The upcoming SydStart conference hopes to educate and nurture the next generation of Australian entrepreneurs by tapping into the recent success of local start-ups such as Atlassian and Spreets.
The not-for-profit event will feature presentations about the start-up experiences of successful businesses and individuals, including local software developer Atlassian (which has nabbed US$60 million in venture capital investment), daily deals site Spreets (sold to Yahoo!7 for $40 million), Amazon Web Services (the event sponsor) and inventor Ric Richardson (involved in an ongoing patent lawsuit with Microsoft).
It is expected that 400 people will attend the event on 31 March, when entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to pitch ideas to industry in a bid to secure funding and advice.
Conference founder Peter Cooper said that the event fills the gap between an "unconference" and formal presentations, and hopes it will "accelerate the local ecosystem" by drawing inspiration and lessons from the experiences of people who have successfully commercialised their ideas.
"All speakers donate their time and do it to build our local ecosystem, because they know how hard it was for them to start and how important it is to educate and assist the next generation," he said.
There will also be presentations from Pollenizer co-founder Phil Morle, Qanda technology CEO Nathan Gyaneshwar and Threat Matrix co-founder David Jones.
Cooper hopes the event will eventually help the local industry to achieve a number of outcomes including: start-ups making better market segment decisions up front because they are more informed; a start-up ecosystem of interdependent technology; students considering start-ups not just corporate life; start-ups get going faster with lower risk and less capital and better quality thinking and products because they are connected with the best local talent early.
Cooper himself has learned a number of lessons from the inaugural SydStart last year, which was too crowded for the 150 attendees and saw presentations go over time. This year's event has moved to a larger venue in Sydney's Surry Hills and there will be shorter time limits for presentations and questions.