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A start-up that helps musicians share instruments took home the top prize at this sold out creative tech event


QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) recently announced that startup Shario, a platform that allows users to share and swap musical instruments and accessories, has been awarded first prize at its sold-out event, Startup Weekend Brisbane | Creative Tech which took place from 18 to 20 March.

The event was specially designed to encourage cross-disciplinary ideas and bring together new ways of combining creative and technical skills in an engaging and interactive environment.

Dubbed as the new ‘Gumtree for Musos,’ Shario allows musicians to trade, share, or swap musical gear and was born out of the reality that while musical equipment is expensive; musicians do not typically earn a lot of money. Users can opt to swap their musical equipment temporarily or permanently, with an added perk of the platform being that users can meet with fellow musicians and build broader musical communities and networks.

The Shario team took away over $6,500 in prizes, including one-on-one business consultations and Pitcher Partners mentoring, video presenting workshop with TV Training Academy, startup explainer video from Stranger Film, marketing audit with Alpha Digital and wild card entry to a Bragger Pitching event.

The victorious Shario team

“A key takeaway and challenge for the Shario team was the need for market segmentation and a deeper understanding of the niches within our target market – we received some great advice on this from judges Steve Baxter and Michael Smellie,” Co-Founder Ellen Hartwig highlighted.

“Our immediate next step is actually pitching for investment on Wednesday night at the Bragger event in the Valley. However, the bigger picture for us now is to move from the prototyping stage towards having a functional web service and application in our hands. It’s a really exciting time for team Shario,”

How was Startup Weekend Brisbane | Creative Tech?

Ellen, who is also a member of QUT Starters pre-accelerator program, Startup Hatch, said the event was an impressive display of the talent and initiative of Brisbane up-and-comers.

“The atmosphere was inspiring and the results each team managed in just 54 hours was honestly insane! Walking away from this experience I’m never going to underestimate what can get done on short notice if you apply yourself,” she remarked.

Tickets for CEA’s Startup Weekend for Creative Tech sold out a week in advance and saw 115 participants attend, including global tech entrepreneur, Dwight Gunning, 20 mentors and leading business minds, Anna Rooke, Steve Baxter and Elaine Stead. Advance Queensland also supported the event via the Young Starters Fund, to enable the participation of young coders and would-be entrepreneurs.

The event saw 44 live pitches boiled down to a final 14 startup ideas. The other prizewinners of the weekend include Splash Zero, DiscoveredFM and Transactly.

CEO of QUT CEA, Anna Rooke, said, “As more than 75 per cent of participants had not taken part in a previous Startup Weekend, the biggest takeaway from the event was the hands-on opportunity to experience every stage of the start-up process in a fun, collaborative fashion, and be guided and mentored every step of the way.”

“To watch your idea grow and develop into a final product and in such a short amount of time is a hugely rewarding and inspiring experience for everyone but particularly for first time entrepreneurs,” Ms Rooke added.

Anna Rooke
Anna Rooke

You can check out QUT CEA’s Facebook page for photos from the event.