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Turning your Idea into a Reality

Written by Callum Rodgers

The Startup Industry is full of innovation and creativity. Your idea is your business. The ideation process is your greatest asset; use this time to bounce idea off those around you and develop your idea into a strategically planned business model. But where do you start?

Developing that Idea..

The ideation process is always the hardest.. How do I turn my idea to a physical reality? 

The answer is making use of the resources already at your disposal; don't be deterred, every idea has potential if you strategically develop it. The first thing to note is that your initial idea will never be your end idea; when you start to develop your idea, it will become elaborate and you will start to see new opportunities, your final idea isn't different, it's just a more practical concept of your initial idea. 

TIP: Anytime you have an idea (no matter how silly you think it is) write it down, you never know when the opportunity may arise to pursue it.

The best startups are those that develop an idea that addresses the need or gap in a market; if your idea presents a solution to a problem, you've already got a selling point for your startup. 

Understanding your Idea... The questions to ask yourself.

  1. Does your idea answer a question?
  2. What problem does it provide a solution for?
  3. Who would have a vest interested in your startup? Are they the people who suffer from the problem above?

Once you can answer these questions don't overwhelm yourself trying to piece together every little piece of your idea; step away and take a breather; read a book; go for a walk; it doesn't matter what you do, just ensure you give yourself time to process the thoughts that you have just had. 

Planning out your Idea

Once you've taken that time away, it's time to start developing your concept and strategically planning your implementation to get it off the ground. 

1. List your Available Resources; where is your starting point?

Do you have an office or a home computer? Your starting point is simply understanding your situation at the beginning of your start-up. Think about your surroundings, your skills, family, networks and resources you use day to work out how they will benefit your startup and help you to create your initial foundations and understand your short-term capabilities.

2. Is it a product, service or unique IP?

Product: Anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need.

Service: An intangible commodity that delivers value to a customer in a service provider and service consumer setting.

Unique IP: The intangible property that is the result of creativity, such as  patents, copyrights etc. 

3. What are the capabilities of your startup?

Once you've defined your the solution your startup provides, your target demographic and understood the kind of offering your startup gives your customers; start to think about the size and capabilities of your startup.

What is it's scaleability? Is it location specific? Is it nation wide? Or can it be scaled internationally? 

Would you launch it in a smaller location demographic, let's say Brisbane, to initially test the idea or would you benefit from launching it widespread?

4. How will you monetise it?

It sounds like one of the most obvious questions however it's one of the biggest struggles of startups; often people will create an awesome idea with great usability however they created it before they actually knew how to monetise it.

Knowing your offering (product, service, intellectual property) will be a huge benefit as then you can start to understand and research how other startup's in your industry montised their idea. 

When you are working with technology and intellectual property; some of the most common types of monetisation is licensing your IP, collecting data to sell to marketers and advertising on your platform, think about the amounts of money Facebook makes from sponsored advertising and selling all of our information!!

5. Do you need an investor?

In some instances you may need financial and material support from investors to get finalised product of the ground. If you discover that this is the case; don't be daunted by it, a great idea has the potential for great investment.

Think about the ways that you can solidify your idea; if you someone was to come to you with an idea rather than a physical product, what would make you want to invest in it?

Ensure that you understand your concept completely; ensure that you know your customer market, your scalability, you have information on your competitors and the current market place; you can explain the way your startup provides a solution to a problem; you have a visualization of what the finished product will be and lastly, why it would benefit them to invest into your idea.  

6. Your Exit Strategy

All great things don't go on forever and therefore you need to understand your exit strategy in both best case scenario and worst case scenario. 

A few questions to ask yourself;

  • How long do I want to be working on this startup?
  • What do I want to get out of this startup?
  • When I reach success, in my eyes, would do I do then?
  • Do you want to sell it?
  • If it doesn't go to plan? What will I do? How will I free myself of debt, can I still sell it? What do I want to do afterwards? And how will I move forward?

Exit strategies are complex however, for now, it's important to just start asking yourself these simple questions so you can understand your startup from start to finish. You need to have plan.

