Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast

    Friday, May 8 - 10, 2015

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

Friday, May 8 - 10, 2015

Friday, May 8 - 10, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Innovation Centre
University of the Sunshine Coast
90 Sippy Downs Drive
Sippy Downs QLD 4556, Australia

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Want to become an entrepreneur in 54 hours?


Startup Weekend is an intense, action-based, coffee induced, and sleep deprived event made for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurial people. This event is for everyone - people with business ideas looking for skills, or people with skills looking for a business idea. Not sure which one you fit? It doesn't matter - the future belongs to the ones who show up! 

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. 

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed 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! 

Check out our Facebook page for daily updates:  SWSC or connect with us on Twitter @SWsunshinecoast

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Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday May 8th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:45 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:45 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:10 pm
John Whiteoak
Starting your entrepreneurial journey

7:20 pm
Peter Grant
A Startup Community

7:30 pm
Wilfred Watson
Success Starts at Startup Weekend

7:40 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:30 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

11:00 pm
Venue Closes

Saturday May 9th

7:05 am
Venue opens

8:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee Teams set-up

9:00 am
Tim Eldridge
Workshop: Business model canvas, customer validation and MVP

10:00 am
James Banks
Workshop: Building Your Website

11:00 am
App Workshop
Getting Started on Your App

11:15 am
Dean Alle
Coaches meet for a briefing

12:00 pm

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

2:00 pm
PARTICIPANTS: Get help, ask a coach - check the schedule for time slots

6:00 pm

6:30 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

11:00 pm
Venue Closes

Sunday May 10th

7:00 am
Venue Opens

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Check-In and Coaches Arrive
Final opportunity to ask questions; Grab a coach

12:00 pm

12:05 pm
Final Pitch Presentation Workshop
Tips and practicing your pitch for the final presentation. Grab your meal and join this workshop

2:30 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

4:45 pm
Final Presentations

6:50 pm
Judging & Awards

7:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


John Whiteoak
Phd, Hons, AFAIM

Dr. John Whiteoak has more than ten years experience as a management consultant working with many well-known organisations across a wide range of corporate management issues in Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. As a company director he has written company prospectuses that have raised significant venture capital.

John is a recognised expert in high performing organisations, employee behaviour, motivation and leadership. In his capacity as a Management Lecturer John has worked with hundreds of Masters of Business of Administration (MBA) and Executive MBA students both in Australia and overseas. He also has published work on team effectiveness, employee engagement and motivation in many high quality international management journals.

Peter Grant
Executive Coach

Peter has over ten years experience running start-ups as well as a long (20 year plus) history in executive roles across corporate and government. He has worked in various Chief Information Officer positions, as a State Director for Microsoft and as Vice president of Gartner Consulting. Currently Peter is working as an executive coach on 'interesting' consulting assignments. He also provides advice to a number of advisory boards in the university and government sector. Peter is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. He is an Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland. He holds a Bachelor of Business and a Research Masters Degree in Information Systems.

Event Judges

Peta Ellis
Chief Executive Officer, River City Labs

Startup Community Activator Peta Ellis is a Communications Professional with 15+ years’ experience in Marketing Communications, Media Relations, Publicity, Social Media Marketing and Public Profile Management.   Since 2012 Peta has worked alongside Steve Baxter, the founder of River City Labs to grow Brisbane's Startup community and establish RCL as Brisbane’s most prominent Coworking community of Tech Startups , Entrepreneurs and industry mentors.

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. 

Mark Phillips
International Business Mentor – Serial Entrepreneur

Mark is an Australian Entrepreneur, Investor & Mentor who has launched 4 startups and is a firm believer that innovation is the key success factor for high growth businesses.  As a qualified Chartered Accountant Mark has had a successful career as an international gymnast, IT consultant, salesperson & manager with KPMG, Apple and Microsoft as well as an entrepreneur in his own startups.

His first startup went global within 2 years and opened a Silicon Valley office in 1995. Another received a $7.5m buyout offer on Launch Day. Mark has been responsible for over $250m in sales and has worked with a number of Global Leaders and Heads of State around the world.

Known for his business creativity, IT aptitude and relaxed style (and hence his brand ‘business in bare feet’) Mark operates from Queensland, Australia where he mentors innovative Executives, Founders & NGOs around the globe.  Mark is an avid aviator, hot air balloonist, adventure motorcyclist and traveller who has visited & worked in around 100 countries.

