QUT bluebox Challenge Finalists

June 19, 2017
Media Release

QUT students and alumni set to Challenge with new startups

Ranging from robotics to human resources, the 2017 QUT bluebox Challenge finalists are in, and sure to make a mark in the startup sector.

All are in the running for a share in up to half-a-million prize money, services, programs and investment to support their startup.

“We are really pleased with the talent pool of QUT founders who applied,” QUT bluebox Director of Ventures and Investments, Mr Brent Watts said.

“It’s really great to see QUT students, alumni and staff using their skills to create innovative and scalable business opportunities,”

“The finalists are a reflection of the entrepreneurship starting here in Queensland and with the potential to go global,”

Finalists will now attend workshops with expert coaches to prepare them for the final pitching competition in October. A public vote will also be open later this month for all to support their favourite startup!

The finalists are:

  • Adepto with Chris Milligan

Adepto is an application that allows organisations to create, manage and engage with their own network of internal and external freelancers and consultations.

Chris is a QUT business alumnus; he founded Adepto in 2013 to change the way the world works and support the new workforce. Chris is responsible for global growth, establishing innovative partnerships and driving the future of work conversation.


  • Nuarda People Analytics with Steven Martin and Gavin Suddrey  

Nuarda provides businesses, such as large retail chains, with near-real-time data on foot traffic numbers and distributions within their stores and businesses.

Steven and Gavin are both QUT alumni, QUT PhD candidates (Robotics and Autonomous Systems) and are experts in systems hardware integration and vision software solutions.

Steven has run a robotics hardware business for 5 years, develops, and manufactures robot parts used worldwide.

Gavin has served as CTO for a company that produced and managed an online web-based game where he was responsible for the technical direction of the company.

  • Creatively Squared with Ruth Stephensen and Scott Thomas

Creatively Squared is a platform to connect businesses that need creative engaging visual content with talented stylists.

Ruth is a QUT alumni, has a MA in Creative Advertising and BA in Visual Arts. She has worked in the creative industries for over 10 years, and has successfully built and managed social media communities for herself and clients.

Scott has a MBA and Bachelor of Science. He has experience in strategy consulting, managing teams in different industries, and currently consults on customer strategy innovation and startup methodologies.


  • Popgun with Jack Nolan and Adam Hibble

Popgun is an artificial intelligence music company that uses deep learning to create a collaborative and engaging artificial intelligence that can play music.

Jack is a current QUT Law and Business student. He has experience in venture capital and investment banking, as well as in business development at an Australian SaaS startup.

Adam is a QUT graduate and an experienced software engineer who founded one of Australia’s largest networks for software developers. He has been building AI tech for more than five years.


  • RAWrobotics with Lindsay Watt, Sam Ashcroft and Chris Lenton

RAWrobotics provides real world robotics tech for students to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

Lindsay and Sam have been working on robotics projects together for the last three years.

Lindsay is a QUT electronic engineering student. In pursuit of a long-held interest, he has been actively involved with robotics over a number of years.

Sam is a QUT Mechanical Engineering graduate and has broad professional experience, including constructions, training, assessment, and programming.

Chris is a QUT student for mechatronics engineering with a passion for robotics. He also has experience working for a market-leading technology company.


  • Storyboard with Darren Tonkin

Storyboard is a social media application that allows people to discover, share, inspire and be inspired by each other’s experiences through interactive maps.

Darren is a QUT Engineering and Business (Economics) alumnus. He has significant experience in the startup sector and has been involved in forums both in Australia and overseas. Darren provides the leadership and vision that has seen Storyboard adopted in 35 different countries in the last 11 months.


  • UNE Piece with Carly Brown

UNE PIECE is a brand focused on creating iconic one-piece swimwear that builds confidence and empowers women to feel beautiful by the water.

Carly is a QUT alumni who has extensive experience in brand management, managing, leading and in launching brands and innovation. She launched the brand with a single-minded passion: to empower women to feel beautiful by the water.


The QUT bluebox Challenge is an annual pitching competition that gives QUT founders the opportunity to connect and catapult their startup.

To find out more visit www.qutbluebox.com.au/challenge

For more information

Contact: Liliana Campos

Email: enquiries@qutbluebox.com.au

Phone: +61 7 3138 9413