StartCon Experience

My experience at “Australia’s Largest Startup and Growth Conference”

The last couple of weeks have been crazy coz I was cramming events and assignments for a totally productive and healthy lifestyle. 
For Friday and Saturday (22nd and 23rd Nov), I went to the StartCon. I really wanted to go to the event, but the tickets were priced at $99 for students. The last-minute tickets were at $499. Then I heard from someone that they were briefly selling the tickets for $1??
Such dynamic pricing dissuaded me from even considering the student-priced tickets. 
I figured I’d just wait for someone from Founders (UNSW) to offer tickets for free. They had the tickets as part of the pitching prize for Founders Launch. So, I was hoping to win the pitch just for that. Unfortunately, I did not win any of the four tickets so I kinda just accepted my fate. But just a day before StartCon, they announce that they had some tickets for anyone interested. I just jumped on it. 
So that’s the story of how I got my StartCon tickets. 
The conference itself was okay. I really didn’t know what to expect as an entrepreneur at the stalls. I just went around trying to spot familiar faces or any startups in the education sector. Being an expensive affair, not many startups get a stall (or that’s my thinking). Many are just services to help startups- legal, prototype development, and so on. 
The conferences have this format where events run in parallel and people can just choose which ones to go to. I find it annoying at times, but it worked well for me for this one. 
I attended this talk by With You With Me (WYWM), which is a startup that helps veterans gain employment. The talk was about how HR is often not familiar with the reality of the actual job. The title and job-description often give only part of the reality and don’t actually describe the work that the employee does. Also, academics are not up to date with the changing job market and take a while to catch-up. 
With You With Me
Another talk that I attended was by HubSpot Life about the future of work. The presenter talked about the growing trend of remote work. They also talked about culture transparency because websites like GlassDoor are not going to go away. 
HubSpot Life- Future of Work
On Saturday (day-2), I attended a talk about Marketing Hacks by Eric Siu. He was basically saying what Gary Vee says in Crushing It. Eric talked about updating old blog posts and titles to keep them up to date (which I took note of and would be working towards) and suggested several tools and websites to help with SEO and marketing. 
I couldn’t find anything more of interest on day-2 so after lunch with the Founders gang, I left. Also, I had assignments to complete so there was that. 
Would I be excited about next year’s StartCon? Probably not. Unless they get Elon or some others that I drool over. Although I did make some contacts and learnt some stuff, I have found other events especially those at Sydney Startup Hub, and at MCIC (UNSW) much more helpful and engaging. Reading books and articles has also helped a lot so I’d definitely recommend doing that (I’ll post a list of books that I have read or plan on reading in a blog post soon).

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