Overheard at Entrepreneurs Week 2018


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By Melissa Keogh

More than 400 innovators poured into the Adelaide Convention Centre on Monday, July 9, to reign in Entrepreneurs Week 2018, the fourth annual installation of the event.

There were app developers, business founders, health professionals, scientists, CEOs, PhD students, and educators from South Australia and abroad all soaking up the wisdoms, teachings and inspirations on offer.

Continuing until Friday July 13 (and spilling a little into the following week) Entrepreneurs Week explores new technologies, workspaces, and why social entrepreneurship may be the most important of them all.

Brand SA News was there to soak up the pearls of wisdom, and here are a few.

South Australia is impressive, there are incredible companies here. I think SA is one of the leaders, if not the leader in just pure entrepreneurial spirit. – Chris Adams, former Facebook insider and Entrepreneurs Week keynote speaker.

Entrepreneurial schools are coming to SA

Four public schools will become entrepreneurial hotbeds, teaching students creativity, problem solving and collaboration.

“We will have specialist entrepreneur schools where you will see real life entrepreneur activity and very strong relationships developed with industry and the private sector,” Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni told the Entrepreneurs Week opening event on May 9.

The four schools will be chosen later this year and are expected to help set the course for the state’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship will also be added to the school curriculum, Mr Pisoni says.

“The SACE board is at this moment developing an entrepreneurial curriculum to be rolled out in our high schools,” he says.

“So every high school in SA, whether it be in the private sector or the public sector, will have access to the entrepreneurial curriculum.”

The old Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) site is one to watch

The State Government has big plans for the old hospital, which closed in 2017 following the opening of the city’s world-class new RAH in 2017.

Part of the vision for the North Terrace/Frome Road site includes an innovation and start-up hub for entrepreneurs and businesses.

The precinct will be a place for the generation of new ideas and technology within sectors such as defence, cyber security, space, food and wine, medical technology, robotics, and creative industries.

Mr Pisoni says that 2000 people will be working for businesses in the entrepreneurial precinct by this time next year.

“Certainly the heritage buildings on that site (are) being converted into the largest innovation and entrepreneur centre in Australia where we will see a mix of start-ups and high-tech companies,” he says.

“Within a decade we want our state to have the highest number of start-up businesses in the nation.”

July is the entrepreneur’s version of Mad March.

You thought the festival season was only in March, right?

Not quite. July is also getting its fair share of festivities with the calendar of events an entrepreneurial playground.

Aside from Entrepreneur’s Week, we have Hybrid World, Avcon, the Umbrella Winter Sounds Festival, The Adelaide Festival of Ideas, the Adelaide Dance Festival and the Joint Dance Congress.

Acting Adelaide Mayor Sandy Verschoor sums it up well.

“I think we can look forward to what’s happening now which is a bit of winter renaissance,” she says.

“This month is going to be absolutely huge.”

The entrepreneurial game is full of lessons, including failure.

Former Facebook insider Chris Adams was a keynote speaker at the Entrepreneurs Week opening event.

He shared highlights of his extensive career so far, including how he created and produced the first user-generated reality TV series, Facebook Diaries, which lead to the launch of the Facebook ‘share’ button.

He shared an insight into what it’s really like to become an entrepreneur from the ground up.

“If you are going to fail, fail spectacularly. Fail as quickly as you can but make it part of your story,” he says.

“Someday you’ll look back when you tell your story at whatever point in your life, and that failure will be like the hero’s journey, a challenge, something on the curve in which you found yourself, an incident that changed your path.”

Chris also believes that to reach success you must lay the groundwork.

“Every time we build a company or join a company, we’re looking at the $20m house with marble floors. We look at the interior design and the lighting, the taps in the bathroom,” he says.

“Planning – it’s the boring stuff and the stuff we don’t see that supports what we do see. So put your dreams in the $20m house, in the beautiful taps and the Mercedes, but put your work into the slab.”

Entrepreneurs Week keynote speaker Chris Adams at the opening event.

Entrepreneurs come from all walks of life and abilities

Social entrepreneur Dr Guy Turnbull, who was named UK Entrepreneur of the Year, is in SA to inspire budding innovators and business founders on what it takes to make it in the game.

The Entrepreneurs Week keynote speaker was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two, and has exercised his entrepreneurial skills his whole life.

“When I make myself a cup of tea … although it takes a bit longer I haven’t burnt myself in 52 years. So it’s about ingenuity and that again is another entrepreneurial trait,” says the former managing director of Care And Share Associates (CASA).

“Entrepreneurs come from many different sectors, and many different walks of life, and from many different abilities.”

We’re kicking goals when it comes to female entrepreneurship

SA is home to a community of female entrepreneurs with global ambitions.

Look at Italian rocket scientist Flavia Tata Nardini, who came to Adelaide for love after meeting her engineering husband who is from SA.

She now runs Fleet Space Technologies and is one of the people behind the push for SA to become Australia’s space technology hub.

Flavia, along with a number of other local female entrepreneurs, shared their insights at the Entrepreneurs Week Celebrating SA’s Female Founders session.

Did you overhear something worth sharing? Let us know on Twitter #EWeekSA2018

Entrepreneurs Week 2018 Key Partners
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