Adelaide will be abuzz with entrepreneurial activity this week as it plays host to a raft of events that will be showcasing how alive the spirit of innovation is in South Australia.
Entrepreneurs’ Week 2015, which starts on February 2, has been developed as a collaboration between the Adelaide Entrepreneurship Forum, Brand South Australia, Adelaide City Council, State Government and a broad range of stakeholders who are hosting events throughout the week.
It aims to shine a light on Adelaide’s opportunity-rich environment, the support programs available to entrepreneurs and success stories from the thriving start-up community there.
Why is Adelaide great for entrepreneurship?
Paul Daly, Convenor of the Adelaide Entrepreneurship Forum, has been a prominent figure in the recent growth of entrepreneurial support in South Australia.
“Adelaide has a hyper-networked business community and is a great size for emerging businesses. But what is really compelling about Adelaide is the sheer number and scope of programs that exist to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses,” he remarked.
Paul pointed out that there are 95 programs available to South Australian entrepreneurs – a few driven by government, others by universities and many by entrepreneurs themselves.
These include accelerator programs to help bring new products to market, co-working spaces that encourage collaboration and business support to help grow new businesses.
“This represents an unparalleled level of backing from government and industry within Australia – all targeted at encouraging, nurturing and marketing new business ventures.”
“Entrepreneurship is thriving in Adelaide, which is a very good sign for the economy.”
Adelaide has also been recognised internationally as a leader in support for entrepreneurs.
At the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance’s 2014 summit, Adelaide was identified as the Australian benchmark for the coordinated support of entrepreneurship.
Adelaide is home to many new tech businesses taking the country, and the world, by storm.
These include TalkLife, a social media platform for people with mental health issues, Convergen, which uses special and 3D effects to create visualisations of future infrastructure projects, and ODD Games, a video game development company.
The story behind one of Adelaide’s start-up successes
According to ODD Games Managing Director Ben Marsh, it was the support of the Adelaide entrepreneurial community that brought his company into existence.
“ODD Games started life as a childhood dream of Terry O’Donoghue, a gifted artist who convinced his programmer brother, David, to help him build a Monster Truck game.”
“But they needed a business plan, so they took their idea to MEGA, a start-up pre- accelerator program, which is where I met them.”
“I still vividly remember watching Terry and David deliver their pitch. I knew that I wanted to be a part of the journey, so we made it happen.”
He revealed that their first title, Monster Truck Destruction, had over 12 million downloads. They launched in 2012 and have doubled revenue each year since.
ODD Games now has eight employees and Ben says their vision is to reach $20 million in revenue in the next three-to-five years.
“For any aspiring business starter there is a lot of support in Adelaide, ranging from accelerator and mentoring programs, our community-based Business Enterprise Centres, co-working spaces like Hub Adelaide, and conferences such as SouthStart,” he pointed out.
“If you have a business idea, anything is possible, and it can all be done from Adelaide.”
The events staged in Adelaide during Entrepreneurs’ Week include the Future Laboratory Trend Briefing 2015, SouthStart, a Microsoft development camp and the D3 Digital Challenges Pitch Night. You can check out the full list of events here.