#DiC2016 celebrates top talent on the Coffs Coast

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Anthony Jephcott, Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour with the Winners Nanette Backhouse and Leanne Taylor of MatchMyRide and Brendan Yell of Softlayer.

After months of development, honing their ideas at workshops and consulting with mentors, the finalists in the Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour Digital Innovation Challenge pitched their business proposals on Saturday 18 June 2016.

Pitching live to an audience of over 80 people and a panel of five industry experts, seven prospective winners battled it out to share in over $150,000 in prizes.

Now in its second year the Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour Digital Innovation Challenge saw women dominate the podium with Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson taking out the highly commended award for their COLLAB. The App which connects entrepreneurs and creatives around the world to enable them to grow their business or their portfolio.

The grand prize went to local business women Leanne Taylor, Nanette Backhouse and Sam Chapman for their business platform  Match My Ride that connects people who want to buy a car with dealers.

“With the tech development team already based at the Coffs Harbour Innovation Centre, the MatchMyRide platform is live and we have dealers locked in. Thanks to this amazing prize package we will now be able to expand our market reach and grow the business,” said Leanne Taylor from Match My Ride.

Brendan Yell of Softlayer with Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson co-founders of COLLAB. the App and Anthony Jephcott of Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour

Brendan Yell of Softlayer with Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson co-founders of COLLAB. the App and Anthony Jephcott of Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour

Startup Alley was a new highlight of the day, with 12 new businesses showcasing their ideas to over 80 attendees. The diverse range of businesses included Martin & Fortuin with their financial literacy programs, the young guns of Your Tech Mate providing affordable in-home IT helpdesk services, through to Vertipot with a unique vertical growing system ideal for small space gardening and horticulture.

“The overriding theme from all our speakers was that we can deliver global businesses from the regions. Coffs is set to boom through innovation. We have the connectivity, we have the creativity and now we have the entrepreneurial community primed and ready to take-off,” said Stephen Saunders, Section Leader, Industry and Destination Development.

Digital Innovation Challenge and Startup Alley participants have all been part of the supportive business development environment provided by 6 Degrees Coworking Hub.  6 Degrees offers people with ideas at all stages of development the opportunity to Pitch their Passion on a monthly basis to a panel of experts, develop their business and use the space for motivation and networking with like- minded entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Based on the success of the event on the weekend, next year is already shaping up to be bigger and bolder. So get involved now and be a part of the supportive 6 Degrees community. www.sixdegreescoworking.com

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From IDEA to MVP – our startups are ready to enter the Challenge

Aaron Birkby, Entrepreneur in Residence for Steve Baxter’s River City Labs brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to deliver an inspiring workshop for our local startups on April 6.

We had a full house of Coffs Coast entrepreneurs from a range of backgrounds and at varying stages of business development. From people at the ‘before the beginning’ stage with ideas forming to fully fledged Apps ready to launch they were all soaking up Aaron’s in-depth knowledge in readiness to apply it to their business and take the next steps.

Demystifying the world of Lean Startup and more importantly breaking down all the jargon so that our local entrepreneurs are best equipped pitch their passion in the Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour Digital Innovation Challenge for the prize money and support they need to make it happen (did I mention the $150,000 prize package on offer??). If you are one of these passionate entrepreneurs, it’s not too late entries still open till the 29 May so get cracking.

So many lessons that Aaron managed to cover, I think he set a Guinness world record in covering the most amount of content in a one day workshop. In the words of one of our participants “Wow, what a workshop. Succinct and pertinent is how he got through so much! So much content dealing with those businesses who want to go BIG”

From “the default state of a startup is DEAD” which relates to the fact that a great idea is just that a great idea. Unless you do something, create something and breathe life into your idea it is effectively dead. Which leads nicely into “execution is everything” and then once you have executed…i.e. created something that people can buy into or engage with then it becomes a case of “traction trumps everything”. And as Aaron says, if you get traction then don’t worry the money will find you (if you are looking for investment).

If you missed it don’t worry there are plenty of ways to be a part of the action.

CHEAT SHEET FOR ENTREPRENEURS TO CHECK OUT

 

Startup Alley

Imagine a scaled down version of this…. Source: TechCrunch Disrupt 2015 Startup Alley

Is your startup looking to take that next big leap forward?

This year the Digital Innovation Challenge is going bigger and bolder!

