Challenge Finalist 2017

May 25, 2017

Storyboard QUT bluebox Challenge Finalist 2017

Imagine being able to share your travels with your loved ones via digital pics, right as the action happens! Imagine being able to share with friends exactly where you visited via a map so they can share in your adventure. This is the aim of Storyboard!

Q&A with Storyboard founder Darren Tonkin

Who is Storyboard?

Darren Tonkin is a QUT Engineering and Business graduate; it was during his year on student exchange that gave him the idea for Storyboard.

“I was living overseas, and my grandad became quite ill, I wanted to communicate with him better than I already was. I realised it was hard with platforms like Facebook because it is just a cluster of photos. In the old days when you had a cluster of photos, you would organise them and that is what I started to do. I realised that if the photo was on a map, it could show the whole journey of where I or others had been and share the whole journey, so that is what I set out to do digitally.”

What is Storyboard?

Storyboard Social is a social platform that allows you capture and share your travel adventures like never before, and allows you to discover and explore the world through other people’s journeys.

Using the Storyboard application users can upload photos and detail their travels pinned on a map. Loved-ones can share in the adventure and follow the travels.

Although it may seem like storyboard works only for travellers Darren understands there are many uses for the application.

“Everyone has a journey, so there are some users who use for a ‘day-in-the-life-of’ and businesses can use it too. You can see the life of any profession anywhere in the world using Storyboard and what their life is really like!”

Biggest challenge with starting up Storyboard

Although Darren has prior business experience working for other organisations, he admits that the biggest challenge with Storyboard is what most startups face.
“The biggest challenge has two different levels. So on the day-to-day basis it is knowing the best next step forward. Then overall, the biggest challenge is growth. User acquisition, growth and retention. I think as honestly every startup and business is challenged with getting more customers.”

Greatest success to date

Darren also acknowledges and appreciates every step Storyboard has taken:

“I think each success is the greatest success. For example, first, it was launching the application, and then it was getting a feature in the Apple store, under ‘New apps we love’. We have 90 percent of our user base on iPhone! Then we launched for Android. Then, winning the a few pitching competitions and travelling to London to work with Virgin. Building and growing – every step of the way has been a success because it isn’t just the business but me as a person growing as well,” Darren said.

Speaking about influential entrepreneurs

Darren believes there are many entrepreneurs to tap into and look up to.

“Obviously there are the famous ones like Richard Branson, the vision of myself and Storyboard aligns very well with the spirit of Virgin and it is a privilege to be doing what we are doing with Virgin, but I also draw inspiration from entrepreneurs, founders that are right here in the Brisbane ecosystem.”

“My parent’s for example, successful entrepreneurs in their own right; I learned a lot at university but I also went to the university-of-my-parents’ back seat. It is sitting in the back of the car, listening and learning from their struggles. It was definitely very very informative as well. When I think of what my parents taught me.”

The crowd vote for the QUT bluebox Challenge is now OPEN! Vote for Storyboard here!

Find out more Storyboardsocial

On the QUT bluebox challenge

Darren believes the QUT bluebox Challenge is more than just a competition.

“What I like about the Challenge is that it showcases and brings the whole startup ecosystem of QUT together. It is good to build this community. We can all really work together to do that. People see it as contest but it is more than that. Yes, it has the contest side to it, there is something to win, but if we can work with other startups to create better offerings that is a win too – to improve. I know there will be a winner but we are all winners for starting this and it is great to have that sense of unity.”

What would it meant to you win the QUT bluebox Challenge?

“It would be great validation to win the Challenge, being able to work closer with QUT bluebox and the community would be great.  There is the prize but as well as that there are partnerships and the connections for future growth, it means a lot. “

Advice to applicants next year?

“Just do it!  You never know unless you try. You never know who you will meet, the opportunities that come out of it. I would recommend people just do it give it a shot. Be inspired be inspired by other people be inspired by their experiences. That's our motto inspired by experience. “

For more information



Phone: +61 7 3138 9420