I attended the Southstart Conference / Expo on 6 July 2017, which was held in Adelaide convention centre. It was a showcase of entrepreneurship & innovation in South Australia. There were many great speeches and panel discussions by StartUps leaders. It was a great networking activity and very inspirational and motivational event. It was quite fascinating to see great StartUps and some cutting-edge technologies being developed in Adelaide. I really enjoyed this event and wanted to share with you some of its highlights that I found interesting. #SouthStart #StartUp
Becoming Superhuman (Enabling Technology)
Dr Jordan Nguyen – Founder / CEO of Psykinetic
One of the interesting speeches on the day was by Dr Jordan Nguyen who is a Biomedical Engineer, TV presenter and writer, Inventor, Keynote Speaker, Futurist and also the founder / CEO of Psykinetic.
Psykinetic is a start-up social business aimed at creating technologies to improve independence and quality of life for people with disabilities.
Dr Jordan Nguyen talked about enabling technologies that he’s working on to help people with disabilities to live a better quality life and to do things they love to. Here’s some of inventions by Dr Jordan Nguyen and his team:
- Helped Riley, a boy with cerebral palsy condition that affects his muscles movement, to drive a car using the brain signal derived from moving of his eyes.
- Created a specially custom designed music device with an eye tracking camera, to allow Jess, who also has cerebral palsy, to play music with her eyes.
- Created a mind-control wheelchair to allow paralyzed people to move it. The program uses Artificial Intelligence and focuses on changes in thoughts prompting the wheelchair to move.
I was so inspired and moved by Jordan’s presentation and work. It’s a privilege to create technologies that would help out those who need it most. It brought the audience into tears seeing the joy and happiness on the face of Riley and Jess for being able to achieve their dream despite their disability. I think there’s great need for the technologies that enable people with disability to have a better quality life.
Connect everything: How IoT and new space will change our world
Flavia Tata Nardini – CEO / Founder Fleet
Fleet is building a network of tiny nanosatellites to deliver a global backhaul service for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company is building a scalable network that will give global coverage to devices around the world. This would improve efficiency around the world through smart cities, agriculture and natural resources.
Flavia’s presentation was very interesting and motivational. She talked about how our future is changing by great technologies like internet of things. She encouraged the audience not to fear the change and see challenges as opportunities, to have big dreams and strive to achieve them. It was great to see a company startup working with cutting-edge technology that’s formed in Adelaide and aiming to have a global impact.
Here’s a few slide from the talk:
VOXON Photonics: Creating 3D Volumetric Technology
VOXON Photonics is creating the world’s most advanced 3D Volumetric technology that brings digital content to life and helps empower people to visualize, communicate, learn and have fun in a collaborative manner with no barrier to the 3D experience (without the need of any special glasses).
What thinking big really means ($100 million isn’t a unicorn company)
Samuel Conway – CEO / Founder Zegami
Zegami makes the exploration of large collections of image rich information quick and simple. It makes it easy to see patterns and identify relationships based on the data contained in each image. Zegami also allows searching based on the image itself or parts of the image.
Samuel talked about Unicorn companies. A unicorn company is a start-up company that has achieved a valuation exceeding $1 billion! Unicorns can be considered the new “dot-com” start-up’s, in today’s business climate, a unicorn is a widely successful company that has attracted venture capital, after which the company is valued (called “post-money” valuation).
Samuel also talked about DiffBlue, which is a world leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that understands code. The goal of DiffBlue is to automate all traditional coding tasks: bug fixing, test writing, finding and fixing exploits.
Creating an Environment for Success
How to promote innovation?
The was a panel panel discussion on the topic of ‘Creating an Environment for Success’ by Alex Mccauley (StartupAus), Monica Wulff (Startup Muster), Aaron Birkby (Startup Catalyst), Michael Bingel (Australian Landing pads) and facilitated by Terry Gold.
Some points were made about promoting innovation and here’s some insights I took from the discussions about how you can promote innovation:
- Encourage Diversity: Put together a team with different backgrounds, passions, and capabilities. Having a group with a diverse set of ideas and problem-solving approaches helps push your product forward.
- Passionate people: Bring on people who are passionate and love what they do.
- A flexible work environment increases your team’s productivity by letting ideas flow
There was a pitch competition for 5 business startups to present their idea to the judging panel and win some great prices including $5000 check and useful services for startups. Out of the business startup presentations I like the following:
Feedsy: Content + Marketing Channels
Feedsy helps small businesses connect with clients through packages of fully integrated communication products.
Playt – Making the worlds recipes shoppable.
(Winner of the People’s Choice award)
Playt makes your favorite recipes instantly shoppable. If you find a recipe you like, you can take a picture and Playt matches the best produce to your ingredients lists and adds it to your shopping list.
PersonifyCare (The winner)
Personify Care is a communication and monitoring platform for patients before and after surgery. Supporting patients outside of hospital and delivering early recovery protocols beyond the hospital stay. It uses the patient’s individual procedure type to personalise what and when information and follow-up is provided to the patient on their mobile device.
Overall it was a great networking activity and very motivational. I really enjoyed the event. It was quite fascinating to see great StartUps and some cutting-edge technologies being developed in Adelaide. I wish we have more of these events.