Written by Tommy Ekman, BlueChilli Intern
One can hardly argue against the importance of university startups. In the midst of lectures, homework, exams and late night parties, students around the globe have managed to find the time to create some of the most influential and thriving business on the planet.
On Friday 25th of November, BlueChilli introduced its first run of the student pitch contest, ChilliPitch. In the morning students from all around Brisbane came to our office to pitch their business ideas, and we were absolutely blown away with the innovation of the ideas and the passion of the aspiring entrepreneurs. After an intense session of feedback, we then worked with them during the whole day to develop their pitches in an intensive workshop. The office was flowing with new ideas on how to develop the potential businesses, to the point where the already established founders in the BlueChilli accelerator started to collaborate with the students as they passed them by in the office. It was simple, incredible fun!
“I think it was one of the most exhilarating experiences ever! I grew so much after only one day of undergoing the workshop with BlueChilli.” – Jade Luangsay, student at University of Queensland
In the evening that very same day we hosted a networking event at Queensland University of Technology for everyone and anyone passionate about university startups. Here the students got to pitch their ideas again, but this time in front of the audience and a panel of judges. The panel, consisting of investor Monica Bradeley, founder of BenchOn, Tim Wamsley, and head of BlueChilli’s Brisbane office, Brett Geoghegan, were faced with the challenge of choosing one winner that would get admission to BlueChilli’s December validation bootcamp.
In the end the talented Jessica Blomfield, a PhD student at Griffith University, brought home the prize. Her dream is to create CoworkAlly, a digital coworking ecosystem where entrepreneurs and freelancers work together in real time to thrive in collaboration. We look forward in working with Jessica during the next couple of weeks to develop and validate her dream for a business. Also, a big round of applause for the other great contestants. They all won access to our 99toLaunch program, an online course that will help them on their journey to start their businesses.
All-in-all it was a night of remarkable student pitches and networking over a common passion for startups. In the end ChilliPitch affirmed our continuing belief in university entrepreneurship.
If students are given an outlet to bring forth their ideas, there is no limit to the impact they will have on the technology of tomorrow.
A big thank you to our generous sponsors; QUT Business School, QUT Starters, IDEA Network, CCiQ and Collaborate. Also, thanks to our supporters; UQ Business School, Griffith Business School, IDEAHub and Studio 39. It was an absolute pleasure working with you all.
We could not be more excited about the relationships we’ve built with Brisbane’s universities for future collaborations in 2017. So, for everyone in Brisbane that is passionate about university startups, ChilliPitch was just the beginning!