2017 Call for Submissions

Got an event you'd like to run on the Spark Festival program this year? Submit it here!

Spark Festival is a program of events and activities which showcases, supports and strengthens the vibrant startup and innovation ecosystem that exists in Sydney, and across all of NSW.

This year's festival will run from Friday October 13 through to Sunday October 22.

Most of the events on the program are organised by the community, and produced by the community. So if you've got an idea for an event you'd like to run as part of the program, we want to hear about it! Please submit as many details as you can about the event you'd like to run. Submissions close Friday May 26 at 5pm.


May 26: Submissions close
June 23: Successful submissions notified
August 13: Schedule is announced and attendee registration opens
October 13 - 22: Spark Festival 2017!


How do I submit my session idea?

To submit an event fill out as many details as you can at our submission form. Don't worry if you haven't worked out every single detail, just give us what you can. However, remember that thinking about the answers to these questions is the recipe for a successful event, both for yourself and Spark Festival.

Who can submit an event?

Anyone! But do take a look below regarding the kinds of event ideas that have the best chance of being selected.

What is the selection process?

The Spark Festival Track Leads, and the Program Director, guided by the selection criteria below, will select the successful applicants.

What are the selection criteria for successful submissions?

We'll be looking for event ideas that:

  • contribute to the Spark Festival goal of strengthening and championing the local startup and innovation ecosystem
  • embody the values of Spark Festival: equity, diversity and inclusion
  • offer real opportunities for engagement among the audience
  • provide real value to the audience

If your event is purely a pitch for your startup or product, it will struggle to be selected. Think of ways you can give the audience real take-aways, beyond simply introducing them to your product. Maybe they can learn from the mistakes you have made on the journey that got you here? Maybe you can run some sort of meaningful activity that will help the audience with one another? Perhaps you can run a workshop on a topic related to your product?

Our criteria will include:

  • the appropriateness of the session to the goals and values of Spark Festival
  • the quality and thoughtfulness of the session description
  • the overall balance of content for the week
  • the overall balance of speakers/companies represented during the week

What areas does Spark Festival cover?

The Spark Festival program covers startups, innovation and entrepreneurship. There is guidance for the sectors the program will cover, as well as some of the challenges your event might focus on, on the submission form. Please also take a look at last year's program for an idea of the kinds of things that were covered.

What if I have a great idea for an event but no venue?

Submit it anyway! Though our networks we have access to some great venues that will make themselves available for events that align with their strategies.

Can I charge for my event?

We encourage you to charge a small sum for your event ($10?) as this will really help with confirming actual attendance at the event.

Can I find my own sponsors?

To allay costs and make a higher quality, more engaging event, you may find sponsors. We ask only that you notify us in advance to avoid potential conflict with Spark Festival sponsorship efforts.

Who can I contact with questions?

If you need to find out about anything else at all, please get in touch via the contact form. We'll get back to you within the day.