Brisbane youngsters win first Jumpstarter start-up competition
Thursday, October 18, 2012/
Projuce, a team of four young Brisbane developers, has won Jumpstarter 2012, a new Microsoft-backed competition to find the best tech start-up idea over the course of a weekend.
The winning team, consisting of Damien Brzoska, Saxon Fletcher, Chris Raethke and Harpreet Singh, won the $20,000 top prize and the mentor’s choice award for their online creation, Beatifl.
Beatifl is an online application that allows people to engage with cities via social media. The Projuce team plans to develop and launch the app by the end of the year.
Runners-up at the event include Next Innovation, which created a sentiment-driven search engine and Pixler, which devised a “student approved” social network recommendation engine.
The Jumpstarter event was held at Brisbane incubator iLab and attracted more than 50 developers, designers and entrepreneurs, who were all placed into teams.
As is the case in other quick-fire entrepreneurial events such as Startup Weekend, the teams then had to devise and create a new tech product, under the tutelage of a group of mentors.
Teams then pitched their ideas for five minutes, with the winner getting a monetary grant and business help through iLab.
Backers of the Jumpstarter competition include Microsoft, Creative Enterprise Australia and UQ’s IdeaNetwork.
“It was a very intense weekend for these teams”, says David Israel, UniQuest group manager.
“The competition saw participants building and testing their ideas with many walking the streets, polling potential customers and developing their findings into functional prototypes back at the centre.”
“It was great to see such focus, motivation and tenacity and it’s a terrific indication of the future potential of these teams.”
Projuce’s Singh adds: “iLab’s Jumpstarter weekend far exceeded our expectations – from the fellow entrepreneurs to the mentors, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to work on our idea and benefit from all the resources and guidance at our disposal.”
“We believe our idea has a lot of potential and to get some level of validation through jumpstarter.org is great motivation to continue.”