BUSINESS hopefuls joined forces at Startup Weekend Adelaide to kick-start their entrepreneurial ideas. The emerging winners of the competition have already seen their ideas turn in to reality with sponsorship and participation locked in.
A number of South Australian teams pitching everything from mobile translation services to clothing-recognition fashion databases took part in the event held at Hub Adelaide co-working space, also sponsored by startup-friendly Majoran co-working community.
Travel Buddies took out first prize in the competition. Inspired by group members who had taken part in university exchange programs and experienced foreign cultures and cities firsthand with locals, they've put together a framework for travellers to link up with 'travel buddies'.
Hugh Brown, pitch leader for Travel Buddies said that the buddies aren't just tour guides that a traveller will hire, they're friends that provide an authentic local experience.
"We wanted to bring that exchange experience to everyone, whether they'd been to university or not, to introduce people to these cultures and ways of life," Hugh said.
After a day spent with their travel buddy, the traveller can remotely tip them on the website, incentivising the process.
"We have traditional methods on researching what to do in a country like Trip Advisor, and you also have things like Couch Surfing, which is different because it's purely about accommodation. The market for this kind of tourism is pretty busy but that's not going to stop us.
"It was initial confusion when we won, the weird feeling that this could potentially be something more than we initially thought. It validated our suspicions. Our vision is for this to be a global community of people coming together to give these experiences."
Second place was awarded to Boss Camp, an entrepreneurial program for the oft-ignored high school crowd. It was the brain child of Sasha Dragovelic who works for HYPA, part of the Adelaide City Council's workforce management team.
Second place was awarded to Boss Camp.
The team, adopting the playful hashtag #likeaboss, will bring together young students, teachers and passionate entrepreneurs for two days of mentoring and hands-on experience at their first event on the 8th and 9th of October.
Anika Johnstone of Boss Camp said Sasha brought the idea to Adelaide's Startup Weekend with the hope of developing it further - and found a willing team of participants.
"It came out of Sasha's recognition that schools weren't equipping students to look at career paths beyond traditional study and there was a gap in the startup ecosystem dealing with students," Anika said.
"Seven of us jumped on board and helped him put it together over the weekend. We sold 40% of the tickets in the first 12 hours that we went live. We secured $18,000 in sponsorship. We've had people knocking on our door trying to get involved, literally tapping Sasha on the shoulder after his pitch asking what they can do to support the idea."
Everyone that Boss Camp approached to help, whether it is as a sponsor or speaker for the program, has agreed to take part. It's part of the amazing energy at Adelaide's Startup Weekend, Anika says.
"It's always fantastic. I've got a day job working for the South Australian Government. I'm really interested in ideas and creativity and making a different - and this is the best program to get in there and make something happen in a short period of time.
"It's the best learning experience I've had, the best thing for my professional development."
Hugh from Travel Buddies says that his first Startup Weekend was a success - and the atmosphere, though intense, had a great atmosphere of camaraderie and innovation that's driving the team to continue beyond the event.
"We think we have a pretty good shot. We think we have a niche that will attract a lot of attention. The discussions after the pitch were all along the lines of, 'okay, let's take this to the next step.'"