The inaugural SeaChange StartUp Camp will kick off in NSW this weekend, in what has been described as a “dragons’ den” pitching weekend for entrepreneurs.
SeaChange Startup Camp will be held in Merimbula in NSW from March 9-11. It was organised by Ivan McKay and Liam O’Duibhir, of business networking group IntoIT Sapphire Coast.
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The camp is an intensive entrepreneurship workshop in which participants will transform an idea into a concept web business and pitch for funding to an expert panel.
O’Duibhir says while accommodation is not provided, the event has attracted around 30 people.
“Start-up camps have been running all over the world in recent years and have provided many successful entrepreneurs with their first taste of the fast-paced world of building web-based businesses,” O’Duibhir says.
“This is one of the first start-up camps ever to be run outside of a metropolitan region… Merimbula will form an inspiring backdrop to a great entrepreneurial weekend.”
He says Merimbula has become a magnet for IT sea-changers wanting to excel at their profession while enjoying a high-quality lifestyle.
“The event is being held literally on a beach, at the local surf lifesaving club – a terrific, Wi-Fi-enabled venue.”
The program will feature speakers drawn from a “diverse spectrum” of Australian entrepreneurs, including GottaGetaway co-founder Don Peterson, who is also on the investor panel.
Other members of the panel include Marc Englaro of Sydney Angels, Cindy Reese-Mitchell of Lighthouse Innovation and Capital Angels, and Libby Hepburn of Auswide.
“We’re in a regional area where people have to be very innovative, so we’re very much focused on the knowledge services sector,” O’Duibhir says.
“[Among the participants], there has been talk of some cross-channel retailing, which involves a hybrid of online and offline retail, and some groups have been talking about 3D printing.”
On Friday, participants will spend the evening networking, hearing from keynote speakers, forming teams, brainstorming ideas, summarising those ideas and doing their first presentation.
The following day will include a panel forum titled “Shop Local versus Shop Online”, a breakout talk titled “Private Funding Pathways”, presentation rehearsals, and presentations to the group.
Then on Sunday, participants will have time for last-minute presentation rehearsals before doing their final presentations to the investor panel.
“Like their peers in the popular ABC show Dragons’ Den, the panel will ask some hard questions of the businesses being pitched,” O’Duibhir says.
“But significantly, the StartUp Camp environment will be one of positivity and encouragement.”