The Gold Coast Startup Award’s purpose is to recognise those dedicated startups and people that found, build, grow and support the Gold Coast startup ecosystem.


Focusing the spotlight on the Gold Coast Startup Ecosystem.


Steve runs Refactor, a software development company based right here on the Gold Coast, servicing clients from small early-stage startups to large publicly listed corporations. Back in 2011, he founded GCTechspace, a makerspace with a twist and full of geeks just like him. He’s been around the Gold Coast startup community for what seems like forever, helping to run activities such as Startup Weekend, Barcamp, Toastmasters & Startup Onramp.

Steve Dalton

Mentor & Board Member @ The Gold Coast Innovation Hub


Meryl is a Chartered Accountant who worked in commercial accounting roles and as an auditor and lecturer before a friend and fellow entrepreneur playfully challenged her to redefine the future of bookkeeping. Seven days and a thousand dollars later, Bean Ninjas was born and has since gone from strength-to-strength. You can follow Meryl on the Bean Ninjas podcast and blog where she shares her ideas about entrepreneurship, surfing and building a thriving global business that supports the freedom of its founders, staff and clients.

Meryl Johnston

CEO and Founder Bean Ninjas - eCommerce Growth Accountants


Dren is passionate about entrepreneurship & innovation. For more than a decade, he has built entrepreneurs' communities and has developed & managed hundreds of innovation activities and programs across fifteen countries. Dren has designed & managed impact projects that nurture and guide entrepreneurship & innovative ecosystems, while working alongside hundreds of startup & scaleup founders.

Dren Xërxa

Program Director @ Cohort Innovation Space

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.

Richard Branson

Virgin Group


Supporting the the Gold Coast Startup Ecosystem.


Darren is an experienced executor and advisor in early-stage tech ventures. His experiences include founding several startups, scaling, failing, advising and supporting numerous ventures, spaces and accelerators across Australia, UK, and the US.

Darren Rogan

Schrodingers Labs, SafeSite & more..


Baden is an internationally recognised entrepreneurship educator and innovation professional, a multiple company founder, and has a background in investment banking and private equity. He works with organisations to develop and deliver on an innovation-based strategy, and with educational institutions to design entrepreneurship education programs and develop internal capability.

Baden U'Ren

The Unconventional Group

It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.

Scott Belsky

Behance Co-founder

Do you know someone that should be in the running for the awards?