Startup + Innovation Festival

CALL FOR EOI

Coffs Harbour City Council hereby invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) from organisations interested in partnering or sponsoring with Council’s 6 Degrees Coworking Hub to deliver Coffs Coast’s Startup and Innovation Festival in Coffs Harbour in June 2017.

DIC2016 finalists

If your organisation shares our vision to:

  • spark local entrepreneurs to start new businesses and create jobs;
  • increase the diversification of businesses and innovation within a wide range of industry sectors
  • create a strong startup entrepreneurial culture within Coffs; and
  • gain recognition as a regional centre for innovative, globally successful tech startups;

then we invite you to submit an EOI to kristina.cooke@chcc.nsw.gov.au by 21 December 2016.

For more information you can read the wrap up of this year’s event from which it is growing or call Kristina Cooke on 6648 4089.

 

Digital Innovation Challenge 2016

DIC2016 finalists

The Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour Digital Innovation Challenge – the only startup conference on the Mid North Coast – delivered a very impressive lineup of speakers and pitchers on the 18 June.

What us, a startup epicentre from the comfort of our beachside abode or valley escape? That’s right, no longer is the Coffs Coast questioning if we can launch a global digital business from the region. The resounding message from the speakers and pitchers was about sharing exactly how they are doing it now, and the tips and tricks to taking advantage of being regional.

INSPIRING SPEAKERS
Brendan Yell from Softlayer expounded the virtues of being a regional startup and the top advantage from his perspective is (ironically) being isolated. Isolated from the hype, rhetoric and spin that you are prone to be caught up in if you are part of the startup scene in Silicon Valley, Melbourne or Sydney allows you to get on with it. Being away from the endless events and networking opportunities means you can knuckle down and focus on getting traction and outcomes without being constantly looking over your shoulder.

Brendan hit on the hot topic of affordability and keeping a happy family environment. With all the talk these days about work/life balance the stark reality is that being in a startup in the big smoke is tough. Highlighting the amazing affordability of doing business in a Coffs, from affordable housing, cheap coworking @ sixdegrees, free parking everywhere, NBN connectivity and a 5 minute commute to anywhere, it is only a matter time before the secret is out.

We loved the enthusiasm for regional startups that Simone Eyles from 365cups brought to the stage. Her “uncut” stories of her journey were refreshing and inspiring. Once again she had a key message for our local entrepreneurs to go global, think massive and then #startnow. After hearing Simone speak I think SixDegrees is now joined by the umbilical cord with Working Spaces HQ!

Our Q&A panel was awesome and a riot as we were drawn into the diverse range of challenges facing innovative startups. With Jason Errey showcasing the technolgy OEMG are using which is so darn innovative that they can’t put in complying tenders (so they had to push the boundaries). Ben Burton of Zeppee detailed the approach he has taken to win over investors and develop the tinder for pets. Nick Herford of Hello Claims showed just how far someone with industry knowledge and experience combined with a new idea on disrupting said industry (insurance) can go  – and some of the obstacles he has had to overcome to make it such a huge success.

What this year’s event showed us is that we have a solid foundation for innovation and startups. Now we should create our own cultural, economic and product storylines. The message is we must build Coffs Harbour to be a viable alternative with a unique value proposition to customers, entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Startup Alley DIC2016

STARTUP ALLEY A HIT
Startup Alley was a new highlight of the day, providing fresh new businesses the opportunity to showcase their business plans to attendees and speakers. The diverse range of businesses we had setup 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.
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.

PITCHING TO WIN
Each of our finalists had only 5 minutes to pitch followed by 5 minutes of questioning from our panel of expert judges. It was very impressive the way all our finalists rose to the moment and were not fazed by the stage, bright lights and audience. Kudos to all our pitchers for delivering quality presentations and putting their passion on the line, it is not easy and you delivered in spades.

Tracy Chapman of Afterliife.com outlined her plans to disrupt the way we currently plan the end of our lives…that’s right, we don’t really, and this means there are many business opportunities for her to provide the one stop shop of death and dying.