Stephanie Moroz
Chief Executive Officer

Stephanie has extensive experience leading the development and commercialisation of new technologies. She has worked in a range of settings from large multinationals to startups in Canada, Germany, France and Australia. She is now CEO of Nano-Nouvelle, a venture capital funded business developing nanomaterials for applications such as high performance batteries. Coming from a strong technical background, she has successfully pitched numerous business plans either for internal corporate funding or for external capital raising, and in 2014 she was the winner in the Investment Category of the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre’s Business Pitch Competition.

Mike Clements
Head, School of Business

Mike Clements leads the USC School of Business and has held several senior leadership roles at universities. His research interests focus on innovation in supply chain management, logistics and strategic management. He has over 17 years industry experience in various senior management roles with logistics, distribution, and marketing sectors along with defence operations, electrical, chemical and the FMCG food industry, providing a wide range of industry expertise. Professor Clements is also a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Coaches and Mentors

Tim Eldridge
Director, Eldridge Marketing

Tim works directly with the CEOs of established companies, as well as start-up entrepreneurs, to assist them with business development goal setting, strategy development and stakeholder engagement. He has had over 20 years' experience in working with famous global brands and Fortune 1000 clients at senior levels, and has developed supremely customer-orientated view of their business. Tim helps these companies review their strategic marketing choices, and advises them how to put winning strategies into motion.

Stephen Huff

Steve has recently joined Unilinkme a new technology venture focused on creating education pathways for professionals. He brings broad management and leadership experience in international markets to the company. He is a respected entrepreneur, investor and start-up specialist with over a dozen successful start-ups to his credit; he has significant experience growing companies in both Australia and the US. As a director, Steve sits on the Board of various organisations, including Typefi Systems, Sixty Second Parent, Cavitus Solutions and the Light Foundation.

Andrea Martins

Andrea Martins is an online entrepreneur whose site attracted annual sponsorships from global companies HSBC, Barclays Wealth, Aetna International, SIRVA Relocation and more. Since selling her site for six figures in 2014, Andrea has co-founded GreenSocks (an online marketplace for lawn mowing services) and Story Resumes (a boutique creative resume service). Andrea was a participant in the 2014 StartupWeekend Sunshine Coast and a finalist in the 2014 Business Pitch competition at the Innovation Centre.

Aaron Birkby
EIR @ RCL Accelerator

Entrepreneur In Residence at River City Labs Accelerator powered by muru-D.  Co-founder and CEO of Silicon Lakes. Startup Weekend Australia. Weekly tech segment on ABC Coast FM.14 businesses, 4 successful exits.

Dean Alle
Entrepreneur in Residence, Innovation Centre

Dean Alle has a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, commercialisation and intellectual property management. He has led major technology commercialisation projects with Australian Universities and Research Centres, spin off and start up companies, and corporates. Dean has worked as a Patent Examiner for IP Australia, as Intellectual Property Manager for several start-up companies at the Australian Technology Park Sydney, and as strategic advisor to commercialisation centres. Dean has a PhD in Atomic and Molecular Physics from the Australian National University.

Yvette Adams
Director, The Creative Collective

Yvette Adams is a serial entrepreneur having started 5 businesses from scratch, the first a newspaper when she was just 17, and 2 of which she has since sold. She is the founder and owner of The Creative Collective, a creative agency offering website design & development, social media, seo, ppc, emarketing, marketing, PR as well as an extensive array of training including webinars, BYO Laptop trainings and more. A multi-award winning business woman including winning the 2013 ICT Woman of the Year at the prestigious iAwards and the Commonwealth Bank Business Owner of the Year at the Telstra Business Women's Awards, Queensland in 2010 against 4200 applicants her latest online business is - an online portal for business owners wanting to find business awards they may be able to enter.

James Banks
Co-founder of Web3

Through Web3, James specialises in generating more revenue for businesses through online lead generation and websites built to convert leads to customers.  As a keynote speaker for various national technology conferences and featured on WordPress TV, James is passionate about helping startup businesses plan, develop and execute an online strategy designed to consistently bring in paying customers. With over a half a decade of experience in running multiple online technology startups, James has implemented online technology solutions for clients like the Queensland Government. He enjoys programming and doing UI/UX design for his own online software projects in his spare time.

