For those of you new to our publication, Silicon Paddock is the sister site to Startup Daily.
We launched the initiative in 2016 after myself and our editor Gina Baldassarre attended a pitching event in Wagga Wagga and decided that a spotlight needed to be cast upon the innovative talent living in regional Australia.
There are over 1.3 million businesses across regional Australia. However, while 95 percent of their owners have access to the internet, only 48 percent of them have an online presence. With the rollout of the NBN and advancements in technology, regional Australia is more connected than ever – so now is the time for entrepreneurs to think globally.
We launched the first iteration of the Silicon Paddock platform in November last year. The plan was that we would wear two hats in driving a culture that embraces the digital economy throughout regional Australia.
The first focus was building out a media platform producing content that amplifies stories of country-based entrepreneurs, tethering these businesses to the wider startup and national tech scene, government, and corporates.
As a secondary focus the platform was going to provide task-focused, straight-forward educational content to enable rural business owners to complete daily tasks and learn new systems and processes.
However, as anyone building a company will tell you, the market will dictate the correct strategy for you to take after launching your first iteration of a platform, and that is exactly what has happened for our team here.
We thought we were creating a daily news platform focused on business in the bush. However the consistent feedback over the last six months has overwhelmingly centred around the desire to consume how-to style content in an accessible way, teaching small business owners looking to leverage the digital economy how to grow their companies beyond the confines of their postcode.
So, that is what we have done and we have soft-launched Silicon Paddock version 2.0 today – a platform that delivers snack-sized education for the rural business owner. Our audience chooses the content that they want created to help them complete specific tasks, learn to be better business owners, and understand new approaches to daily tasks, all of this enabling them to be more efficient and effective, which will hopefully result in a healthier bottom line.
In addition to the online platform, the initiative also includes events; we are kicking things off with our Silicon Paddock Festival. This will be taking place in Wagga Wagga and online on May 24th of this year.
The format is conference meets masterclass: attendees in person and online will hear from both local and international speakers as they are interviewed by the Silicon Paddock team and then impart their wisdom and experience onto the audience via a series of specialist masterclasses or workshops, created and curated specifically for the Silicon Paddock community.
The details for this event will be revealed next Friday, with tickets also going on sale – we have a education-first style program planned for rural business owners that join us both in person and online for this event.
Check out the new look Silicon Paddock platform here.