SydStart eyes Asian entrepreneurs

SydStart eyes Asian entrepreneurs

Summary: The SydStart conference has moved closer towards its goal of being the biggest start-up gathering in the southern hemisphere, with last week's event attracting entrepreneurs from as far as Indonesia and Singapore.

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Start-Ups
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The SydStart conference has moved closer towards its goal of being the biggest start-up gathering in the southern hemisphere, with last week's event attracting entrepreneurs from as far as Indonesia and Singapore.

About 300 attendees converged on the University of Technology, Sydney, to network, and hear presentations from a range of speakers and pitches from budding start-ups.

Attendees travelled interstate, and some even came from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, according to SydStart organiser Peter Cooper, who has been asked to take the conference on the road to Melbourne, Brisbane and even Bangkok.

"We've had an approach to have a conference in Bangkok, which would be called BangStart," Cooper joked.

During his opening remarks, Cooper re-stated the vision for SydStart as an Australian, casual but professional, conference.

"It's world class, but not bureaucratic, and to be literally and intellectually rigorous," he said. "Be great at what you do, and be sustainable and enjoyable."

The conference was supported by the likes of Microsoft, Ninefold and freelancer.com.

"We ran around a lot last time and chased sponsors, but this time we didn't do anything; they just rang us," he said.

"We're following the eyeballs, as they see the numbers go up and the big names go up there, and that it's not a one-off but a regular thing."

There were presentations from experienced entrepreneurs, such as Freelancer.com founder Matt Barrie and BigCommerce co-founder Mitchell Harper, who recently raised $15 million from an American venture capital firm.

There were also talks from the Australian Innovation Sydney crew, which discussed sustainability and charity.

The event hosted a range of announcements, including that mentor initiative PushStart has signed up 100 mentors and facilitated 300 speed-mentoring sessions through the event MentorLive, and also that The Founders Institute is coming to Australia.

One attendee was the founder of local postcard-printing service ScribblePics, Peter Bradd, who thought that the standout of the conference was a speech from entrepreneur and partner at Southern Cross Venture Partners, Bill Bartee.

"He spoke about Seek's 'No excuse responsibility' policy. When goals were set — it was a must that they had to be met, no excuses," Bradd said.

"An essential part of being an entrepreneur for me is being resourceful and doing what you can with the limited resources you have. You have to find a way."

"Hats off to Peter Cooper for organising a great event."

The next SydStart is on 29 March 2012.

Topics: Microsoft, Start-Ups

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