Over ten years ago – when the GFC was looming and the Federal Government’s support for innovation was ‘under review’ – Tech23 was born. At the time, Cicada was the main game in town, Sydney Angels was just forming, and the University of Sydney’s Incubate and the University of Melbourne’s MAP were still a few years away from being established.
We saw great examples of local innovation every day and, motivated by the belief that these ideas deserved more attention, we created Tech23! The idea was simple. We wanted to showcase the best examples of how we, as Australians, were chipping away at wicked problems with clever tech. Deeptech was not what we called it then – actually we nicknamed it “ugly tech” and boasted it would “hurt your head”! The team at Slatterys was always passionate about showcasing companies that were tackling big problems and planning to make a contribution to our planet.
At Slatterys, we believe that what we do really matters. Good events, at their very heart, are all about making useful connections. And why does that matter for deeptech? Because deeptech takes time and the founders need a community of investors, customers, advocates, supporters and investors to help bring about real impact. At Tech23, we aim to bring this magic mix to life!
Deeptech startups are hard work and take time. Most of them begin with a relationship with publicly funded R&D organisations. Over the years many of the +250 stories shared by founders at Tech23 are about how to make real impact – improving our health and well-being (Inventia, Presagen, ResApp); increasing food security (AgWorld, AgriDigital, AgriWebb, Flurosat); bringing about quality education (Practera, Smart Sparrow) reducing our footprint (BuildingIQ, Gelion, Redback) while others are about transforming industry (Fleet, MorseMicro, Myriota).
We wanted to showcase the best examples of how we, as Australians, were chipping away at wicked problems with clever tech.
Deeptech is still a fledgling sector in Australia. Investors who are willing to bet on long-term, high-risk businesses are hard to find. And the government seems yet to fully realise the pivotal role they play. The amazing economist, Mariana Mazzucato has been shedding a light on the role government plays in leading the way. In her 2013 book The Entrepreneurial State she says:
“Without the massive amount of public investment behind the computer and internet revolutions, such attributes might have led only to the invention of a new toy.”
Read more about Mariana here >
Cue The Tech23 Deeptech Festival 2020 – a smorgasbord of online, distributed and face-to-face events designed to create opportunities to connect, collaborate and give Australian innovation it’s worthy place in the domestic market – and on the world stage!
Since 2009, Tech23 has unlocked new ways of working by joining the dots between enterprise and clever tech. Tech23 seeks to call on the best sides of our natures – encouraging the deeptech ecosystem to collaborate; learn and respond – leveraging a wealth of talents, contacts and knowledge.
If our story is to be green, if it is to be sustainable, if it is to be equitable - we need game-changing tech companies. We need the research, the organisations that create and nurture these companies, the founders who lead them, the supporters that invest in them...