The biggest thing to take away is don't be daunted by the unknown; you have the ability to create anything, you just need to be smart about it. Use your accessible resources, learn from those around you and create a plan that will help you get your startup off the ground as soon as possible. 

Take advantage of the opportunity to be guided through your ideation process with industry experts at the Startup Hatch Ideation session. Having experienced professionals who have been in your place, help you to develop your ideas and concept is an invaluable opportunity to set yourself apart from potential competitors. You will also have the opportunity to grow your support network with other people  who are in your position and therefore you should know that you are never alone; entrepreneuralism can seem lonely at times however the reality is that you aren't ever doing this by yourself, you just have to reach out.

Sign Up for the Ideation Session

https://www.facebook.com/events/1103494673015788/ 

You Already have Everything you Need to Begin your Startup... What's Stopping You?

by Samantha Mehan

There should be nothing stopping your from turning your startup idea into a reality; you already have every resource that you need to get started. You shouldn’t be deterred by a lack of capital or having an incomplete physical product as they are not essential to work on the first phase of your startup.

Your most important resources are your accessible resources thatsurround you everyday. Below, we’ve put together a guide to help you source and take properly use those resources that will get your startup kickstarted.

Don’t let anything stop you, you already have everything you need to get started!

The Internet


One of your most powerful resources is the internet and it surrounds you everyday; we are living in the ‘digital era’, the world relies on technology to function everyday and as we increasingly adopt it into our lives, each and every object is becoming connected to the internet. To put this into perspective, by 2020, it has been predicted more 'thing' and 'everyday objects' (wearable items, household electronics, cars etc.) will outgrow the number of computers, phones and tablets connected to the internet!

As Bill Gates said:

"The internet is becoming the town square for the global village."

The internet not only provides you with every resource you could need to start out but it's also a global space to test your idea and understand the way that your potential customers will engage with it.

Here are our top tips on the most useful ways to utilise the Internet when you are starting out.

Visualise your Idea

The first step is visually interpreting your idea; take your thoughts and ideas and translate them into imagery that will give your potential customers a realistic view of what you are offering them.

Start by Researching Colours

At the beginning it can be hard to visualise your idea so the easiest way to begin to understand your brand by researching and choosing colours that best represent your startup. Firstly, test yourself; research the most popular logos in the world and understand the emotions they evoke when you look at them. This is a concept called Colour Psychology and is keyu describes how marketing companies purposely use colours when developing their logo to evoke certain emotions whilst portraying a particular image. Look at the famous logos below:

Source: The Logo Company

Some Great Examples:

  • McDonalds: Combining warm colours that highly contrasting draw attention to the logo. The yellow of this logo is highly visible and is considered a “happy” colour whilst the red is an intense colour that can evoke strong emotions and encourage action; a study was conducted and it was concluded that using these colours, is so engaging that it makes people hungry.
  • Apple: This logo is sleek, modern and promotes the image of timeless company. The colour grey is a neutral tone that creates balance without evoking strong emotions and can represent stability.
  • Facebook:  is one of the most used colours on the web, blue is a calming colour however reinstates a feeling of authority, security and success.
  • BP: This is a really interesting logo; the colour green represents life and renewal. Green portrays the environment and health so using green in BP’s logo, creates a positive image and feeling for the company, which would otherwise be seen differently due to the nature of their work.

Create A Logo

The internet resources to create logos are endless! Your first logo does not need to be beautifully crafted by a graphic designer; your first logo is just a placeholder. You can change it later so just get designing!

Source: webdesigndev

Research

There are online stores that are completely dedicated to selling logos so use these for inspiration. We recommend checking out these online resources:

  • Designspiration - A collection of images that can be searched by colour, it's a great way to initially get a feel for the way that your chosen colours work and ways that you can use them in graphics. 
  • BrandCrowd - A website that is completely dedicated to selling logos, you can search my industry, colour and various design elements. It's a great place to get started and understand what kinds of logos are being created in your industry.
  • FreePik - An awesome website that allows you to download free graphics and vectors. Search anything and it will search it's database for graphics that relate to your search. It's a great place to find shapes, logo design and overall inspiration. The best thing is that you can download these as vectors, psd files and icons. 

