Youth Startup Weekend Mackay 2017

    Friday, October 6 - 8, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Youth Startup Weekend Mackay 2017

Friday, October 6 - 8, 2017

Friday, October 6 - 8, 2017
Event starts at 4:00 pm

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

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Young entrepreneurs are invited to Startup Weekend Youth Mackay to take an idea from nothing to something, pitch to prototype, in 3 days.

You don’t have to have technical skills or have discovered your talent yet.

Any student interested in startups, launching a business, entrepreneurship, or creative problem solving is encouraged to register.

Startup Weekend will propel students to launch creative business ideas by practicing the “Lean Startup” process. Students will pitch ideas, form teams around the top ideas, conduct customer research, and work intensely to build a prototype that illustrates the potential of their business. Startup Weekend culminates in a Shark Tank style pitch competition where teams present their business and demonstrate their prototype to a panel of local entrepreneurs.

Startup Weekend demands teamwork, creativity, determination, and focus from all participants! While each team will have access to an adult coach, every team will be expected to manage itself in order to optimize time.Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of passionate entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower communities to launch life changing ideas. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs in the world, having hosted 2000+ events in 200+ countries since 2007.

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 with another opportunity for critical feedback!If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur and contribute to a more sustainable world, be part of Youth Startup Weekend Mackay.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday October 6th

4:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:00 pm
Facilitator Welcome
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

5:30 pm
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:00 pm
Pitch Games & Team Forming
Networking, icebreakers, and orientation.

9:00 pm
Wrap up for the day.

Saturday October 7th

8:00 am
Arrive, breakfast.

8:30 am
Facilitator - Validation
Get your idea validated.

9:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

11:00 am

12:00 pm

2:00 pm
Snacks + Group Work
Healthy snacks will be served throughout the day.

5:00 pm

6:00 pm
Finished for the day.

Sunday October 8th

8:00 am
Arrive, breakfast.

8:30 am
Facilitator Chat
Facilitator talks about day 3 and what to expect.

8:45 am
Group work on ideas

11:30 am

12:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

2:00 pm
Afternoon Meals
Food before presentations for Spectators and Attendees.

2:30 pm
Final Presentations

3:15 pm
Judging & Awards

4:00 pm
Wrap-Up & Go Home!

Event Judges

Jarryd Townson
Marketing Magician/Director at Split Spaces

Jarryd has had an extensive career of developing his personal skills, gaining worldly knowledge and achieving a diverse range of qualifications throughout his professional career. Jarryd has managed, marketed, sold, developed, created and fixed a plethora of elements during this time.

Jarryd has experience in Marketing, Sponsorship, Business management, Business development, the Mining industry and Business ownership proficiencies, which are all supported by his further studies in gaining trade qualifications and University degrees in Business majoring in Marketing and Graphic Design.

Specialties: Creativity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Sponsorship, Marketing, Promotions, Idea development, External opinion appraisals, Idea and Concept development, Activation, Experiential

Chris Bonnano
General Manager

Chris Bonnano is the General Manager of radio stations, Star 101.9FM and Classic Hits 4MK and a fan of BIG ideas!

Chris has experience in the world of advertising agencies, IT and Telco Management and has previously held an elected role on Mackay Regional Council. He is current Chairman of City Safe Mackay, a taskforce that looks out for kids in our city. 

Glenys Mansfield
Sarina Sugar Shed Co-ordinator / Sarina Motor Inn Owner / Farm Stay, Animal Nursery Owner/Operator

For the past 20 years Glenys has been involved in the tourism and hospitality industry. Glenys successfully started and ran her own catering business for 10 years from 1998 to 2009. She and husband Graham established a Farm Stay and animal nursery on their 200 acre property on Sarina Range some 15 years ago attracting school groups and tourists offering a unique opportunity to experience what farm life was all about.

In 2005 Glenys was employed as the Project Manager to establish the Sarina Sugar Shed as a tourism attraction. She has continued her role as the Co-ordinator of the multi Award winning attraction which now attracts over 16,000 visitors per year.In 2009 they purchased the Sarina Motor Inn Hideaway Restaurant which they still own. She has taken on other challenges of opening bars and restaurants in the region hence demonstrating her commitment, passion and belief in our region and the industry.

Glenys enjoys the challenge of building successful businesses from scratch

Coaches and Mentors

Jade McAuley

Jade McAuley is a media, marketing and public relations strategist with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. As an innovator and entrepreneur, Jade is responsible for the creation of one of Mackay’s first independent small business magazines, Instincts, and is the co-founder of the Rocket Network, an organisation aimed at engaging, upskilling and inspiring local women.

With more than a decade in marketing and strategic media roles, Jade followed her passion for supporting regional businesses with the creation of Rebel Marketing in 2015. Through Rebel, Jade provides marketing, digital media and communication functions to businesses and not-for-profits in regional Queensland, through tailor-made strategies created in close collaboration with her clients.

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.

Jordan Miller
Director and Owner

Jordan is an energetic and innovative leader, with a passion for regional areas. He is Principal and owner property strategy business, We Speak Property. Jordan is a Certified Practising Valuer and an Associate of the Australian Property Institute.

