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Tableland resident George Corea was again part of the winning team at the Tourism focused Start-Up weekend held in Cairns (May 29-31). George who has previously been part of the winning teams in both of the Cairns 2014 start-up weekends and watts an organiser of the recent Tablelands start-up weekend. He said it was yet another great experience that gives immediate validation to your ideas.

Start-up weekends are a very hands-on, high energy, dynamic and creative event that brings together like minded business entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs with the aim to get business ideas vetted, validated, pivoted and pitch ready. Ideas were pitched in 60 seconds and teams were then formed around those that struck a chord. Participants were given just 54 short hours to invent new tourism ideas, develop concepts and put them out to market and find out if ideas are viable.

“I pitched an idea linking information for making filling out details on international customs forms a seamless and time saving experience,” Mr Corea said. Although this was not the start-up he ended up working on, Guest Speaker Dr Clarence Tan acknowledged that it was a great idea and that in fact it is a project being funded by Singularity University.

Mr Corea then joined another team and worked on an idea called App-originee.co that would enable visitors to cultural sites and National Parks to access authentic stories from Aboriginal tribes about the significance of the area.

Mr Corea said this team had appealed to him as it was had many synergies with a start-up that he had pitched at Queensland Innovation Hub called ParkArk.com. Here he had joined with previous participants and team members with whom he has formed lasting working relationships -.

Mr Corea has also won an invitation and ticket to attend The South Summit, the Start-up Weekend Global Conference, in Spain in October this year where he has also entered two startups for pitching as one of the top 100 global startups. The winner of Cairns SW #2 -ShareStuff.co enables people to rent tools and other useful objects from neighbours to save/make money. The other concept SkilledTravel.org connects travelers with skills to community hosts needing their skills. If either of these applications are successful Mr Corea will be pitching them to top tier international investors, media and leading corporations.

In the lead up to the Cairns event Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said he had hoped the weekend workshop would give life to the next wave of big ideas in Far Northern tourism.

“Start-up businesses can drive innovation, build a stronger economy and create jobs and hosting a weekend like this in Cairns will help drive that kind of creativity.”

“Queensland’s changing economy means it is essential for locals to embrace the start-up culture of constant self-evaluation and striving to improve,” Mr Pitt Said.

The weekend provided a platform to connect and mentor tour operators, hospitality owners, managers, workers and anyone else looking to develop real solutions for the economic challenges faced by our region. The upcoming events by Startup Tablelands will help local entrepreneurs to develop viable businesses that help to keep them in the area. Paul Flynn a co-team member of Approginee and consultant that helps develop struggling businesses said that one of the reasons for Mr Corea’s success was his expertise in collaborative workflows that allowed the teams he worked with to efficiently do their tasks. With Google Apps acting as that enabling central framework and George as its key architect and custodian, George's additional and wider technical know-how also saw him able to liaise with additional programmers to identify and articulate other technical solutions beneficial to the team and then manage that delivery with all parties to best effect. This forms a core part of his day-to-day business GetBack2Basics.net that’s training locals up in cloud computing applications for SMBs

The above is from a draft article for the papers by Christine Doan our local startup and entrepeneurship evangelist.

If this wasn't enough, in the same period I still had to progress the projects that my company was responsible for and run a the 27th annual FunGIS conference and AGM with international guests.

My company managed to completely upgrade two aging websites for local businesses and make them work properly on mobile phones plus enable the clients to manage them without any experience in web

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We also managed to demo a productivity management system for the Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation.

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