StartCon 2017 was filled to the brim with over 3500 attendees, all soaking up the incredible vibe!

Sydney, December 1st and 2nd saw Randwick Racecourse come to life. We had exhibitors, investors, founders, sponsors and attendees who came together to listen, share and learn with each other. Our speakers from all over the world delivered keynotes, spanning topics on growth, innovation and AI. 

 StartCon 2017 Main Stage at the Royal Randwick Racecourse
StartCon 2017 Main Stage at the Royal Randwick Racecourse

As per all our previous years, our speakers who we had the pleasure of hearing delivered immensely rich in knowledge talks. The crowds were on the edge of their seat, donned with notebooks, laptops, ready to take notes. Amongst those who graced the stages was CEO and Founder of Tickled Media Roshni Mahtani on why women run better businesses, CEO of Crunchbase Jager McConnell on how to build trust and credibility in the early stages of a business and CEO of ZipMoney Larry Diamond on the rise of alternate payments. We also had author of The Effective Engineer, Edmond Lau, and his talk on redefining what it means to be an effective engineer and Antonio Garcia-Martinez , author of Chaos Monkey, teaching us how companies like Facebook, Twitter and everyone else in Silicon Valley really succeed. 

On the exhibitor floor, we were welcomed by 105 local and international tech and startup companies including IBM, Microsoft, Google Cloud, VR Corner, Salesforce,, Warrior Forum and Key Player. With advice and merchandise left right and centre, we were so happy to see the exhibitor floor light up with smiles and excitement. 

 The startup expo on the Ground Floor of the Royal Randwick Racecourse
The startup expo on the Ground Floor of the Royal Randwick Racecourse

 The Australasian Startup Awards

Our startup awards recognise and celebrate Australia’s amazing startups, founders, investors and media. This year (2017), the awards were sponsored by MYOB and the University of Technology Sydney. With nomination after nomination being submitted, we came up with the top five finalists for each category. Congratulations to all our finalists and winners, we are so excited to see where the next year takes you! A huge thank you to everyone who voted and participated!

Head of StartCon, Cheryl Mack, said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to the voting this year with more than 130,000 votes cast. The last two days have been immense so thanks to all of the 3,500 people who came down. It’s so rewarding to see the community getting behind the event. Congratulations to WipeHero as startup of the year and Checkbox as our pitch winner. If our previous alumni are anything to go by, they’re both in for a fantastic year.”

 The Australasian Startup Award winners on stage 
The Australasian Startup Award winners on stage 

Here is the complete list of our 2017 winners:

Startup of the Year Winner: WipeHeroOther nominees: Jayride, HealthEngine, HomeTime, Stockspot 

Technology Company of the Year: zipMoney LtdOther nominees: AfterPay, GetSwift, Atlassian, Campaign Monitor

Startup Journalist of the Year: Yolanda RedrupOther nominees: Ricardo Goncalves, Cara Waters, James Ward, David Swan

Startup Investor of the Year: BlackBird VenturesOther nominees: AirTree Ventures, Right Click Capital, Reinventure, M8 Ventures

Startup Incubator (or) Accelerator of the Year: Tech Ready Women, SheStartsOther nominees: INCUBATE, Startmate

Startup Founder of the Year: Millie ZinnerOther nominees: Larry Diamond, Jules Lund, Eden Shirley, Alexis Soulopoulos

Female Entrepreneur of the Year: Christina ChunOther nominees: Taryn Williams, Nicole Buskiewicz, Alexandra Young, Michelle Perugini

E-commerce Company of the Year: The IconicOther nominees: Kogan, Vinomofo, Wine Stash, Cashrewards

Community MVP of the Year: Holly StephensOther nominees: Anne-Marie Elias, Jono Herrman, Pete Cooper, Duco van Breemen

Best Student Run Startup: ConexieOther nominees: Student Feeds, V-KAIWA, Forever Network, MiniEpi

Best Startup for Social Good: CancerAidOther nominees: RefugeeTalent, Hireup, StartSomeGood, WithYouWithMe

Best SaaS Startup: checkbox.aiOther nominess: Haystack, Safe Ag Systems, Lexer, MediRecords

Best Mobile App Startup: PocketbookOther nominees: BRiN, Acorns, Clipp, Sparrow Flights

Best FinTech Startup: Simply Wall StOther nominees: uno, Valiant, HashChing, MoneyMe Financial Group

Best E-Commerce Startup: Koala MattressOther nominees:  Designerex, Hear Us Roar, Designbx, HART Home Decor

Best Co-working Space: FishburnersOther nominees: Tank Stream Labs, Hub Australia, Advance Queensland, TwoSpace

Best Bootstrapped Startup: iFlyFlatOther nominees: Chello, Task Pigeon, Sourcr, Invarosoft

Congratulations to all our nominees and winners! 

StartCon’s Pitch Competition proudly sponsored by myob, IBM, WooliesX and Freelancer 

StartCon 2017 hosted yet another pitch competition which remains the biggest in Australia. This competition gives one startup the chance to go to San Francisco to pitch in the World Cup, giving them $120,000 IBM credits to help along the way.

 The 2017 StartCon Pitch Competition Winners, Checkbox, with their trophy and prize
The 2017 StartCon Pitch Competition Winners, Checkbox, with their trophy and prize

Checkbox is all about transforming messy, unworkable regulation-based processes into understandable, human-friendly solutions in the cloud. They automate expert decision making and reporting and they are amazing! 

Founder, Evan Wong, took home the trophy and prize with his team. Checkbox received $120,000 IBM credits and an all expenses paid trip to San Francisco to represent Australia in the Startup World Cup. We are so excited to see how far they will go, no doubt our hopes are high!

Read more about Evan and

Freelancer Hackathon

Over the two day festival, 97 competitors across 24 teams competed in the Hackathon with the winning team Assetio, developing an automated approach to Facebook advertising. The team bagged $5,000 and Red Bull watches. Congratulations team! 

What a way to end the year and kick off the summer! We hope StartCon has inspired people to take the first step in making their startup dreams a reality. See you next year, we can’t wait to see new faces and new startups. The future is exciting!

About StartCon

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 since 2011. Around 5,000 tech startup professionals, investors and ecosystem participants have already experienced StartCon events. 

The StartCon conference, held December 1st & 2nd in 2017 at Royal Randwick Racecourse, attracted over 3,500 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. StartCon is returning in 2018 on November 30 & December 1st once again at Royal Randwick Racecourse

In 2018, StartCon continues to host monthly high quality events regularly at the offices in Sydney CBD. For further details see

About Freelancer ®

Ten-time Webby award-winning is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. More than 26 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,, the world’s largest Internet marketing community & marketplace and, 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.