Startup Weekend Toowoomba

    Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

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

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The GRID Hybrid Arts Collective
Level 1, 488 Ruthven St
Toowoomba, QLD 4350

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Startup Weekend Toowoomba - It's Global Startup Battle time!

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour whirlwind event where you get to be part of building a business in a weekend, Silicon Valley style.  It's about pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of a panel of judges and an opportunity to win great prizes.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and teams organically form around the top ideas. All ideas, applications and platforms are welcome – remember that the sky is the limit!

How does it work?

We're mashing the geeks with entrepreneurs and everyone in between, and locking them in a building together for a weekend, pouring in a heap of caffeine and free food, to see what new ideas come out the other end.This 54 hour event brings together creatives, technologists, designers and developers to experiment with rapid idea generation, Silicon Valley style. 

It is a fast-paced and highly creative event that challenges everyone who attends to make innovative new projects in 54 hours.

Who can attend?

Anyone. Whether you're 8 or 88, a painter, actor, software engineer, writer, graphic designer, geek, entrepreneur, photographer, musician, programmer, museum curator, or startup specialist. Whether you have an idea, or have no idea. Everyone is welcome. (We even allow bankers and used-car salesmen to come along!) 

What you will get out of it

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? Startup Weekend  is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered citizens who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures or products.  Whether participants found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, find a creative collaborator, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to have a heap of fun, and to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life! 

Watch this video from Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast:


Friday November 14th

6:00 pm
Doors open & Registration
Arrive at the GRID Hybrid Arts Collective and get checked in

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

7:15 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
line up to give your 1 minute pitch of your great idea.

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches - The 3 ideas you like the most.

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming around the most popular ideas and begin discussing those 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 till midnight. After that teams can sleep or continue elsewhere.

Saturday November 15th

8:30 am
Doors open and breakfast
Back at the GRID, simple breakfast & coffee, juice etc is supplied.

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:30 pm
Delicious nutritious lunch supplied

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coaches & mentors on deck
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm
Yummy dinner supplied to keep you fueled up!

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

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work till Midnight.

Sunday November 16th

8:30 am
Doors open & Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee etc supplied

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

12:30 pm
Mmm More delicious food!

1:00 pm
Last opportunity to use coaches

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

5:00 pm
Down tools
Stop work & take a breath.

5:30 pm
Dinner is served
Munchies to fuel the pitches

6:15 pm
Present your Business or Enterprise
Pitch your Startup to the Judges

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Event complete

Event Judges

Anthony Holzwart
Principal Economic Development Officer DSDIP

Anthony Holzwart – Principal Economic Development Officer, Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning [Darling Downs & South West].  With a focus on business improvement within key industry sectors, Anthony’s role puts him in contact with a wide range of regional businesses, with the purpose of moving them towards global best practice.  His passion for assisting regional enterprises to realise their full potential is supported by an extensive track record of business development experience both domestically and offshore.  

AJ Doidge
General Manager - Ability Enterprises

AJ Doidge is a former Police Officer, Teacher, Deputy Principal and Child Safety Resource Officer who is now the General Manager of Ability Enterprises Ltd in Toowoomba, Queensland. Ability Enterprises Ltd is a not for profit, Public Benevolent Institution that specialises in providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and long term unemployed.  
Ability Enterprises Ltd are currently undertaking a number of social enterprise projects as well as providing labour hire options for local employers.
Ability Enterprises Ltd works with a number of mainstream and disability employment services to source new workers and to meet the diversity and demands of the workplace. It currently employs 50 staff.

Geoff Neil
Senior Consultant – Crowe Horwath

Geoff has previously been CEO of a National Retail Group, General Manager of SME companies and has operated his own business. He has extensive management experience across a range of sectors. His skill set enables him to quickly identify areas for improvement and opportunities for growth, allowing him to deliver practical solutions to clients they can implement in their business. Geoff's belief in ‘easy to understand’ communication and his understanding of the support required to operate a successful business, add significant value to the strategic management and consulting services he provides his clients throughout Southern Queensland regions.

Lucy Richardson
General Manager - Programs - Condamine Alliance

Lucy is an environmental engineer who has been working in the environmental and natural resource management field for over 15 years. She is currently a General Manager at Condamine Alliance and oversees the organisation’s information management systems, and communications and marketing. Previously, Lucy led the science and research portfolio for Condamine Alliance, where she had the opportunity to work with many different individuals and organisations on innovative research in the areas of monitoring and evaluation, and  information capture and sharing solutions. Lucy’s passion for protection of our landscapes for the future, and in capturing and sharing information about what we learn in our daily activities  has led the organisation to many improvements in the way they manage environmental information and program learnings, and in the way that information is shared with the wider community

Eddy Iles
Employment Advisor

Employment Advisor.  There are no bad ideas its all about the timing.Has worked extensively with the Human Service field.  In his most recent role Eddy has been exposed to the needs of many small and large businesses and in some cases has needed to collaborate for solutions which meet business and employee needs.  Proprietor of small craft based internet business. Eddy has a keen interest in sustainable business built around ethical social practices and believes that the social capital will become more important as time goes on.Rather than say “no” Eddy prefers to look at  a “how can it be done”  or “how can it be done better” approach.

