Startup Weekend Melbourne kicks off tonight at the newly opened York Butter Factory, and has $20,000 in prizes up for grabs for budding entrepreneurs.
The number of attendees is expected to grow to 130 from the 80 who were present at the inaugural event in May this year, when Native Tongue was recognised as the best idea, with the prototype to be built from scratch over the weekend.
There are a number of prizes, including $5000 for first place and the chance to win a $15,000, three-month-long development program in Singapore for second place, which is being provided by a number of sponsors, including Optus, JFDI Asia, SingTel Innov8 and HTC.
Organiser Tyson Lundbech said that changes have been made in response to some key learnings, particularly around mentoring and organisation.
"We were able to leverage success of previous events to attain corporate support from Optus backing entrepreneurs, as well as attracting international incubators to help drive projects into real accountable businesses," Lundbech said. "Having an idea, to product, to incubation and investment from one weekend is kind of incredible."
This year's event also benefits from a close association with start-up incubator York Butter Factory, which is backed by early stage venture capital firm Adventure Capital, managed by Stuart Richardson and Darcy Naunton.
"Stu and Darcy totally understand what we are trying to do, and support us all the way. They are awesome. It also gives vision to entrepreneur participants, as previous attendees are now full-time start-ups in there," he said.
"Being close to the real community always has its pay-offs, as well."
Lundbech said that the event will create global opportunities for budding entrepreneurs.