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Startup Weekend heads to Perth for first time

Tuesday, 7 August 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Perth will host its first Startup Weekend next month – following in the footsteps of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide – but places are already filling up for the 54-hour event.


Startup Weekend, which originated in the United States, is a global network of entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate and empower individuals, teams and communities.


Held over 54 hours, Startup Weekends bring together people with diverse skill sets – including developers and designers – to build applications and develop a credible business around them.


Startup Weekends have been held with great success in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, and now it’s Perth’s turn.


Lead organiser Sam Birmingham says it’s high time Perth had a Startup Weekend.


“It feels like the Perth scene has been bubbling away for the last year or two. A whole bunch of things seem to be coming together,” he says.


“However, it’s still very fragmented. There are lots of people doing cool things but they’re not connecting the dots with their peers.”


According to Birmingham, Startup Weekend Perth will be structured no differently to other Startup Weekends.


However, he says the Perth start-up scene continues to conjure up a broad range of innovations across multiple industries.


“All the mining services have released bits and pieces… and there are some interesting financial services and payment gateway start-ups, which have huge aspirations,” he says.


“There’s certainly a decent chunk of medical and biotech – there’s a big VC fund over here and a smaller angel investment fund nurturing that space. There’s also gaming start-ups.”


According to Birmingham, there are 100 places for the event, but more than 70 have already been sold.


Perth’s first Startup Weekend will be held from Friday, September 7 to Sunday, September 9, but there are less than 30 tickets left so interested parties are encouraged to get in quick.


“Whether you launch a successful startup, find a co-founder, meet someone new or learn a skill far outside your usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave Startup Weekend better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of start-ups,” the website says.


On the Friday, registration will begin at 6pm, followed by dinner and networking. Pitches will commence at 8pm and attendees will get the opportunity to vote for the best ideas.


At 9.15pm, attendees will start forming teams and discussing ideas. The following morning, teams will set up their workspace for the weekend and work on their ideas.


Then on Sunday, teams will have the chance to ask coaches questions before prepping for their presentations, which will begin at 5pm. These will be followed by judging and awards.