18 June is set as the date for the LIVE PITCH CHALLENGE event where the finalists get to battle out in front of judges and open audience for a massive prize package of over $150,000. As an added opportunity for local entrepreneurs who aren’t in the finals or who have already launched we have also incorporated a Startup Alley so they can showcase their business.

We want your company to be our next local success story. As a participant in the Startup Alley you get a spot to display in Startup Alley for one day during the show for two company representatives.

This opportunity is for you and your team to use the space in the Startup Alley anywhich way you need. You could use it to launch, gain the attention of a co-founder, gain customer insights, it is up to you. Your startup can be at any stage, be it MVP/ product launch / scale.

So, why should you take the leap and display in the Alley? Startup Alley is a great way to get your company in front of the local business professional services, investors, innovators and members of the press in attendance at the Challenge Day — who can potentially help take your company to the next level. And when you’re not networking in the Alley, you will get to take in the morning masterclass session, hearing some awesome speakers as well as watching our local startups competing in the Digital Innovation Challenge.

Digital Innovation Challenge Day takes place on Saturday 18 June at the C.ex Club Coffs Harbour, and we can’t wait to see you and your company there.

Space is limited in our Startup Alley so if you want to be considered please contact Kristina Cooke via email  or 6648 4089 for the full low down.

3 winning reasons to sign up to the MVP workshop with Aaron Birkby

Our big workshop with Aaron Birkby on April 6 is fast approaching and I would like to share my top 3 reasons why you should book a ticket now:

  1. FAILING FAST – Speed up the process of getting your product / market fit right. This workshop will demonstrate the use a of lean startup  process for you to put your digital business innovation through so that you can be more confident that what you are creating is actually delivering value or providing a solution to a real customer need.
  2. TEST ASSUMPTIONS – Even if you aren’t a tech head, this will give you practical tools to get out there and testing your business model assumptions. Part of the benefit of getting you business idea out from under the desk and into the light is to start shining the light on it and finding the gaps in the logic before you have invested too much in your solution. As they say “marry the problem not the solution” (they being Dan Greenburg of Sharethrough). And you may also meet someone with the coding skills to make it happen.
  3. BE A FINALIST – whilst it is no guarantee, we only have to look back to last year and see that just about all those who made it to the live pitch final were participants in our workshops.

And don’t take my word for it, word from the street – “Aaron Birkby is awesome” says Brendan Yell from Softlayer (some of you will have met Brendan at our Salon last year) and as the Cataylst Startup Manager for Softlayer he should know what he is talking about!

 

AARON BIRKBYLIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE

BOOK YOUR SPOT NOW!

WTF is MVP?

Do you have a tech innovation burning a hole in your pocket and you want to unleash it into the world but just not sure how? Whether you have been working away at it for a while or it is fresh and sparkly and keeping you awake at night  you should seriously consider taking the day out to attend this smashing workshop to be able to take your idea to MVP. This is especially for you if you have no idea what MVP means!

MVP = minimum viable product and it is the difference between

a) working away for months or years trying to perfect your solution only to release it to the world after spending loads of time, money (or both) to find you have a great product but nobody cares enough to pay for it

or b) quickly identifying what is your key problem you are trying to solve for your customers, developing a prototype that people can play with, use and give you instant valuable feedback so you can quickly modify your solution to fit the customer’s real needs at the minimum cost.

Which sounds better to you? If you choose b) then quick register now for your opportunity to be part of this hands on workshop with Aaron Birkby, Entrepreneur in Residence with Steve Baxter’s River City Labs.

This workshop is brought to you as part of the 2016 Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour Digital Innovation Challenge which is now open for entries from innovators across the Coffs Coast (Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour). Spaces are limited and preference will be given to entrants in the Challenge.

WORKSHOP: APRIL 6 from 9am – 3pm @ Coffs Harbour City Square

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ABOUT YOUR FACILITATOR

Aaron Birkby, Entrepreneur in Residence – River City Labs Accelerator

Aaron is the Entrepreneur in Residence at the River City Labs Accelerator, he is also the co-founder and primary sponsor of the Silicon Lakes startup incubator on the Gold Coast where he developed and delivered the StartUp Really Fast (SURF) accelerator in 2014.

