Having cemented its position as the sunshine State, Queensland has set its sights on becoming the startup State. Being involved in the startup ecosystem, I definitely feel like Queensland is the place to be. This is largely due to Advance Queensland initiatives providing startups with exposure, training and funding.
Young Starters Competition
The latest Advance Queensland initiative involves the next generation of app developers. The young starters competition is open to young Queenslanders aged 15-24 and helps connect them with leading innovators to help get their startup idea ready for investors. Along with that, budding entrepreneurs have the chance to win prizes valued at up to $45,000. Finalists were invited to attend a 2-day bootcamp with mentoring sessions and pitch coaching. A winner was then chosen at the Young Starters' Competition Pitch Event. After mentoring sessions took place at innovation hotspot Fishburners, Brag Tag App won the pitch event. By taking a photo, the fishing app measures the size of a fish while recording the time and weather conditions. In doing so it can collate the data, telling you the best times and places to fish. The best part, the founder and app developer is only 16 years old!
On the same weekend, another awesome event took place in Brisbane - the homelessness hackathon. It's a weekend-long hackathon with the tech, social, design and business communities aiming to solve issues identified by people experiencing homelessness. When you bring together some of Brisbane's best app developers, innovators and business minds for a good cause, magic happens. The winners were announced on the events twitter account, you can see the video announcement here.
Rockhampton Startup Weekend
Yep, there was a third awesome event that went down a couple weekends ago. Rockhampton startup weekend is a 54-hour event where entrants get to be part of building a business in a weekend. It involved pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The event was a one-stop shop for startups looking to get to the next level. While startup weekends have already hit Australia's big cities, it's great to see Rockhampton promote Queensland's innovation agenda. The event moves further south next weekend, with Toowoomba set to host Queensland's next startup weekend. You can check out the events schedule here.
Like I said at the beginning, I definitely feel as though Queensland is the place to be if you're an Australian startup. These initiatives are equipping innovators with the skills and knowledge needed to take their ideas to the next level. It's also great to see the government back startups and small businesses with funding (through Advance Queensland). Startups aren't the only benefactors of Queensland's innovation agenda. Find out how Brisbane software developers are also reaping the rewards.