A Week in the Startup Ecosystem

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Global Entrepreneurship Week has come to an end and what a ride it has been. Here is some insight to some of the things I have been involved with over the past 7 days: some intensely, some with passion, and others with proud reflection.

Student Entrepreneur: Hollie Gordon, founder of Milaana and inaugural member of the Bond Business Accelerator, was selected as one of FOUR Aussie startups to participate in the 1776 Challenge Cup, a global startup competition based in Washington DC highlighting the world’s most promising startups tackling our most challenging problems. Hollie will represent Australia in the Education section, and she currently adorns Bond University’s landing page with a link to a great article.

Grassroots Activity: Silicon Lakes ran Startup Weekend Gold Coast, a 54-hour intensive commercialisation event run at Wotso Workspace in Varsity Lakes. Ninety people attended on Friday night with forty ideas pitched. Twelve teams formed and spent most of the weekend hacking, hustling and pitching their ideas. A nine and eleven year-old pitched their Soccerpedia idea to a rousing applause by the audience on Sunday night. There was such a buzz and hive of activity: kudos to those who support it. Aaron Birkby, you are a legend!

Gold Coast Shines: Bond University’s Faculty of Business, Silicon Lakes and the City of Gold Coast collaborated to produce the inaugural Gold Coast Demo Day, showcasing twelve of the region’s brightest new startups. Over 250 people attended the evening and witnessed what has been touted as a “world-class startup event” and “a program that absolutely outshone any previous pitch and training session in Queensland’s short history”. Gold Coast Demo Day was an official event of Global Entrepreneurship Week and has received significant attention in the media.

Brisbane Young Entrepreneurs: The annual awarding of the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year award was conducted at Customs House on Friday and showcased the depth of talent in different fields in South East Queensland.Robert Rowe from Tu Projects took out the top award. It was a great opportunity for me to share Bond’s contribution to the space to an audience that, despite our relatively close proximity, at times seems distant.

Educating MBA Students: The second intensive block of my Entrepreneurship and Innovation class ran this past weekend, where we focused on innovation enablement in established firms. Mandy Johnson shared her immense knowledge of building high performance teams with the students and we had spirited discussions around the challenges and opportunities inherent in the corporate entrepreneurship space.

Bond Startup Sprouts Wings: Mitch Pierias, current Bond Business Accelerator startup and founder of Sprout (a new social platform that combines the intimacy of a messaging service with the community of a social network), was selected to be one of 20 smart young Queenslanders in the Startup Catalyst program and traveled to Silicon Valley. This past weekend he pitched Sprout to Startup Weekend San Francisco and achieved SECOND PLACE!!!! This is an unbelievable outcome and is testament to the strength of the South East Queensland startup sector.

Well, there you have it. Seven days.


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