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17 seriously cool (and free!) tech talks from the City of Sydney’s visiting entrepreneur program


Leading global thinkers and local innovators will put their heads together to debate what the future might look like for cities, technology and innovation from next week as part of the City of Sydney’s annual visiting entrepreneur program.

The 10-day program, titled A Future TBD, kicks off on June 22, and features 11 future technology thinkers in 17 free events to discuss a future to be determined – from autonomous vehicles, decarbonisation and creative experiences, to future possibilities of the metaverse, cancer research and global health game changers.

Tech Central executive director Annie Parker said it was wonderful to see so many entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds included in the visiting entrepreneur program.

Tim Kentley Klay, co-founder HYPR and Zoox

“I’m so excited about this year’s visiting entrepreneur program – there is such an incredible line-up of talent being hosted across Tech Central and the broader city,” she said.

“It’s that diversity of thought and experience that I’m sure will inspire the next generation of founders here in Sydney.”

The visiting entrepreneur program, A Future TBD, runs from June 22 to July 1 and includes Tim Kentley Klay, co-founder HYPR and Zoox, Grace Sai, co-founder Unravel Carbon, Bell Beh, co-founder BuzzAR and Zareh Nalbandian, co-founder of Animal Logic.

The events are:

Future TBD: How is technology shaping a better future?

June 28, 8.30-10.30am, The Ground of South Eveleigh

Mary Spio, founder of CeekVR, will join by video link from Miami for a lively discussion with a panel of experts about maintaining balance in the convergence of creativity and technology, next generation AI creating vehicles that teach themselves to drive, the hope for a decarbonised future and more.

Is Web3 eating the world?

June 23, 8-9:30am, Haymarket HQ, Dixon Street

Web3 changes everything, so how can startups and investors keep up? Join an exclusive breakfast chat with Maria Shen, partner at Electric Capital, live from San Francisco as she shares insights and stories from her experience as an investor.

Is Australia missing the immersive experience revolution?

June 23, 5:30-7:30pm, Powerhouse Museum

Why is Australia lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to immersive experiences, and how do we create real change?

This discussion will be kick-started by Zareh Nalbandian, co-founder and CEO of Animal Logic. Zareh’s leadership has created seminal feature animations and visual effects for over 30 years.

Lessons for our future: how to accelerate climate-tech?

June 23, 6-9pm, KPMG, Barnagaroo

Renowned investor and entrepreneur Grace Sai put Ampol, the NSW Government and their current climate initiatives under the microscope.

Grace will draw on her experience with the Singapore startup ecosystem – rated 14th in the world – to dissect how the Australian energy giant Ampol and the state government can better support climate-tech startups in commercialisation and growth.

What if biotechnology could cure cancer?

June 24, 7:45-9:30am, Cicada Innovations, Eveleigh

Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations, and Cyriac Roeding, co-founder and CEO of Earli, will discuss how biotechnology could transform cancer detection and treatment in the future.

Cyriac will join the event virtually from California, along with three successful local biotech startups who will present their innovations. At the end of the event, attendees will have a chance to network with the broader deep-tech and health tech community.

MVP to IPO: How do you take your startup to the next level?

June 24, 5- 7pm – Folklore Ventures, Redfern

A panel of experts, including Stephen Scheeler, CEO and managing director of Omniscient Neurotechnology, Alister Coleman, founder and managing partner of Folklore Ventures and Lauren Sneddon, head of marketing at Lived, will discuss how early-stage founders should approach building, strategising and scaling their companies. Topics include acquiring your first 100 paying customers, building scalable strategies and attracting the right talent.

Smart Cities: Can technology make them sustainable?

June 24, 12-2pm, Stone & Chalk, York Street, Sydney

Can technology transform smart tech cities for tomorrow? A panel discussion will highlight the role climate technologies have in transforming our cities.

What will power and connect us in the future? What is really going to work and what needs to be debunked so we focus on the vision and future while we transform Australia into a sustainable technology-driven economy?

How to lead meaningfully in these uncertain times

June 27, 10-11am, Fishburners, York Street, Sydney

Stephen Scheeler, CEO and managing director of Omniscient Neurotechnology, will join as the keynote speaker at this hybrid event hosted by Fishburners. The event will discuss how to implement effective leadership in an uncertain world – a timely and relevant topic for discussion for a diversity of leaders across the startup, corporate and government sectors.

Why is place so important to innovation systems?

June 27, 5-6.30pm, The Quantum Terminal, Central Station

A panel of representatives from leading innovation precincts will discuss how place has a critical role in influencing the development of innovation ecosystems.

The people, businesses, economic profile, culture, history and aspirations for the future all play a part in making each innovation ecosystem different from the next.

Is diversity the key to unlocking the potential of Web3?

June 28, 9-10am, online

Maria Shen will be joined by a panel of prominent Australian women making their mark in Web3 to discuss their stories and insights. Web3 is an inspiring vision for a new iteration of the internet.

 

Is the metaverse part of your reality?

June 28, 6- 7.30pm, EY, Sydney

This panel discussion will look at all things metaverse – from what it is and how it works, to how it is being used in the real and virtual worlds and the implications for the individual, society and organisations. The session will also explore real life case studies as well as risks and opportunities.

The power of nature + human ingenuity = shaping our future?

June 29, 4-5.30pm, Taronga Zoo

How can we combine the power of nature and human ingenuity to create a flourishing future for all?

Join a panel of successful entrepreneurs who have breathed life into world-changing ideas for a conversation at Taronga Zoo around the kind of world we want to shape, and the role that everyone can play in shaping that future.

The future is now: where is synthetic biology taking us?

June 29, 5.30-7pm, Hall Chadwick, Sydney

Synthetic biology is already transforming how we grow food, what we eat, and how we create medicines. With the Australian industry in its infancy, what can we learn from abroad about this brave new world we are entering? Be part of an insightful conversation about this new frontier of innovation that the CSIRO predicts will be worth over $27 billion annually by 2040.

Travel guide to decarbonisation: How do we get there?

June 30, 9-10am, online

Visiting entrepreneur Grace Sai will discuss her entrepreneurial journey and transition to the decarbonisation space.

Other international entrepreneurs will join for a panel discussion providing advice about how we can join them on this journey, with a particular focus on women entrepreneurs.

Quantum in space: Will it conquer the final frontier?

June 30, 5-6pm – The Quantum Terminal, Central Station, Sydney

Where are the opportunities for quantum technology and entrepreneurs?

This panel discussion, hosted by Sydney Quantum Academy, will bring together the innovators applying quantum to some of our biggest space challenges, from delivering secure space-to-earth communications to navigation across vast, unknown distances.

Who rules in the metaverse?

June 30, 5-7pm, UTS Startups, 3 Broadway, Ultimo

How are we considering the values, ethics and even laws of the new worlds in the metaverse? This panel discussion will feature UTS Startups, UTS Graduate Research School, Sydney Knowledge Hub and visiting entrepreneur Bell Beh – CEO and Co-Founder, BuzzAR.

What’s next in a future TBD?

1 July – 4.30-6.30pm, Canva, Surry Hills

Join visiting entrepreneur Tim Kentley Klay as he sits down with Holly Ransom, CEO of Emergent, to explore frontier technology, how he navigates an ever-evolving landscape, what he sees as next on the innovation horizon and what it could mean for our shared future. Tim will also discuss Zoox, the autonomous mobility company he founded that was acquired by Amazon.





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