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Gold Coast Demo Day to showcase support on offer for up-and-coming entrepreneurs

In celebration of the Gold Coast's vibrant start-up culture, the region's best and brightest entrepreneurial minds will come together at Bond University's Demo Day on Wednesday, 15 November, to share their journey and highlight local programs to help take new ideas from concept to commercialisation.

Hosted by Bond Business School, Gold Coast Demo Day will showcase six programs available to entrepreneurs - from high school-aged students through to new ventures looking to reach the next level - along with six local start-ups that benefited from support.

Programs presented will include Bond Business Accelerator, Somerset's Celebration of Entrepreneurship, F'Up Nights Gold Coast, Queensland Venturer Program, Hot DesQ and Qantas AVRO Accelerator.

Bond University's Head of Entrepreneurship, Dr Baden U'Ren, said Gold Coast Demo Day provided a platform for entrepreneurs to learn from each other and to present to key industry leaders, investors, government representatives and the local community.

"Every strong ecosystem benefits from institutions and programs that foster and build entrepreneurial capabilities," he said.

"We are going to see a diverse range of presenters at this year's Gold Coast Demo Day, hailing from all walks of life, who will share their journey of ups and downs to get where they are today. 

"There are so many bright ideas out there, however finding the platform to launch these to the right people can be challenging, which is why Bond University has stepped in to help."

Dr U'Ren said the event would also provide a networking opportunity for those in the start-up space.  

"The evening will conclude with an exclusive networking cocktail party, including canapés, beverages and entertainment in celebration of our vibrant start-up culture," he said.

"I look forward to having the brains behind tomorrow's big business ideas all in the one room and to subsequently see what new doors open for them following the event."

Gold Coast Demo Day commences at 5:45pm on Wednesday, 15 November, at the Basil Sellers Theatre on Level 3 of the University Centre at Bond University.

Entry to the event is complimentary, however registration is essential via Eventbrite.

Support programs and representatives at 2017 Gold Coast Demo Day:

Somerset Celebration of Entrepreneurship: Katisha Webb, Lilly Thompson and Montana MacFarlane from School Run

In conjunction with Advance Queensland, Somerset College conducted its inaugural Celebration of Entrepreneurship in October, delivering a program that supported the growth of entrepreneurial skills among students.

The initiative provided students with the knowledge, networks and hands-on experience to help them launch their own enterprises, whether now or in the future.

Katisha Webb, Lily Thompson and Montana MacFarlane from School Run - a ride sharing app targeted at school communities that enables parents to connect and share drop-off and pick-up responsibilities - will discuss their experience of the program at Gold Coast Demo Day. 

Bond Business Accelerator (BBA): Judes Yang, Sahaja Yoga Mats

The BBA is an incubator for early stage start-ups, combining formal training, practical skills, high level mentoring and investor introductions to transform an idea into a fully-fledged commercial entity.

Sahaja Yoga Mats founder, Judes Yang, who received $5,000 in seed funding after presenting her start-up to an industry panel at the Bond Business Accelerator Demonstration Day, will share her experience taking part in the program.

Sahaja Yoga Mats was developed by Ms Yang, following a personal battle with post traumatic stress disorder.

Her family and friends provided the light she needed during those dark times, and she wanted to 'pay it forward' by giving light to others, such as families in Mozambique who are struggling to fulfil basic household needs.  

The printed Sahaja Yoga Mats are inspired by geometry and yoga philosophy and help foster natural alignment to support students during practice. They also include extra padding and length, allowing the yogi to train comfortably in a range of studios.

A portion of the sale of the mats helps fund a range of initiatives, including the solar lights project in Mozambique and free yoga classes for victims of family violence, supported by the RizeUp Australia community.

Since launching in March, more than 150 mats have already sold and the range is now being stocked at several retail outlets on the Gold Coast and interstate.

F'Up Nights Gold Coast: Michael Metcalfe from Snotels

F'Up Nights is a global movement, born in Mexico in 2012, in which entrepreneurs share their public business failures with hundreds of people from around the world.

The concept has now been brought to the Gold Coast where, each month, three speakers divulge their biggest mistakes in business, what they learned and how they moved on, all while sharing invaluable advice to fellow start-ups.

Each speaker is given the stage for seven minutes to share what their project or business was, what went wrong, how it affected their personal life, what they learned and what they would do differently.

Michael Metcalfe will share his failed experience launching a venture, Snotels Alpine Hotels in 2012, what he learnt from the experience and how F'Up Nights Gold Coast assisted him throughout the process - before going on to discuss his successful start-up, Kynd.  

Queensland Venturer Program: Michael Metcalfe, Kynd

The Queensland Venturer Program is a seven-day mission involving a range of activities and challenges designed to build the mental stamina and physical resilience that is a hallmark of all successful entrepreneurs.

The program is run by Ben Southall, who has built a career taking entrepreneurs and corporate executives out of their comfort zones and on resilience-building travel adventures around the world.

Mr Metcalfe will this time discuss his experience launching successful business venture, Kynd, and how Queensland Venturer Program assisted him throughout the process.

Kynd is the simple, fast and safe way to find and manage the right local carers, whether it be for the individual or their loved ones, based on specific needs.

Kynd is actively reimagining community powered care to support the rapidly ageing populations both in Australia and abroad. Kynd connects locals with locals, using smarter mobile apps, so that the older loved ones can stay happy and healthy at home.

Hot DesQ: Tim Daly, Skin Analytics

The Queensland Government's $8 million Advance Queensland Hot DesQ entrepreneurial program works closely with start-ups, sharing their experiences and providing insight into how to grow a successful business.

This Australia-first program is designed to attract international and interstate start-ups to relocate to Queensland for at least six months by offering up to $100,000 for them to pursue business opportunities and build-on the vibrant entrepreneurial culture in Queensland.

The program was developed following consultation with the local start-up industry, which identified attracting international and interstate entrepreneurial expertise as critical to accelerating the growth of the start-up ecosystem in Queensland.

Tim Daly, co-founder of Skin Analytics, a revolutionary, medical-based app used in conjunction with a dermascope to detect early stage melanoma, will discuss his experience with the Hot DesQ program.

Mr Daly and his business partner are working with the Queensland Government through Hot DesQ at Bond University to bring their technology back to where it is needed most.

They entered the inaugural [email protected] competition in the United Kingdom where they pitched their idea to His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew.

Qantas Arvo Accelerator: Sarah Pearce and Tim Jones, Travelshoot

Qantas Arvo Accelerator is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to participate in a structured 12-week course, led by industry experts and designed to get participants investor-ready.

With access to funding support and mentors, this is a platform for entrepreneurs to bring their big ideas to life and help shape innovation at Qantas, while gaining unique access to Qantas Group insights.

Participants receive up to $150,000 in funding with the opportunity to gain additional investment from Qantas, the Slingshot Venture Fund and investment partners.

Sarah Pearce and Tim Jones, co-founders of Travelshoot, a company that connects travellers with trusted photographers around the world, will discuss their experience with Qantas Arvo Accelerator.

Travelshoot is the brainchild of Gold Coasters, Ms Pearce and Mr Jones, who drummed up the idea back in 2012 while on holiday and put the wheels into motion in 2015. 

The company now has photographers in every continent and partners with big brands such as RACQ, Flight Centre and Student Flights to name a few.

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