Join the Applied Technology Startup Revolution

Is our app obsession over? Take a look at how the next generation of startups are moving beyond app development to make an impact in the real world.

At this year’s Melbourne Knowledge Week, join Space Tank Studio founder, Holger Dielenberg and an esteemed panel of industry experts to gain insights into how legacy industries like health, manufacturing and energy are being transformed by Applied Technologies.

Panelists are: Trena Blair – FD Global Connections, Alex Kingsbury – Additive Economics, Philippe Guichard – D2 Innovation and Maggie Mee – Connect Invest Global.

The Third Wave of the technology revolution is matching innovation with physical outputs and products that can enhance and change our lives. Hear about new growth opportunities in the Applied Technology sector and how Australia must accelerate its transformation into a knowledge economy to compete, and win, on the global stage.

Technology has embedded itself in our lives via physical hardware and wireless software. Renewable energy sources, simple to use advanced manufacturing and software apps are connecting everything. This has set the stage for a new kind of Applied Technology Startup as well as a new kind of investment. Read more about Victoria’s Applied Technology opportunity here.

‘Making it’ in Australia is more important now that we have lost low level manufacturing.

Fortunately by their sheer numbers, agility and tech proficiency, Applied Technology Startups will lead the race in future product development. The challenge is to link entrepreneurial innovators with our legacy industries.

Today the terms App and Startup are synonymous. The App revolution has spread from Silicon Valley to almost every corner of the world with notable cities like Tel Aviv becoming hot spots for development. But – as the underlying communications technology ripens and the App market becomes saturated, a new narrative is emerging.

App download decline has been reported and argued since 2016 with popular headlines like, “Have we reached Peak App”, “The App Boom is over” and how “App Overload” is becoming a problem for our work and private lives.

It’s also been a question on investor’s minds. The narrative is that consumers already have all the Apps they need and the biggest internet players have risen to dominate a maturing market. This signals a turning point.

If you’re wondering what’s next? What should I invest in now? Think about it like this, ‘App’ stands for appetizer…. this is just the beginning!

Price and learning barriers continue to drop for communications technology, design software, rapid prototyping and advanced manufacturing and this means new development of physical products will become driven by startups. This will lead to an explosion of growth for legacy industries and new investment opportunities.

If you’re after new opportunities and inspiration, look at how technologies can be applied to things and lives. For example in the mobility/transportation market and health/medical sector, merging binary with physical will lead to huge investment returns.

Victoria has mature legacy industry strengths that can support startup expansion into medical, health, construction, food and agriculture, sports and leisure, sustainable energy and mobility sectors. We have a strong finance and business support industry that can nurture young players. These sectors are the foundation for our design economy and they hold great opportunities for startups.

For many startups who are developing Applied Technology products, America and Asia are still the places to go to seek investors who will support them – adding to our brain drain. Unfortunately we tend to celebrate that. Instead we should be finding a way to encourage local investment to help keep our brains on-shore!

Australia is at an investment and industry crossroads. We sit in between a Holes and Homes economy and a Design economy. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to transition from an economy based on resources, primary industries and domestically focused businesses to one based on high-growth knowledge-intensive businesses that can compete globally in an increasingly technology-driven world – The real risk is that without sustained, ambitious, targeted support for the growth of new-economy businesses, Australia will experience the disruptive elements of rapid technology adoption without realising its share of the benefits.” 1.

“Melbourne is one of the few places in the world that covers the entire manufacturing spectrum, from research and engineering to design and production. Melbourne’s advanced manufacturing expertise spans design, composite materials, material handling, software development, additive processes, automated systems and advanced electronics and machinery.” 2.

The challenge is to unlock these capabilities and link them with our emerging innovators and entrepreneurs.

This Melbourne Knowledge Week panel discussion aims to shed light on the 50% of our total startup population who operate within Applied Technology fields and demonstrate how investment and supportive infrastructure can help align our legacy industry strengths with startup activity.

Register for “Join the Applied Technology Revolution” panel discussion here.

  1. https://startupaus.org/document/crossroads-2017
  2. Invest Victoria’s 2017 Advanced Manufacturing Report p.4