Gympie Region Startup Weekend

    Friday, June 7 - 9, 2019

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

Friday, June 7 - 9, 2019

Friday, June 7 - 9, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

University of the Sunshine Coast
71 Cartwright Street
Gympie, Queensland 4570

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Be your own boss! Come and make it happen!

Have you ever wanted to work for yourself, but have absolutely no idea where to start? Here is the answer! Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you're motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas you’ll fit right in. 

Techstars Startup Weekend is designed to be the most effective platform for growing new businesses from the ground up over the course of a weekend. A key facet of the weekend is the value it provides for participants, collaboration, buy-in, and ownership. 

Come and pitch your business idea to a group of like-minded people in the region and learn from the ground up how to start a business in one weekend!

See what it's all about

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Friday June 7th

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

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Review agenda for the weekend

7:30 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 formalise 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

11:55 pm
Go Home

Saturday June 8th

9:00 am
Review agenda for the day and begin work

10:00 am
Work on validation questions and validate your startup

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

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Go Home
Finished for the day

Sunday June 9th

9:00 am
Agenda for the day, final opportunity to ask questions and begin work

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

2:00 pm
Final Presentations

2:30 pm
Complete survey while judges are in deliberations

2:45 pm
Judging & Awards

3:00 pm
Wrap Up and Go Home!

Event Judges

Mick Curran

Gympie Regional Council Mayor, Cr Mick Curran BM, was first elected as a Councillor in 2012 and then as Mayor in the 2015 bi-election. In 2016, Mayor Curran was successfully re-elected in the quadrennial elections and the only returning mayor in the Wide Bay region. Mayor Curran is also the current Chairman of the Wide Bay Burnett Region Council of Mayors. Mick has a law enforcement background spanning thirty years during which he undertook uniform, investigative and managerial roles. He has previously been a Board member of both regional and local sporting associations and a disability support agency. Mayor Curran is committed to the sustainable growth of the region with one of the region’s key strengths being the proximity to south east Queensland, Mayor Curran is determined to make the Gympie region a great place for families.

Adam Madill
General Manager, Madill Motor Group

Adam is a Gympie boy born and raised. His first job after completing a Bachelor of Business at the University of Sunshine Coast, was with the Bank of Queensland in Brisbane. Adam started as a Bank Teller and then moved into Property Management. After this Adam embarked on extensive work and travel through Europe and returned home to join the family business - The Madill Motor Group. Adam has worked in the IT, Marketing, Sales and Service Departments. In 2016 he started his current position as General Manager of Madill Mazda, is a USC Alumni and currently a Board Member of Gympie Chamber of commerce and The Salvation Army Gympie Chairman Red Shield Appeal. 
The Madill family motto is: “If you make your living from the community you have a responsibility to give of yourself back to the community”.

Julie Williams
CEO, Ag Solutions

Through her role as CEO of AgSolutions, Julie Williams has built on the hard work and dedication of her parents being instrumental in the development of what is now a thriving business employing over 40 team members who are committed to serving farming communities. As a leader, Julie has always looked at ways to enhance the business and she has ensured that this philosophy of ‘continuous improvement’ now underpins everything done at AgSolutions. Julie’s focus on ‘Lean principles’ of empowering our people, eliminating waste and improving efficiencies now form the framework for the company’s journey towards being a ‘world class’ organization.

Mark Paddenburg
CEO, Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast

Mark loves helping entrepreneurs to be more successful. Mark is CEO of the Innovation Centre at the USC campus and his team assist startup ventures to develop and scale.  Mark has a demonstrated track record in creating value by connecting innovations, people, programs and capital. His focus is on entrepreneurship, business development and improving the innovation capability in the region. The Innovation Centre (a USC company) was established in 2002 and has become one of the largest and most successful business accelerators in Australasia - home to over 50 startup and high growth companies with over 200 graduate companies which have raised over $35M in early stage capital and created over 860 jobs for the region. 

Coaches and Mentors

Warren Polley
Managing Director - Polleys Busses

Warren is a Gympie boy through and through. Whilst he spent time travelling the world, he came home again to take over the reins of the family business in 2009. Warren’s family began a bus service to run between Tin Can Bay and Gympie back in 1956 and grew the business to 30 buses and coaches that circumnavigated Australia and through the Red Centre. Since taking over the Directorship of the family business it has continued to grow with a total of 53 buses, running 36 school runs, carrying 3000 students daily. Warren is passionate about connecting people with their futures through transport. Reflecting on the saying: “We stand on the shoulders of others – we are who we are because of the hard work of people who came before”. Warren holds a Bachelor of Business Degree which has assisted him to encourage and support others in their business ventures. If you have been in the Gympie Region, chances are you’ve passed a Polleys Bus!

