CQUniversity’s unique projects inspire at Startup Weekend

Published:10 October 2017

CQUniversity academics, professional staff and alumni participated in the recent Startup Weekend in Rockhampton.

Freezing lemon zest to on-sell to restaurants and food waste recycling were just some of the ideas CQUniversity staff presented at the Startup Weekend in Rockhampton from 6-8 October.

A number of CQUniversity academics, professional staff and alumni attended the event at the Rockhampton Regional Council’s Smarthub sharing new ideas on food marketing with other budding entrepreneurs from around the region.

CQUniversity partnered with Rockhampton Regional Council and Start-up Capricorn for the event which aimed to inspire those looking to turn their visions into reality.

Associate Professor Ashwa Ashwath and his team’s (John Cook and Teghe and Sruthi Chandrasekhar) project, ‘Zesty Lemon’ won second place in the competition for their lemon zest concept.

“We had a lemon zest business proposal where lemon zest would be frozen and sold – nobody else is currently doing that in Australia,” Assoc Prof Ashwath said.

“Normally it’s imported in from France, although we grow millions of tonnes of citrus fruits here so there is a lot of potential.”

He said it was the second time he’d participated in the event.

“It’s a very good opportunity for CQUniversity researchers because they can help the young entrepreneurs with the business proposals. Not all of the participants have the depth of knowledge so we complement each other.”

Helen Mitchell attended the Startup Weekend for the first time.

“Even though I was a bit apprehensive of what to expect, the experience was exciting and very motivating. I really enjoyed it,” she said.

“I had an idea to collect food waste to stop it ending up in landfill by turning it into compost.

“The enthusiasm of the other participants, the mentors and guest speakers really inspired me.”

CQUniversity alumnus and Council Member Patrice Brown was one of the judges in the competition and the event was facilitated by David Masefield, President of the Canvas Co-working Space in Toowoomba.