Magic start-up wins Startup Weekend Adelaide

An online start-up that aims to help people improve their magic tricks has won first prize at Startup Weekend Adelaide 2012, receiving in-kind prizes worth more than $13,000.

 

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that focuses on building a web or mobile application, which could form the basis of a credible business, over the course of a weekend.

 

A worldwide event, Startup Weekend aims to bring together people with different skill sets to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.

 

Startup Weekend Adelaide, held from March 30 to April 1, was a sell-out event, attracting more than 45 one-minute pitches, which ultimately led to the formation of 15 teams.

 

The judging panel consisted of start-up experts including SA Angels chairman Michael Dilettoso, Innovate SA business advisor Susan Andrews, and Andrew Birt from AngelCube.

 

First, second and third prize was awarded alongside other prizes including the AngelCube Accelerator’s choice award, an open prize, and the Engenius grand prize.

 

First prize was won by Encyclopedia of Magic, an online service that is dedicated to helping people improve their magic tricks.

 

It was founded by Vinh Giang, Jeffrey Wong and Lenny Tran, who entered Startup Weekend Adelaide as a team. The trio initially bonded over their shared passion for magic.

 

“We thought, why not align our two passions together – business and magic? I’ve been in magic for six or seven years now,” Giang says.

 

“Basically, we run a website that teaches you magic. Our current sources of traffic are online portals.”

 

“We wanted to create an iPhone app that more or less does the same thing, but makes the learning experience more interactive.”

 

Encyclopedia of Magic received in-kind prizes totaling $13,750, including $2000 worth of coaching from SA Angels, in addition to the opportunity to pitch.

 

Other prizes include $3000 in billed hours of legal assistance from Piper Alderman, $3000 worth of services from BDO, and $1750 worth of platform use and PR coaching from Swayve.

 

Encyclopedia of Magic also gained direct entry into a $3000 strategic marketing course run by Innovate SA, and an invitation to attend the ANZ Innovyz START program.

 

According to Giang, the founders are currently in the process of deciding how they want to grow their business.

 

“It’s something that we’re working out now… We’re still working with our mentors,” he says.

 

“Are we trying to build a lifestyle business or are we going to build a large, enterprise-level business? We’re in the middle of making that decision now.”

 

Second prize went to EventVolt, which connects entertainment providers with those needing their services, while third prize went to K-Sign, which provides electronic contract signing.

 

AngelCube Accelerator’s choice award went to foodcloud, a meal-planning and grocery delivery application, while the open prize went to kids party-planning service Theme The Party.

 

Meanwhile, the Engenius grand prize was won by Rentable, a platform for homeowners to easily list their property and find a tenant, and enable renters to find their new home and apply online.

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