Adelaide is most likely not the first city that comes to mind when those of us in other parts of the country think of arts and culture, yet with the Adelaide Fringe, the city can lay claim to being home to one of the world’s largest arts festivals. This year, entrepreneurship is being added to the usual mix of comedy, music, and theatre with the new Maverick conference.
To be held on February 19, Maverick is the first business event to run at the Fringe. It aims to both celebrate entrepreneurs with a ‘maverick spirit’ and introduce festival goers to the startup and business worlds, with founder Justin Wilden explaining that the name of the event was chosen to encourage Adelaide to embrace a new way of thinking.
Wilden, founder of design firm Concepts and investor, said, “South Australia is due for an industry overhaul, the focus has been on automotive and mining at the expense of building other sectors. Maverick is the story of the white spaces and the maverick doers that are already building a future in other industries.
“I want Adelaide to be an enterprising city and for more South Australians to realise that we should do it our way and not copycat the Silicon Valley or London way. I have launched Maverick to focus on ‘our’ mavericks whom understand that Adelaide is its own unique ecosystem and that we must create our own creativity-inspired commerce platform.”
As such, a number of the presenters are South Australian, among them Andre Eikmeier, cofounder of Vinomofo, Dean and Melanie Flintoft, cofounders of Australian Fashion Labels, and Sarah Bartholomeusz, CEO of online legal firm YouLegal, who will be speaking on how to turn an established business into an online service.
“The goal of any entrepreneur or business person, as in somebody that actually wants to get out there and make a difference, is to be a maverick. So this event has been created to focus on maverick thinkers and thinking. I expect participants of the event to learn how to see opportunity, explore divergence and spark enterprise,” Wilden said.
Maverick is just the latest in a line of initiatives aimed at encouraging South Australia to think tech and entrepreneurship. The state’s startup community is in the midst of planning this year’s Southstart conference, while on the government side, the South Australian government last week launched a Food Innovation Centre, established to ensure the state’s food and beverage businesses remain at the forefront of local, national and international markets. The Centre will help generate ideas for the booming food sector and will enable businesses to develop and deliver high value, market leading products.
The Adelaide Fringe festival runs from February 12 to March 14. You can learn more about Maverick and book tickets here.
Image: Vinomofo cofounders Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier.