Startups with a Difference @ StartupSundays

When you kick off a new program, you never know how it is going to go. And when they are event based, you don’t even know if people will turn up – after all, events in Sydney are notoriously difficult to predict.

So this morning, we turned up to our first #StartupSundays event with low expectations.

While the coffee was pouring and the croissants were warming up, we busied ourselves with various tasks around the Common Room – Vibewire’s coworking space for young people. As I was moving some boxes, I stumbled upon some DVDs of the Reelife, Vibewire’s short film festival from 2006. It was a reminder of Vibewire’s distant past – a time before YouTube, social media and Facebook dominated. A time when young people struggled to find the support and spaces to participate in the creative future of Australia.

A decade on, these challenges continue. While the media landscape has been disrupted, young people still face significant barriers to establishing their social, creative or tech careers. It’s one of the reasons that StartupSundays has been established. We need to:

  • Build capacity of young people to use, engage and activate new and innovative approaches to problem solving – think design thinking, startup methodologies and social impact
  • Inspire young people with an entrepreneurial mindset to create and cope with the change in their chosen profession
  • Create the space in which young entrepreneurs can meet, connect and support each other.

Over the next three hours, we were joined by young entrepreneurs with a wide variety of business ideas. We developed lean canvases, worked through positioning statements and even saw some early prototypes of new products. One was so new, we weren’t allowed to take photos … yet. The mentors collaborated, cajoled and challenged the entrepreneurs in all areas. These nascent startup entrepreneurs even challenged each other.

Next week, with a great mentoring team of Markus Hafner, Eliot Redelman and Jessica Marcellienus on offer, most will be back. You too can sign up here. It’s the best way for an entrepreneur to spend a Sunday morning.