Aussies go sleepless in Sydney for startup camp

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Aussies go sleepless in Sydney for startup camp

Thirty-nine entrepreneurs sacrificed sleep for up to 38 hours straight to create six new web and iPhone application start-ups at the second Startup Camp held in Sydney this past weekend.

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The entrepreneurs, a mix of coders, futurists, web 2.0 enthusiasts, marketers and geeks, were divided into six teams late on Friday, and immediately set about brainstorming and establishing a serious start-up from scratch (see photo gallery right).

The results – or at least the latest work-in-progress code compilations – were presented on Saturday evening to the other teams, and then again on Sunday to a panel of venture capitalists.

“Everyone worked intensively throughout the night,” said Bart Jellema, a co-organiser of the event and director of start-up

“At 5am [Saturday morning] there were 29 entrepreneurs still coding. Some teams had an entire crew still there, others weren’t so fortunate.”

The six applications developed included a pet dating website, a custom Google search page that gives charities an opportunity to generate Ad Sense revenue, and a traffic application for iPhone that crowdsources road ‘hazards’ such as speed cameras and traffic congestion.

The pet dating site, called My Pet Needs Love, enables dogs, cats and ‘other’ pets to create personalised profiles and search for mates within their geographic area using Google Maps.

Personal details that can be added include photos, body type, ‘best features’, hair colour, and diet.

The website was developed using the open source osDate as a template, according to project manager, Benjamin Ranck.

“There’s so much spending on pets,” said Ranck.

“There’s plenty of sites out there for people that want to date that also have pets, but we really wanted something for the pets themselves.

“We thought, ‘why don’t we use technology to help other single pets go on dates?’” he said.

Andrew Thornberry, a developer on the project, added: “We’re focused on the animals, but the undercurrent is that it could allow some social interaction between the owners without the pressure you get with a regular dating website.

“People come around and meet because they are looking after their pets.”

Ranck said the site is free to join and contact other pets, and that it would look to make money from targeted advertising.

He said the start-up would ‘start a conversation’ with VCs at the camp but it wasn’t dependent on funding at this stage.

Read about the other five start-up apps developed on page 2.
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