So you want to launch a startup, but don’t have a team, the technical know-how, or even a clue about where to start? Don’t worry! Now, thanks to Launch 48, it’s easy to build your idea into something amazing.

Launch48 provides a place for Zuckerberg-wannabes to link up with like-minded co-founders to dive into the world of wireframes, pivots and (hopefully) monetisation. By providing attendees a loose structure to guide them on their way, access to a panel of awesome mentors, and just the right amount of beer and pizza, Launch48 gives teams the tools they need to build their ‘next big thing‘ during an action packed 48 hours.

The Launch48 weekend is a unique experience for building online businesses with a group of teams from a range of backgrounds and different sets of skills. For each team, the goal is simple: pitch, build and launch an online business in 48 hours.

All Photos with thanks to Simon Walker.

The Launch48 weekend is different from most hack-days and entrepreneurial events because:

  • They offer a great set of mentors that work with groups to develop their web business
  • Each team has about 15 people working on each idea from a broad range of backgrounds
  • Participants meet, learn from, and work with many people throughout the event
  • All aspects of a business are covered including planning, marketing, PR, branding, design, finance, and development

The first Aussie Launch48 was held in Melbourne in April 2011. During that weekend I was fortunate to be in the team that worked on what is now successful Melbourne learning startup, WeTeachMe (read more about the Whiteboard to Working Prototype of WeTeachMe).

Later that year, organisers Grant Downie and Daniel May run the format for a second time, this time in Sydney. Out of that weekend, gift discover site Present Pod was born.

Fair to say, it’s a pretty impressive track record to have two executed startups delivered as the result of two Launch 48 weekends.

Having attending other hackathons I really enjoy the business style format of the weekend; meaning anyone – technical or otherwise – can get involved and provide value to their respective teams. Indeed, our team of 15 contained only a single developer – lucky he was an absolute gun, cause we worked him hard!

Our team worked on a product we named Skiip. Skiip wants to make it easier for builder and renovators to buy and sell material. The construction industry generates a lot of wasted building materials, most of which go straight to landfill. Yet these materials have value and people want them. Skiip helps solve this problem by connecting buyers and sellers of recycled building materials. It makes money by clipping the ticket on each transaction.

Other products worked on at the most recent Launch 48 included:

  • Markive – a web based platform that allows its users to capture street art through the camera functionality of their mobile devices. Markive then acts as a map based archive of street art pieces or street art sites with the functionality to “zoom” through time and watch the evolution of an artwork or the site of an artwork.
  • AppyWife – a mobile app that offers husbands a way to please their woman on special occasions without having to remember the little details. It takes the hassle out of gift giving by suggesting relevant sites and one click solutions for gift ideas. AppyWife ma es happy wives by reminding men of special dates.
  • Qjumper – A platform allowing consumer andkcorporate buyers special access to exclusive products, services and other scarce items. Initially focussing on the restaurant market, the Qjumpr iPhone application provides a unique opportunity to book a table via a fun and engaging auction process. Through Qjumpr, buyers will be able to bid to book tables at highly sought after restaurants that would otherwise require bookings 4-8 weeks in advance.

Keep a look out for the above names, as the strength of these teams leads me to think that Launch 48 weekend won’t be the last time we hear from them!

I highly recommend Launch 48 for anyone interested in startups. Whether you are a first timer looking for a crash course on the start-to-execution process or a seasoned pro looking to validate their next idea, Launch 48 will help get you there!

There are plans for another Sydney Launch48 over the coming months, and keep an ear out for more Melbourne weekend announcements soon.

Launch48 Melbourne | Launch48 Sydney
Twitter: @Launch48Aus

About our writer: Stephen Colman

Stephen is a Melbourne-based online development and user experience guy working in financial services. He’s the cofounder of @PresentPod and a defender of users. Follow him on Twitter @StephenColman or on his blog.