October 12-23: We Are Agents of Change

Regional Australia in Focus at SparkFest

Time to wake up, smell the grass and that fresh country air! In regional locations across Australia a quiet revolution is happening and startups and innovators are cropping up everywhere. Got a hankering for a tree change but unsure of what it'll be like? Already living the good life in regional Australia and looking to make more connections? Tune in to the segments below and find your spark!

The segments below are part of Spark Festival, Australia's largest event for startups, innovators and entrepreneurs. Running from Oct 12 - 23, check out the full two week program here.

Save My Spot!

12 October,
11:10am — 11:50am AEDT

What goes around Comes Around

How did two sisters from regional Queensland go from plotting a plan on their bedroom floor to leading Australasia's transition towards a circular economy? Through the trials, tribulations and tears you'll learn how tenacity, courage and authenticity won out. Come along to hear Jaine and Ashleigh talk you through their very humble beginnings where they worked for free with 45 small businesses to prove the value of a circular economy to today where they are leading some of the world’s most impactful circular economy projects with clients including BHP, Rio Tinto, Lendlease, Mirvac, Queensland Investment Corporation, and more.

12 October,
3:40pm — 4:30pm AEDT

Moving the Needle in Regional Australia

A panel discussion around the skills, resources & magic sparking across regional Australia - particularly for women in startups and small business. Rural Australia has the answer to the world's problems: this panel will discuss innovation and entrepreneurship currently happening across rural Australia.

Let's celebrate rural Australia and the role that women in business and startups are playing to solve the world's problems.

12 October,
4:40pm — 5:20pm AEDT

Agridigital Fireside Chat

Sit by the fire and relax as Fintech Australia chats with Emma Weston, CEO of Agridigital, about helping thousands of farmers access capital, their unique use of innovative tech, and their thoughts on the future of agritech and finance. 

This segment brought to you by Fintech Australia and Intersekt Festival.

13 October,
1:00pm — 1:50pm AEDT

Overcoming Challenges to Regional Startups

Overcoming Challenges to Regional Startups is about the resources and developing ecosystem in the Central West and surrounds of NSW. With clever people working on global solutions and with the networks and resources to support them being in the area it has been a focus of the Upstairs Startup Hub to pull the pieces together and help each be more connected and successful. From local schools setting up innovation centres to established research and education centres with depth of knowledge to the coworking spaces set up to support the people exploring innovations and market solutions. The Upstairs Startup Hub is a central network space for these growing partnerships. The end goal is that wherever an Entrepreneur lands in the region they will find the resources and support they need to reach their goals. Success then means we have the potential to grow these businesses and retain them in the area.

This will be a showcase of local talent and resources and how we are building the regional ecosystem and may include a selection of different speakers.

James Lloyd, Manager Upstairs
Ashley Bland, Managing Director of Constructive Energy and Upstairs member
Craig Murphy, Technology Advocate & Adviser and Upstairs Mentor
Alice Munro, Director of Research Western NSW LHD and PITCHit organiser
Carolynne James, GATE Project Leader and Manager
Sam Harma, CEO Director of RDA Central West
14 October,
8:00am — 8:50am AEDT

Startup Stories with Adam Boyle of Pegasus

Pegasus is a software-based company that provides workplace management solutions to companies including Woolworths, BHP, Visy, Lendlease, Aurizon and Ausgrid. Since 2013 Pegasus have experienced close to 25% year on year growth and expanded their database from 20,000 workers to well over 3 million. More recently, the team have raised $28million from Silicon Valley tech investment firm Accel-KKR to take their product to the US, UK, and Europe. Join us for Startup Stories and hear from Adam his story of building a world-class tech company from Newcastle and how they’re scaling their solution across the globe.

14 October,
2:00pm — 2:50pm AEDT

Binary Shift: Regional Innovation Reimagined

We are seeing a renaissance of regional innovation and startups in the post-pandemic world, with more professionals rethinking where and how they want to live, better support for remote work from employers, and a breakdown of distance barriers with greater adoption of remote collaboration technologies.

The Binary Shift Regional Innovation Conference brought together a community of regional startups, innovators, and national and international thought leaders in a full-day virtual event specifically focused on regional innovation. This session will be a recap of some of the themes from the full-day event, with the goal of showcasing regional innovators, challenging stereotypes around regional innovation, and highlighting how regional innovation can play a crucial role in post-pandemic economic recovery.

16 October,
12:00pm — 12:50pm AEDT

The Region's Legion of Stronghearts: A Panel of Entrepreneurs and Innovators

Innovating in Australia’s regions is not for the faint-hearted, it takes courage, resilience and a seriously versatile approach.
What are the on-the-ground challenges for regional movers and shakers and how have they turned them to their advantage?
Tune in to get the lowdown from people who’ve been there, done that, still doing it, and winning at what they do.
We are wanting to showcase what its like to innovate in the regions from different perspectives and will be including on the panel, an experienced startup founder paying it forward to regional innovators, an indigenous local start-up, a young researcher using innovative methodology to progress research and to help his peers.

22 October,
11:20am — 11:50am AEDT

Capital Raising for Regional Australia

Regional Australia might feel disconnected from the largest cities and early-stage companies might find it more difficult to attract capital. Access to grants is becoming more challenging for all, but it's not the only path.
In this workshop, we will be taking the audience through the investment process so that startups from regional Australia can make sure they are fully prepared when talking to investors.
You'll learn the 7 steps to a successful capital raise in Regional Australia, the psychological aspects to the capital raising process, investors and post-capital raise aspects, how to launch your capital raise with investors already interested, the "rolling close" - what it is and why it may be your ideal capital raising strategy, how you can use software to save time, save money and raise capital more efficiently, a simple technique to save you hours of answering the same questions, and where to discover and how to attract potential investors to your capital raising.