Create your Logo

It's completely up to you how you create your logo. Whether you like to design it from scratch or simply just want a platform that will provide you with stock shapes and imagery, there is a resource for you. 

Our top 2 recommendations are:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud - This is your best friend. The best thing about it is there are student discounts (yay!) and for around $15 a month you can have access to the full adobe suite. To design your logo, use Adobe Illustrator. You don't need to have prior experience with Adobe, you just need to be prepared to spend a couple of hours to learn the basics and then you will be set!
  • Tailor Brands - If you aren't interested in spending a large amount of time learning about graphic design and attempting to create your logo, this resource is great. This platform gives you the ability to create beautiful logos in a minutes with lots of great controls that will help you get that first logo!

Website

Good news, you don't need to know an extensive amount of code to be able to build a website, in fact, you don't need to know any. Depending on your skill level and your interest in web design, there are two main options that we would recommend. Before you start you need to buy your domain, you can purchase this through a site iwantmyname for less than $15 a year.

Source: techinasia

  • Squarespace: The easiest and simplest platform to build websites. No coding needed, it's a simple drag and drop! Choose a template and go from there. The backend (the part where you create your website) is really simple to use and easy to navigate which is a great advantage!
  • Wordpress: The best website platform there is (maybe that's a little biased...). You may think, but I don't know how to code? That's okay as you don't need to initially. You can download and purchase themes from sites such as ThemeForest which have really simple drag and drop page builders. We will admit, it's not as simple as Squarespace however it is gives you full flexibility and control of your website and also gives you the opportunity to custom code bits and pieces that you want to change. GoDaddy has web hosting for as cheap as $5.99.

Social Media

Source: Leverage

When starting out, social media is your best friend. It's the easiest way to reach and engage with extensive amounts of people at once. Use social media to your advantage, watch videos on social media for business and learn about sponsored advertising.

Firstly, make sure you have your social media handles the same on every platform, initially, we recommend using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube (if applicable) and LinkedIn. Use a management tool such as Hootsuite to ensure you have consistent content to organically grow an audience. Once you have started to create a name on social media, start to look into sponsored advertising.

Facebook has great sponsored advertising with specific targeting at an affordable cost. Read about Facebook advertising platform and trial a few low-cost advertisements to understand the way that you can use it for your Startup. 

Friends & Networks

Another resource that is often forgotten is your NETWORK! This is one of the most useful resources you can find when you are starting out. Your friends and networks are there to support you and the people close to you want to see your succeed.

How can you use your friends & networks as a resource?

  • Test Ideas: One of the best ways to test ideas is by testing them on the people around you. Talk to your closest friends and family about your startup idea and ask for their honest opinion. The greatest thing about this is that you will find out what they think and a lot of the time you will find they have input and suggestions: don't disregard these, use these to better your startup. You can also test things with your social media networks. Once you have your landing page or some form of digital presence, post about it on your personal accounts and see the way that your social media friends and connections engage with your new startup. 
  • Find a Mentor: Mentors are the best people you can find when you are starting out; they have often gone through exactly what you are doing and can guide you and provide advice that is more valuable than you can ever read online. Search your networks and see if you can get introduced to people or if someone in your existing network would be willing to mentor you.
  • Resources: Everyone with your network can be a valuable resource. Whether their skills can help you or whether can put you in touch with someone who would be helpful, don't be afraid to ask. Talk to people around you and find out how they can help you. You will be surprised by how many people want to help you get your startup of the ground.

Often it can be hard overcoming the initial thought of having to do everything by yourself but the truth is you don't; you just need to seek information and ask people within your network. The people who surround you are some of the most valuable resources when starting out and most of them want to help you succeed and get your startup up and running!

Yourself

Yes, this does sound cliche but it's the truth. Often you forget the abilities that you already have to get your startup off the ground. The most valuable resource that you have is the ability to learn. Honestly, starting out isn't going to be easy - you will go through ups and downs and likely be working days and nights asking yourself why you are doing this. You are likely to be working in industries that you never expected to and overcoming challenges that you hadn't foreseen when you first had your startup idea.