Mark Henderson won the day for putting passion on the stage, with an outstanding delivery of the problem, a lack of grounded and authentic parental advice for fathers of teenage sons, and his solution, the BeDad App.

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

Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson of COLLAB. The App which connects entrepreneurs and creatives around the world to enable them to grow their business or their portfolio.

Kelly Tudhope, Tony Davis and Kirk Davis have their sights on assisting the Direct Selling Industry to change their reputation of illegality, dishonesty, and preying on vulnerable consumers thru their business Direct Sales Compliance.

Stephen Pratt and Chad Buckley brought to the stage their value-ad marketing tool for real estate agents – Look Through.

Leanne Taylor, Sam Chapman, Nanette Backhouse have teamed up to create MatchMyRide. Match My Ride is a platform that connects people who want to buy a car with dealers. Buyers fill out a wish list in terms of price point, make, model, kilometres and that instantly goes to a dealer network. You can put your feet up and the dealer network will do all the running around for you and come back with some options.

Aaron Wittman and Troy Brown of Risk Angel are taking aim on reducing business risk and saving money for SMEs. Risk Angel analyses patterns in your business data, and lets you know when things are great and when things are at risk – before it’s too late.

PRIZE WINNERS

Anthony Jephcott, Telstra with Nanette Backhouse and Leanne Taylor of MatchMyRide and Brendan Yell, Softlayer

Anthony Jephcott, Telstra with Nanette Backhouse and Leanne Taylor of MatchMyRide and Brendan Yell, Softlayer

After all the energy on stage it was a tough call for our judges to award the prizes. In the end it was great to see the women dominate the podium this year, with Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson taking out the highly commended award for their COLLAB. the App.

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.

Based on the success of the event on the weekend, 2017 is already shaping up to be bigger and bolder. #startupcoffs


Sponsors

An Initiative of City Prosperity

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#DiC2016 celebrates top talent on the Coffs Coast

D.i.C_2016_Winner_Match_My_Ride

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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PROGRAM

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BOOK-NOW-ICONSaturday 18 JUNE 9am – 5pm

C.ex Coffs Harbour           Cost: $20

TICKETS: ONLINE – AT RECEPTION C.EX COFFS HARBOUR- BY PHONE 6652 3888

The Digital Innovation Challenge is the only event tailoured to STARTUPS, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs on the Mid North Coast. It is aimed at assisting our local startups to learn how to pitch, find co-founders, launch their product to the press, share their stories, reach early adopters and influencers and so much more. The Coffs Coast has a wealth of entrepreneurs waiting to be unleashed on the national and global marketplace. This event will help to uncover them and inspire them to continue on their journey. We aim to connect them with people who can mentor them and, for two lucky Live Pitch Final prize winners, the Challenge will provide the money and support to make it happen.

Who should attend? aspiring entrepreneurs, seasoned entrepreneurs, professional service providers keen to hear about the next big thing, accountants, investors, supporters of innovation, tech heads and non-tech heads, people with half-baked ideas (in preparation for next year’s challenge), futurists and realists alike, just no devil’s advocate’s allowed.

 

9:00 – 12:00 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

October Salon - Brendan

Launching from Wagga Wagga to the World. The journey of 365cups. Simone Eyles, 365cups

How to be a Rockstar Startup from Coffs Harbour. Brendan Yell, Softlayer

Intrapreneurship – what it is and how to make it work for your business. Carolyn Guichard, Mid North Coast Local Health District

Game on: digital disruption in health care. Stuart Smith, Professor of Disruptive Technologies and Entrepreneur

Transforming car insurance behind the scenes. Nick Herford, CEO and Founder of Hello Claims

Disruption in Construction. Jason Errey, Founder OEMG

Zero to Global with Zeppee. Ben Burton, Founder Zeppee

What’s required for Coffs Harbour to be the epicentre of the #ideasboom? Tony Rothacker, eLearning Growth Hacker

12:00 – 2:00

STARTUP ALLEY

While grazing on some delectable finger food wander the stands in Startup Alley to uncover the up and coming businesses of the region. Hear their elevator pitch, test their product, discuss their market, share your feedback and help make them the next local success. We will also have opportunities for speed-dating or “office hours” with some of our mentors.  Businesses are jumping on board every day to be in the alley, a selection of who we have lined up so far.

