CeBIT Australia 2017 – Innovators Panel

ri dev team By Raw Dev Team

29 May 2017 // Events

CeBIT Australia 2017 Innovators Panel: Accelerating and incubating that next big idea

Last week, a few of our Raw Ideas staff went to the CeBIT Australia 2017 Innovators panel. Andrea Finno shares his thoughts and impressions with us here.

The innovators panel on Wednesday comprised of several entrepreneurs from various industries gathered to discuss their experiences starting and growing businesses in Australia and across the world.

Some of the key takeaways from an Australian perspective:
  • We are pretty good at research but we don’t focus enough effort on developing ideas from that research.

  • While R & D are important, we are particularly weak in commercialising any ideas eventually developed from our research.

  • Seek small investments for VC’s.

  • Be mindful that for each partner you add you double your risk.

  • Startup accelerators and incubators are great in assisting the growth of innovative ideas and getting those ideas to the right markets e.g. H2 (finance), EnergyLab (energy).

  • When it comes to investing in an idea it was suggested by the panel you “don’t bet on the horse, bet on the jockey”.

  • Hackathons are a great way of getting highly motivated people together to solve problems and encourage divergent and novel thinking.

  • Entrepreneurship should not only be further emphasised in business but also be taught and encouraged at schools.


Encouraging growth

One panel member suggested that a simple way to encourage growth in Australian small businesses that are trying to innovate would be to change procurement policies for the government. So Australian SME’s with less than 100 people would be first in line when it comes to developing solutions for government bodies. Whether this is the best solution is debatable (should government be seeking local solutions or the best solutions for it’s dollar) but it’s certainly worth experimenting with the idea and monitoring the outcomes.


Change of philosophy

Panel members also noted that there is a sentiment running though Australian businesses not seen in other successful tech hubs like Silicon Valley. Where many local business might ask “How bad can it get?” their Silicon Valley counter parts might ask “How big can it get?”.

At first this type of positive thinking might seem like you are ignoring the details and just seeing dollar signs flicking over your eyes like a greedy Saturday morning cartoon character. But if you truly believe in what you are doing then you owe it to your idea to at least consider how far it can go, even if it might not make it all the way. Better to aim for the stars and land on the roof than aim for the roof and land in the mud, so to speak.



DR CHARLES DAY Chief Executive Officer, Office of Innovation and Science Australia (OISA)

BRETT ADAM Managing Director and VP Engineering, Zendesk

BRIDGET LOUDON Co-Founder and CEO, Expert360

STUART ELLIOTT Chief Executive Officer, Planet Innovation

MIKE ZIMMERMAN Managing Director, Bondi Ventures

MARK CRIPSEY Chief Digital and Data Officer, Myer

MARK SOWERBY Chief Entrepreneur, Advance Queensland

CLAIRE MULA Co-Founder and Executive Director, Sprooki


Next Generation Technologists Panel: Inspiration, aspiration, engagement & STEM skills

  • Bill Gates said that if he was a teenager right now, three areas with would be studying immediately are A.I., Energy and Bioscience.

  • 44% of jobs are at risk in the next decade due to technology.

  • 75% of all new jobs will require some form of STEM skill.

  • Deloitte reported that companies are having trouble engaging with universities.

  • Most teachers struggle with technology.

  • Kids gain confidence when adults take them seriously.

  • Resilience, adaptability and systems thinking are all next generation skills.

  • We require more STEM professionals in schools.

  • There are some volunteer programs available for STEM professionals to engage with teachers and students.



DR MARGUERITE EVANS-GALEA Executive Director, Industry Mentoring Network in STEM, ATSE; Co-founder and CEO, Women in STEMM Australia

ALAN NOBLE Head of Engineering, Google Australia & New Zealand

KELLY TAGALAN General Manager, Code Club Australia

WADE MCDONOUGH Managing Director, Cuberider

DR DAMIEN PEARCE Chief Executive Officer, National Youth Science Forum (NYSF)

DR WILLIAM RAFFE Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney

DR JENINE BEEKHUYZEN Founder, Tech Girls Movement

KIM HETHERINGTON STEM Partnerships Program Manager, CSIRO



ri dev team By Raw Dev Team

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