Our key to overcoming this is having a willingness to learn.

  • Self-Education: You don't need to be at a lecture or tutorial to learn. Spend at least 1-2 hours a day learning, whether that's improving a skill or learning more about business models, this is all valuable information that will save you time, money and stress in the future.
  • Expand your Skills: Just because you're a creative doesn't mean you can't learn about accounting or just because your a web developer doesn't mean you can't become a fashion designer; you get the picture. Draw a mind-map of all the different things you need to do to get your startup off the ground and then list the skills that you need for each one. The more skills you learn, the more money you will save and the more possibilities you have to extend the abilities of your startup. 
  • Get Creative: It's simple, be creative. If you have come this far and have started to pursue your idea, you have overcome the hardest step; starting. You can be creative in all different ways; whether it be playing with design and the look of your company, the design of your product or even becoming 'creative' with your business model. Spend time each day focusing on the 'creative' side of things, don't get overwhelmed by all the numbers and business technicalities!

What's stopping you from starting now?

Take advantage of the resources above and produce a startup with low investment that has potential for high return. Engage with your target market and sell your idea the way you see it, think about why you believe this is the ultimate product that they need and get them enthusiastic! 

You're not creating a small startup, you're creating a smart one. 

Set yourself and join Startup Hatch, those resources above are available to everyone wanting to create a startup anytime but Hatch is a one off opportunity. Set yourself apart from others and take advantage of the support, education and networks that you will create whilst being part of Startup Hatch!

P.S. Even if you don't have a startup idea and you are just interested in the entrepreneurial community, there's still a place for you so join today! 

Speaking Startups: Conversations with the founder of QUT Starters

Sam studied Electrical Engineering at QUT under the Dean's Scholars program and graduated with first class honours, the University Medal, and Kindler Memorial Medal.  He is a director and founder of ThankBank, a startup that aims to reward and recognise blood donors. ThankBank was accepted into the Impact Academy, Microsoft Innovation Centre and featured on Startup Daily, several newspapers and successfully crowdfunded $10,000.

Tell us about your journey into the world of startups. What got you interested in entrepreneurship originally?

I’ve always wanted to create change, and to make waves with what I do. This desire is coupled with my love of problem solving. I saw entrepreneurship as an ideal way to create change and solve problems that no one has solved before. To be able to look back at customers, followers, a shift in thinking, or one less problem in the world, and know that you started the movement through a startup would be truly rewarding, wouldn’t it?

My journey into the world of startups was a bit of a dive. I took a few classes on lean business models and technology startups when I was studying in Sweden, and then I founded QUT Starters and entered an accelerator with my own startup the very next year.

Why did you decide to found QUT Starters?

I wanted to share my beliefs with the QUT community and fill a gap in QUT, which was unfortunately not a forward mover in the startup wave. My two general beliefs are that 1) Students have the skills to make successful startups: they understand technology, and there exists new methodologies such as the business model canvas and the “lean startup” that fit well with the student community and 2) Students can learn and benefit a tremendous amount by attempting a startup: they don’t have much to lose if they fail, and they can learn a wider range of skills while preparing themselves for the future. I saw QUT Starters as the group that could share these beliefs and fill the entrepreneurial gap that QUT had.

You must have had some mentorship and guidance along the way with ThankBank. Can you tell us about the sort of support you’ve had?

Definitely! The main support, alongside friends and family, was through the Impact Academy. I applied for the Impact Academy social enterprise accelerator with a shaky idea about blood donation. Peter Ball and Jose Adrian, the mentors at Impact Academy, helped create a sustainable business model and introduce some very valuable contacts. None of what I have achieved would have been possible without them. Friends and family also provided important opinions and of course, brought me over the line with crowdfunding. A key takeaway is to not be afraid to share ideas (as embryotic and crazy as they were) with the world, because no one can help you if they don’t know that you would benefit from help!

Why do you think students should try their own startup while at university?

Why not? Startups are challenging and a bit of fun.

Students have nothing to lose. Most have no mortgage, no dependents and full-time job. They’re at a good time in their life to sacrifice some Netflix time to springboard their professional career.

