Startup Weekend Mackay 2016

    Friday, November 18 - 20, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Mackay 2016

Friday, November 18 - 20, 2016

Friday, November 18 - 20, 2016
Event starts at 5:00 pm

Split Spaces, CQUniversity Mackay City Campus
133 Wood Street
Building 4, Level 2
Mackay, Queensland 4740

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Turn your idea into a business in just 54 hours!

Are you keen on building a real-life startup, or just excited to be involved in building a real-life startup?

Participating in a Startup Weekend will give you that chance, where you'll get to experience the highs, lows, moments of clarity and most importantly validation of your idea!

Don't worry if you don't have an idea! You'll listen to passionate pitches from others on the Friday night and pick the one you love the most. If you do have an idea, you'll have 60 seconds to pitch it and convince others (including IT developers, business people & designers) to come work on your team! It doesn't have to be serious, you can have fun with this and make something fantastic up on the night. After you've got a team, the fun begins as you start solving the problem, looking at how you'll build your solution and getting under way. In just a weekend, you'll be finding your real-world clients and determining how your solution will solve their problems.

For the IT developers and technical participants, pick your favourite language and framework and mock/hack out a demo or two as you go. We've got a team of experts to mentor you across the Startup Weekend in all aspects of your fledgling startup - from IT, to business, to design and more.

It all wraps up on Sunday afternoon where you give a final pitch to a panel of local and out of town startup experts -- and you might even score some investment to keep going!

In short, the goal of a Startup Weekend is to bring passionate potential entrepreneurs - just like you! - together to collaborate on innovative ideas, and have a life-changing experience whilst doing it all.

When you register you will get:
- All your main meals and drinks over the weekend.
- Access to a huge range of mentors who have done what you want to do.
- A chance to win some of the huge prizes up for grabs.

What makes Startup Weekend so valuable is that it helps you:
- Validate your business model.
- Build a team around your business idea.
- Gain exposure to investors and advisers to help get your idea off the ground.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 18th

5:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:30 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

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

8:45 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 pm
Form Teams
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

11:55 pm
Venue Closes
Head home and get some rest!

Saturday November 19th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 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

1:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm

7:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

11:55 pm
Venue Closes
Head home and get some rest!

Sunday November 20th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:10 am

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

12:00 pm

1:00 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

5:45 pm
Judging & Awards

6:30 pm

7:00 pm
Event Finish + Social


Bret Lynch
Co-Founder of Carbine Concepts

Do you know what a start-up weekend is? 

I didn't. 

It’s an intense 54hr weekend of pitching, learning, developing, conceptualising and validating.

I won my first ever start-up through the formation of a 3-man team, which shortly after the weekend, it self-destructed. Not willing to be disheartened and with an enlarged passion, I flew up north to attended another start-up weekend. I came up with an idea on the flight, leading to forming another team, which become victorious and increasing my Start-up weekend success to 2 out of 2.
Unfortunately, that idea didn't have enough legs in the market place after continued research. 

Where did I go next? 
Ilab germinate boot camp, this was another learning opportunity & insight into start-ups & accelerators & their expectations. I used it as an opportunity to hone my skills & develop my focus on my next project.

After attending some seminars and Queensland's first Inovation summit as part of a deligation. A few of us then attended the sunshine coast startup weekend, where I joined a team and pushed them through the weekend to succeed- winning another startup weekend making the total 3 out of 3. We are currently moving forward with Surf Pulse.

In a nut shell, 'I strive to achieve things people lable too hard or impossible.'

It's what I do and who I am, I'm passionate about customers & business. Throughout this journey I have successfully achieved the unachievable with clients. I dream big and have learnt how to take ideas & turn them into reality.

If you have a great idea & are looking for a passionate ‘Business person' contact me & together we can take the world by storm.

Well if you're still reading, then I have your attention & obviously possess something you’re looking for.
Want to know more - follow me on Facebook - 'Bret lynch my start-up journey' or twitter @bretlynch3

Terry Hurlock

Owner at Invention Pathways.

