The South Australian government has committed to funding the Adelaide-based startup festival Southstart for a further three years.
South Australia’s (SA) Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni announced on the last day of this years Southstart festival earlier this month that the funding would allow the festival to be run up to and including 2025.
The state government has provided $1 million in support to the festival since 2018. Funding goes towards event management logistics and operations, including funding expenditure, travel, and accommodation for speakers and presenters at the event.
The 2022 festival was hosted at and around the National Wine Centre in Adelaide and featured 74 speakers across ten different events. Among this year’s events was a full day-trip to a wine estate attended by 200 startup founders and investors.
Southstart co-director Danielle Seymour said there was a huge influx of visitors arriving from interstate this year.
“This year a large number of attendees, actually travelled to the event from outside of South Australia so that they could be a part of not only something special, but the only event of it’s kind in Australia right now,” Ms Seymour said.
“The creation of the full day Founders & Funders summit in the Barossa wine valley is just one example of the level of programming we can deliver when we have foundation support that is a long term commitment. Three-year funding from the state Government will enable us to continue to evolve.”
Minister Pisoni said investing in the festival would facilitate the growth of more innovative ideas and investment connections.
“The Marshall Government has transformed the innovation, startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem over the last four years, with SA now on the map attracting interest from national and global companies,” Mr Pisoni said.
Taking to Twitter, the minister said the government was proud to support Southstart and hoped the funding would ensure the event remains “a much-anticipated national convergence of ideas.”
Southstart co-director Craig Swann said: “Southstart is a gathering of curious, creative chaotic individuals stumbling through the world just trying to change the future. The cohort of attendees we have involved this week are testament to this. Collectively we can make a difference.”
“Despite the challenges presented in the unfolding national climate, we decided to power forward with the event, to do what we could to create human connections to new skills, networks and knowledge needed to embrace our collective future.”
The festival was founded in 2013 and markets itself not as a traditional conference, but as a “conversation with a series of networking forums curated across three days.”
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