11 year old Lili Haigh-Neale (pictured) from Brisbane, beat out dozens of adults in a hotly contested Start Up competition held over the weekend. Competing in the first ever Start Up Weekend to be run on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Lili came in second with her pitch for an app targeted at budding 10-15 year old entrepreneurs called IdeallyNow.
Lili was one of more than 40 people pitching their start up business ideas in front of 140 spectators on Friday night, with 17 teams forming and launching 17 businesses inside 54 hours. 17 teams survived the 54-hour event (assisted by a lot of coffee and 14 highly experienced business mentors) pitching their final business propositions to a panel of 4 judges on Sunday night, where VR Smart View was announced as the winner of over $15,000 in prizes.
VR Smart View is a head mountable display case that utilizes the smartphone as a mobile immersive media device. Users can slot their smart phone into the headset, which the team are anticipating will retail for as little as $100, and thereafter enjoy 3D movies, games or engage in other smartphone related activities on a huge screen, hands and cords free.
The VR Smart View team included 3 students from the University of the Sunshine Coast; Wilfrid Watson-Russell (Bachelor of Business & Art), Ben Lowe (Bachelor of Journalism), and Danum Harris-Lusk (Bachelor of Business Marketing & a minor in Entreprenership), Stephen Maher (owner of Metaweb a web and digital marketing company) and industrial designer, Neil Waldbaum.
Judges said the idea had the most commercial potential, in a market which is extremely hot right now following the sale of the Oculus Rift to Facebook for $2bn earlier this year, and they were impressed by the fact that the team had developed a 3D printed proto-type, secured $450 in sales, and a potential multi-million dollar distribution deal, all in the course of the weekend.
Layovers, a travel app to meet fellow travellers while in transit was announced third. My Shift Match, speed-dating for uni students and businesses that connects people looking for last-minute, short-term or casual shifts with their perfect job match, was awarded an honourable mention.