Sponsored by City of Sydney and Jobs for NSW, Spark Festival presents thirteen days of insightful events and activities.
The festival showcases and supports the vibrant startup ecosystem that exists in Sydney, and across all of NSW.
Here at The Polyglot Group, we specialise in helping innovative businesses to grow and expand overseas. Through our involvement in this space, we’ve noticed an increasing importance in staying up-to-date with the innovation agenda occurring within each market.
This is just one of the reasons why we consider the Spark Festival to be so relevant.
The festival showcased some incredibly insightful talks, which I will now gladly revisit.
Impact Investment Evening
Investible‘s event was dedicated to empowering 6 start-ups, namely by helping them to attain impact investment. In partnership with Remarkable, SheStarts, Fingerprint for Success, SBS and Ernst & Young, Investible offered the founders an opportunity to deliver a 5-minute pitch to a room of investors and individuals.
This event placed a particular emphasis on social change.
As such, the startups shared innovative business ideas in how to address local (& global) community problems. Such topical ideas included in-home caregiving, aboriginal art inclusion, 3D printed prosthetics and a new city for entrepreneurs.
Created by Claude Drulik from PIIP, SocialHack also enables social innovation, but specifically through the Internet-of-Things (IoT). In partnership with Benojo and Techboard, SocialHack unites charities, startups and corporates who are dedicated to bettering society.
In the process, SocialHack helps charities to innovate their programs, whilst also assisting startups to develop new product-service systems.
Airtasker’s CTO Paul Keen, and Thinxtra’s VP of Ecosystem & Marketing Renald Gallis, delivered a thoughtful prediction into the future of work. Specifically, they explored the impact of flexible work on communication and everyday work processes.
ON Tribe Forum 2017
CSIRO is all about connecting & networking, so there’s no surprise that the ON Tribe Forum was interspersed with opportunities to connect with others. One such networking activity was known as the ‘Mentor Marketplace’, where ON Mentors and Alumni could exchange ideas and plan potential collaboration. This networking ran along with themed workshops which were organised by expert facilitators such as Ian Brown, Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD.
NASDAQ pitching competition
Facilitated by Tulla Private Equity Group, the NASDAQ Pitching Competition is an opportunity to deliver an app proposal. The winner receives a free AUD20,000 prototype.
Startups such as Share with Oscar and GeoPik (or Urban Rider Society) put their oratory skills to use, which was met with helpful feedback from Jeremy Liddle (CapitalPitch), Phoebe Zhang (NASDAQ) and Kevin O’Hara (Tulla Private Equity Group).
Seed Money Meetup
The meetup group united investors and innovative startups with a global vision. Typically, the presenters seek seed investment between $100- $600k with investment parcels starting from as little as $25k.
The Lean Startup Sydney Meetup
This event was a great opportunity to hear insights from Australian founders or other key stakeholders from the ecosystem (such high-profile investors and incubators). Attendees were presented with the opportunity to examine and discuss some of the key strategical decisions.
The night offered an additional feature: a platform for sharing (or seeking) job opportunities.
Startup&Angels on Emerging Markets
Startup&Angels offers the opportunity to meet local inspiring doers and investors, not only from Australia, but also those doing business in South East Asia.
This month focused on emerging markets. As such, the event delivered many insights about booming African markets, such as renewable energy and housing industry in Malawi. We also explored the Automotive industry in Indonesia, as well as perspective stories from Thrive Refugee Enterprise, Agsol, Tyroola and Emerging Classifieds Ventures.
Overall, the 2017 Startup Festival certainly addressed today’s need in staying up-to-date with the ecosystem. Through the array of diverse events and talks, I was fortunate enough to explore the latest ways which startups and the ecosystem are influencing and transforming one another.