Startup Weekend Education Melbourne

    Friday, October 31 - November 2, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Education Melbourne

Friday, October 31 - November 2, 2014

Friday, October 31 - November 2, 2014
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Queens Collective
Level 01
20 Queen St
Melbourne, VIC 3206

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Be part of the change.

Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here's your opportunity to transform your education ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complementary skills, passion and dedication to build something of value together. Test your idea with real users, receive coaching from experienced educators, entrepreneurs and industry professionals, and win prizes that will help you take your startup idea to the next level of execution!

We're looking for passionate educators, parents, students, entrepreneurs, developers, and designers who want to make a difference in education now. Come learn the basics of founding & launching a successful education startup while solving real problems in education.

About the event:

We bring together a diverse group of people passionate about making a positive impact on education.  In 54 hours, participants share ideas, form teams, build products and launch education startups.  Startup Weekend EDU begins with open-mic 60-second pitches Friday night that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable concepts. Teams spend Saturday and Sunday focusing on validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced coaches. On Sunday, teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges.
What you will get from attending:

+ A free .co domain name 
+ $2,000 of credit on Google App Engine 
+ $100 of AWS credit for hosting 
+ Awesome coaching by edtech industry leaders
+ Fun swag from Google, .Co and more!
+ Breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole weekend 
+ A network of new developer, designer & entrepreneur friends that are also excited about improving education 

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week 27 October – 2 November 2014, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne.


Friday October 31st

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 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

7:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

7:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas, getting ready for the weekend!

8:00 pm
Team Dinner
Eat food, share ideas, practise pitches, get to know your team

9:00 pm
Everybody Home
Time to go home and rest!!

Saturday November 1st

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 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
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

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

8:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 2nd

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Pitch- practice
3 min pitch practice with Coaches for feedback

12:00 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
Snacks provided!

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards

7:00 pm
Go Home!
...or to the pub next door! Details will be provided

Event Judges

Ricky Campbell-Allen
Director: Centre for New Public Education

Ricky Campbell-Allen is the Director of the Centre for New Public Education, an advocacy initiative of the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and Head of Education for FYA. Previously, Ricky worked as the Director of State and Federal Grants, and as a primary advisor to the Chief Academic Officer, in Boston Public Schools (USA), managing federal education reform programs (Race To the Top) which aimed to improve students’ performance and build the capacity of teachers and school leaders across the system. Ricky began her professional life in the visual arts and consulting before managing an outdoor education company. She then studied teaching and spent seven years as a teacher and school leader in Sydney, Australia. Ricky has served in a number of leadership and representative roles in professional, faith and community organisations and has been involved in education initiatives in Nepal and Ethiopia. She is a Board Director of Australian Schools Plus Fund.

Cr Jackie Watts
Councillor at City of Melbourne

Councillor Dr Jackie Watts is Chair of the City of Melbourne's Knowledge City portfolio and Deputy Chair of the People City portfolio. Jackie holds a Doctorate in Education (RMIT), postgraduate qualifications in Teaching and Librarianship (University of Melbourne) and a Bachelor of Arts (La Trobe University). Her areas of professional expertise include secondary and tertiary education, librarianship, research, vocational training and professional development, commerce (small and medium enterprises) and community activism. She has experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, on and offshore.   Jackie has a track record in community activism, advocating on behalf of residents and ratepayers through her work as Convener with the Carlton Residents Association and CoRBA-Melbourne (Coalition of Resident and Business Associations).   Prior to joining Council in July 2011 Jackie volunteered with the Office of the Public Advocate in the Independent Third Person Program and the Prison Disciplinary Program. In the past Jackie has participated in social empowerment programs such as the Equity Research Centre, Social Inclusion Program, Church of All Nations Carlton, Timor Leste Training Network, Uniting Church Foster Parenting Program and is a long term supporter of Foster Parents’ Plan Australia

Stuart B Richardson
Founder & Managing Partner at Adventure Capital

Founder of Australia's leading early-stage technology venture capital firm, Adventure Capital, whose first fund holds a World #1, an Asian #1, 3x Australian #1s and 2x breakout technology businesses. 

Architect of a supercharged ecosystem and founder of Aurelius Digital, York Butter Factory, Startup Australia (delivering Startup Weekend and other signature events across Australia) and next generation property technology and services business, EQUiEM. 

Founding investor of breakout technology businesses 121cast, Axiflux and Peazie.
Advisor, Board Member and Mentor to numerous entrepreneurs intent on changing the world and their early-stage technology businesses.

Graduate of the distinguished Stanford Executive Program (SEP'09), Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA'99), and featured in The Australian 'People to Watch in 2012'.

Specialties: Strategy and Corporate Development within rapidly changing markets. 
Strategic business development, digital transformation, capital raising, and corporate venturing.

Michelle Robinson
Senior Product Manager, Envato

Currently a Senior Product Manager at Envato, an innovative digital company that helps millions of people earn, learn and create online, Michelle has been involved in the digital industry for over 10 years. She has held many and varied roles including Product Manager, Product Development Manager, Research and Development Manager, Producer and User Interface Developer. These roles have afforded her the opportunity to work within cross functional teams, both large and small in both large corporations and start-ups, to deliver a variety of projects and initiatives including complex website development, mobile sites, apps, search technology, geospatial products and much more.Michelle has also managed her own band, record label, toured internationally and released 4 albums. She has been involved in many successfully art projects and is the founder of LeadLight Satellite, a Melbourne-based art atelier which she currently runs in her spare time.

