Pause Fest

There has never been a better time to be a startup in Australia. With the rise of Malcolm Turnbull to the office of Prime Minister last year, local startups at last had the most important politician in the country in their corner, spruiking them to not only the rest of the country, but the world.

With the launch of the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December, Turnbull urged for people around Australia to start thinking innovation, calling for greater collaboration across education, industry, and the startup and technology scenes to help build the future of Australia’s economy.

Of course, collaboration is often easier said than done. While startups are often desperate for outside attention, for those who are standing outside the tech and startup space looking in, beginning can be difficult, with many unable to discover a way to start getting involved in the space.

However, the list of ways to start getting involved is growing day by day. From attending or even sponsoring a hackathon, conference, or simple tech meetup evening to launching your own accelerator program, the possibilities are endless.

For example, Slingshot is an organisation that works with corporates to run branded accelerator programs. It has worked with the NRMA to run two ‘Jumpstart’ programs, where participants worked with the NRMA to develop products and services that may be relevant to its client base. Slingshot is also this year working with HCF to run a HealthTech-focused accelerator, and Simplot Australia to run a FoodTech-focused program.

But it isn’t just large corporates who can get in on the fun. Last year saw community organisations in western Sydney, including the Liverpool Library, work with organisers to run a hackathon focused on creating solutions to problems facing refugees settling in Australia.

Attending accelerator demo nights is yet another great way to get yourself into the world of startups. These nights allow startups to showcase their products and ideas to potential investors and partners in the form of VCs, corporates, and anyone else who comes along for the night.

Pitch nights are often held on a smaller, more informal scale at coworking spaces around Australia every few weeks, giving resident startups the chance to practice their pitches and attendees the chance to engage with new people, new products, and keep up with the current trends in the industry.

If these all sound too daunting to venture into, industry conferences are often another great way to meet startups keen on collaboration.

For example, the Pause Fest conference, to be held in Melbourne next month, will be bringing together techies, entrepreneurs, creatives, and visionaries, and encouraging them to share their skills and knowledge.

The Pause Startup Expo is free to the public and provides hangout areas to expose the startups to niche groups, industry, investors, and the real audience, the general public. It’s festivals like these that companies like Canva have used to launch their products and garner interest from potential investors, partners, and users.

Pause Fest 2016 will take place at Federation Square on the 8th – 14th of February 2016. Tickets can be purchased here.

But hurry, time is running out!

Featured image: Pause Fest Event | Source: Supplied

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