The Sydney 2022 Visiting Entrepreneur Program is a must for all tech-savvy

The stage is set for one of the highlights of the year for Sydney’s startup ecosystem: the Visiting Entrepreneur Program 2022.

Global thinkers and local entrepreneurs will discuss how transformative technologies can tackle grand global challenges, in a series of 17 free events hosted by the City of Sydney, from June 22 to July 1.

Autonomous vehicles, decarbonization, future possibilities of the metaverse, cancer research, smart cities, synthetic biology and web3 are among the hot topics this year.

With a variety of in-person, online and hybrid events, the Visiting Entrepreneur program features 10 global experts over 10 days and is produced by the City of Sydney with partner organizations Tech Central and the Greater Cities Commission.

This year’s theme is ‘Future TBD’ (TBD) and the program kicks off with a launch event on Wednesday June 22 at The Grounds in Eveleigh, asking the question: ‘How can technology help shape a better future? ? »

The event includes a conversation with Mary Spio (streaming live from Miami), founder of CeekVR, a developer of blockchain-based content solutions and tools for delivering virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.

Speaking to Holly Ransom, CEO of leadership consultancy Emergent, Mary will dive deeper into what it means to go from dream from space to become a deep space engineer, to his current work creating breakthrough technologies in the film industry, NFTs, the metaverse and beyond.

A live panel discussion will follow with creative and technology entrepreneurs Tim Kentley Klay (HYPR), Grace Sai (Unravel Carbon) and Zareh Nalbandian (Animal Logic), who will talk about maintaining balance in the convergence of creativity and technology, from the next generation of AI creating vehicles that learn to drive, hope for a decarbonized future and more.

Mary Spio, CEO of CeekVR, which connects musical artists, athletes and digital content creators directly to their fans in virtual worlds. Picture: Provided.

Zareh Nalbandian

Zareh Nalbandian, co-founder and CEO of Animal Logic, has brought beloved animated characters from films such as Happy Feet, Peter Rabbit and The LEGO Movie Franchise to life. Picture: Provided.

The next 10 days of events will explore in more detail what the future could look like for cities, technology and innovation. Here are some highlights:

The metaverse and the web3

According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the metaverse’s global revenue opportunities could reach $800 billion by 2024. This means businesses and organizations need to understand what the metaverse is, how to enter it, and create long-term strategies to the future of the internet.

Guest entrepreneur Bell Beh, founder of metaverse startup BuzzAR in Singapore, will address these questions in two live talks: “Is the metaverse part of your reality?” and “Who rules the metaverse?”

Similarly, the global Web3 blockchain market is growing rapidly and is estimated to reach nearly US$88 billion by 2030.

Maria Shen, a partner at Electric Capital, a California-based venture capital firm that invests in blockchain technology startups, will livestream her ideas to web3 at an in-person event at Haymarket. She will also explore whether diversity is the key to unlocking the potential of web3 at a second online event.

The future of health technologies

California entrepreneur Cyriac Roeding carries the torch and mission of Earli, a technology company he co-founded with Dr. Sam Gambhir, who died of an unknown primary cancer in 2020.

Dr. Sam Gambhir has dedicated his life to finding new ways to detect serious diseases earlier – a core principle of Earli. Now, Cyriac and Earli’s team are developing a new technique using synthetic biomarkers to coerce cancer cells into producing a non-human substance to help reveal themselves, locate themselves, and ultimately destroy themselves. This will be explored in Cyriac’s discussion of whether biotechnology could cure cancer.

Meanwhile, Dr. Emily Leproust, founder of Twist Bioscience, a biotech company in San Francisco that manufactures synthetic DNA and DNA-based products, examines the latest innovations in synthetic biology and possible future applications, at a hybrid event in Sydney’s CBD.

Sustainability, climate and decarbonization

“I discovered that there are about 400 million companies in the world and only 10,000 have measured their carbon emissions,” says Grace Sai. “The industry is alphabet soup, there’s a lot of jargon and it’s expensive to hire consultants.”

To solve this problem, the tech entrepreneur co-founded Unravel Carbon, a Singapore-based enterprise software company that enables companies to track and reduce their carbon emissions in seconds.

Grace Sai, co-founder of Unravel Carbon.

Grace Sai, co-founder of Unravel Carbon. Picture: Provided.

Grace will present three talks, encompassing how technology can make cities more sustainable, how to accelerate Climate Tech and decarbonization.

“I always look at what the world will need for the next 20 to 30 years and ask myself ‘what is missing?’ “, she says. “If there is a white space that has not been served and you can uniquely serve it, this is a propulsive opportunity for you to create lasting legacy and impact.”

Funding and networking

Sydney’s startup ecosystem is booming. According to Startup Genome’s Global Ecosystem Startups Report 2021, he is worth A$24 billion.

But how do you take your startup from MVP to IPO?

Stephen Scheeler, CEO of Sydney-based Omniscient Neurotechnology, which builds digital brain maps, will explore with a panel discussion how early-career founders should approach creating, strategizing and scaling their their businesses.

Networking and collaboration are essential to the success of any tech business and the Visiting Entrepreneur Program offers plenty of opportunities for startups and investors to connect.

This includes the celebratory wrap-up event at Canva in Surry Hills where attendees can enjoy drinks and snacks after hearing from Tim Kentley Klay, co-founder of AI robotics company HYPR who sold his former autonomous mobility company Zoox at Amazon.

Tim will discuss what he sees as the next step on the innovation horizon and what it could mean for our shared future.

“You’re going to have a lot of people say, ‘This is crazy,'” Tim says. “You’re also going to have a few people say, ‘This makes sense to me – let’s work together’.”

Discover all Visiting Entrepreneur Program futuristic thinkers, global leaders and entrepreneurs who will discuss, debate, dream and demystify a future yet to be determined. Book your free tickets here.

The Visiting Entrepreneur Program is produced by the City of Sydney with partner organizations from the local startup ecosystem. The 2022 edition is kindly supported by Technical Center and the Major Cities Commission.


This article is brought to you by Startup Daily in partnership with the City of Sydney.

Ryan H. Bowman