Over 80 entrepreneurs will use Australian Technology Park as a marathon 54-hour think-tank session this weekend, resulting in the construction of multiple start-up technology businesses that at the start of the event were only ideas.
The Sydney Startup Weekend is the Sydney version of the not-for-profit Startup Weekend venture, which started in the US in 2007. This year marks its inaugural appearance in Sydney.
Beginning tonight, attendees will get together and be given just 60 seconds to pitch their ideas. Attendees then vote on the top ideas, form teams and get ready for the next day of planning.
On the second and third days, they're supported by a team of mentors from high-profile organisations, including IBM, ATP Innovations and Google. Attendees will code up their ideas, put together their business plans, create their "elevator pitches" and finalise their products. They'll present these before a panel of judges, including ABC's New Inventors judge Mark Pesce, and Microsoft Developer Evangelist Catherine Eibner.
The Department of Trade and Investment is sponsoring the event to help grow NSW's digital economy. Its minister and also deputy premier Andrew Stoner said that internationally, over 36 per cent of Startup Weekend start-ups are still going three months after the event, and 80 per cent of participants plan to continue work with their team or start-up after the events.
Sydney Startup Weekend facilitator Tyson Lundbech, who won the 2010 Startup Weekends in San Francisco and New York, said that the pressure to deliver over the course of a weekend helps people to develop new skills and create new talent.
"These are the innovators of society who are willing to have a crack. These people are building the next Silicon Valley right here in Australia," he said.