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Blog: My thoughts on Startup Weekend and _Southstart 2019

Author: Terry Gold | 18 December 2019


Startup Weekend Adelaide 2019Startup Weekend Adelaide 2019 hosted by the Innovation & Collaboration Centre/University of South Australia.

In July of 2007 Andrew Hyde, an entrepreneur friend from Boulder, Colorado in the US put on the very first Startup Weekend. I’m sure there were other people involved in organising the event because Andrew has a gift for getting people to care about community building and helping each other make a difference in the world.

Since that very first Startup Weekend, over 23,000 teams have been formed involving nearly 200,000 community members to put on nearly 3,000 events in 150 countries. It is amazing to me to think that one person with an idea could set off anything that would have that kind of reach in the world.

If you could sit down with Andrew he would encourage you to get involved, to participate, to say “yes” when you are given an opportunity. Here in Adelaide at the Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC), we put on a Startup Weekend in November, and lots of people came out to experience what it is like to start a company. Many people came out to also give back and support the event through mentoring the participants who wanted to experience for themselves what it would be like to start a company. While we had no expectations that any of the teams formed that weekend would emerge as real companies, we do know that every weekend somewhere in the world, a new entrepreneur is encouraged and supported and then actually starts their company. If this sounds interesting, check out

Our Startup Weekend event kicked off _southstart celebrating entrepreneurship, art and sustainability. It is a gift to South Australia. It was thrilling to be there and to see what seemed like a thousand people learning and creating together to start businesses, support community and to do it in a sustainable way. It was great fun, and my only regret was that more startup founders didn’t get to the event. Turnout was good, but I knew people who felt they didn’t have the time to attend, when in fact I believe the inspiration and connections they would have made would have been returned to them many times over. There is an important place in the South Australia startup community for _southstart and I hope it is even bigger and better next year.

Startup Weekend Adelaide 2019 team ShakaaStartup Weekend participants 'Shakaa'.

It seems we have reached a critical mass in South Australia where not only big events like _southstart, but nearly every day there is some kind of a smaller event or opportunity for startup founders to learn and support each other. Here at the ICC, we are a place to grow and and give people with ideas, the tools they need to build a successful startup. We are a community of likeminded people who share successes and failures so we can all learn from each other. If you are interested in our community, or the many events, get in touch.

If you don’t see what you need, start it yourself. Like Andrew, you may look back one day and realise you’ve made a tremendous impact not just on our local community but on the world.

South Australian Government

University of South Australia