Bringing together the best entrepreneurs in the Northern Territory – 8 ideas, 8 hours, 8 innovative businesses

Last Saturday, while many were still slumbering, some 50 innovative souls gathered at CDU Waterfront campus to share their creative ideas.

This was Top End IDEAS FEST, Darwin’s first community led innovation event.

The event, hosted by Luke Gosling, had a fantastic turnout and was a great success.

Attendees met with some amazing talent including entrepreneurs and leaders in many fields including business, technology, law, communication, finance, marketing, government and community solutions.

These experts were able to guide participants from idea to business opportunity.

Standout ideas

With equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation, 8 individuals got the ball rolling with a 60 second pitch to grab the attention of like-minded spirits who would collaborate with them for the next 8 hours.

A number of brilliant ideas were pitched including:

  • A sports facility to provide after school activities through the restoration of an abandoned wooden boat that played a key role in Darwin’s war time history.
  • Sharing intergenerational and intercultural knowledge to protect and sustain our food sources.
  • Disrupting traditional methods of connecting job seekers to employers.

Using the business canvas model, ideas were explored and tested.

Their creators were mentored and supported to the point where a more structured pitch was made by the end of the day, this time to a panel of local judges.

The judges had the hard task of choosing which idea would progress onwards to Regional Pitchfest to be hosted in Darwin in July.

The prize winners

First prize (and people’s choice winner) was awarded to a brother and sister team who are planning to launch the Dream Tech Hub.

The hub would provide hands on learning for indigenous participants who want to gain employment through participation in the space of tech device support.

Recognising the strength of tactile and visual learning, the aim is to provide a space where computers and other devices can be pulled apart and put back together by local indigenous learners who then gain skills to support a community need.

Second prize was awarded to the project that wants to restore HDML 1321 from her abandoned state at East Arm to be part of our National Wartime heritage.

Uniting the NT community

Such events are only possible with community support and this event had plenty. 

From sponsors to supporters, the social goodwill in the room was perhaps most aptly summed up by one sponsor, John Mackenzie of Quest Palmerston, who reminded us that “if we all work together, amazing things will happen”.

If you’ve realized that you should have got out of bed and joined in the world of creative innovation, it’s not too late. More events will happen and more ideas will be nurtured to reality with the help of the team at Rust 490.