SYDNEY, August 22, 2017: StartCon today announces top international speakers from Pinterest, SkyScanner, Dribbble, ClassPass, Moz and Segment as part of the initial lineup for Australia’s largest startup & growth conference.
Six years ago this month, Marc Andreessen published “Software is eating the world”, predicting the rise of disruptive technology companies such as Uber, Facebook, Google, Netflix, AirBnB and Freelancer.com, which would transform entire industry categories.
The theme for this year’s event is ‘Software is eating itself’ - where the, once disruptive, companies are now eating each other. These goliaths are stumbling into each other’s markets chasing the next customer. They are facing threats from new nimble competitors, established incumbents, increased regulation, growing pains, internal turmoil, dysfunctional board dynamics and conflict with investors.
Uber ate the taxi industry with Lyft yapping at its heels, Didi ate Uber in China, now Uber’s latest fiasco sees one of its early investors, Benchmark, suing to ensure Travis Kalanick no longer has control of the board, potentially eating into its investment. Tesla has announced that its autopilot feature cannot be used on ridesharing networks like Uber, and will only be able to be used on the Tesla network- and now Apple is rumoured to be making a car!
Andreessen said these new software companies would need to “build strong cultures, delight customers, establish their own competitive advantages and, yes, justify their rising valuations”. Now we’re starting to see that one of the primary competitive advantages they’ve achieved is the size of their user bases, which allows them to rapidly cannibalize each other's markets. This scale has allowed Facebook’s Instagram to copy Snapchat and almost instantly deliver 250m daily active users for its clone of the ‘Stories’ feature.
In the $2 trillion-dollar entertainment industry, Apple announced a $1 billion content war chest to take a bite out of Netflix and traditional television. At the same time, Amazon is now venturing into live sports streaming with the rights to ATP Tour tennis and NFL Thursday Night Football. Now Facebook has announced Watch, which lets you watch original videos on the Facebook platform- competing with cable TV right through to Google’s YouTube. It’s the battle of the titans!
Returning to Sydney for the 7th year in a row, on the 1st & 2nd of December at Royal Randwick Racecourse, StartCon promises content that will give Australian startups a better chance at becoming the next big disruptor. The lineup will feature speakers who are at the forefront of innovation, including John Egan- Engineering Manager at Pinterest, Yara Paoli- VP Growth at SkyScanner, Sarah Bird- CEO of Moz, Guillaume Cabane- VP Growth at Segment, Joanna Lord- CMO at ClassPass and Zack Onisko, CEO at Dribbble.
Pinterest is the world’s largest catalogue of ideas. Moz is the world’s leader in search marketing software. Dribbble is a top 1,000 website and exclusive community for the world's top designers. Segment, which has recently raised $64M in series C, provides a single place for companies to collect customer data. SkyScanner is a global travel search website that raised $192M and was acquired by ctrip last year. ClassPass is the leading membership to the world’s largest fitness network.
The conference, which is expected to sell out for the seventh year running with 4000 attendees, lasts 2 days, with over 15 international tech superstars sharing their knowledge and experience with the Australian tech and entrepreneurial community. The event will include:
Over 60 world class speakers in technology, entrepreneurship, growth, marketing, design, engineering and corporate innovation
6 dedicated speaking tracks designed for early-stage startups, high-growth companies, designers, engineers, corporate innovation teams, and investors
A 150-booth expo showcasing the biggest technology names and a large startup alley with high-growth Australian startups
The largest startup pitch competition in the country, where over 100 startups will compete for the chance to go the USA representing Australia in the Startup World Cup with a grand prize of $1M in investment
A two day hackathon where teams compete to solve complex problems facing Australia.
The 2nd Annual Australasian Startup Awards, where leading and emerging technology companies in the APAc region are nominated and awarded at the event
Cheryl Mack, Head of StartCon, said, "With Alexa in our living room and smart computers in our pocket, it's safe to say Marc Andreessen was right. Now though we're seeing a battle to stay at the top and supply the tech for all our needs. And we think Australian startups could be in a position to disrupt the disruptors as Gafa and the Valley (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, etc) focus more on each other.
