Spark Festival Sydney, previously known as Startup Week Sydney, has announced the program for its 2016 event. This year’s non-profit initiative will run from October 22-30, showcasing the innovation and enthusiasm across Sydney’s tech and startup scene.
Spark Festival Sydney is expected to attract more than 10,000 local and international industry leaders. The City of Sydney, (local government authority for central Sydney and surrounds) and the NSW Government has sponsored the event and is committed to provide $35,000 a year to support the event over the next three years.
As the government continues to attract international tech giants and fund local ventures, startup rating system Oddup, has also found that Australia is home to the best and brightest tech talent. Melbourne alone produces 2,500 IT graduates per year from its universities and employs 91,300 people into technology companies, making up to 31 percent of Australia’s total tech workforce.
Spark Festival Sydney will be Australia’s largest single gathering of budding entrepreneurs and hopes to get Sydney on the map as a world-class entrepreneurship and innovation city.
City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone said,
Sydney is home to Australia’s highest concentration of tech startups and we’re developing a global reputation for supporting innovation. We’ve developed an action plan for supporting tech startups to make sure Sydney is a place where entrepreneurs can quickly scale innovative businesses and create jobs of the future. Events like Spark Festival Sydney will help us build the skilled and connected community that we need to make that happen.
The three-year funding for Spark Festival Sydney is another step in creating a sustainable, long-term program of events to help them support and attract tech entrepreneurs, he added. This year’s event focuses on 15 key areas such as social enterprise, education, going global, media tech, health & sport, machine intelligence, clean tech, fintech, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, government, diversity and design.
Some of the events scheduled to be held during the festival are- ANZ and Robogals KIDS Robotics Workshop for kids aged between eight and 13 years old, the Going Global panel discussion looking at how to grow a global startup out of Australia, and a Women in Fintech meetup at fintech hub Stone and Chalk.
Event themes also emphasize the startup journey, early stages of innovation and entrepreneurship, women in technology, the power of diversity, digital government and smart cities. Entrepreneurs will be able to promote their business initiatives through a series of conferences, presentations, panels, talks, workshops, exhibitions, tours of local successful businesses, pitching events, design competitions and networking opportunities.
Chris Clark, co-founder and director of Spark Festival said,
Spark Festival Sydney is about bringing entrepreneurs together in a way they can connect with people who can help grow their businesses, coach them to success and share their experiences with the next generation.
Organizers state that the Festival has inclusiveness and diversity built in right from the start, alongside events for people who are already working in the startup sector, there are numerous opportunities for those who are curious to find out what it’s all about. Everyone is invited to take a look and see if their skills and strengths might find a new home.