What is it?
The Startup Hackathon is a 2.5-day program that gives aspiring founders the ideal setting to learn, network, and evolve their startups. The immersive experience is jam-packed with challenges, real-life insights from the ecosystem, and brilliant minds coming together.
This year, we brought over James Alexander (Co-Founder of Galileo Ventures, a seed fund and startup program dedicated to supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs across Australia) to facilitate the weekend at the Deakin University Burwood Campus. As someone who has spent their career supporting students launch over 99 startups – creating innovations that include underwater robots to flying taxis – who have gone on to attract over $30 million in seed funding and create hundreds of jobs, we knew James was the perfect guy for the gig.
And because we are not about doing things conventionally, we kicked off the weekend with the comedy performance ‘How to become a billionaire, time travel, and be the best at hackathons. A short guide.’ by educator, social entrepreneur, engineer, and multiple-world-record-breaker, Julian O’Shea.
Who’s going to be there?
Our Startup Hackathon brought along a bright and ambitious group of hackers, hipsters, and hustlers. Because the success of the weekend relies on collaboration, we invite people with diverse skillsets to attend and co-learn together. This year, we were joined by a combination of business (marketers, founders, legal), technical (software devs, engineers, scientists), and creative (arts, design, communications) individuals. We even had someone with a military background! It was awesome to see the magic happen when these different skills and brainpower come together.
Our participants also come from different stages in their career and startup journeys. We were impressed by the curious and hard-working students who were exploring the startup world for the first time, the seasoned entrepreneurs and founders who were ready to collaborate, and people from later stages in their careers who were eager to for a fresh pivot through this space.
What did they do?
James led the teams through an intensive course on everything-to-know when building to a startup. Everyone got to learn how to validate a business idea, talk to customers (and actually do it), understand the right business model for your startup, know all about the latest marketing tips and tricks, and master the art of pitching.
Over the course of the weekend, the teams also hustled on a startup idea that they pitched on the final day. We were inspired to see some very out-of-the-box thinking. Here’s a recap of some of the startups the teams worked on (presented in random order):
- Study Buddy: Connecting students and business-people to expert mentors for on-demand answers.
- Usku: a community platform where people can offer services in transporting goods from one place to another
- AirRentalz: direct bookings provider between hotels and customers, as a true partner rather than an online travel agent
- Zero Plastic: creating biodegradable fuel to ultimately bring un-recycled plastic down to zero.
- CHAMPS: on-demand easy and legal access to appealing fees and giving people the confidence to ultimately reduce stress levels.
- Clarity: a web-based toolkit to support international students in finding internships
- Flex Motion Technologies: brining gym equipment into the IoT space to support gym owners in acquiring and retaining customers
Why should you go?
The Startup Hackathon environment is the perfect place for you to get a taste for what it’s like to hustle as an entrepreneur. Here are the key takeaways our participants leave the program with:
- Networks and connections – The weekend attracts like-minded people who are keen to build innovative ventures. You could meet your new co-founder, mentor, investor, and more.
- Problem-solving skills – Are you prepared to be challenged and to grow? The learning environment gives you an opportunity to trial, test, and problem-solve in an efficient and impactful way.
- Access the ins and outs – The Startup Hackathon is designed to supercharge your understanding of what exactly it takes to launch a successful startup. Our facilitators bring in content and insights from their real-life and real-time experiences.
- Have a blast – The weekend is intense as much as it’s intensely fun. We’re creating a fun and safe experience for you to try new things, play, fumble, and rise.
And our final point. We care about your growth as an entrepreneur. A lot.
This is why we exist. To work together with you and support you on your journey of building something awesome now and in the future. We were lucky to be joined by an impressive and passionate panel of judges who were very generous in sharing some of their best advice to participants.
Meet our stellar crew of judges this year:
- Joel Hanna, Founder of Big Little Brush
- Jeanette Cheah, Co-Founder and CEO of The Hacker Exchange
- Josh Sharma, Startup Lawyer and Adviser at LUNA
- Aiman Hamdouna, Co-Founder and CEO of Hatch Quarter.
Are you ready to be a part of a jam-packed and super fun startup learning experience? Be the first to know about the next Startup Hackathon by submitting an expression of interest here.