YBF launches Victorian Tech Startup Week to kickstart Victoria’s tech ecosystem

- March 5, 2021 4 MIN READ
Winitha Bonney

 Startup tech and innovation leaders YBF will play host to the Victorian Tech Startup Week in March. The plan: facilitate connections between the YBF  Startup Immersion Program graduates and the local startup community and boost the startup scene with a week-long series of workshops and activities to reignite collaboration.

Prior to the pandemic, Victoria’s startup ecosystem was estimated to be worth AU$7 billion (according to LaunchVic. However, COVID related restrictions and lockdowns have made a significant impact on Victoria and its tech startups with venture capital drying up and the subsequent lack of funding leading to the restructuring, downsizing and shuttering of many startups.

Reignite VIC’s startup sector

YBF hopes the Victorian Tech Startup Week will rekindle the momentum and get Victoria’s tech startup ecosystem back on track.

Farley Blackman, CEO of YBF said entrepreneurship and the tech ecosystem are vital to Victoria’s future and he hoped the the YBF SIP grads would spearhead a new era of entrepreneurship.

“We have spent the last several months, upskilling displaced corporates in the art of creating tech startups. Called the YBF Startup Immersion Program (SIP), and in partnership with the Victorian Government, we have generated a compact army of future tech founders primed to boost the number of qualified tech startups in Victoria. We welcome our SIP grads, mentors and placement companies to Victorian Tech Startup Week, along with tech entrepreneurs throughout the ecosystem to come along, work together and design the next iteration of the tech landscape in Victoria.”

Startup heavyweights to attend

Richard Lin, investor at AirTree said, “There are a countless number of world-class startups being launched out of Victoria and we at AirTree are privileged to work with a few like Linktree, A Cloud Guru, and HotDoc.

“Initiatives such as YBF’s Victorian Startup Week are vital for further strengthening Victoria’s tech ecosystem and we’re excited and committed to do what we can to contribute to their efforts.”

Simon Davidson of Lander & Rogers said, “I’m delighted to be taking part in Victorian Tech Startup Week on behalf of Lander & Rogers, co-founders of Australia’s first LawTech Hub. We are committed supporters of tech and innovation in Victoria and nationally and look forward to bringing our perspective to the discussion. This is a great opportunity to share learnings, both from the COVID-19 crisis and more generally, and we relish the opportunity to hear from startups and tech entrepreneurs. The exchange of ideas across sectors and from different participants in those sectors assists everyone to understand their own ecosystems better and to gather ideas that might have new applications. It is something we see real value in.”

Women in tech and diversity and inclusion a focus

“YBF has been a central building block to growing Victoria’s tech ecosystem, ” said Winitha Bonney. “In particular, YBF has been role modelling the actionable steps startups and tech companies can take to create a more diverse and inclusive business and ecosystem. I’m excited to share some of these practical strategies and tools as part of the Victorian Tech Startup Week at YBF.”

Victorian Tech Startup Week highlights include GirlBossNight, sessions with Kate Eriksson, former Head of Disruption at PwC and Co-founder of Silicon Valley innovation centre, AT&T Foundry and Diversity and Inclusion workshops with Winitha Bonney.

 “Girls in Tech Australia is thrilled that our first 2021 #GIRLBOSSNIGHT panel is being featured as a part of the amazing line up of activities during Victorian Tech Startup Week, commented Karen Katz of Girls in Tech Australia.

“During Startup Week we’ll be raising awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in tech with our panel discussion hosted at YBF, as well as online, ‘Kick your workplaces worst habits: unlearning bias techniques’.’

Victorian Tech Startup Week will take place in-person from 16 through 19 March at YBF Melbourne in the CBD.

Activities include:

  • Daily open coworking for participants to familiarise or re-familiarise themselves with a collaborative work environment.
  • A workshop on Building a Tech Startup: Lessons from the Best with YBF’s Chief Program Officer, Kate Eriksson, former Head of Disruption at PwC and Co-founder of Silicon Valley innovation centre, AT&T Foundry.
  • Diversity & Inclusivity from the Beginning workshop – a practical workshop on how to start building D&I from scratch in your startup with Winitha Bonney OAM – diversity and inclusion expert and recent recipient of the Order of Australia medal.
  • A Pitch Night in partnership with YBF; Melbourne Silicon Beach, Australia’s largest network of startup communities; and OVHcloud, cloud provider supporting over 1,800 startups and scaleups from across the globe through their Startup Program.
  • A panel talk: Big Companies x Startups: Working Together and Innovating with Simon Davidson, Partner at Lander & Rogers – co-founders of Australia’s first legaltech hub; Kim Anderson, Head of Growth Acceleration, Digital Natives at AWS; and Hakan Eriksson, former Head of Telstra Labs, including muru-D, and Ericsson’s R&D, including partnerships and startup investments around the world with special focus on Silicon Valley – during his years as President of Ericsson Silicon Valley. The panel will be moderated by Farley Blackman, YBF’s CEO.
  • Office Hours with Farley Blackman, YBF’s CEO (former executive at GE, Motorola and BP) on how to get your startup on the vendor list of multinationals.
  • YBF Startup Immersion Program Graduation
  • Workshop and Office Hours with Richard Lin of AirTree on how to raise a first round, how to work with VCs, and more.
  • Girls in Tech Australia: Girl Boss Night panel talk on how to kick your workplace worst habits.
  • Empower your Startup with Cloud Computing workshop by OVHcloud talking about the need for cloud infrastructure and a cloud strategy. Startups will get an introduction to cloud technology and tips on how to make better use of cloud computing to start or grow a business.
  • A workshop with Dr Rita Choueiri and Jonathon Larosa from accounting and advisory firm, William Buck presenting on relevant government grants and incentives to assist with cashflow and startup funding.
  • Networking drinks to close the event.

Victorian Tech Startup Week is free to attend. YBF Melbourne is a COVIDSafe space and places are limited in adherence to government guidelines around physical distancing. Interested participants can register here