Aspiring entrepreneurs gathered at the Hub Adelaide over the weekend as part of Startup Weekend to pitch their business ideas in hopes of sponsorship to launch their product.
Attendees inspired others to join their business by promoting their best ideas on Friday, forming nine teams to further develop their business plans over Saturday and Sunday.
The panel of three judges evaluated the viability of the startups using their personal experience and knowledge; consisting of Kelly Noble from Glam Digital, Harry Schiff from Agent Anything, and Lily Jacobs from Renewable Adelaide.
“We were looking for a business model from teams who had spent the startup weekend really pulling together the key elements of starting a business,” Kelly Noble said.
Travel Buddies took first prize with their proposal to build a travellers website that linked locals with tourists, receiving a grand prize of $6000 in lawyer and accounting assistance, as well as a 3-month training program to help develop the business.
Hugh Brown, pitch leader, said the idea came to them after travelling on university exchanges, where local students would show them around foreign cities, and essentially become their friend.
“We wanted to create that experience for everyone…so that travelling by yourself never felt like a barrier.
“Some of the best overseas experiences are when you can live like a local, but Travel Buddies would particularly help introverted people who find it difficult to branch out,” he said.
From their marketing research and surveys, they’ve received an overwhelming positive response, and Brown said it’s because it has struck an emotional cord with young travellers.
In second place came Boss Camp, who is a startup event designed for passionate young people between 16-18 that aim to learn more about entrepreneurship and turning ideas into businesses.
They walked away with over $4000 in prize sponsorship plus the Majoran Distillery award, which will help accelerate their business.
In third place was Fluen, who received $2000 in business assistance for their proposal to transform face-to-face communication without language barriers.
Event organizer, Chris Hooper said he’s confident the winning entries will become fully-fledged businesses and go on to further their success, but has advice for people interested in doing Startup Weekend.
“Most important thing is the quality of your pitch, you have restricted time to persuade the panel of your idea and need to make sure you get the message across effectively.
“Passion is also a big thing that needs to come through, but it comes back to the pitch deliverance, it has to inspire people,” he said.
For more information about Startup Weekend Adelaide, visit Adelaide.startupweekend.org