River City Labs announces winner of Startup Weekend Brisbane Women event



13 October 2015: Startup hub and co-working community River City Labs has announced that car wash service startup, airSponge, has taken out RCL’s inaugural Startup Weekend Brisbane Women event.

Launched in just 54 hours by business partners, Areej Alsheikh and Amin Bazzaz, airSponge connects people wanting to get their car washed for a set price with people in the vicinity willing to come and wash it for them.

Areej Alsheikh, Co-Founder of airSponge, said: “Startup Weekend Brisbane Women was one of the most enriching experiences for my business partner, Amin and I. It was a bit intimidating at first not knowing what to expect, however as soon as we dove into the project, the adrenaline started pumping and we were able to complete one milestone after the other. The weekend was so much fun, incredibly useful, and very well organised.”

For winning Startup Weekend Brisbane Women, airSponge took away a $4000 business package from accounting firm, Hanrick Curran.

Ms Alsheikh added: “The next major step for airSponge involves redeeming the prize by getting consultancy on our business structure - we plan to register our business in the near future and will potentially be joining a startup accelerator program.”

Peta Ellis, General Manager of River City Labs, said: “We saw a promising turn out at our first Startup Weekend Brisbane event for women. It was so great to see these ladies in an environment where they felt comfortable enough to just go for it – the airSponge team is certainly testament to that.”

“On a personal level, it was incredibly reassuring to see how much support the wider startup community threw behind the organisation and running of the event. My hat goes off to all those who came down to be part of it and assist in getting these startup teams’ ideas off the ground.”

CUA General Manager of Business Transformation and Technology, Sue Coulter, was a panel judge at Startup Weekend Brisbane Women and said there were some strong ideas pitched by participants.

Ms Coulter commented: “While it is good to have a dedicated platform for women to pitch their ideas, the message is very much to keep going. Now they have experience at this kind of event, we want to see them take part in other startup events involving both men and women.

“CUA also gained valuable insight into the agile and fast-moving mentality adopted by startups, and how it might be possible to apply the same principles in a larger organisation.”


Startup Weekend Brisbane Women is an event focused on empowering, fostering and mentoring female startup companies and inspiring them to take risks and develop innovative thinking.


Media Contact:

Laura Blue laurab@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0416 699 925

About River City Labs:

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are 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 helping them to connect, work and grow.

About Startup Weekend Brisbane:

Startup Weekend Brisbane is an intense 54 hour event where a community of local entrepreneurs, business startup enthusiasts, web and software developers, designers and marketing gurus collaboratively participate in all stages of the startup process, including pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation.

About Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.