Australia’s biggest startup conference reveals its first speakers

Australia’s biggest startup conference has announced its first speakers from global startups including SurveyMonkey and 500 Startups.

StartCon, which is run by Freelancer, will be flying the big names to Sydney for the conference in November, which will be held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse after an unsuccessful attempt to relocate the event to Melbourne this year.

The organisers seemed to have learnt from last year, when the event was heavily criticised for announcing a first batch of speakers that were entirely male.

This time round, the first six speakers are an even split of men and women.

The speakers focus on growth marketing and include vice president of growth at SurveyMonkey Elena Verna, BitTorrent senior product manager Annabell Satterfield and hacker in residence at 500 Startups Chandini Ammineni.

The two-day conference can now accommodate 3000 attendees, with the first day focusing on startups and the second turning to growth marketing.

The lineup of speakers is a “clear indication of the quality this year”, senior VP of growth at Freelancer Willix Halim says.

“I’m really excited about the unique content they will be bringing to the state,” Halim says.

StartCon will also feature a pitch competition, a ‘capture the flag’ network security challenge and a hackathon across the two days.

Freelance chief executive Matt Barrie says 2016 is set to be the best year yet for the conference formerly known as SydStart.

“StartCon 2016 will be bigger and better than ever – more speakers, more actionable insights, more events,” Barrie says.

“This is a conference that will help you take your venture to the next level. You will take home learnings that you will treasure for years.”

It was announced last year that the conference would be relocating to Melbourne thanks to $1 million in government funding, but earlier this month Freelancer revealed that it was staying put in Sydney for the time being.

Early-bird passes for StartCon are now available for $399.

The first round of speakers for StartCon 2016:

  • Elena Verna – VP growth at SurveyMonkey
  • Nate Moch – VP product teams and growth at Zillow
  • Anum Hussain – senior growth marketer at Hubspot
  • Chandini Ammineni – hacker in residence and distribution partner at 500 Startups
  • Annabell Satterfield – senior product manager growth at BitTorrent
  • Ben Sand – co-founder of META

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