Techconnect 2013 in Brisbane

This week there has been quite a lot of activity in Brisbane around the startup scene. On Monday we had a fireside chat with Tyler Crowley hosted by Silicon Beach Brisbane and on Tuesday there was the TechConnect 2013 conference.

I attended both of these events and these are my thoughts from what I heard.

On Monday night the Silicon Beach Brisbane meetup group with Brisbane Marketing hosted an informal chat with Tyler Crowley. Tyler commented on his experiences building up the startup scene in LA in Santa Monica, making references to tips on how he did it there and what we can do in Brisbane to apply his strategy to grow our scene. From my notes these are some of the main take aways that stuck with me:

  • We have a good tech meetup community already, however should look at being able to consolidate the locations for the meetups. The Toowong Library is the location for the Javascript and Ruby guys meetups, while Python guys meetup at Netbox’s office.

  • Look at determining an area in the city where startups can congregate and cluster. It will be interesting how to address this in Brisbane and other locations in Australia with our high commercial rent costs. This may require some potential government intervention to open up some old warehouse that has been converted into office space. Obvious locations from my point of view would be West End, The Valley, Bowen Hills or Spring Hill areas. Please don’t select Brisbane Technology Park at Browns Plains!!!

  • Ensure events and meetup participants really tweet about the event, using the same hash tags to get the consistent message out there as to what is happening in Brisbane. This is something I have taken on and will look at doing more consistently from now on. 
  • Find someone in Brisbane to take on the documentarian role for the community. This is important as I have currently found the only way to find out what events are happening about town is to monitor several sites including Meetup, River City Labs, iLab, etc… Startup Digest publishes a weekly calendar of events in Melbourne.

On Tuesday I attended the TechConnect2013 conference. It was good to see the Lord Mayor interest and support at the opening of the conference. There was a good turn out of people from various startups around town. Everything from SAAS to cooking technology startups.

Tyler Started off the conference with a talk that basically covered the same ground from the Monday night event. It was good though to here it again and reinforce some of his ideas.

Matt Barrie was up next and gave a very inspiring talk about how we are on the cusp of a big shift in the digital world with many new people in Asia and Africa about the join the Internet. His message was to think about how these coming demographic changes can be captured and turned into opportunities. Of course he mentioned Freelancer quite a few times.

I felt Doron gave a really good overview of what people should focus on around getting a business plan together and how to engage with government funding programs such as Commercialisation Australia and the R&D Tax Credit program.

Overall it was a great day with very relevant presentations and lots of interesting people to meet and chat with during the breaks. Hopefully this will just be the first of many such events in Brisbane to come.

Written on April 19, 2013