Spark Festival 2021

Looking to start or grow a business? Need to learn the tools and tips for thriving in the digital economy? Want to tap into the exciting world of startups? Spark Festival is now underway and welcomes everyone to join Australia’s largest event for startups, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Whether you are just getting started, or going global, there’s something on the program for you as well as a chance to connect with entrepreneurs, investors, inventors, innovators, students and executive.

Spark’s mission is to drive prosperity for all Australians via the growth of thriving new economy businesses. Its diverse community of startups, investors, SMEs, big corporates and innovators will be sharing their experiences online until Thursday 28 October 2021.

Be part of Spark Festival to get inspired, make connections with impact and learn the tools and techniques of the new economy.

Upcoming highlights

The #SparkFestAU2021 program covers topics from Fintech to Social Enterprise, AI to Blockchain, STEM, HealthTech to VR and everything in between. Startups are emerging out of university research projects from all over Australia. If you’re a researcher or student looking to dip your toes into the exciting world of growing a startup around your work, find out what it’s all about by attending Spark!

New Futures Hackathon for Water Security

New Futures Hackathon for Water Security will bring together multidisciplinary minds to explore the barriers around water use, pollution and disaster and generate solutions to build a sustainable world. Meet new people, be exposed to fresh ideas, learn new skills and build creative, original work. 5.30 pm, 15-16 October 2021.

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Future-proof Your Career – and Your Organisation

The workplace is in a constant state of change and future-proofing your career and organisation have never been more pertinent. Now is the time to embrace this unique opportunity and build a culture of knowledge, innovation and change, while also taking advantage of this time to develop skills in diverse and emerging fields. However, skills development is not one-size-fits-all, so how do we collectively prepare for the future? Join the conversation to discuss challenges and opportunities. 12.30 pm, Thursday 21 October 2021.

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Quantum and the future of cyber security

Learn about the successful startup journey of quantum cybersecurity company QuintessenceLabs (QLabs) from Co-founder & CEO Dr Vikram Sharma. As quantum technology rapidly moves from the research lab to the real world, our networks, systems and data will become increasingly vulnerable to more sophisticated cyber attacks. However, quantum can also be used to deliver revolutionary cybersecurity technologies. 11.30, 20 October 2021.

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The STEAM Room

The STEAM Room is a professional event designed to explore the unique challenges that founders of Queensland-based STEAM organisations face when delivering products or services across diverse sectors. Recognising the value in sharing first-hand knowledge, experiences and connections (including across different specialities), attendees will have the opportunity to participate in collaborative peer-to-peer learning, strengthen their professional networks, and to brainstorm solutions to sector-specific issues. To increase engagement and facilitate discussion, the event will also host digital or physical experiential installations created by local STEAM businesses. The STEAM Room forms part of the Spark Festival 2021 programming and will be offered both virtually and in-person. 3-6pm, 26 October 2021.

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Hello from year 2050

Join a fireside chat with Sally-Ann Williams, Cicada Innovations and Courtney Hohne, Chief Storyteller for X: The Moonshot Factory, the radical innovation lab at Google parent company Alphabet). Together they will discuss the many ‘moonshots’ we’ll need to take together to tackle the seemingly impossible challenge of climate change. How can we balance optimism and hope in order to make transformational change, while facing setbacks, curveballs, and outright failures along the way?

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Brilliant business kids

The National Brilliant Business Kids Festival is an annual nationwide event that celebrates the innovative and creative initiatives high school students from all over Australia are creating. In 2021, these students are tackling the disruption to “business as usual” head-on by developing solutions to challenges in their local communities and the world in ways that meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more

Find more research startup events here and browse the program at