They have a whole network next door. Finished your finance lecture? You could head next door and meet with an IT student, then grab a coffee with a marketing whiz. Then go around the corner to chat to some potential users and customers. QUT is a great location to meet a diverse range of students and again, springboard a student’s professional journey.

For the more selfish (and let’s be honest; strategic) students, getting involved in a startup is a great way to show future employers that you have what it takes to succeed; that is, if entrepreneurship is not your end goal. It shows that you’re driven, can communicate well, are creative, and can push the status quo. Creating your own job as a student can let you steal someone else’s grad job later down the track - the harsh but honest truth. Hopefully the first reasons are your motives though.

Any recommendations for any budding entrepreneurs out there?

Yes: simply have fun and have a go! What is the worst case scenario if you try? You fail, and learn an awful lot about business, technology, negotiation, and about what not to do next time. Think about the benefits: all the learning, and the potential to create something great, embrace personal growth and satisfaction, and earn some cash.

For those that are already having a go, great! A recommendation would be to open up. Tell people about your ideas and be open for feedback. No, they won’t steal your idea (most likely). Would you dedicate your spare time and late nights for someone else’s idea that you’re not overly passionate about? Probably not.

I see the need for idea feedback a bit like proofreading a document. You can read your own report hundreds of times and think it’s perfect, and then someone reads it for the first time and sees a glaring error in the second sentence. It is much more efficient to talk about your struggles out loud, and hear an outside opinion.

Again, remember to have fun with it! 

Queensland Government Investing $300,000 in Startups

by Callum Rodgers

If you’ve ever wanted to start your own business, now is the time. The Queensland Government this year pledged $300,000 to promote the growth of startup companies as part of its Startup Queensland initiative. In an official statement, Premier Palaszczuk said “we need to create more small to medium enterprises in our state that can hopefully grow into business powerhouses. Because they are the innovators. They are the profit-makers. And above all, they are the job creators. If you build the right business model and meet the criteria, we will back you”.

There has never been a better time to get involved in the startup community. Any organisation or business can receive a 50% matched contribution of up to $25,000 to assist in funding not-for-profit activities, such as financing webinars, networking events, presentations, mentoring sessions, workshops, forums and startup weekends. Working or collaborating with other businesses is strongly encouraged and may increase the likelihood of receiving a grant. This program has been eagerly anticipated by local entrepreneurs, with successful applicants having their short term capabilities massively enhanced.

However, this opportunity is for a limited time. The cut-off date for grants is the 30th June 2016, or sooner if the $300,000 is fully expended before the final date. With over 200 startups in Queensland and other organisations jumping on the innovation bandwagon, there will be fierce competition. It is essential to apply as soon as possible, with the initial application process available online through the Advance Queensland website.

Although grant recipients can gain considerable momentum with this initial round of funding, the entrepreneurial path is not without its challenges. Especially for a potential student entrepreneur, finding your feet can be overwhelming. Fortunately, help is available. QUT Starters’ Startup Hatch provides the collaborative environment and necessary resources to take the first steps towards establishing your own startup. For QUT students who are eager to accelerate an idea, collaborate with like-minded innovators, or simply take advantage of the Startup Queensland initiative, Hatch is an essential network to be part of. Startup Hatch connects you with the local startup community and lays the groundwork for your business. Joining this innovative QUT community ensures a competitive edge, industry insight and increased likelihood of success.

The grant pool of $300,000 is unlikely to last long. The sooner you embrace the opportunity to join the Hatch network, the sooner you can begin bridging the gap between your startup dream and reality. 

For more information about Startup Hatch, visit www.qutstarters.com/startuphatch/

Or for Startup Queensland grants, visit Startup Queensland website.

Asia's Biggest Tech Conference

Where it all started

As founding executives of QUT’s entrepreneurship society (QUT Staters) we (Sam, Jeremy and Tim) were privileged to travel to Hong Kong to partake in RISE, Asia’s biggest startup/tech conference. The conference brought together a mix of emerging startups, investors and enterprise thought leaders from around the world, allowing startups to pitch to investors and enterprise leaders to demonstrate how their companies are changing the way we live.

