Thursday, October 24th, 2019 - _southstart

_southstart festival has revealed its full 2019 program, featuring over 70 speakers exploring blockchain, agtech, impact and more at its two-day conference.

A workshop program featuring website building, pitching, startup scaling and ‘culture hacking’ will be hosted by experts from Hootsuite, Freerange Future, The University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

Adelaide success story Didier Elzinga, former CEO of Rising Sun Pictures and Co-founder of Culture Amp - a startup “unicorn” valued at more than $1 billion - will speak at this year’s _southstart [conference], running 20-21 November at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Elzinga operates by the philosophy that to be successful, you need to put culture first. He’ll share with audiences his unique insights to the founder journey, as well as provide tips on raising money, and establishing your values and brand.

He’ll be joined by Steve Baxter of Shark Tank fame. Founder of River City Labs and the Startup Catalyst program, Baxter has been on the boards of Vocus Telecoms and Commercialisation Australia, and is now an early stage investor in startups as CEO at Transition Level Investments. At _southstart he’ll join other well known investors for a discussion that will delve "Inside an Investor's Mind".

US speaker Brad Feld will bring over 30 years of investment and entrepreneurship knowledge to Adelaide audiences, streaming live from the US. Feld co-founded technology investment firm Foundry Group, and was key to the creation of Techstars, a seed accelerator with over 1,600 companies in its programs.

Tea Uglow, Creative Director for Google Creative Lab in Sydney, will also speak at _southstart [conference]. Proudly transgender, faceblind and neurodivergent, Uglow was named by Deloitte as one of Australia’s “#OUT50 LGBTQ Leaders” last year. She works with creative organisations across the globe to explore what happens when the technological world meets arts and culture.

Other newly-announced speakers include Australian Impact Investments Chief Investment Officer, Kylie Charlton; AgriFutures Australia Chair, Kay Hull AM; Artesian Ventures’ Director, Robert Williams; Swoop Aero CEO Eric Peck and more.

They join the previously announced Dr. Christyl Johnson from NASA, Devin Mancuso from Google, Fleet Space Technologies’ Flavia Tata Nardini, Ronni Kahn AO from OzHarvest, the Australian Space Agency’s Dr. Megan Clark, Chester Osborn from d’Arenberg, Adam McCurdie from Humanitix and Mark Reading from Atlassian.

"I'm thrilled to be a part of this year's _southstart festival to connect, learn and share our work and mission at Humanitix,” said Adam McCurdie.  “Exploring how we as a society navigate this next era of rapid technological growth to benefit the planet and its inhabitants will be the legacy of our generation.”

This comes with the news that the conference program will include several half-day industry streams, including a Blockchain stream led by Blockchain Australia, an AgTech stream led by BDO and Thinclab and a Public Sector stream led by the Institute of Public Administration Australia. 

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said the program was world class, featuring startups, scaleups, investors and multinational companies.

“Southstart will showcase Lot Fourteen and South Australia’s growing startup and innovation ecosystem, highlighting the investment the Marshall Government is making in future industries,” Minister Pisoni said.

“Attendees will have a rare opportunity to learn from international and home-grown business and innovation thought leaders about their journeys and the global trends impacting highly scalable businesses in the digital age.”

A diverse workshop program will also clue attendees in on the latest social media trends, how to get a business China-ready (in five weeks), and how to make the shift from purpose to impact. Workshops will be hosted by experts from Startmate, More Space for Light, Hootsuite, Haymarket HQ, local universities and more.

Opportunities for networking, socialising and collaboration across the start-up community also form a key part of the program. A Startup Founder Bootcamp and Ecosystem Mixer at Tandanya, Techstars Startup Weekend at UniSA, and closing party at ‘art-pub hub’ Arthur Arthouse round out the week-long offering of _southstart events.

VIP ticket holders will gain access to exclusive add-on experiences, including a fast-paced Startup Showcase at Lot Fourteen, welcome dinner at Golden Boy, industry dinners at Peel Street and a full-day winery adventure at the d’Arenberg Cube.

View the full _southstart program. Tickets available here.

2019 Program Highlights:

  • 15 - 17 November: Techstars Startup Weekend at Uni SA

  • 18 - 19 November: Startup Founder Bootcamp at Tandanya

  • 20 - 21 November: Conference and Workshops at Adelaide Convention Centre


2019 Speakers:


  • Steve Baxter - CEO, Transition Level Investments
  • Tea Uglow - Creative Director - Creative Lab, Google
  • Brad Feld - Managing Director, Foundry Group (US)
  • Didier Elzinga - Founder and CEO, Culture Amp 
  • Ronni Kahn AO - Founder and CEO, OzHarvest
  • Kylie Charlton - Chief Investment Officer, Australian Impact Investments
  • Kay Hull AM - Chair, AgriFutures Australia
  • Robert Williams - Director, Artesian Ventures
  • Eric Peck - CEO, Swoop Aero

The full list of 2019 _southstart speakers can be found here

High-resolution images can be found here.

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About _southstart:

_southstart is a convergence of the makers, doers and entrepreneurs of Australia and beyond. Across eight days and four nights from 15 – 22 November, the event will explore the emergence of technologies that are set to explode and redefine our future.

Over 70 leading scientists, virtual technologists, winemakers, entrepreneurs, ecosystem champions and other unlikely cohorts will gather to explore the intersection of technology and humanity. There’ll be workshops, keynotes, panels, masterclasses, dinners and parties and more at over ten venues across Adelaide. Attendees can connect with 1000+ entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, creatives, field experts and other curious minds.

_southstart [conference] will take place at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 20 – 21 November. 100% of the profits from booking fees will be donated to indigenous scholarships. Tickets are available here. Full details available at


Media contact:

Belinda Petersen: [email protected] |  0402 358 000
Darcy Trebilico: [email protected] | 0439 823 702

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_southstart is Australia's human-first technology festival, gathering disruptive ideas, unlocking curious minds, and unleashing the sharing of real world experiences from the business and technology frontlines of the future. The 8-day program aims to converge humans, impact & technology. 

Danielle Seymour
P: 0421224188


Adelaide success story Didier Elzinga, former CEO of Rising Sun Pictures and Co-founder of Culture Amp - a startup “unicorn” valued at more than $1 billion - will speak at this year’s _southstart [conference]




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