StartCon is Sydney’s (perhaps Australia’s) largest growth and startup conference. The event is held at Randwick Racecourse, which is the same venue as last year and the year before. It is held on the 30th of November and 1st of December, StartCon operates under Freelancer and general admission tickets goes for about $300. You can get it much cheaper if you are a student, or you can opt to volunteer or to participate in the hackathon for free entry. 

Startcon saw approximately 4,000 – 5,000 attendees, all interested in the startup space. There is also a pitching competitions where startups around Australia pitch for the grand prize of $1,000,000.

The launch and afterparty was held at the New Hampton in Kingscross. I felt the venue was much smaller and crowded as compared to last year’s launch party at Edgecliff, but beggars can’t be choosers – not as much variety as well in food – just pizza. The first day networking event at the stables in the racecourse is great as usual though.

There were 3 stages running simultaneously – main stage, disruption stage and fintech stage. I attended most of the talks on the main stage, but also got the opportunity to visit the other stages. Here is a list of talks I attended with a brief summary of their talk.

  1. Kyle Ellicott (Partner @ Explore Equity Group)
    Kyle talked about how to pitch your product to investors etc. You need to be able to pitch your product to 5 – 75 year olds. How to pitch your product in 12 steps: problem, solution, use case, market, competitions, business model, traction, press/partners, financials, team, road map & ask. Ensure you understand the investor & have patience.

  2. Krista Seiden (Google)
    Krista is a Product Manager in the Google Analytics team and she talked about growth hacker vs digital marketer. Basically a digital marketer focus on acquisition and activation of users, where as a growth hacker is above but also focus on retention/revenue and referral. She took us through Google Analytics and how the best way to track users are. A quick tip for bloggers: If you’re blogging and sharing the blog link, use utm link so you know where your readers are coming from! Have email nurtures when user signs up to your blog. Have the right data structures in place and use Google Tag Manager to collect customer information.

  3. Jay Samit (Disrupt you!)
    – If you want something you never had, try something you’ve never done.
    Everyone thinks of changing the world, but not themselves.
    – No obstacle is so big that one person with determination can’t make a difference
    – The future can be better than the present and I have the power to make it so.
    – Solve for others to solve for you.
    – Commit to lifelong learning.
    These are some points Jay mentioned. You can find his full presentation here.

  4. Alana Podreiks – McKinsey Consulting
    Did you know that 62% of people have a dream business they want to start? Alana works in a large corporate firm and she talks about innovation within large firms like McKinsey. Break open your mind. That was the focus on her talk. Break open your mind. Break – assumptions/fear. Open – Find the signal through the noise, have intense focus. Your mind – Never let your mind tell you you can’t do something!

  5. Jurgen Spangl – Head of Design Atlassian
    Jurgen gave an entertaining talk. It was a love story analogy. He describes the Atlassian design journey and the rebranding phrase it recently went through with. Design systems speed up innovation. Be in love with the problem, not the solution. Ask everyone for feedback. Your customers, your team members.

  6. Holly Chen – Growth @ Slack
    Holly talked about the growth strategies you can choose from when scaling your product. From SEO to ads to APIs to PR etc. The 4 types of growth strategies include -> Viral, PAID, Content & Platform. You need to ensure you prioritise your strategies for different stages. Hot tip: You can find google ad credits for free by searching for it. You should be spending $1 for every $3 revenue that you can generate per customer.

I will seperate this blog into 2 parts! Anyways here are some pictures of startcon with me and my mate stefan.

on the main stage!
on the main stage!
stripe is awesome, check it out!
stripe is awesome, check it out!
who's the einstein in this picture?
who's the einstein in this picture?