Business planning, Growth

Entrepreneurs offered a SeaChange with coastal start-up camp

Michelle Hammond /

The second annual SeaChange StartUp Camp will return to the NSW town of Merimbula in March, when participants will develop online business ideas and pitch for funding against an ocean backdrop.

 

StartUp Camp is an intensive entrepreneurship workshop in which participants transform an idea into a concept web business, and pitch for funding to an expert panel, over one weekend.

 

The event is organised by IntoIT, a non-profit technology and business group, founded by Liam O’Duibhir and Karl Auer.

 

IntoIT describes itself as the technology, entrepreneurship and business networking group for the far south coast of NSW, also known as the Sapphire Coast.

 

Merimbula is a three-hour drive from Canberra, while car trips from Sydney and Melbourne take between five and seven hours. There are also daily direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne.

 

In addition to being “one of the most beautiful places on earth”, O’Duibhir says Merimbula is an incredible place to be involved in technology and web-based businesses.

 

“Our area is off the beaten track… but we are doing great things in energising tech/web companies… and should have a co-working space in Merimbula by July,” he says.

 

“Merimbula has in recent years become something of a magnet for IT sea changers wanting to excel at their profession but equally enjoy a high quality lifestyle.”

 

Once again, SeaChange StartUp Camp will be held at the Pambula Surf Lifesaving Club. Work will commence at 5pm on Friday, March 15 and will finish up at 7pm the following day.

 

Participants apply as individuals but will work in teams of five or six. They will spend Friday evening and most of Saturday developing ideas, before pitching to a panel on Saturday evening.

 

The panel will be made up of web business experts and investors, who will offer each team feedback and advice on their idea. The pitches will be streamed live to the web.

 

At the end of the weekend, it is hoped participants will have met and learned from some experienced Australian entrepreneurs, and found out more about how to source funding.

 

“Last year’s event was amazing, and we hope to do bigger and better this year,” O’Duibhir says.

 

“What could be better? Get out of the city for a few days, have a holiday and, at the weekend, build the future.

 

“And yes, the event is held literally on a beach… at the local surf lifesaving club. It is a terrific, WiFi-enabled venue, looking out onto breathtaking coastal scenes.”

 

The SeaChange StartUp Camp isn’t the first start-up initiative to lure entrepreneurs with the promise of a leisurely lifestyle.

 

In October last year, a new co-working space in the beachside suburb of Manly defended its intention to offer members non-work perks such as kayaking and yoga.

 

“I think when you work in [a traditional working environment], you really want to get home,” co-founder Avis Mulhall told StartupSmart.

 

“You won’t have that sensation [in this space] because you can go and have that swim before work. It’s about incorporating it into your world as opposed to it being a distraction.”

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