Richard Lambert
Assistant Principal of Kalinda Primary School

Rich Lambert is Assistant Principal of Kalinda Primary School in Ringwood, Victoria. He has worked in government primary schools for more than a decade, specialising in the impact new technologies can and should have on teaching and learning practices. As a teacher, Rich was part of a teaching team that won DEECD's Excellence Award for Innovative Curriculum. Since this time he has also worked as an education consultant, speaking at various conferences and running PD sessions and workshops for school and Principal groups. He has assisted in Federal Government projects such as the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s ‘Illustrations of Practice’ resourceEducation Services Australia’s ‘ICT in Everyday Learning: a toolkit for teachers’ resource and most recently featured in ACARA's Illustrations of Primary Curriculum Management resource. Richard has also worked on State projects, such as the ‘Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century’ professional learning programs. Rich is a Google Certified Teacher, and has acted as a lead mentor in the Sydney Google Teacher Academy as well as presenting at Google Apps for Education Summits in Australia and New Zealand. Rich is the author of the ‘Cybersmart Parents’ blog ( and co-author of ‘Action Stations: Digital Storytelling’ published by Curriculum Press.

Coaches and Mentors

Cat Dos Santos
Service Designer

Service Designer at Huddle, Founder at Yippee Kit, Lecturer at Master of Entrepreneurship at Swinburne

Sam Stewart
Security Engineer at Coinjar, Director at

Great business and tech skills. 

Jeremy Bornstein
CTO and Factotum at N35t, Inc.

Experienced engineering executive and technologist. Proven builder and leader of highly effective teams. Demonstrated ability to recruit, motivate, and inspire technical staff. Builder of engineering organizations which collaborate effectively with the entire business.

Specialties:Distributed system architecture, systems analysis, mentoring, debugging, interviewing

Summer Howarth
Adolescent Success Community Manager & Learning Frontiers, AITSL

A deeply passionate educator with expertise in strategic student engagement and pedagogy design. TeachMeet Sydney co-founder, Peer Academy Host, Project Friend of We Are Future: Syd, Melbourne Intrapreneur Network. Driving question… “How might we make the education of every young Australian everyone’s business?”

Chris Harte
Leading Teacher for Personalised Learning, John Monash Science School

Chris was appointed as Leading Teacher for Personalised Learning at John Monash Science School in late 2011. His role involves the development of learner portfolios, team teaching, pedagogies for real and virtual flexible spaces and the formative use of data. Chris is also involved in the design and implementation of the new Emerging Sciences Victoria Virtual School and is a Google Certified Teacher and Google Teacher Academy Mentor. Chris has a keen interest in developing learning-to-learn skills, formative assessment, design thinking, collaboration, creativity and TeAchnology (the nexus of technology and teaching) in schools. He also has a passion for languages education (in particular, French and Spanish). As a design thinker and moonshot shooter, Chris strongly believes that we know what is wrong in the current education system and that it will take a group of passionate, entrepreneurial collaborators to bring balance to the educational world.

Marc Harrison
Startup founder and adviser

Andrew Williamson
Primary school educator

Andrew is a music and classroom primary school educator with a passion for investigating the use of creativity in education. In his 18 years as an educator he has had roles as a secondary music teacher, instrumental teacher, ensemble conductor, primary music teacher, classroom generalist teacher and ICT coordinator. Andrew has just completed a Masters Of Education investigating the key learning areas of Thinking, Knowledge and Creativity In Education and he is currently eLearning Co-ordinator at Bell Primary School.

Margo Edgar
Margo Edgar Educator, Assistant Principal, Internet Tragic

Margo Edgar is currently working as an Assistant Principal at Essendon North Primary. She has taken on this role after more than 30 years of classroom teaching experience in both urban and rural government schools. Margo has been on a continuous learning curve throughout her teaching career. She began using the 'current' technology in her primary classroom in 1980 and has been at the forefront of learning technologies use in education ever since. She is passionate about education, about knowing and using next practice and supporting students to have agency over their learning and schools to provide the best possible educational opportunities for all. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Education Melbourne 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.




Organizing Team

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

  • Kynan
  • Mel
  • Hamish
  • Marina


Marina Paronetto
Founder of Powerhousehq / Innovation Manager at PwC Australia

Marina is the Founder of PowerhouseHQ an organisation designed to enable entrepreneurship and youth empowerment. Marina's mandate is to create conditions that enable learn by doing and build positive change. 

As part of Powerhousehq Marina has developed , a social program to enable girls to learn business skills and actively supports the Melbourne startup scene by hosting hackathons, conferences, workshops, and as a founding member of Startup Victoria Female founders committee.

As part of PwC Experience Center team, Marina has been working with large public and private organisations, helping to identify what challenges and opportunities to focus, re-image their value proposition, leveraging assets and market analysis to build human centred design solutions, which deliver value and positive impact.

Event Blog

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