Blackbird Sunrise & Startmate Demo Day 2024

Blackbird Sunrise & Startmate Demo Day 2024


May 28, 2024

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HTK Startup kicked off 1-3 May with the annual Blackbird Sunrise conference and the sold out Startmate Demo Day.

A small co-hort of HTK Startup staff attended the anticipated event that hosts the epicentre of connection, community and content for the Australian tech and startup ecosystem. A jam packed three days, three stages, over 50 speakers and 30 plus sessions travellers were treated to a treasure trove of practical tools and insights across the industry. From tactical sessions on successful frameworks, to heated and scrutinised debates on models and investment methodologies. 

NZTE Kiyo Tahana Tippet was intrigued by the sharing of ideas, celebrating innovation and particularly around the perspectives on success.

“One thing that stood out for me was the debate on the aptly named collision stage. Investment success is more dependent on luck than skill. Both sides had valid points. It’s true that yes a lot of founders have succeeded from luck but a whole lot of them have been unlucky, but they’ve used skill and persistence to keep going.”

The exceptional key takeaway was the myriad of opportunities of expanding your network. Face-to-face catchups which would have been missed opportunities in other industry conferences, but with the Sunrise festival app Brello which used AI to help guests connect and set up 15-minute meetings and exchange messages. Blackbird coins this festival and it’s line up as their “love letter” to startups and the people who build them, where ideas collide and a place to be immersed in community. 

Startmate Financial Manager Akshat Pande amplifies the necessity of community to help accelerate success, and the benefits of participating in like-minded communities.

“I’ve been an auditor in the past, and one of the techniques we use is the 5 why’s, where you ask yourself 5 times – why? It helps you drill down to the root cause. Community is a great way to solve these common problems. You get a bunch of people in a room who believe in themselves and it’s contagious. At the start you are bringing these ideas to life and what I love about this community is that by default, everyone is optimistic, and that’s something that is very powerful!”

Sponsors NSW Government played an active role in proudly supporting initiatives to create a thriving innovation ecosystem. They also have an international launching pad available for international tech companies scaling into Australia. Companies can access free co-working accommodation for up to 4 months to support them to establish their ventures successfully in NSW. Find out more here.

After a full day of technology, startup and innovation programming on day 1 this year’s sunrise saw the debut of Moonrise, an after-dark cultural counterpart and brand-new part program inclusion. Igniting a vibrant world of music, art, and captivating performances.

With 1000 plus seats sold for the anticipated Startmate Demo Day featuring 10 startups, 20 founders and a thrilling after party. Travellers got to hear pitches from AI-powered co-pilots for allied health, next gen wireless charging technology and real-time data on critical infrastructure like train lines. The line up also featured Christchurch based company Kiwi Fibre with their regenerative-fibre composite material made from New Zealand’s native plant harakeke – solving technical and ecological problems of global industries. See Demo Day reel and find out how to connect with the founders that featured at Demo Day here.

Want to know if your startup can make a global impact like the ones listed above? Find out more at our Launch Club Aotearoa programme in partnership with Startmate here.


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