Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast 2017 winners Brendan Temple, Ann Liew and Chris Jolly.
Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast 2017 winners Brendan Temple, Ann Liew and Chris Jolly.

The battle to find the next big idea in business

THE next big product to hit the market could be an app described as "Tinder for creatives", an app to prevent tailgating or a removable pocket for women's clothing.

These are just some of the business pitches that emerged from the fourth annual Startup Weekend event on the Sunshine Coast.

A technology platform called Collabable, designed to connect professionals at events, was declared the winner of the event for local designers, developers, students, creatives and businesspeople held on April 28-30.

On the final night 10 teams delivered final pitches to a crowd of about 100 people at Spark Bureau in Maroochydore.

It followed an intense weekend where more than 32 ideas where initially pitched on the Friday night and further developed by a wide range of participants from students to experienced businesspeople and coaches.

The winning concept was originally conceived by Chris Jolly, a University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) student, who was joined by fellow student Ann Liew and business development manager Brendan Temple, who all refined the idea of a Tinder-like app for creatives over the three-day event.

Lead organiser and USC senior entrepreneurship lecturer Retha de Villiers Scheepers said the Startup Weekend provided locals with the skills and tools needed to launch their own startup ventures.

"Coaches and organisers were impressed with the transformation of many participants over the course of the weekend. There are promising startups amongst the teams that pitched, and persistence will determine which startups will continue," Ms de Villiers said.

"More than 65 participants spent the weekend speaking to potential customers, developing their business models and identifying revenue streams before delivering a final five-minute pitch to the judging panel."

Ideas were diverse and ranged from a platform to help market and generate profits for local sporting clubs, called Sports Cube, to an app which integrated various transport options called Move Social.

Two teams tied for second place, with one providing a solution which helps maintain a safe driving distance between vehicles called TailMate, and the other, a functional and stylish removable pocket solution for women on the go called Fox Pocket.

The coaches awarded Spirit of Startup Weekend title to Jackson Dickfos from Sports Cube for demonstrating leadership, resourcefulness and a collaborative attitude, embodying the desired spirit of the event.