Jordan’s areas of specialisation include compulsory acquisition of land, purchasing property assets for clients, asset management and valuations of a wide range of specialised assets.

Jordan is the founder of YP (Young Professionals) Mackay - a social group for like-minded entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals from a range of careers and industries.

Jordan is a Non-Executive Director of the Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3) – a key economic development agency and a strong advocate with a committed regional focus. He is also a volunteer Director of the Mackay Community Foundation.

In June 2015, Jordan was awarded a place on the prestigious ‘AIM30’ list. The AIM30 is made up of 30 outstanding managers and leaders under 30 years of age from across Australia, who have excelled in their chosen careers and already left their unique mark on the management profession.

Kristy Dobson
Commercial Litigation Solicitor

Kristy Dobson is a senior solicitor with McKays, and also co-chair of YP (Young Professionals) Mackay Inc.

Steven Pace
Associate Professor and Head of Digital Media

Steven Pace is an Associate Professor and Head of Digital Media at Central Queensland University. Over the past twenty-five years he has taught in diverse fields such as user experience design, software development, web design and animation. In 2011 he received two national teaching awards - a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, and the iAward for National ICT Educator of the Year.

Steven completed a PhD in the field of human-computer interaction with the Australian National University in 2003. His research expertise has led to opportunities such as mentoring research teams in Chile and Argentina for community ICT projects sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Steven is a member of the Register of Experts for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), and he serves as an international specialist for the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications.

Community engagement is an important part of Steven’s work, and he regularly conducts digital media workshops with school students and community groups. In 2016 he was inducted into the Advance Queensland Community Digital Champions program.

Dennis Murphy
Electrical & Control Systems Engineer

Dennis is a qualified Electrical Engineer with 14 years of Electrical and Industrial Automation Control System industry experience. He is a member of Engineers Australia, and has worked with clients on projects throughout Australia, Laos, and South Africa. Previous to this, Dennis completed an undergraduate placement with ABB in Switzerland working in their Power Electronics division.

Dennis co-founded and runs a not for profit association that hosts Hackathons, Startup Weekends and Mentoring events, and helps develop websites for other not for profit groups.

He is a member of the Mackay I.T. Network, and other interests include industrial control systems information security, WordPress development, software, space exploration, and renewable energy.

• Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Central Queensland University, 2003
• Advance QLD Digital Champion Round 2 Winner

Competencies (Current)
• UETTDRRF06B Rescue from a Live LV Panel, HLTCPR211A Perform CPR, QLD & WA Construction Blue Card, RIIRIS301A, RIIOHS301A, RIICOM301A, HLTAID001, HLTAID003, + more

Software expertise
• PLC - AB Studio 5000/RSLogix 5000, RSLogix 500, Schneider Unity Pro, Concept, ProWorx, Advantys, SCADAPack Telepace/Isagraph, GE Proficy, Koyo, Omron CX Programmer, Syswin, Automation Direct – DirectSOFT, Mitsubishi GX Developer, Siemens S7 Simatic
• HMI/SCADA - AB RSView/FactoryTalk SE/ME, Schneider CitectSCADA/Vijeo Citect, Wonderware Intouch/Archestra
• Asset Management/Version Control – Allen Bradley (AB) AssetCentre, MDT, Git
• Virtualisation – VMWare Workstation, ESXi, VSphere, VirtualBox
• Relays – Schneider Sepam SFT, ABB PCM 600
• Communications – Prosoft, Anybus, Redlion Crimson, AB RSLinx, RSNetworx, Freewave, Trio, AustDac, Edac, Moxa, Cisco, Ubiquity, Modbus, DeviceNet
• Drives – AB DriveLogix, Danfoss, Fuji Frenic
• Drafting/PCB Design – OrCAD, AutoCAD

Software languages / Web development
• IEC-61131-3, MATLAB, C++
• HTML, SQL, PHP & Wordpress Development

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Youth Startup Weekend Mackay 2017 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

Proudly supported by the Advance Queensland initiative. Designed to build, attract and retain young entrepreneurial talent, the program funds eligible organisations to deliver events and activities that build entrepreneurial and startup skills in young Queenslanders.

Visit Website



Organizing Team

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

  • Tarra
  • Dennis


Joy Taylor

Coworking Community Manager ⌘ Lean Startup Coach ⌘ Airbnb Advocate ⌘ Startup Weekend Facilitator ⌘ CoderDojo Champion.
This is Joy's 12th Startup Weekend, having been a participant in 2, an organiser of 7 and a facilitator of 2. Joy focuses on keeping everyone on track, aware of what they have access to and making sure no one gets left behind!

Event Staff

Joel Cox

Chris Vella
ICT Professional

Chris is the Owner and Senior ICT Services Professional of Nebula ICT, an ICT Managed Services Provider based in Mackay, QLD. 

As an avid supporter in the startup scene, Chris has participated in 3 separate Startup Weekends, coming in 2nd place twice. Moving forward, Chris has been elected to the Startup Mackay Management Committee as the Secretary and has jumped on board the Startup Weekend Youth Mackay as an organiser. 

Rob Kidd
Radio Broadcaster / MC / Journalist

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