From ilab Intern to Co-Founder, Student Entrepreneur Launches Event Discovery Platform UQU Vibe

From ilab Intern to Co-Founder, Student Entrepreneur Launches Event Discovery Platform UQU Vibe

UQ Engineering and Business Management student Shalutha Kudaudage shares his story on becoming a startup co-founder after experiencing the entrepreneurial world as an intern.

While interning for one of the startups taking part in ilab’s “Germinate” accelerator program, UQ Engineering and Business Management student Shalutha Kudaudage always dreamed of running his own business. During his time at ilab, he picked up a wide variety of skills in marketing, design and product management which would prove handy in times to come.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of being my own boss and I wanted to learn skills beyond my university curriculum and that’s why I signed up as an intern” said Shalutha.

Fast-forward a year later, Shalutha has co-founded a tech startup, Vibelabs, and made the final cut as one of the 11 teams selected for the highly competitive ilab Germinate 11 Program – this time as a co-founder and CTO.

“The right opportunity came when I met my co-founders, Stuart and David at the UQ Weekend of Startups. We pitched the idea of a centralised events app, UQU Vibe, that allows UQ students to discover events through their interests and location. We won the ‘Best Business Award’ over the weekend and decided to start a company”.

Vibelabs Team photo 2 chat

The Vibelabs team (From left: David Fong (CMO), Stuart Earl (CEO), Shalutha Kudaudage (CTO))

The UQ Weekend of Startups is a 54-hour entrepreneurship bootcamp hosted by UQ Idea Hub and UQ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society where more than 100 developers, designers, hackers and hustlers form teams and create innovative solutions in response to the student-themed challenge.

As winners of the “Best Business Award” at the UQ Weekend of Startups, Vibelabs received a rare opportunity to work with the UQ Union, an invitation into ilab accelerator’s bootcamp, one-on-one consultation with Hoffman Kelly and other cash prizes.

Reflecting on his personal journey, Shalutha credits his internship experience at ilab for inspiring confidence in him to kickstart his entrepreneurial venture, Vibelabs.
“It’s been an incredible experience because of the energy from everyone in the ilab community. It’s a supportive space where everyone wants to grow their own business and help others grow their businesses as well. I’m humbled that Vibelabs was selected for the Germinate 11 program,” he said.

Peter Laurie, the ilab Entrepreneur-in-Residence gave Shalutha and co-founders his nod of approval.
“The current cohort of startups in the Germinate 11 program are excellent. They are calling their shots and executing them with a level of control that is impressive. The Vibelabs team has been a standout in that regard so far. I’m excited for their launch during O-Week.”

Vibelabs is currently in the ilab Germinate 11 program and will be launching the UQU Vibe app at O-Week in February 2018.

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The Vibelabs team comprises Stuart Earl (CEO), Shalutha Kudaudage (CTO) and David Fong (CMO). For more information, visit



ilab note: CMO David Fong also participated in ilab’s Germinate mini-accelerator in mid 2016 with Quallet – “An e-wallet for university students (particularly based in Queensland) that contains:
Student ID details, an integrated payment system, clubs and society membership cards, loyalty and discount programs and functions to access university services.”

Article courtesy of the Vibelabs team.