Australia’s only creative tech startup weekend to be held by QUT CEA in Brisbane

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) will invite developers, designers, entrepreneurs and technologists to take their business idea from concept to launch at Brisbane’s Startup Weekend Creative Tech (SW) event on March 2-4.

Now in its third year, SW will see entrepreneurs, mentors and investors travel from across Australia to attend the event which will take place over a 54-hour period.

Hackers, hustlers and hipsters from both creative and tech will come together over the course of the weekend to turn their business ideas into something more.

The Brisbane startup event culminates on its final day with a competition that will crown the most innovative creative tech startup, decided by an esteemed panel of judges and investors.

What is CEA out to achieve with Startup Weekend?

Programs Manager for CEA Philippe Ceulen will take the stage as Startup Weekend Facilitator.

Mr Ceulen says that to understand a Startup Weekend you need to experience it and the outcome is often life changing.

“Startup Weekends are all about the emergence of creativity. They’re full of energy, a bit of chaos, and random collisions. SW could literally be the moment that changes your life and sets your path”, says Mr Ceulen.

“Brisbane is becoming a hotspot for founders owing to its infectious energy. We’ve seen the ecosystem actively building towards increasing startup density”.

“Providing the right infrastructure and fostering stronger networks creates a hub of activity which compels people to join the growing movement. The result of this is a vibrant ecosystem which is very welcoming, full of drive and as such, produces outstanding startups”, says Mr Ceulen.

How did Startup Weekend 2017 go?

Queensland startup ARTLife (now Sortal) was the winning startup idea formed at SW 2017 which is a creative tech app that sorts and organises smartphone photos.

The founders, Majella Edwards and Sarah Smith, took away prizes and support which included legal advice from HopgoodGanim Lawyers, accountancy support from Pitcher Partners, video content strategy workshopping from Changer Studios and tech mentorship from Microsoft.

The Brisbane-based female cofounder team were proud to represent their city in a competition that included talented entrepreneurs from around Australia.

Sortal are just one of the many successful startups to come out of Queensland. Quickly rising through the ranks as one of Australia’s most entrepreneurial states, QLD is becoming known as a fast growing and dynamic ecosystem with unique offerings.

The latest Startup Muster Report has suggested that QLD is now home to more company founders at 20.8% compared with Victoria at 14.4%. In addition to this, 15.2% of Queensland founders now have their offices in Brisbane versus 13.4% in Melbourne.

“With innovation high on the federal government’s agenda and Advance QLD’s focus on entrepreneurship, there’s no better time to be a startup in QLD. Brisbane in particular has a vibrant scene, with incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces supporting new businesses,” says Majella Edwards, Cofounder of Sortal.

How exactly has QUT CEA helped Sortal so far?

“Startup Weekend 2017 really solidified our concept and gave us the uplift we needed to develop the concept into a business. Participating in the creative tech event and meeting my cofounder Sarah, has been life changing. Without this opportunity we wouldn’t have got the business off the ground,” says Majella Edwards.

Since winning the competition last year, Sortal was accepted into CEA’s Collider Accelerator and made the shift to full-time work on their business.

The photo sharing app will be ready for release in the coming months and the business is now seeking investors.

“Startup Weekend is the wake-up call that will get you out of your comfort zone. If you rise to the challenge and fully embrace it, you can do more than you ever thought possible,” says Sarah Smith, Cofounder of Sortal.

Startup Weekend will run from Friday the second of March until Sunday the fourth. Tickets are now on sale for the event and can be purchased here.

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