Event Judges

Allison Muller
Business Coach

a business leader with over 15 years’ experience in corporate finance, institutional banking, business start-up, mergers, acquisitions and board advisory.  Allison is the co-founder and Director of Big Wave Ventures and has a broad network of investors who trust her to source and manage businesses to invest in.  She specialises in investment and operational readiness, and coaching businesses to move up the growth curve.

Regan Gourley
Principal, Cullens Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys | Patent Attorney Australia and New Zealand

Regan practices in both patents and trademarks, with the majority of his work being in mechanical devices, alternative energy systems and apparatus and computer implemented inventions in the area of business methods and financial systems. Although his clients include several large national and international companies, the majority of Regan’s clients are local small to medium businesses and individual inventors. Regan regularly speaks at commercialisation seminars as well as mentoring start-up and growing businesses.

Chad Renando
Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

I am an organisational leader who is passionate about helping people develop to their full potential as they achieve outcomes in their organisations and teams. 

Over the past 20+ years, this passion has taken me through management positions in public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Functional areas in which I have operated include quality, human resources, business development, environmental sustainability, and operations within manufacturing, business consulting, and digital services industries.

My strengths are in building and growing internal teams and developing opportunities in external networks.

Coaches and Mentors

Lyn Yaworsky
Business Coach / Marketing Strategist / Implementation Partner

With over three decades of gut-slogging-in-the-trenches experience, Lyn has launched successful businesses across 3 continents; England, Hong Kong and Australia.

Having coached and mentored with businesses from start-ups to multi-nationals, movie stars, pro golfers and more than a handful of gazillionaires, Lyn’s passion now lies in working with the “hungry” … Hungry for support, acknowledgement, recognition, clarity, direction and success.

Lyn now works with entrepreneurs to help them discover potent and persuasive ways to speak about themselves and their products or services…so they can stand out, broadcast their brilliance and gain success.

In her spare time Lyn also consults to Vosky Bodies as a health and nutrition coach and she is in demand as a judge at bodybuilding competitions throughout Australia.

Melissa Green
Banking Specialist | BOQ Mackay City

Melissa is the owner/operator of Bank of QLD Mackay City, and leads a team that creates financial solutions for people from all walks of life. She can help with finding the right home loan, first home, property finance, residential home loan, and right through to business owners with business finance. Melissa creates flexible lending structures that will enable your business to grow. She can provide a complete solution for all of your financing needs, from credit cards to equipment finance, car loans to commercial loans.Specialities include:

- Home loan, investment loan, residential home loans
- Business Lending, commercial lending, business loans, business lending, commercial loans
-  Equipment Finance, Car Loans, Debtor Finance, Merchant
- Credit Cards, SMSF loans

Darren Cooke
CEO | Entrepreneur | Start-up Founder

With almost 8 years experience in the startup space, Darren has successfully developed ideas into commercially viable national businesses.Raising capital in the millions, patenting his inventions and receiving government grants, Darren has acquired a unique skill set. He has demonstrated his ability to develop viable business models that face two or even three-sided marketplaces, creating B2B partnerships, corporate partnerships, JV partnerships with Australia’s leading brands in 3 industries, Retail, Automotive and one of Australia’s largest online Automotive platforms.He has overseen the development of almost 1 million lines of code, and understands the commitment and consistency required when starting a business or implementing ideas into an established business.

Mark Phillips
International Business Mentor – Serial Entrepreneur

Mark is an Australian Entrepreneur, Investor & Mentor who has launched 4 startups and is a firm believer that innovation is the key success factor for high growth businesses.  As a qualified Chartered Accountant Mark has had a successful career as an international gymnast, IT consultant, salesperson & manager with KPMG, Apple and Microsoft as well as an entrepreneur in his own startups.

His first startup went global within 2 years and opened a Silicon Valley office in 1995. Another received a $7.5m buyout offer on Launch Day. Mark has been responsible for over $250m in sales and has worked with a number of Global Leaders and Heads of State around the world.

