Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:27

Former PM Malcolm Turnbull to talk innovation and more at StartCon 2019


Australia's 29th Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, will speak on "innovation and opportunity in an environment of rising authoritarian populism, anti-global and protectionist agendas", after which he'll have a one-on-one with Freelancer CEO and founder, Matt Barrie.

StartCon. 2019 is the 10th year of its existence, with StartCon billed as Australia's largest startup and growth conference, set to run over 22 and 23 November at the Royal Randwick Racecourse, its home for the last several years.

On day one, The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, Australia's 29th Prime Minister, will be StartCon's keynote speaker.

After his speech, during which he will discuss innovation, the problems facing Australia’s technology industry and what Australia needs to be the number one startup capital of the world, Turnbull will have a one to one discussion with Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie on how innovation can be brought back on the national agenda, and how to transform the economy into one that guarantees prosperity for all Australians into the 21st century.

He will join over 55 global leaders in technology including experts from NASA, eBay, Airbnb, Airwallex, Uber, The Iconic, and more, during the two day event. With over 55 speakers from around the world including Silicon Valley, 4000+ attendees, 160 exhibitors and hundreds of startups in attendance.

Talking about his involvement in the conference, Turnbull said: “Change, unprecedented in scale and pace, is the tenor of our times. This offers enormous opportunities, and Australia has never been better situated to take advantage of them. At the heart of all of this is innovation, the key driver of productivity, which is vital if we are to remain a prosperous first world economy with a generous social welfare net.

“Australia’s startup ecosystem has advanced enormously since we started OzEmail twenty five years ago. In those days there was hardly any money for technology startups. Today, especially since the launch of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and opportunities for investment like the Pitch for a Million competition here at StartCon, there are billions available.

“My feeling is that there is now more support in the community for innovation and science, although the rising tide of authoritarian populism with its “anti-globalist” and protectionist agenda represents a real threat. So we cannot take our gains for granted, there will always be voices to oppose innovation, frightened of the new, anxious to hide under the doona in the hope that the 21st century will prove to be a terrible dream.”

StartCon Pitch for $1 Million, one of the world’s largest startup pitch competitions where entrepreneurs battle it out for a total of US$1m in venture financing from trailblazing US investors, EDGE196™.

Matt Barrie, CEO and Founder of said: “Malcolm Turnbull was undoubtedly the most technology focused Prime Minister that Australia has ever had. During his term, innovation through technology was at the forefront of government policy for driving forward the Australian economy.

"Since that time, however, innovation has dropped off the national agenda. I look forward to discussing with Malcolm at StartCon what needs to happen to bring innovation back on the national agenda, and what we need to do as a country to transform the economy into one that guarantees prosperity for all Australians into the 21st century.”

StartCon reminds us that it "brings together the world’s best experts to provide actionable insights into how to start and growing world class technology driven businesses. Whether you are an entrepreneur, corporate innovator, working at a startup or are thinking about starting a business - if there is one event you attend this year- it’s StartCon."

Besides Malcolm Turnbull and an impressive roster of international and local speakers, what else can you expect?

Well, you'll see expert workshops, a tech expo, hackathon, masterclasses, a FinTech stage, a Disruption stage, VIP lounge and an artificial intelligence (AI) stage. Guests can also attend networking events, experience live gaming and visit a startup alley that includes some of the most innovative businesses in the local market and across Asia.

Joining the Honorable Malcolm Turnbull at StartCon 2019 on November 22-23 will be speakers including:

International Speakers

  • Petra Hofer, Independent Technology Leadership Advisor, Former Director of Technology @ eBay
  • Jenny Arden, Director of Design @ Airbnb
  • Joe Fahed, Global Products Operations Manager @ Uber
  • Tony Aug, CTO & VP, Technology & Strategy, Digital @ Arrow
  • Dan Lok, Founder, Influencer @
  • Eric Siu, Owner and CEO @ Single Grain
  • Alberto Antinucci, Digital Innovation Strategist & China Expert @ Antinucci Consulting
  • Katie Burke, Chief People Officer @ Hubspot
  • Amy Peck, Senior Director of Enterprise Content @ Vive Studios
  • and more!

Local Speakers include:

  • Fred Schebesta, CEO & Co-founder @ Finder
  • Ashik Ahmed, CEO, CTO & Co-founder @ Deputy
  • Vivek Bharadwaj, Marketing Science @ THE ICONIC
  • Dr Jemma Green, Executive Chairman & Co-founder @ Power Ledger
  • Chris Smith, Founder & Director @ BIG Esports
  • Craig Rees, VP & Head of Engineering @ AirWallex
  • Taryn Williams, CEO & Founder @
  • James Spencely, VC Investor & Mentor @
  • Greg Cross, Serial Entrepreneur @ Soul Machines
  • Alex Moss, CEO & Head Designer @ Canaria
  • Daniel Wearne, Head of Design @ Up Banking
  • Alex McCauley, CEO @ StartupAus
  • Sarah Tang, VP, Enterprise @
  • Helen Souness, CEO @ RMIT Online
  • Randall Noble, COO @ Hive Gaming
  • Dr Michelle Perugini, CEO & Co-founder @ Presagen
  • Simon Banks, Managing Director & SVP @ HyperWallet
  • Ali Anderson, Manager of Outreach Programs @ Australian Institute for Machine Learning
  • and more!

More StartCon 2019 speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

StartCon 2019 features multiple tracks for startups, marketing and growth professionals, designers, engineers, tech experts and corporate innovators and is jam-packed with: 

  • Expert workshops
  • Tech expo
  • Hackathon
  • Masterclasses
  • FinTech stage
  • Disruption stage
  • Artificial intelligence stage
  • VIP lounge
  • Multiple networking events
  • Live gaming
  • Kids coding camp
  • Startup alley that includes some of the most innovative businesses across Asia

More details and tickets at StartCon here.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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