SOUTHSTART reveals its 2024 program lineup, tackling the profound challenges facing the Australian startup space

SOUTHSTART reveals its 2024 program lineup, tackling the profound challenges facing the Australian startup space

_SOUTHSTART, Australia’s largest festival of innovation, big-thinkers and game-changers, has announced an extensive program that dives into the defining challenges shaping the Australian startup ecosystem, from power structures and their impact on marginalised groups to the impact of AI on our future world and how we can navigate the intersection of technology and culture.

This year’s event, supported by the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science’, spans three days, incorporating 50+ voices across 10+ venues and 6+ streams. Voices range from social equity and environmental champions, to leading investors, startup founders, global industry experts and more. Notable names presenting at the event include Kate Okeeffe & Fiona Triaca, HeatSeeker.AI, Nicholas Opie, Founding Director, Synchron, Katherine McConnell, CEO & Founder, Brighte, and Dan Krasnostein, Partner, Square Peg.

The multi-day experience is split into four key events:

  • SOCIAL – 05 March, 5pm-9pm: To open the proceedings, attendees are invited to immerse themselves in the heart of _SOUTHSTART’s vibrant community. Amidst the backdrop of Immersive Light & Art’s innovative spaces, SOCIAL offers a unique blend of creativity and hospitality.
  • VILLAGE – 06 March, 8am-5pm: VILLAGE provides an intellectual and emotional adventure, hosting 5 stages of programming across 6 content streams at the Garden of Unearthly Delights. From masterclasses & think tanks, office hours & pitching, founder & investor connections, student-led conversations – and everything in between – participants are equipped to expand their skill set, refine their strategies, and find support for their personal and business journeys.
  • LANEWAY – 06 March, 5.30pm-10pm: Relish in iconic bars, BBQs, and spontaneous pop-ups on Adelaide’s esteemed Gilbert Place. The rhythm of live entertainment will set the tone for an evening of relaxation, collaboration and creativity.
  • UNTETHERED – 07 March, 9am-6pm: Venture out into a day of discovery, discourse and degustation in the Fleurieu Peninsula across both small group and collective experiences. UNTETHERED is designed to weave in deep learning, spark meaningful connections, and immerse you in the beauty of one of the region’s highlight destinations. Participating venues include Down the Rabbit Hole, d’Arenberg, Chalk Hill Wines, Pearl, Beresford & Star of Greece.

“We’re not a traditional, transactional event where a small number of ‘speakers’ impart their wisdom on the majority. We want to encourage real human connection, so there won’t be a single ‘speaker’. Instead, we’ll have over 500 voices – those on stage, and those participating – where everyone has an equal role to play,” said Craig Swann Director at  _SOUTHSTART. “People actually enjoy connecting in authentic, human ways. We want to nurture an environment that unites people early in their careers with investors and startup veterans, encouraging more meaningful work and insightful conversations. After all, our most valuable connections occur when we’re breaking bread rather than exchanging business cards.”

Danielle Seymour, Director at _SOUTHSTART added, “We always seek to push the boundaries with the calibre of voices we bring to the event, and this year promises to dive deeper than ever before into the challenges affecting our world. We’ll not only discuss the opportunities for Australia’s tech sector on the global stage, but will seek to explore how we can balance innovation with the very urgent environmental challenges we all face and discuss how we can lead the way in facilitating social change.”

The Hon. Dr Susan Close MP, Deputy Premier and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, “The latest national Startup Muster survey found that _SOUTHSTART was the most recommended startup event in Australia, and for good reason. With an emphasis on showcasing diverse voices, _SOUTHSTART blends business development with genuine relationship-building opportunities, and allows local and interstate visitors to experience all that Adelaide and regional South Australia has to offer during the Mad March festival season. The Government of South Australia is the proud foundation partner of  _SOUTHSTART 2024, part of our well-rounded program of support for the state’s startup and innovation community.”

Hosted in Adelaide, South Australia, from 5-7 March 2024, _SOUTHSTART provides a blend of networking experiences, masterclasses, panel discussions, and activities for startup sector leaders, field experts, and investors. This year’s event partners include Tech Council of Australia, CSIRO, Stripe, Venture capitalist firm AirTree and startup accelerator Startmate.

Ticket packages range from $399-$599, full details can be found here. _SOUTHSTART is also teaming up with HEX to help break down the generation divide, by offering an exclusive deal to tertiary students seeking to attend the event.