Amanda Barreto Cavalcanti
Interaction Designer

Amanda loves everything about tech, design and innovation. She has a passion for all stages of interaction design: from getting to know the user, coming up with a concept and planning its execution, to finally building a product that works and is simple to use. Amanda is working on her PhD in Interactive Media at the Engage Research Lab and it’s her mission to get as much people as possible excited about changing the world with technology. She was a participant in 2014 Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast and her team won an Honorable Mention.

Danielle Neale
CEO, Bespoke

Recently named in the Sydney Morning Herald as a Rising Star in ICT, Danielle is the iAwards Panel Lead Judge in the Hills Young Innovator of the Year Award, Non-Executive Director on the Board of Women in Technology (WiT), and CEO of software development company, Bespoke. She has an intimate understanding of the software development process, is an experienced graphic designer and a serial entrepreneur specialising in lean startup and collaborative ventures. At age 23, Danielle started and sold her first business in under 2 years with two young children by her side. She is the Vice President of the Stepping Stone Clubhouse and speaks, writes and consults on technology innovation in both the business and non-profit space. Danielle brings practical experience from the “School of Hard Knocks”, no shortage of creative ideas, volumes of energy and an inspiring presence and attitude.

Luke Humble
Managing Director

Luke Humble is a successful entrepreneur and marketing professional, who has been at the core of the formation of a portfolio of international businesses including Frozen Motion (Clubsnapper), Demonic Group, Rock It Rally, Exquisite Wines, Harmonize Media and Scanning Ocean Sectors. A pioneer in his field, Luke is now the Managing Director of Italic Creative, a thriving creative marketing agency which offers innovative design and commercial solutions to its international client base. With over sixteen years in the industry, Luke specialises in the digital marketing arena, implementing strategic initiatives across technology streams in order to drive business success.

Julien Marchand

Having acquired an MBA in Management from Queens University, NC, USA, Julien is currently completing his PhD in Entrepreneurship. His professional experience includes: Change Management consultant for Capgemini in France, Entrepreneur in Mobility applications, Innovation consultant for various SMEs and Business Developer Manager in innovation for Telstra Enterprise and Government. Julien is passionate about leveraging his practical experience to help student entrepreneurs and further the research on student entrepreneurship.

Danum Harris-Lusk

Danum Harris-Lusk is a 22 year old student entrepreneur, who is constantly motivated to maintain a strong work ethic. During the graduation year of High School, Danum connected with entrepreneurship as a career, seeing its potential to allow him to express creativity, empower youth and create financial freedom for the ones that matter most. Danum’s entrepreneurial journey has spanned across a variety of technology startups with Phenomec, a virtual reality hardware and software venture, best positioned for commercial success. Phenomec was founded as a result of winning the Sunshine Coast Startup Weekend in May of 2014.

Mic Black
Software R & D Manager (UX)

Drawing on a very broad skill set and extreme working velocity from founding roles in successful technology start ups with aggressive goals, Mic has been the go to guy for everything from product design, hands on design/ development through to team leadership. Leveraging off a successful career in software research and development specialising in user experience, Mic promotes a certain child-like wonderment being central to the work he does. Talk to Mic for user experience, usage analysis, physical computing, offsite team management and having to find a way to make whatever it is work when the odds are stacked against you. Mic is also the creator of the Sunshine Coast's own Pixel Mosaic.

Keith Grisman
Executive MBA

As the Founder of Property Only, Keith has unparalleled expertise in all facets of property investing and development, and personally built a substantial property portfolio across South East Queensland, including Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
After purchasing his initial property at 17, Keith became a commercial sales and leasing agent with major firms and gained expertise in leasing, buying and building residential, commercial, investment and development sites.  He first retired at 33 with a personal holding in excess of 50 investment properties. The GFC taught Keith many lessons and took a personal toll but it’s one that along with his property knowledge, he is keen to share with others to improve their property decisions.Keith’s focus is to provide investors in the commercial, residential and industrial sector in Queensland with an unmatched level of service in property management and advice.

