Global Startup Weekend 2016 winners announced

29 November 2016: An idea designed to maintain the peace at shared houses using technology has bagged the top prize at Global Startup Weekend 2016 in Brisbane.

Housemates forced to have awkward conversations about chores and bills would appreciate the mobile app, its creator Amanda Ward said.

Dubbed Teerah (in homage to TV comedy hit Big Bang Theory), the mobile app is focused on communicating and delegating responsibilities within shared houses.


“All tasks and responsibilities are stored in a single place (within the app) and assigned equally between housemates,” Ms Ward, a student at Queensland University of Technology, said.

Bills for the internet and utilities are added to the app and everyone’s share is calculated automatically, she added.

Citing internal research, Ms Ward found that nearly 83 per cent of conflicts at shared houses were over cleaning tasks.

“The common arguments were over who was supposed to do what and some people claiming they had done their chores but hadn’t.

“We wanted a way to match tasks and responsibilities in an easy fashion but offer transparency to minimise tense situations at home,” she said.

Ms Ward led a team of eight people who pitched their idea to judges Mark Sowerby, Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Kaisu Christie, Bank of Queensland head of digital and innovation, Lisa Jenkinson, Head of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at KPMG, and Tim Kuusik, Senior Manager at EY.

The winning team was awarded:

  • $2,000 worth of accounting consulting with Cole Wilkinson, partner at Pitcher Partners.
  • $500 Uber credits
  • Acceptance to Startup Activate Program by Amazon Web Services, which includes $3,000 worth of AWS credits
  • 3-month casual membership at River City Labs

The team behind runners-up Hai Box, a home automation kit, bagged a three-month casual membership with River City Labs.

Shamren Natale, a core member of Teerah, won the Spirit of the Weekend prize for being the most helpful participant. She received an Xbox One S from Microsoft.

The top will also receive prizes from Techstars in the US. They include:

  • a mentoring session with a Techstars Accelerator Managing Director
  • a feature on Techstars’ blog
  • an F6S Alpha Card

Global Startup Weekend in Brisbane was organised by premier technology startup hub River City Labs.

It was the sixth Startup Weekend hosted by River City Labs as part of the world-renowned Techstars Startup Program. The event was held from November 18 to 20, with teams from over 700 cities in 150 countries taking part concurrently.

“It was exciting to see so many entrepreneurs come armed with their ideas in what was a fun and mentally stimulating weekend,” River City Labs CEO Peta Ellis said.

“The judges and I were thoroughly impressed with the quality and calibre of pitches. The maturity of the teams in delivering their solutions to overcome everyday problems was second to none.

“We congratulate Teerah and all the other teams for their fantastic pitches and look forward to their ideas coming to fruition,” Ms Ellis said.

How Startup Weekend works

 Startup Weekend is designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.

Brisbane’s brightest entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to their fellow peers and receive feedback, potentially walking away with great advice and a co-founder or investor as well.

Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekend culminates in Sunday night demos and presentations.

Local CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs and startup veterans provide expertise and give talks on their experiences in the fast-paced world of startups.

Participants come from a diverse background, and include developers and software engineers, designers, business and marketing experts.

About River City Labs

River City Labs is Brisbane's premier technology startup hub and central clubhouse for tech startups. It's a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland's startup ecosystem.

Current membership sits at over 100 members ranging from early stage startups and founders, to established startups and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital in the last 18 months.

River City Labs focuses on providing the right environment for entrepreneurs to make valuable contacts while learning from peers, mentors and industry experts who help them connect, work and grow.

About Techstars Startup Programs

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of community programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO.

Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and do more faster. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from early stage grassroots community development to more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding, and beyond.

Techstars Startup Programs include Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Next, and Startup Week.