Be an early adopter!  Startup Weekend Cairns returns 21-23 November 2014

Cairns’s 2nd Startup Weekend is an opportunity to learn the basics of founding business startups and launching successful business and tech startup ventures.  Cairns Startup Weekend is a not for profit event supporting the development and expansion of entrepreneurship in Cairns.  Through weekend-long, hands-on experiences entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable and learn from being immersed in the process of moving an idea to market.

The first Startup Weekend in Cairns was a high-energy, dynamic and creative event that brought together like-minded business creators for 54hrs of pitching, learning, team development, mentoring, designing, pivoting and startup creation. 50+ budding entrepreneurs (the youngest being 13 and the oldest being 65) and supporters gathered for a weekend long frenzy of building startup businesses with the help and guidance of experienced mentors.

This November Cairns Startup Weekend participants will also be part of the Global Startup Battle for 2014.  As the world celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week, Cairns participants in the Startup Weekend will join with hundreds of other events, and thousands of other participants around the World as part of a global community of entrepreneurs through the largest startup competition in the World.  Cairns winners will have the opportunity to represent North Queensland on this global platform. This is a life changing event with a legacy of high performing, long-lasting teams emerging and you have the opportunity to be part of it.

Eventbrite - Startup Weekend Cairns 11/2014

What we learnt from our first Startup Weekend experience.

Get Online Australia took part in the first Startup Weekend in Cairns and what a weekend it was.  Troy Haines and Damian Zammit from TheSPACE created an atmosphere that was buzzing with energy from the get go.  Pitching an idea in less than a minute can be daunting, but the spirit of the event was set – just give it a go.  The range of experience in pitching went from practised professionals through to “I just have an idea and I think it has possibilities…”.

For an idea to take flight, it needs a good team and the ‘speed team formation’ session that followed the pitching allowed teams to form around the ideas that had the most gravitas.  Within a short time newly formed teams were disappearing to corners to start team huddles around ‘how do we do this?’.

The 54hrs of idea to marketplace that takes place during a Startup Weekend is a business course on steroids.  Mentors are on hand giving advice, presentations and helpful shoves in the right direction.  Team building skills are developed on the fly as you get to know team members, learn to work together cohesively to plough through the workload and keep the energy and creativity firing.

What were the big take homes for us?  Be flexible.  Talk to your customers and understand their needs – shoving what you think is a good idea at them won’t work.  Communication is essential and having mentors that can give advice from a higher level perspective (rather than the buried in the task perspective) can save you working your way straight off a very unforgiving cliff!