A new tech conference focusing on the Internet of Things wants attendees to walk away with practical connections and investment opportunities, not just new knowledge.
The Future Assembly festival, taking place in Melbourne in November, will be focusing on emergent technology and has already attracted some big names, with the likes of Tesla, Pozible and PwC presenting across the weekend.
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The festival will include “speed dating-like” events to help match entrepreneurs with potential investors, Future Assembly co-founder Brendan White says.
“We want to make it really holistic and fun, and allow people to take a lot away from the event,” White says.
“It’s aimed at those already within the startup community, those that have a vision to do something or help create that future.”
A focus on the Internet of Things
The conference will encompass nine core themes including robotics, sustainability and health and science, but White says the Internet of Things will be the core focus.
The IoT industry is set to boom in Australia and across the world, with a recent study estimating the market will grow by 11 times to be worth $3.2 billion by 2019. There are a number of Aussie startups looking to capitalise on this, including home energy tracking service carbonTRACK, LEAPIN Digital Keys, and home security startup Homeboy.
White says it’s ultimately all about helping and promoting Australia’s tech startup scene.
“Melbourne is a breeding ground for startups, and we want to celebrate that scene. Everyone has a part to play in making Australia a startup hub,” White says.
“Inspiration is a huge thing for us, there’s an element of discovery and exploring. The only reason it exists is to create value for attendees and exhibitors.”
Standing out from the pack
There are already numerous tech conferences and events in Australia, and White wants Future Assembly to find its own niche.
“We want it to be as personal as possible, to be a strong experience with lots of takeaways,” White says.
Those takeaways will be practical, actionable lessons for startups and are the conference’s key focus, co-founder Paul Scarf says.
“We found with other types of startup festivals, startups in alpha or beta phase don’t really walk out with anything,” he says.
“We want it to be a valuable experience for these companies, for them to meet someone and secure funding the future.
“We went to a mix of all the festivals worldwide and tried to digest all the good and bad bits to really make something special, to take everything we would want and transform this industry.”
Future Assembly already has 15 exhibitors on board, and hopes to have 48 in total. It will take place on 13-14 November and early-bird tickets are available now for $60.