The latest iteration of Startup Weekend will see hastily assembled start-ups handed the opportunity to join a leading incubator backed by Singapore telco giant SingTel.
The revamped format will see two separate prizes handed out to ventures at the Melbourne event, which requires groups of randomly selected entrepreneurs to create a start-up in the space of 54 hours.
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Along with a $5,000 prize from new event sponsor Optus, SingTel will choose a start-up to take part in the JFDI incubator in Singapore, which is operated by its $300 million venture capital fund Innov8.
The selected start-up, not necessarily the Startup Weekend winner, will spend three months at the incubator, which is the Asian partner of US seed fund TechStars. The start-up will give up 10% in equity in return for $15,000 in funding.
Startup Weekend, which has been held in cities across the world, arrived in Australia in May with an inaugural Melbourne event.
It has since held a Sydney-based event and, with the backing of Optus, will expand the concept to Adelaide and Perth.
The upcoming Startup Weekend, to be held on November 4-6, will be staged at Melbourne’s York Butter Factory, the new incubator situated at the foot of the city’s Rialto Tower.
Tyson Lundbech, who won the 2010 Startup Weekends in San Francisco and New York, is organising the Startup Weekends in Australia.
“We want to keep things locally based and I think $5,000 is an awesome prize, it’ll be an enabler for a couple of small decisions,” he says.
“It is a big ask to pull your team out to Singapore, but I’d jump at the chance, if given it. It’s a huge opportunity.”
“Some people still struggle to understand the Startup Weekend idea, but take-up has been amazing and the results have been good.”
“The weaknesses in the past have been around the post-Startup Weekend support for start-ups. We are trying to look at that by getting Optus on board, as well as the Start-up Foundation, which will help those who go through the weekend.
“A lot of start-ups drop off after the weekend, but we want to provide a support path for those that continue.”
Lundbech says that he expects around 100 people to turn up for the Startup Weekend. To find out more information, click here.