“MY NAME is Lachlan and I’m an entrepreneur.”
Friday night’s Seachange Startup Camp began like a support meeting – Reposit Power co-founder Lachlan Blackhall’s suggestive phrase repeated later by event emcee Marc Englaro.
“And it is a support group in a way, but not one where we try to get you off something,” Mr Englaro said to the gathered crowd at the Pambula Surf Life Saving Club.
The “camp” saw around 50 budding entrepreneurs, business mentors and IT devotees join forces to develop and pitch startup ideas in a short timeframe.
Before the laptops came out and brainstorming began, those in attendance were treated to inspirational talks from successful startup entrepreneurs Mr Blackhall and Craig Davis, chief executive of Lighthouse Innovations Anna Pino, Bega Valley Shire Council general manager Leanne Barnes, and former secretary of Australia’s Department of the Treasury Ken Henry.
Dr Henry said it would be the people in the room who would have a role in solving the world’s problems.
“Governments aren’t going to solve the problems, because of, let’s face it, a lack of interest,” he said to laughter around the room.
“Some innovations that change the world, you can’t see where it came from.
“The Apple Watch for example, can hardly be described as being created by necessity.
“Then again, I said the same of a tablet when I first saw one – now my job is impossible without an iPad.
“The innovations of the future will be responses to problems identified by you,” he said.
“Every problem presents and opportunity.
“Spot those opportunities and make something of them.”
Ms Barnes assured budding entrepreneurs that as councils looked to work in different ways, local government would be one of their best customers of tech-inspired innovations.
“This camp is extremely important as the Bega Valley moves forward and I’m inspired by your passion,” Ms Barnes said.
“We need to get people thinking ‘we can do this, we can take on new ideas’.
“Doing things in different ways will be better than costly printed paraphernalia that sits on the shelves of information centres that people don’t visit anymore.
“We need to make sure we have the capacities – like the NBN – and councils can move away from just ‘roads and rubbish’.
“Let’s see your passions move right through to becoming a reality.”
- MORE TO COME