Participants in the Cairns Startup Weekend (May 29-31) will be given 54 short hours to invent new tourism ideas, develop concepts and put them out to market.

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

“This isn’t a talk-fest, we want to take the brilliant ideas of locals in the early stages of a new business and help turn worthy concepts into commercial realities through our $40 million Business Development Fund,” Mr Pitt said.

“Startup 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.”

Startup and innovation coach Damian Zammit, of theSPACE Cairns, said one of the major barriers for a new startup was getting an idea heard.

“For someone with a new concept, not having the right team to innovate or create a business, can keep great ideas from moving forward,” Mr Zammit said.

“The concepts discovered this weekend have the potential to generate products and services that could transform the local tourism industry.”

Mr Pitt said the Business Development Fund would provide Queensland businesses with access to the startup capital they need to create new opportunities and productive capacity in new emerging niche markets.

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

“This weekend is part of a global initiative where community-driven events are being held locally to boost the success rates of startup businesses and I’d like to thank theSPACE Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Cairns International Airport and the dedicated group of supporters here this evening for making this happen.”

A series of Startup Weekends have been held this month across Queensland focusing on health, mining, tourism and education.

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