17 new businesses launched on the Sunshine Coast in one weekend

Congratulations to the 17 new businesses launched inside 54 hours following the resounding success of the Sunshine Coast’s first Start Up Weekend.

More than 40 people pitched their start up business ideas in front of 140 spectators on Friday night, with 17 teams forming to further develop their ideas over the weekend, with the help of 14 highly experienced business mentors.

VR Smart View was announced the winner after the 17 teams pitched their final business propositions to a panel of four judges on Sunday night. They have won more than $15,000 in prizes as well as a range of discounts and other items through Start Up Weekend’s global program, rewardli.com.

Team VR Smart View
The VR Smart View team

VR Smart View is a head mountable display case which uses the smartphone as a mobile immersive media device. Users can slot their smart phone into the headset, which the team anticipates will retail for as little as $100, and enjoy 3D movies, games or engage in other smartphone related activities on a huge screen, hands and cords-free.

The VR Smart View team included three students from the University of the Sunshine Coast: Wilfrid Watson-Russell (Bachelor of Business and Art), Ben Lowe (Bachelor of Journalism), and Danum Harris-Lusk (Bachelor of Business Marketing and a minor in Entrepreneurship), Stephen Maher (owner of Metaweb) and industrial designer Neil Waldbaum.

Judges said the winning idea had the most commercial potential, in a market which was extremely hot right now following the sale of the Oculus Rift to Facebook for $2 billion earlier this year. They were impressed the team had developed a 3D printed proto-type, secured $450 in sales, and a potential multi-million dollar distribution deal, all during the course of the weekend.

An 11-year-old Brisbane girl, Lili Haigh-Neale, came second in the hotly contested competition with her app targeted at 10-15 year olds called IdeallyNow, with Layover announced third. My Shift Match was awarded an honourable mention.

“RDA Sunshine is proud to have been part of such an amazing event, which clearly shows the entrepreneurial qualities of the Sunshine Coast community. Well done to all participants and we look forward to seeing these new companies enjoy great success into the future,” CEO Russell Mason said.

Russell Mason@SUWSC
RDA Sunshine Coast CEO Russell Mason

Aaron Birkby, co-founder of Silicon Lakes and lead organiser of Start Up Weekend Gold Coast who has been involved in six Start Up Weekends across Australia and the United States, says he believes the Sunshine Coast achieved the largest start up weekend event outside of a capital city in Australia.

“This weekend has exceeded all other events I have been involved in, particularly being the first one that has been held here, and in terms of the number of spectators, participants, and the caliber of ideas and outcomes,” he said.

Start Up Weekend Sunshine Coast
The first Start Up Weekend Sunshine Coast was a resounding success. Images: The Creative Collective.

The event was a joint initiative of the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and University of the Sunshine Coast School of Business, and sponsored locally by Sunshine Coast Council and RDA Sunshine Coast.

To hear about upcoming events and news related to the growing Sunshine Coast start up and tech eco-system, go to: http://goo.gl/47ZyzI or www.facebook.com/SWSunshineCoast and @SWSunshineCoast (Twitter).

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