Ben Riches
Owner - Enriches

Ben has quickly developed an appreciation for the Gympie region as well as the people and business owners, since moving to Gympie in 2015. Through a slightly unorthodox work history, mainly in commission only roles, Ben found that he had a passion for business, as these types of roles highlighted his interest via a “run your own business” style model. When he kicked off his first sales-based business in 2009 leading teams of up to 20+, he knew creating and running his own business was right for him. While the business itself was a successful venture, Ben learned one of the key errors many entrepreneurs make in their first attempt at business. Ben realised that if he was going to be successful in business, it was going to be by supporting others through the start-up and growth stages.

Lynne Wilbraham
Entrepreneurship Facilitator

Lynne brings a wealth of business knowledge acquired through her own experiences in operating, working and facilitating the establishment, growth and development of businesses ranging from start-ups through to large companies. This experience is reinforced through formal qualifications in Business, Marketing and Management. Lynne’s previous roles and experiences have required her to implement both high level business, project management and networking skills. She has also had many years experience in working at a one to one level to facilitate entrepreneurship, business establishment and growth. Born and raised in the Gympie Region, Lynne has a strong personal passion for supporting the growth of the business community at all levels and for helping entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals.

Jason Virtue
Entrepreneurship Facilitator

Jason has over 20 years’ experience as a land manager and beef cattle producer, much of which gained from operating a small family owned beef cattle and native flower growing enterprise south of Gympie in South East Queensland, Australia.   After learning about Holistic Management and experiencing the benefits first hand, Jason commenced study as a Holistic Management Educator in 2003 and graduated in 2005. Since then he has been helping farmers and land managers create healthy land, happy families and profitable businesses and he welcomes the opportunity to help as many people as possible to improve their circumstances. Jason is currently delivering Certificate IV Small Business Management through the Small Business Solutions program of TAFE throughout the Burnett and Gympie regions.   Jason helps people learn how, when, where and why of business. He helps families create an environment of open, two way, collaborative communication and a high quality of life, to create a land resource that is consistently improving and create a business that produces a cash profit each and every year.

Angela Lisle
Centre Director, Creative and Digital

Ms. Angela Lisle, BLM(SEC) GradCertCInd, serves as the Director for Creative and Digital at TAFE Queensland East Coast Region. Ms. Lisle leads educational teams who specialise in a range of creative and digital technologies, including building design, digital interactivity, photo-imaging, applied fashion, information technology and innovation. She is an award winning educational leader recognised for her drive to embed entrepreneurship and innovation into technology course offerings across Sunshine Coast High Schools. Regarded as a strategic and innovative educational leader, she has 20 years’ experience gained through her roles in information communication technology (ICT) and digital media. She has a wealth of knowledge. She served as ICT and Digital, Lead Vocational Teacher at TAFE Queensland from February 2011 to December 2016. She is a member of Women in Technology and the Institute of Mangers and Leaders. She has completed her Bachelor of Learning Management majoring in Business and a Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries for which she received a Dean’s commendation from CQUniversity for her research into augmented reality and the impact the creative industries has on the Australian economy, she also holds qualifications in interactive digital media, marketing and communications. Her most recent achievement is the opening of a collaborative, co-working space for entrepreneurs and small start-up businesses in Gympie, the first co-working space to be launched in the region. Angela plays a pivotal role in harnessing technology to deliver high calibre training and is currently working collaboratively with local universities and high schools to develop a suite of micro-credentials.

Organizing Team

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

  • Christina
  • Nicole
  • Angeline
  • Lynne


Renee Coman
Business Development Manager

With an appetite for change, I want to support others make a meaningful change in the 🌏.

How do I do this?

As an entrepreneur I founded Distance Assistance in 2017, delivering sustainable health & wellbeing solutions for organisations with remote workforce via our innovative 24/7 wellness platform delivering relevant content with activity-based metrics.

Secondly, as a Community Leader, I help connect local entrepreneurs, businesses, government stakeholders and community members. This is achieved by organising experiential learning events, such as Startup Weekend and Startup Weekend, growing innovation and business capacity on the coast, providing a platform for others to stand up, speak up and cause a ripple effect.

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