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Bondies reach world final of Global Startup Battle with virtual reality card game

Two students from Bond University’s Business School, Alexander Daysh and Rebecca Malmin - along with their teammates William Fischer, Long Roos and Ryan Neale from Somerset College and team manager David Shaw - reached the world final stage of the Global Startup Battle ‘Champions Track’ with their augmented reality gaming concept, Genesis AR.

The talented team met at, and won, the Gold Coast Startup Weekend last month during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Then, following a round of public voting and judging by industry experts, Genesis AR won the APAC regional final to become one of just 12 teams across the world who competed for the coveted title of Global Startup Battle winners.

So what is their Big Idea? Genesis is a smartphone app that uses augmented reality technology to bring gaming cards, like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, or Magic, to life.

The card deck itself has rules, interactions, and characters including mythical beasts and creatures that actually emerge from the cards, and battle right in front of gamers’ eyes.

Alexander (20) and Rebecca (19) who are both from Stavanger, Norway are in their first semester of a Bachelor of Business at Bond University and heard about the Global Startup Battle in their Marketing lecture.

“We went to the Startup Weekend to learn more about entrepreneurship and hopefully become involved with a great idea that we could help grow and develop,” Alexander said.

“As soon as we heard William and Long talk about this software program, we knew this was something we were passionate about and wanted to be part of from the ground up,” he said.

“We were able to apply some of the skills and knowledge we had gained in marketing about product validation, research and customer targeting, to help develop the business plan.”

Rebecca said the weekend was very intense, but an incredible opportunity to learn.

“We learnt so much about so many things in those 54 hours,” she said.

“To have immediate feedback from the mentors and other teams was invaluable, as was what we learnt through our customer research on the streets of Surfers Paradise.

“Our research showed that digital games have caused 70% of respondents to move away from their physical gaming cards.”

Alexander said Genesis was the first card game designed for the digital world. 

“The team quickly realised there was an opportunity here to reignite the passion people have for gaming cards - complete with rich characters, exciting rules, and physical social interaction – with the digital world of smartphones, powerful graphics and robust features,” he said.

“The Genesis team is very diverse, made up of gamers and non-gamers with an age spread of sixteen years, spanning multiple nationalities and heritages.

“These strengths make us flexible in our game development, objective in our decision making, and energetic and passionate in what we’re doing on a global scale.”

“It’s incredible to think our startup concept was one of the 12 best in the world.”

The ultimate Champion Track winner was London-based startup Caleche, who devised an app that allows consumers to access any and all cab services in their local area. The Caleche team is made up of a diverse group of dev and bus people from Google, Amazon, BBC and Dataiku.

Global Startup Battle, an initiative created by Startup Weekend, is the largest startup competition in the world and aims to generate a stronger global community of entrepreneurs.

In November each year during Global Entrepreneurship Week, 250 Startup Weekend events are hosted in over 60 cities around the world, with teams given the opportunity to move forward and compete with one another via a global online video competition.  


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