If you want this exposure for your startup contact us.

Walkpad, Ashley Walker

Magic Cupboard, Peter Van Schellebeck, Mark George

Ausbackpacking, Matt Mcleod,

Match My Ride, Leanne Taylor

AFTERLiiFE, Tracy Chapman

Martin & Fortuin, Nicole Martin

The Pacific Collective, Louise Hardman

2:00 – 5:00

LIVE PITCH FINAL

Dave Spears pitching at 2015 Challenge

This is the big show, the time when our selected finalists battle it out on stage in front of you the audience and our expert panel to show us their best pitch.

The well deserving winners will share in a prize package worth over $150,000.

You can be a part of the audience and watch the action unfold, support your favourite startup and learn what investors and mentors are searching for.

FINALISTS

Afterliife.com – Tracy Chapman and Matt Rose
BeDad App – Henderson Technology
COLLAB. – Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson
Direct Sales Compliance – Kelly Tudhope, Tony Davis and Kirk Davis
Look Through – Stephen Pratt and Chad Buckley
MatchMyRide – Leanne Taylor, Sam Chapman, Nanette Backhouse
Risk Angel – Aaron Wittman and Troy Brown

JUDGING PANEL

Brendan Yell, Catalyst Startup Program Manager Australasia, Softlayer

Anthony Jephcott, Director, Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour

Nicholas Herford, Founder and CEO, Hello Claims

Kevin Riddell, Business Programs Manager, Enterprise & Training Company Limited

Fiona Barden, Business Development Coordinator, Coffs Harbour City Council

5:00pm

OFFICIAL AFTER PARTY

You can’t have a decent Startup event without an after party! Thanks to Softlayer we can debrief, network and solidify those connections and ideas that have been sparked throughout the day.

An Initiative of City Prosperity

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18 JUNE 2016

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The Digital Innovation Challenge is the only event tailored to STARTUPS, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs on the Mid North Coast. It is aimed at assisting our local startups to learn how to pitch, find co-founders, launch their product to the press, share their stories, reach early adopters and influencers and so much more.

The Coffs Coast has a wealth of entrepreneurs waiting to be unleashed on the national and global marketplace. This event will help to uncover them and inspire them to continue on their journey. We aim to connect them with people who can mentor them and, for two lucky Live Pitch Final prize winners, the Challenge will provide the money and support to make it happen.

Who should attend: aspiring entrepreneurs, seasoned entrepreneurs, professional service providers keen to hear about the next big thing, accountants, investors, supporters of innovation, tech heads and non-tech heads, people with half-baked ideas (in preparation for next year’s challenge), futurists and realists alike, just no devil’s advocate’s allowed.

 

BOOK-NOW-ICONSaturday 18 JUNE 9am – 5pm

C.ex Coffs Harbour

Cost: $20 *light refreshments included and exclusive invitation to the after party.

TICKETS NOW ON SALE THROUGH C.EX COFFS HARBOUR

ONLINE – AT RECEPTION – BY PHONE 6652 3888

 

 

 

October Salon - BrendanKEYNOTE SPEAKERS: We have brought to the region a selection of startup experts, regional entrepreneurs who are smashing it and local talent to inspire, engage and demonstrate all the ins and outs of startup land.

 

 

photo-11STARTUP ALLEY: While dining on some delectable finger food wander the stands in Startup Alley to uncover the up and coming businesses of the region. Hear their elevator pitch, test their product, discuss their market, share your feedback and help make them the next local success story.

 

 

Dave Spears pitching at 2015 Challenge

LIVE PITCH FINAL: This is the big show, the time when our selected finalists battle it out on stage in front of you the audience and our expert panel to show us their best pitch. The well deserving winners will share in a prize package worth over $150,000. You can be a part of the action.

 

 

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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.