Google startup group announces Australian festival

Festival runs from 18 September to 9 October with events across Australia

Google’s StartupAUS group has announced Startup Spring, a three-week festival to promote entrepreneurship in Australia.

Startup Spring will run from 18 September to 9 October in cities across Australia, including Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Events announced so far include OzAPP, Google for Entrepreneurs Day, Startup Walkabout and Startup Weekend.

“With over 50 events Australia wide Startup Spring aims to showcase the existing startup community, build interest about the sector in the wider community, and encourage entrepreneurialism to Australians,” said Peter Bradd, StartupAUS board member and director of the Fishburners co-working space in Sydney.

StartupAUS hopes the event will increase the prominence of Australia’s startups, Bradd told Techworld Australia.

“Building awareness is a main theme underpinning growth of the ecosystem and changes in funding and regulation. Startup Spring amplifies what's already happening and boosts awareness to the Australian public.”

StartupAUS also hopes to encourage would-be startups across Australia to turn their ideas into reality, Bradd said.

“No one should be struggling alone at home and no one should be in a job they don't like instead of creating a solution to a problem they're passionate about,” he said. “This festival will help entrepreneurs find out about the incredible support that is available, and that they can tap into.

“An entrepreneurs journey should not be a lone one, support systems are key and we want to create more relationships and networks to help.”

Google engineering director and StartupAUS founding board member, Alan Noble, said in a statement that the event is important for promoting startups.

“Australia has film festivals, music festivals and wine festivals which are a tremendous celebration of our culture. Now, it’s time for the country’s first startup festival,” he said.

“With today’s focus on how Australia can maintain its wealth beyond the resource sector, there’s never been a better time for Australia to become the creators, rather than just the consumers, of technology.

“We want to see Australian kids growing up not just aspiring to be lawyers, doctors, or bankers, but also to see entrepreneurship as a valid and rewarding path.”

A report earlier this year by Google and PricewaterhouseCoopers found that Australia’s startup scene could add $109 billion to the economy and 540,000 jobs over the next 20 years, if fostered properly.

Google developed StartupAUS with the goal of raising the voice of Australian startups, Noble told <I>Techworld Australia</I> in April.

“The startup community hasn’t been well represented and hasn’t had the strong advocacy that it needs,” he said.

The StartupAUS board is currently composed of Bradd, Noble, Bill Bartee of Southern Cross Ventures and Stephen Baxter of River City Labs.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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