Australian entrepreneurs with great business ideas are set to receive a boost when Startup Weekend Melbourne takes place over 4-6th November 2011 at the new co-working hub, The York Butter Factory.
Part of a global initiative, Startup Weekend Melbourne is a 54 hour, not-for-profit venture which will see entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to receive mentoring and the chance to win $5,000 from Startup Weekend supporter Optus, as well as the chance to enter a $15,000, three-month incubator program in Singapore supplied by JFDI/Innov8.
Two venture capital funds will be on the hunt for Australia’s next top business idea over the course of the weekend. SingTel Innov8, the venture capital arm of Optus parent company SingTel, will be looking for startups to share in its $300 million fund while taking advantage of its access to Asia. Also touting itself as an Asian gateway is JFDI, a Singaporean venture capital fund and incubator. JFDI is the Asian partner of US seed funding body Techstars.
“Regional venture capitalists and incubators have started to take notice of our vibrant startup market,” said organizer Tyson Lundbech, who also won the 2010 Startup Weekends in San Francisco and New York.
“The Startup Weekend is a great way to reach the right people with the funds and gain the skills, contacts and expert mentorship required to bring business ideas to life,” he said.
For entrepreneurs who want to commercialise or workshop their bright idea, 54 hours in November will start them on the path to becoming the next big thing.
The program for Startup Weekend will begin with entrepreneurs pitching their ideas and inspiring others to vote for their idea. The top few will go on to form workshop groups, a process presided over by mentors where the focus will be on customer development, idea validation, lean startup methods and building a minimal viable product.
Teams will then present their prototype and receive feedback from a panel of experts. A winning team is then selected on factors including innovation, community benefit and business model strength.
Mr. Lundbech believes that it’s a renaissance for startups and Australia’s buoyant economy compared to other parts of the world is fueling the confidence of local entrepreneurs to ‘have a crack’ at building revolutionary products.
“Australian start ups are very fortunate in that they have access to a network of entrepreneurs, seed funds, investors, co-working spaces and incubators which provide a supportive platform to nurture new business ideas. These people are building the next Silicon Valley right here in Australia.”
To register interest in attending Startup Weekend Melbourne, or more information about the event, see melbourne.startupweekend.org