Peter Grant
Executive Coach

Peter has over ten years experience running start-ups as well as a long (20 year plus) history in executive roles across corporate and government. He has worked in various Chief Information Officer positions, as a State Director for Microsoft and as Vice president of Gartner Consulting. Currently Peter is working as an executive coach on 'interesting' consulting assignments. He also provides advice to a number of advisory boards in the university and government sector. Peter is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. He is an Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland. He holds a Bachelor of Business and a Research Masters Degree in Information Systems.

Melanie Summer

Melanie Summer is the product of innovative thinking, hard work and determination. With over 25 years owning and operating a range of businesses in the SME market, she won the National Telstra Small Business Award in 2011 for her business Flash Fotos; a business that was on the verge of bankruptcy before Melanie took sole ownership and turned the business to profit within 3 months and then became debt free within 9 months.

A Master Practitioner in NLP and Hypnotherapist, Melanie views business with different eyes. Her innovative thinking combined with her real-world experience and completion of an Executive MBA gives her a cutting edge advantage across all her businesses that range from traditional industries such as Real Estate to emerging online knowledge industries focusing on education.

Melanie is one of the coaches heading the government program ‘Mentoring for Growth’, she is a veteran business owner, co-author of “Online marketing 3.0” and “20/20 A fresh look at Business Inspiration,“ National Business Awards Winner and one of the inaugural Business Coaches at the initial Sunshine Coast Start Up Weekend in 2014.

Melanie Summer is dedicated to being a leader of her life and looks forward to assisting attendees to understand and master both personal and professional success.

Wilf Watson

Wilf Watson is an award winning entrepreneur and multimedia producer. For the last decade he has worked in a range of professional design and production roles developing e-learning content, as well as producing award winning short films, television commercials and shows for clients such as National Geographic. Wilf is currently studying a double degree, majoring in Marketing, Management and Serious Games. He is the founder of Phenomec, a tech start-up developing unique virtual reality products and applications. Phenomec was founded as a result of winning the Sunshine Coast Start-up Weekend in May, 2014.

Neil Waldbaum

Neil is an experienced product designer and entrepreneur. His business Deep Orange Design operates on the Sunshine Coast and has helped dozens of inventors realise their product dreams. Neil helps ordinary people with great ideas through the design and development process,  turning ideas into design concepts, prototypes and commercial products on the shelves of retail stores around Australia and overseas.
Neil participated in the previous Sunshine Coast Startup Weekend, helping a number of teams develop their products, including the winning team!

Craig Josic
CDO at Schoolzine

Craig Josic (CJ) Chief Digital Officer of Schoolzine
CJ is the Chief Digital Officer for Schoolzine, a company who specialise in digital services for schools, businesses & organisations.
As the CDO he is responsible for the end-to-end strategy, design and implementation of their digital roadmap. CJ is a creative, driven leader who innately looks across departments and corporate boundaries to solve large-scale problems. Because of his years of experience in business management, the language of P&Ls, KPIs, and change management is natural to him; at the same time, he has spent years surrounded by technologists & CEO’s working on everything from corporate strategy to digital marketing. CJ is comfortable as a culture broker, establishing a single vision that spans businesses and technologies and being the active champion who gets everyone on board to execute that vision.
CJ is successful as a CDO not just because he has passion and vision, but because of his years building a broad social network of business leaders and innovators and his on-going commitment to projects like The Core and CoreEd, which are collaborative programs designed to inspire the next generation.
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Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast 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 Sunshine Coast is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Retha
  • Jarna
  • Sandie
  • Julien
  • Marcus
  • Bryn
  • Anne


Marcus Eikeland

Marcus is a senior partner working in the cross-section of innovation, strategy and management. He has a broad background in IT consultancy, and project management. In 2013 Marcus was the lead organizer of Startup Weekend Stavanger, Norway. He was also the co-facilitator of SW Sunshine Coast in 2014. 
Marcus surfs, kitesurfs and skates on longboard. Life is good! Yay!

Event Staff

Jason Riddell

I am passionate about technology and believe that modern communication is a combination of online and face to face interactions. I have businesses experience in desktop publishing, event management services, and community infrastructure projects working with businesses and community groups for social outcomes. I am currently undertaking a Bachelor of Design and Communication at USC, majoring in communications and e-media and minoring in public relations and serious games. I am passionate about helping people understand technology within their businesses and for social outcomes that help people discover their dreams.

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