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Awesome sauce alert: Startup Weekend Adelaide & Brisbane is shaping up for greatness


The next Startup Weekend event is happening 16-18 November 2012 in Adelaide. The event will host developers, business personnel and legal experts who will work collaboratively to try and hammer out a new idea over the weekend, with a focus on bringing to bear a new startup.

The event is nearly all filled-up, but those of us watching from the side-lines have a whole lot to look forward to. Participants will arrive Friday afternoon and start networking. After dinner and a small round of pep talks, the “Pitchfire” will begin.

Anyone planning to pitch will be given one minute to make an impression on the team, with no props allowed. Attendees will then vote on the best pitches, with the winning ideas selected to be worked on by organically-formed teams over the weekend. Sounds like jolly good fun, eh?

One of the event’s organisers, Orren Prunckun feels that 2012 will be a pivotal event for the year:

We are expecting that the second Startup Weekend in Adelaide for this year will really solidify it as being the premier event on the Adelaide startup calendar. After the sell-out first event, this second one is very close to being a repeat. We hope a breakthrough startup will emerge,” says Prunckun.

What we have found is that a lot of strong connections and networks are made on the weekend, through working collaboratively in the low risk environment, and that many of these participants go on afterwards to start new projects with the same team.”

When and where?

The Adelaide event will happen at Flinders University’s Victoria Square. Startup Weekend is a global concept that puts developers, designers, marketing people, and startup enthusiasts together for 54-hours, during which dreams, teams, and even full-on startups are born.

Another of the organizers of the event is David Truong, who was part of the winning team at the first Startup Weekend held in Sydney. Truong says he has high hopes for the coming Adelaide event.

From the previous event, we had a major surge of startup activity coming together in Adelaide. Now there are countless groups that serve the once under-served tech startup scene in Adelaide. The winners of the previous event ended up quitting their jobs and working on their startup full-time,” says Truong.

The Startup Weekend event is expected to tap into talent pooled from the growing startup scene in and around Adelaide. Recent successes from the city include Happy Inspect, NoQ, Vinomofo, and Truong’s own Broccol-e-games. Truong also says that Adelaide is ripe for startups, thanks to its wealth of resourceful people, and cash flow.

There is a lot of talent and money in Adelaide, the challenge is bringing it all together and get the disparate groups talking to each other,” continues Truong. “That is one of the goals of Startup Adelaide, the organisation that runs Startup Weekend Adelaide. We want to bridge the gap and educate those that are not aware of the activity happening in Adelaide.”

Wear your working shoes…

According to both the organisers interviewed, those in attendance of the upcoming Startup Weekend should be prepared to work hard. The 54-hour event has seen all-night coding in past sessions. The Adelaide event’s venue won’t be available to the attendees after 9pm, but Troung is quick to point out that there is nothing stopping teams from carrying on the development process elsewhere after hours.

Ok, maybe a few distractions

Speakers at the Adelaide event will include Stephen Yarwood, Lord Mayor, Adelaide City Council; and Professor Michael Barber, Vice-Chancellor of Flinders Uni.

But according to Prunckun, the weekend ultimately underscores the bigger picture seen in Adelaide right now.

It is exciting that the startup ecosystem is growing in Adelaide and there seems to have been a ground swell of activity over the last year. Adelaide seems to be connecting all the dots – we have all the key features of a successful startup community,” states Prunckun.

Everything from casual meetups (Silicon Beach Drinks, Adelaide Lean Startup and Collaborate to Innovate) to useful events (Startup Weekend), to great training (Venture Dorm and MEGA), to the Tech Stars accelerator (Innovyz START), to a co-work space (Majoran Distillery), to an early stage VC fund (Acumen Ventures), and successful founders giving back and getting involved.”

More info on the coming event can be found at the Startup Weekend Website. Get your tickets while they last! Stay tuned to Anthill for additional coverage of the event, the winners, and more next week.

Editor’s note: Startup Weekend Brisbane is also scheduled for this coming weekend. Full details for the sunshine state shenanigans can be found here.