"We’ve brought incredible international speakers to Australian audiences for the last seven years and this year will be no different. We understand the importance of staying current with what is happening in the technology industry, and our theme reflects this. It’s important to the success of the ecosystem that local startups gain access to this calibre of speakers."
The first lineup of speakers includes:
John Egan - Growth Engineering Manager at Pinterest
Increased monthly active users by over 10 million for the world’s largest catalogue of ideas
As Engineering Manager, John leads the Notifications Team which has cumulatively added millions of active users. Previously, he led the growth team at Shopkick, a mobile loyalty app which was acquired by SK Planet for $200M, where he helped grow the userbase from 1M to 8M primarily through invites, geofencing, & push notifications.
Sarah Bird - CEO at Moz
Oversaw the growth of Moz from a few hundred customers to revenue over $40M
Sarah has helped grow Moz, the world leader in search marketing software, from a few hundred customers to becoming the world’s largest and most passionate community of online marketers with over two million visits to the Moz blog each month. Sarah is a top advocate for gender equality, in 2014 she was invited to share Moz’s workplace practices at the White House Summit.
Zack Onisko - CEO at Dribbble
Achieved 1600% revenue growth in his first year at his previous company, now leading the team at Dribbble
Zack is a top 50 growth marketer in the world by Tradecraft and a startup growth professional with nearly 15 years under his belt. He's currently CEO at Dribbble, a top 1,000 website and exclusive community for the world's top designers. Previously he was VP of Growth at Hired, Chief Growth Officer at Creative Market, and Head of Growth at BranchOut.
Joanna Lord - CMO at ClassPass
Leads the marketing team that has booked 35 million classes to date, revolutionizing the fitness class industry
Joanna mentors start-ups for TechStars, NEXT, UP Global, and Startup Weekend. She contributes to Entrepreneur.com and MarketingLand.com and was previously VP of Marketing at Porch, a leading consumer marketplace for homeowners, and CMO of BigDoor, an enterprise software solution serving companies like Starbucks, CBS, and the NFL.
Guillaume Cabane - VP Growth at Segment
Leads the growth team servicing 15,000 corporate customers including Atlassian & Gap
With 15 years experience in Growth Marketing, Guillaume has a strong return on investment focus and is an expert in covering B2B SaaS growth marketing. Previously he worked at Apple as the Business Development Manager for Europe Online B2B. His focus is on marketing automation, scalable personalized marketing, and multi-touch attribution.
Yara Paoli - VP Growth of Skyscanner
Helped grow the company to over 60M monthly active users
Yara heads up the global growth team and the APAC region which has grown 200% YOY in South Korea. With over 11 years of experience in growth, marketing strategy, paid media, mobile marketing, campaigns management and content flow optimisation, she focuses on delivering sustainable hyper-growth for SkyScanner across its offices all over the world.
StartCon (formerly SydStart) is the largest Australian startup and growth conference, expo and entrepreneur community, established in 2009. The StartCon community has been supported by Freelancer.com since 2011. Around 5,000 tech startup professionals, investors and ecosystem participants have already experienced StartCon events. Andrew Chen from Uber and NASA's Director of Advanced Explorations Systems, Jason Crusan, headlined the event in 2016.
The StartCon conference, held November 26 & 27th in 2016 at Royal Randwick Racecourse, attracted over 3,000 attendees. The conference was designed to enrich Australia’s technology and entrepreneurship sector by providing a forum for entrepreneurs and startups to learn from leading technology founders.
About Freelancer ®
Ten-time Webby award-winning Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. More than 25 million registered users have posted over 12 million jobs and contests to date in over 1,000 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer owns StartCon, Australia's largest startup conference, expo and entrepreneur community established in 2009, WarriorForum.com, the world’s largest Internet marketing community & marketplace and Escrow.com, the world’s largest provider of secure online escrow and online transaction management for consumers and businesses on the Internet. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN.