Startup Weekend returns to Central Western Queensland and will host a stellar group of mentors and experienced entrepreneurs to help participants move quickly to establish businesses. 

Through a partnership with Advance Queensland's HotDesQ program, 4 entrepreneurs will be in Longreach to lend their experience, insights and assistance to new business concepts.  The four mentors have a wide range of experience ranging from ecommerce, subscription services, life sciences, fintech, online education and other businesses.

Founded in 2017, Startup Weekend is a global series of weekend long events that help anyone learn the steps to evaluate and found a business.  Over 750,000 people in more than 130 countries have participated in events.  Participants do not need an idea to participate.

Those that are interested in participating are encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible to secure their spot.


Nikki Durkin

Nikki Durkin started her first successful online business at 15, and at 18 she started 99dresses - an online fashion trading platform for women. During her journey she was accepted into Y Combinator, raised money from prominent Silicon Valley investors, moved to New York City from Australia, and experienced a myriad of startup successes and failures. After 99dresses, Nikki moved back to Australia to found CodeMakers - an online coding school for kids.


Mark Zmarzly
CEO & Founder, Hip Money
Mark Zmarzly, CEO and Founder, came to Queensland from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA with Hot DesQ Round 2. Hip Pocket was originally founded at a Startup Weekend event in 2012 and began deploying FinTech software in 2014, including their newly launched savings app Hip Money. All of their software is designed to help people make better financial decisions from their phones in under 2 minutes. Mark has skills and experience in banking, FinTech, sales, pitching, raising capital, and, thanks to his Masters in Creative Writing, storytelling.




Benjamin Bryant
Founder, ConferenceApe
Benjamin Bryant was the founding marketer at Pebble Smartwatch and responsible for Pebble's record breaking $20M USD Kickstarter campaign. Benjamin was a co-founder of Y-Combinator backed Earbits Radio, and holds academic degrees in Computer Science, Film and Finance.



Joanna Greenlees
Chief Information Officer
Jo is an experienced entrepreneur with qualifications in Science, Law and Commerce. She has been a part of accelerators in Australia and has built an award winning social enterprise that helps low income households reduce energy use. She is working on Zentivo to streamline the claims process for insurers.


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