Aaron self-learnt to code at 8 and has started 14 businesses since the age of 16, including 4 successful exists. Aaron founded Arinda Internet, a backend cloud-based ISP billing and authentication system for public internet access, which he grew to 6 million users with over 2000 points of presence in 9 countries. Aaron has also developed and exited an IoT and remote telemetry solution.

SPONSORS

Why is Council passionate about the Digital Innovation Challenge?

We have led the way and put Coffs Harbour on the NBN map with our City set to be the most connected in 2015. Now is the time to foster and build the community of digital entrepreneurship in Coffs Harbour.

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We want to put Coffs Harbour on the digital start-up map in Australia.

We want to be recognised as a burgeoning location for entrepreneurial businesses and innovative business solutions.

We want to be considered a globally connected City where developers, programmers, digital creatives, IT geeks and game developers can come to LIVE LOVE COFFS.

We want to inspire our local businesses to use the awesome talent we have in innovative ways for growth.

We want to inspire our youth to dream of working in the digital economy and present it from a real world perspective.

 

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Mid North Coast Local Health District is proud to be supportin this initiative and encourage innovation in service delivery.

 

 

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Softlayer supports this challenge to provide the instant infrastructure needed to quickly launch and focus resources on coding, building, scaling and bringing innovations to market.

 

 

 

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Six Degrees Coworking Hub membership comprises a number of digital creatives and start-up entrepreneurs and we want to see them flourish. The PITCH sessions on the first Tuesday of each month have proved very popular and a great way to spur people on, set new directions and connect with people who can make it happen. The Digital Innovation Challenge is the next logical step to put the money and support behind our local entrepreneurs.

 

 

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Enterprise & Training Company Ltd (ETC) specialises in the delivery of employment, training and business services. ETC has been operating since 1989 and services suburbs and towns along the East Coast of Australia between Woollongong and the Gold Coast.

 

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Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce is one of the leading business organisations on the North Coast of New South Wales and proudly has been the leading voice and the representing body for local business in the area since 1911.

 

 

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Coffs Harbour Innovation Centre attracts, selects and develops high potential new ventures with real prospects of growing and creating jobs in technology and knowledge based sectors on the Mid North Coast.

 

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Bellingen Shire Council has identified innovation for business as one of the key economic development priorities for the next 5 years.

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Nambucca Shire Council is proud to support this initiative and support it’s growing base of digital innovators reach their full  business potential.

SUPPORT

As part of the Challenge we have developed workshops and events to assist the development of business ideas and pitches to make sure you all have the best opportunity of winning that prize money.


TURN YOUR INNOVATIVE IDEA INTO A MVP

6 APRIL 2016          9am – 3pm

You’re full of ideas, but how do you know which are worth working on?

This is THE workshop of the year, guaranteed to provide you with a kit full of tools that will help you assess your current ideas and line you up for sucess in the future.

Lean Startup is all the rage – this is your chance to get to grips with what it really means for your business idea.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) philosophy to test and validate your ideas with the least amount of work required.  The ultimate goal is to get to product/market fit.  Take your idea and get moving in the right direction quickly and efficiently.

If you only have time for one workshop – this is the one.

REGISTER HERE Limited spaces available. Preference given to those entering the 2016 Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour Digital Innovation Challenge www.digitalinnovationchallenge.com.au

AARON BIRKBYAaron Birkby, Entrepreneur in Residence – River City Labs Accelerator

Aaron is the Entrepreneur in Residence at the River City Labs Accelerator, he is also the co-founder and primary sponsor of the Silicon Lakes startup incubator on the Gold Coast where he developed and delivered the StartUp Really Fast (SURF) accelerator in 2014.

Aaron self-learnt to code at 8 and has started 14 businesses since the age of 16, including 4 successful exists. Aaron founded Arinda Internet, a backend cloud-based ISP billing and authentication system for public internet access, which he grew to 6 million users with over 2000 points of presence in 9 countries. Aaron has also developed and exited an IoT and remote telemetry solution.

 


 USE THE SPACE @ SIX DEGREES

Entrants will have access to coworking space at Six Degrees in the City Centre every Tuesday for teams to work on their entry during the competition time.

LOCATION:

COFFS COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE

LEVEL 1 CITY SQUARE 66-90 HARBOUR DRIVE

ENTRY NEXT TO LITTLE EINSTEIN TOY SHOP