Startup Weekend Queensland launches tonight in Cairns, Townsville and the Gold Coast, the first time the three events will operate simultaneously in the state.
The 54-hour startup crash courses, which will follow the standard “Pitch, Build and Launch” structure of previous Startup Weekends, will be coordinated through video conferencing tool Zoom and officially opened by Wotif founder Graeme Wood tonight.
“Essentially we’re doing live streaming between the three cities, it’s building bridges,” Startup Weekend Cairns organiser Troy Haines said. “Being in Cairns we’re quite remote, but connecting it in with the south east is just another initiative to help reaffirm that QLD is one state.”
Silicon Lakes coordinators Aaron Birkby and Greg Burnett have operated a number of these events on the Gold Coast, and have reportedly taken the lead with this year’s trifecta. But this weekend marks the first Townsville event and second Cairns’ operation, so it’s heartening to see that their ecosystems have expanded to the point where there are both appropriate numbers and talent.
Following his first year of operating Startup Weekends, Haines wants to see more vertical Startup Weekends in Cairns and plans to capitalise on the city’s key sectors with a tourism and hospitality event in 2015. But for this weekend’s triple event, his focus remains on growing all three ecosystems, emphasising the state’s connectedness, and drawing attention to entrepreneurship in regional areas.
“Our main focus is just building out our ecosystem, once again bring together all the key stakeholders, and reaffirm that there is something happening in far north Queensland and that we can get ideas up,” Haines said.