Startups seem to be a prominent theme at Sydney’s Vivid Festival this year

- May 14, 2015 3 MIN READ

The Vivid Festival has fast become one of the most popular annual events in Sydney. The 18-day festival of light, music and ideas usually has something to pique everyone’s interests. It acts as a time in the city when art, technology and commerce intersect and leaves those that experience it inspired and full of ideas.

While in the past the festival has always celebrated technology and touched on the topic of ‘startups’, the upcoming festival seems to have a deeper focus on innovative technology than it has before. This year there are a number of events that are targeted towards the Australian startup ecosystem giving technology innovations some much needed mainstream coverage.

The Sunrise is back in Sydney again for its second year showcasing the founders of some of Australia’s and the world’s most successful tech companies. The program will see entrepreneurs like Renaud Visage (Eventbrite), Jost Stollman (Tyro), Steve Baxter (PIPE Networks and Australian Shark Tank) and Susan Wu (Stripe), to name a few, share insights.

Last year’s event proved not only to be an information hub for next generation’s entrepreneurs but also an event that showed how far Australia had come in terms of its startup ecosystem. Founder of Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes explained that eight or 10 years ago, there would have never been such thing as a group of entrepreneurs sitting together in a room. Now it is happening every other day; and being part of a respected and well publicised event such as Vivid now adds prestige to that equation.

FinTech is another space that is being highlighted this year with Ideaction teaming up with the Tyro Fintech Hub to launch a new event called The Ideaction Modular Innovation Program – a pilot program that aims to foster and implement relevant ideas in FinTech. 

“A key to building the Sydney Fintech ecosystem is providing opportunities for start-ups to interact with each other, with regulators, mentors and advisors, financial services businesses, both big and small, so we all can share knowledge and enable the best ideas to win,” said Jost Stollmann, Executive Director of Tyro Payments.

“Balancing collaboration and competition is critical for the sector to thrive and this event is a good step towards achieving that.”

The event will be exploring tools that empower the Australian FinTech community to turn innovation into action. Some of the speakers that will be sharing their thoughts at the event around this topic include Alex Scandurra (Stone and Chalk) Jost Stollman (Tyro Payments) and Chris Brycki (Stockspot).

Vivid Ideas curator Jess Scully said, “We are in a time of service revolution – making customers the centre of all business decisions.  Business leaders across all sectors can draw from the principles of flexibility, agility and autonomy that have driven the successes of the information economy in strengthening Sydney’s place as a global Fintech leader.”

In addition to talking about how ideas can change industries, there will even be an event this year that talks about how to raise funding as a startup. Sydney Seed Fund will be hosting an event called  How to raise funding for your startup in which Jeffrey Paine (Golden Gate Ventures) and Adeo Ressi (Expansive Ventures and The Founders Institute) will be taking participants through an intensive yet collaborative masterclass on funding trends and pitches whilst providing startup founders with honest and open feedback about their ideas.

“The Sydney Seed Fund is thrilled that startups and entrepreneurs are coming to the fore of Australian society. Vivid is such a wonderful, exciting festival, and it’s a testament to the success of our country’s startups that our community is now being featured at this mainstream event” says Garry Visontay, General Partner, Sydney Seed Fund.

“As soon as we had the opportunity to hold an event for Vivid, we knew we wanted it to be big. So we are bringing great international talent in Adeo Ressi and Jeffrey Paine to inspire and educate our best and brightest. We have a strong community here, but sometimes having the insight of people who have succeeded multiple times, in the world’s biggest startup market, can help give entrepreneurs new perspective and ideas.

“We’re really looking forward to running the funding masterclass, and connecting more founders with great investors. We see the inclusion of startups in this year’s Vivid festival as an important moment in the respect our industry receives in Australian society at large.”