An anti-magpie helmet will be one of the ideas pitched at Techstars Startup Weekend Bundaberg later this week.
Dr Sarah Li will be pitching Richard Osborne's two-year-old invention which so far hasn't been commercialised.
“When Dr Richard Osborne moved to Hervey Bay he was enjoying his healthy cycle to work until the seasonal feathered fiends attacked,” Dr Li said.
“He quickly put his mind and party tricks to use and invented an original anti-magpie helmet!”
“That was two years ago. Since then, despite most anti-magpie-attack solutions being relatively effective and easily DIY, they are not always adopted. Severe magpie attacks have not been prevented.
“Good ideas and inventions alone are not enough to create change.
“With this in mind and permission from the inventor, I will be pitching the anti-magpie helmet — the minimum viable product (MVP) — at the 2019 Techstars Startup Weekend in Bundaberg, Queensland.”
Writing in her personal blog, Dr Li says she hopes other participants will be interested and join her team.
“My motivation for participating in a Startup Weekend is not to launch a new business — I mean, it would be nice to earn money from this — but to learn by doing something and to have fun,” she said.
“I also hope to have enough time during the weekend to get in touch with people who are solving this problem from different perspectives.
“Are physical solutions good enough themselves? Are there better modified helmets out there?
“Is this one of those preventable ‘we don’t know what we don’t know' problems? Are warning signs effective? Are information-sharing platforms and crowd-sourced alerts effective in real-time?
“Is this a behavioural problem? ‘Know thy enemy' by educating ourselves about magpies, avoiding magpie territories during breeding season, and actively befriend magpies because they are intelligent birds. Can we trust the science and feasibly alter our own behaviour?
“Is this an environmental or systemic problem that could be fixed by planting more trees? The bigger picture here would be bird and natural habitat conservation.”
Techstars Startup Weekend
This year’s Startup Weekend takes place 27-29 September at The Generator coworking space.
Weekend ticket prices range from $35 to $50 with earlybird and student discounts available.
Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.