As keen entrepreneurs, one of our own early stage startups, WantMarket (www.wantmarket.com.au) was accepted to exhibit at the conference. WantMarket is a social, demand based marketplace that allows users to find products and services they want and receive rewards for helping others.

To assist the facilitation of the growing startup community at QUT, we were fortunate to be recipients of the QUT EDF (Experiential Development Fund) to help cover the cost of the travels and conference tickets. The learning-heavy experience was a total of three days, but provided insights that can be applied over the rest of our careers.

Day 1: Arriving in Hong Kong

Our flight landed in Hong Kong at 6am local time and as such we had to kill 6 hours before we could check into our accommodation. Making the most of our short stay we decided to bear the burden of our luggage and explore the city. We took the tram up the steep slope to Victoria Peak, which is a mountain in the western half of Hong Kong Island that overlooks the city. Normally a busy tourist destination, at 7am the place was almost deserted so we spent a few hours enjoying the serenity of the mountain top. 

Victoria Peak Lookout (Jeremy, Tim, Sam)

Victoria Peak Lookout (Jeremy, Tim, Sam)

After a few more hours of exploring the city and trying the local cuisines we were finally able to check into our apartment. Our apartment which was booked through airbnb was located right in the city centre close to the street markets restaurants and only a few minutes’ walk from the convention centre which is where the conference was to be held. After a quick power nap we headed down to the convention centre for the event registration. 

 

Sam and Jeremy registering for RISE at the convention centre

Sam and Jeremy registering for RISE at the convention centre

That night we headed out for dinner at a local Chinese restaurant (Ding Dims) and enjoyed a variety of adventurous dishes including bamboo fungus dim sims and chicken feet. We then joined in on the RISE conference pub crawl where we were able to experience Hong Kong’s night life alongside other event attendees. 

Ding Dims Restaurant

Ding Dims Restaurant

Hong Kong Light Show

Hong Kong Light Show

 

Day 2: Pitching, Networking and Learning

For the first day of the conference we were given an exhibition stand to exhibit our startup. When we arrived the stand was already set up for us and within minutes we were pitching our startup to investors, venture capitalist’s and entrepreneurs. We came prepared with laptops to display our website, business cards and a pitch deck that we could email to interested parties.  

WantMarket Team Ready to Exhibit

WantMarket Team Ready to Exhibit

Key learnings:

Know your startup inside out

As a very early stage startup we were somewhat underprepared and inexperienced at pitching to investors. It’s one thing to pitch a business to a user, however, pitching to a potential investor or VC is a totally different ball game. You really need to know your business inside out. You need have a well thought out revenue model and be able to show accurate financial projections upon request. Investors want to know exactly how they are going to get a return on their investment.

Practice makes perfect

This was a great opportunity to practice pitching. Through practice we were able to significantly improve our pitch. Although we are still far from perfect, this experience really highlighted how much you can learn and how much your confidence can grow by just jumping in the deep end and having a go at pitching.

Believe in yourself and have fun!

After explaining what the business is, people’s natural response was to ask personal questions like why we are starting it, what motivates us, where do we see this going and other things we weren’t really expecting. This threw us off at first, but after running through it a few times not only did we get better results, but also gained some motivation by articulating why we believe in ourselves! Also, not everyone liked our idea, so we had to keep a positive mind and ultimately just have fun and enjoy the feedback we got, positive or negative.

 

WantMarket Exhibition Stand

WantMarket Exhibition Stand

That afternoon we headed to the centre stage and listened to some inspiring talks from enterprise thought leaders who are changing the way we live. The first talk was on how big data can help save and make lives. The talk featured Michael Huang, Glow founder and CEO, Danny Yeung, Prenetics CEO, and Saeju Jeong, Noom CEO. I was particularly blown away by how glow are uniquely applying the power of data science to women’s health and tackling issues relating to fertility, pregnancy, menopause and beyond.

