Techstars Startup Weekend Whyalla

    Friday, September 6 - 8, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Whyalla

Friday, September 6 - 8, 2019

Friday, September 6 - 8, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Innovation & Collaboration Centre
UniSA Whyalla
Building L, 111 Nicolson Ave
Whyalla , South Australia 5608

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Happening in South Australia for the first time since 2017, the event will be held at the brand new Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) at Whyalla. 

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.
Please note, any participants under the age of 18 MUST be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times during the event and seek their own accommodation if required. 

For those over 18, there is a limited number of discounted onsite accommodation available. Contact us for more information.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

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Friday September 6th

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

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

7:20 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

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 the venue will allow

Saturday September 7th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 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

7:30 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 the venue will allow

Sunday September 8th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

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

4:30 pm
Final Presentations

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards

6:00 pm
Wrap up & go home

Event Judges

Rick Santucci
Deputy Mayor, Whyalla


Chris Cowley
Chief Executive Officer - Whyalla City Council

Chris Cowley is the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Whyalla and has held the position since March 2017.

He possesses 21 years’ experience in Local Government and has worked in regional areas of Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

Chris holds a Graduate Diploma of Strategic Leadership, Bachelor of Commerce, Associate Diploma in Accounting and a Graduate Diploma Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Working cohesively and confidently with the Council and the community, Chris hopes to encourage and facilitate the diversification of the city into the future.

Chris led a Council delegation to China in 2018 with a mission to pursue more business and encourage future investment in the City. Also he was invited back to China by the Wuhan Provincial government to present on Solar Power generation investment opportunities in the region.  

Chris has a positive view of Whyalla’s future encouraging the community to work together to achieve it.

Matthew Kidner
Superintendent: Community Relations - Oz Minerals


Coaches and Mentors

Terry Gold
Entrepreneur in Residence - Innovation & Collaboration Centre

Terry Gold is an entrepreneur and mentor. He was the Managing Director of Techstars Adelaide, the first Techstars Accelerator in Australia and SE Asia. He moved to Adelaide in 2016 from Boulder, Colorado to be the Growth Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Business Growth at UniSA.

Prior to that he lived in the US and co-founded Gold Systems, an enterprise software company that created speech recognition applications to improve customer service. Gold Systems was named to the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies, and was named seven times to the Deloitte & Touché Colorado Fast 50 Companies.

He was a founding member of the Colorado chapter of YEO. In 2000 he and his co-founder
were recognised with the “Esprit Entrepreneur of Distinction” award, and in 2003 Terry was recognised as a finalist at the Rocky Mountain Ernst and Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.

David Penfold
Economic Development Manager - Regional Development Australia (RDA)

David Penfold is a digital strategist and lead generation specialist. He is the Managing Director of Web Mastermind and has a comprehensive understanding of strategic online marketing initiatives. David moved to Whyalla in 2017 to take on the role of Economic Development Manager for Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula. Prior to this David was based in Adelaide and worked with many businesses and organisations including local government, to design and implement innovative and cutting edge online and offline marketing strategies and to mentor executives to higher standards of operating. Winning awards in economic & digital strategy and implementation, David is regarded as a visionary catalyst for innovation across broad-based local government & regional development initiatives. David is a sought after keynote speaker and is known for his thoroughly researched presentations and succinct delivery allowing audiences to implement the suggested strategies immediately. David has also trained and coached thousands of SMEs over the past 20 years including many start up companies, with a strong focus on digital strategies including marketing.

Maya Lothian
Program Manager - Oz Minerals

Maya is passionate about STEM and building and working with people and teams to come up with innovative ways to solve business problems.   As a Program Manager with over 20 years’ experience in technology, project delivery and management across mining, utilities, health, infrastructure and education, Maya has delivered large value and high impact projects. She has helped organisations embrace change, implement new technologies and realise their return on investment, especially with her work in the tech sector. With experience in large and small companies and being an AppStore publisher, Maya understands some of the challenges that start-ups face and is passionate about harnessing her experience to mentor them on their journey.

Burkhard Seifert
Principal Engineer: Transformation - Oz Minerals

Burkhard has over 14 years’ experience in working across the business development sector, specifically in the energy industry. Burkhard currently works as an Entrepreneur and Management Consultant. This role has a focus on strategic partnerships, revenue and growth, general management, international business development, and on working with start-ups. He has a passion for international collaboration, technology and business strategy. 

Lucas Guimaraes
Business Building Advisor - LeapSheep

Entrepreneurship is my passion. Building teams around common values and goals is the work I have chosen for life. As an entrepreneur, founder of three businesses in very different industries, I have experience in executive positions across a wide range of functions such as finance, customer service and international product procurement. But B2B marketing and sales is the area where I have developed a highly intensive expertise.As Business Building Advisor at LeapSheep, I combine my previous experiences with the continuous learning provided every day by our amazing team to support start-up founders searching for hyper-growth business strategies and structuring their marketing and sales operations.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Whyalla 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

OZ Minerals is a copper-focused international company based in South Australia. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX100) they have a growth strategy that is focused on creating value for all stakeholders.

Visit Website



Organizing Team

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

  • Peter
  • Craig
  • Georgia


Myles Foster
Organizer, Mentor & Judges

Myles founded a startup at Startup Weekend. Over 3 years he raised a $100k seed round, built a mobile app, and secured a Fortune 500 company as a customer. Myles now works at Payment Rails, a local Startup that makes payouts painless.

Event Staff

Georgia Minarelli
Marketing & comms - Innovation & Collaboration Centre

Georgia brings a passion for writing and storytelling to her role as the Marketing, Communications and Project Officer for the Innovation & Collaboration Centre — UniSA's startup incubator and the Centre running Techstars Startup Weekend in Whyalla!
Georgia’s ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders is based on her experience working in the corporate, not-for-profit and higher education sectors. She specialises in managing both proactive and reactive media enquiries, creative PR campaigns, proofing and editing, corporate communications, and brand and marketing management.More than seven years working in Communications roles has seen Georgia greatly develop her flair for writing and editing and hone her passion for exceptional customer service and attention to detail.

Craig Jones
Program Lead - Innovation & Collaboration Centre

As Project Lead at the Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC), Craig is instrumental in ensuring that the best possible outcomes are reached for all internal and external stakeholders. His passion for building teams and fostering relationships make him the ideal person to drive innovation as he is a natural at tapping into the potential of everyone he meets.Craig’s expertise in planning and delivering complex projects helps to bring order to the rapidly growing scope of the ICC. His ability to manage projects, programs and events enable entrepreneurs and startups to thrive in this community. It is testament to his mantra that communication is the key to successful project delivery.With over 15 years' international project management experience, Craig has a broad skill set. His career highlights include spearheading international relations at Olympics and the World Economic Forum, as well as managing overseas trade mission on behalf of government. Proving he is truly multiskilled, Craig also bakes a remarkable biscuit.

Peter Borda
Whyalla Community Manager - Innovation & Collaboration Centre

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