selection project In 90’s was design manager and later project manager in an innovative special purpose machine engineering firm winning 3 beyond 2000 awards. In 1992 while in this company developed and oversaw the introduction of interactive webpages where clients could amend in real time projects. This came from intranet project (1991) which saw design and factory workshop being networked to allow real-time amendments of autocad drawings. Another project in 1993 saw the introduction (working with Westpac) of over-the-net automatic salary & invoice payment & banking system. From here was head hunted by BHP International as a greenfield project manager. This lead to a career in mid 90’s as a contracted Management turning around failing businesses to profitability in various countries for various large corporations. This career was cut short due to political unrest and advise to leave which forced Roy back to Australia and landed in Cairns. Upon arriving in Cairns (2001) gained MSCE qualification and worked setting up national ERP systems for Solution accounting software company as well as an MBA. Upon completing the MBA was asked to develop statistics program for JCU SOB (Due to physics & Maths qualifications from Flinders university in 80’s). 2005 developed a project management and entrepreneurship subjects that are more applied. In the Entrepreneurship subject students create start-ups to pitch at a Dragons Den format. Both are still running.

Martin Simon

Martin Simon is a world-travelled and accomplished mechanical engineer. He has extensive experience in engineering, project management, integrated logistic support (ILS), IT solutions and business start-ups on an international basis. Martin holds degrees in mechanical engineering, IT and economics, which he combines to provide intelligent, efficient, economical and effective IT solutions to businesses and start-ups.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Damian
  • Greg
  • Aaron
  • Troy

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