Coaches and Mentors

Garry Humphries
Regional Manager N.P.R.S.R.


Regional Manager, Queensland Government, Sport & Recreation Services South West Queensland.

Garry has proudly served Federal, State and Local Government in some of the most remote parts of Australia, from delivering participation programs in the Gulf of Carpentaria to the management of remote outdoor education facilities outside Mt Isa, managing after school centres in Inala, to managing Municipal pools, sports centres and a city wide events program in the densely urban Logan area to sport and recreation services in South Western Queensland covering an area the same size as 1 x Victoria and 2 x Tasmanias.

Read more! 

Dr. Stuart Hazell
Managing Director - Fusidium

In the start-up space, Stuart is one of the founders and Managing Director of Amblyoptica (Holding) Pty Ltd., a start-up company developing a medical device to treat “Lazy Eye”. Dr Stuart Hazell has more than 35 years experience in life science. This includes biomedical research, where he has published over 110 scientific papers. Stuart’s consulting company, Fusidium Pty Ltd. delivers consulting services, including biomedical industry quality and regulatory affairs, technology assessment, strategic planning and business development.

Mark Thomas
Business Improvement Practitioner

Mark Thomas is an experienced Lean practitioner who has a focus on assisting 
SME's transfer from successful businesses into truly Lean Enterprises.
Mark was a founding director of The Association of Manufacturing Excellence in 
Australia (AME) and has organized and presented at many conferences across the country and overseas. As a coach, mentor and facilitator with a background 

In Operations Management he has introduced Lean principles and Lean thinking 
into businesses across many different industry sectors with outstanding results.

Ivanka Menken

Ivanka Menken is the co-founder and CEO of the world's premier IT service framework company, The Art of Service, which she started in 2000 after immigrating to Australia from The Netherlands.  Her company is one of the most trusted sources globally for learning content for the career-driven IT professional and has supported IT Professionals in 150 countries.  She is a sought-after speaker at global IT events and has addressed the renowned IT Service Management Forum numerous times on IT service and cloud computing in Australia, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, the USA and Canada.
In 2005 she co-founded Emereo publishing with her husband and is currently actively involved with two startup companies: and 
Ivanka served on the board of the Brisbane chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation and as President of the chapter from January 2011 - June 2012, leading the chapter to reach the prestigious Rockstar Status. 

Leo O'Reilly
Senior Consultant

Leo spent 26 years in the Australian Army, qualifying as an Army helicopter Pilot and flying instructor. The highlights of his military career include serving as Deputy Director Army Aviation in Defence Headquarters where he was successful in developing the business case and gaining approval and funding for the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH). He has commanded the Australian Defence Force Helicopter School in Canberra, raised the Army Helicopter School in Oakey, and commanded the Aviation Capability Development Group at Oakey where he project managed the introduction into service of the ARH and MRH90 Helicopters.   Leo is a senior consultant with Gibsons Consulting and has been consulting in Toowoomba since 2006.   As a consultant Leo and is well known through his active involvement with the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, and as the Institute of Management Consultants (Queensland) Chapter President. He is a mentor on the Queensland Government’s ‘Mentoring for Growth’ program, offers assistance under the Commonwealth ‘Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program’, and helps local companies to take advantage of growth opportunities. He also runs workshops and mentoring programs for start-ups.

Tia-Lea Austin
Communication Coordinator

Tia-Lea works as a Communication Coordinator for a Toowoomba Financial Advice company, while working privately as a communication consultant for her own company, Make it Strategic.
She has experience in public relations, media writing, project management, developing strategic plans, social media management, digital media production and website design and management.
After completing a Bachelor of Communication, Tia-Lea worked at the USQ Office of Corporate Communications and Public Relations and for the Qld Department of Main Roads and Transport.

"I believe that communication should be authentic, strategic and personal. People interact with other people, not organisations. You need to find and use your own voice to break through all the marketing noise to connect.  I enjoy helping people do that."

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Toowoomba 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.



Major Supporter

Catering Support

National SW Sponsors

Local Prize Sponsor

4G Data Support

Organizing Team

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

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