Known for his business creativity, IT aptitude and relaxed style (and hence his brand ‘business in bare feet’) Mark operates from Queensland, Australia where he mentors innovative Executives, Founders & NGOs around the globe.  Mark is an avid aviator, hot air balloonist, adventure motorcyclist and traveller who has visited & worked in around 100 countries.

Rebecca Watkins
Accountant Business Adviser

With experience in businesses from Longreach to Sunshine Coast and now Mackay, Rebecca has a wealth of knowledge. Whether you are just starting up and need the basics or have plateaued and need advice on how to grow and improving your bottom line, Rebecca has the questions to help you change direction and get moving again.Rebecca has worked with Mining contractors, Primary producers, Retailers, Physiotherapists, Doctors and many other industries and therefore is able to truly see the bigger picture on how the economy is working and ideal placement in that market. Previously, Rebecca worked in a marketing role in the UK before emigrating and therefore is able to combine the two to give you a thorough insight. She has recently become partner at Forsyths Accounting Services.

Roger Martin

Owner, RP Digital

Terry Hurlock

Owner at Invention Pathways.

Linda McCall
Health Coach | Dream Life Coaching | Startup Coach

Linda McCall is an Australian Entrepreneur, Digital Nomad & Specialist Mindset Coach who helps people transition into new careers easily.  She assists entrepreneurs embarking on the startup journey to align their true passions and values, to achieve more focused, effective goals and outcomes toward creating a new direction in their lives and business.

Linda grew up in the Australian Outback, joined the Australian Airforce, and became an international flight attendant with Qantas and later a corporate flight attendant for the Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia.  She has worked as a coach in Hong Kong and has been profiled in international media around the world.  With a social media following more than 40,000 Linda is internationally recognised & qualified in NLP and Mindset Coaching & Training.

Linda has motorcycled solo across the USA and has circumnavigated Australia on a motorcycle.  She is qualified as a recreational pilot and has flown hot air balloons in various countries around the world.

Together with 25 years’ experience in Customer Excellence, Linda has exceptional growth skills behind her, which she can pass on to her clients to enhance and develop the micro touch points in business expansion.

Linda lives her inspired dreams and assists companies and entrepreneurs in creating theirs, with strategies and mindset skills, effective goals and reaching high-performance levels in new areas.

Recently she has assisted Startups around Australia in
Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Darwin and Perth.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Mackay 2016 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

Queensland Startup Events and Activities Fund Builds capability within Queensland's startup community with funding of up to 50% of total activity costs.

Visit Website




Organizing Team

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

  • Tarra
  • Dennis
  • Joel
  • Graham


Daniel Johnsen
Founder, The Recovery Station

Founder, The Recovery Station (winner of Startup Weekend Lexington, Kentucky 2013)
From:KY (we love bourbon), live in Louisville, Kentucky, United States; currently residing in Longreach, Queensland, Australia.
Background: Founded a few companies, currently making a vending kiosk that dispenses pre/post workout drinks like protein shakes that are customizable and blended on-demand for everyday athletes in gyms (idea was the #1 placing idea at a Startup Weekend during a global startup battle).  I'm heavily active in Louisville & KY's startup scene where I help from basic mentoring with early stage ideas, organize Startup Weekends, throw happy hours for the startup & tech scene, the go-to person for pitch feedback before our area accelerator demo days, and random other items that I often forget and just do as they show up on my calendar.  I have a passion for asking some pretty forceful questions to get early stage entrepreneurs to evaluate their market, problem and solution and arrive at some decision point sooner rather than waiting 18+ months to launch MVPs, scale or bury the idea.
SW/UP: Been part of 30+ (?) Startup Weekends as: Sunday night observer x4; team lead x2; organizer x4; facilitator x1; judge x1; only KY rep for 2014 Vegas Summit; Startup Next participant x3 (I think I hold some type of non-verifiable record for as many ideas as I've taken through); Startup Next mentor x1

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