The second talk was on the key to millennial engagement. This talk featured 9GAG co-founder and CEO, Ray Chan and Activate founder and MD Michael Wolf. This discussion was focused on how to reach the digital savvy millennial generation who are now the key target audience for so many companies. Ray Chan put a lot of emphasis on understanding your users to the extent of being a user yourself and knowing first hand what’s ‘cool’ and ‘what’s not’ amongst your user demographic.

To end the afternoon we decided to check out some other startups who were exhibiting. This was a great chance to network with other founders and learn from each other’s successes and failures. It was also interesting hearing a variety of startups pitch their businesses. We were able to learn from what was and wasn’t effective in their pitches and apply it to our own.

 

Talk on how big data can help save and make lives

Talk on how big data can help save and make lives

Day 3: Pitching Finals

The final day of the conference brought the pitching finals. These were startups from all over the world who were pictchig to venture capitalists that have critiqued more businesses than I could imagine. I was getting nervous just thinking of the finalists’s situation. There was media crews and an eager crowd to set the scene and make for good spectating.

     

 

We were lucky to see a variety of different ideas, ranging from a wearable metronome, to smart air-conditioning that knows everything about you, to genetic testing to improve the effectiveness of medicine. What was even more interesting was the background of the presenters. There were business professional, engineers, musicians and scientists all brought to the one common ground of sharing their ideas with the world.

A hopeful engineer getting feedback

A hopeful engineer getting feedback

After the pitching there was time for more expert talks. One particular one that stood out was insights to how the notion of money transactions was changing, how payments were becoming ‘invisible’. I had never thought about this before and it was great to hear forward thinking thoughts from industry experts about things like university students will just use ‘digital wallets’ in the not too distant future.

One thing that stood out was the way that international events can bring not only different academic backgrounds together, but people from all over the world together. We were fortunate enough to meet people from all over the globe, from Mexico, Sweden, Asia and more. Not only that, we met this one person in line for a talk from Australia. After chatting for a bit about his ideas, we found out that he was actually a QUT Alumni! Was great to see there’s a bit of QUT wherever you go!

After the formalities of the conference had finished, we had the opportunity to do some extra brand promotion and explore some more of Hong Kong. After a quick ferry ride, we had the chance to quickly explore a small village before heading back to the city centre for some more dim sims!

 

WantMarket Extra awareness in the villages

WantMarket Extra awareness in the villages

 

Day 4: Final Day in Hong Kong

It was a quick few days, and it was time to head home. We carried out our normal routine of heading to the streets for some interesting Asian bakery food. The activities of the last few days had tired us out and we hopped into one the adrenaline-raising cabs for the last time. We were able to check-in our luggage at the city train station and lightly head to the airport. They should definitely have this option in more cities!

The flight home allowed time to reflect on our learning for the conference that we can apply to wantmarket and hopefully translate to the QUT community. Firstly, no matter what country or background you have, startups are a community that bring people together to the common goal of wanting to create change through new ideas. Also, practice in the confidence to exert the belief in yourself and belief in your idea is key to connecting with people in this scene. Lastly, we would again like to bring to light the fact that none of this would have been possible without the help from QUT’s EDF funding.

If you have any questions about Hong Kong, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or throw us an email. We could talk all day about startups and Hong Kong!

Hong Kong giving us countless reasons to return

Hong Kong giving us countless reasons to return



Welcome to our blog!

Hello and welcome to QUT Starters! First and foremost, thank you to those who have shown interest our group, either by attending our events, liking our Facebook page, signed up as a member and of course, reading this. Our vision is to grow a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at QUT. We are focussed on the lean start up methodology of testing your idea by releasing the idea, gaining feedback from potential consumers and using pivots to reassess your idea. We started in the second half of 2014, holding one workshop and one speaker event. This year in 2015, we aim to have a series of workshops where you will be able to learn and apply practical steps in validating an idea into a potential business. We will keep you updated on workshop topics, time and location in upcoming posts. This past week, we held our first O-Week stall at Gardens Point on the Lady Bowen Lawn. Here are a few snaps from the three days we were on campus. A big shout out to Jeremy Varendorff and Tim Mardon for creating the fortune wheel and life size photo frame from scratch!