The average firehose can pump 1,000 litres of water per minute – enough to fill a five-seat spa.

No wonder the startup business community likes the firehose analogy as a symbol of its intense work with huge volumes of data.

An event called the Firehose Big Data Startup competition is kicking off in Sydney on the weekend of November 15 and 16, and it promises to live up to the name.

Attendees will have access to 150 million data records, 20 mentors, five judges and three prizes.

This so-called “firehose of data” helps create an intense environment that’s designed to test the skills of ambitious entrepreneurs, engineers and designers. They’re tasked with solving real-life problems encountered in Coca-Cola Amatil’s supply chain – the process of moving product from manufacturing, to warehouses and out to the customer.

“The essence of the event will be discovering new business models from that data,” said Franki Chamaki, co-founder of Coca-Cola Accelerator  at Coca-Cola South Pacific and one of the Firehose judges.

“Normal entrepreneurs never usually get their hands on data like this,” added Jason Hosking, Chamaki’s fellow Coca-Cola Accelerator co-founder.

The weekend’s theme is to design the perfect system from the warehouse to the store. Judges will assess ideas based on three criteria: execution, validation, and innovation.

The team that wins first prize will take home $3,000 and the opportunity to develop the winning idea with help from event co-host Pollenizer, a Sydney-based startup online venture builder. Three months into product development, the team will be asked to pitch its idea to Coke management.

Also up for grabs is the Runner Up Prize and a Social Media Prize.

Anyone can register, join a team and build an idea over the weekend. For people who take part, it’s a great opportunity to workshop ideas, learn new skills, and meet new people, including Coke executives.

“It’s great fun and there’s a lot of energy around,” said Franki.

At the end of the weekend, teams will be the sole owners of their new business model ideas, and own their intellectual property. Which is an important point for any ambitious entrepreneur, engineer or designer

These days the landscape has changed completely as businesses seek to tap into the potential of open innovation.

“Traditionally, in the 70s, 80s and 90s, a lot of innovation happened in-house,” said Franki. “But we’re starting to realise that there’s a lot of wisdom out there.”

To get involved, check out