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Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival 2018

Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival 2018 – Maxsum’s highlights.

The Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival was presented as part of the 2018 Digital Innovation Festival program of events.

September 2018 saw Innovation come to town, as the vanguards of Regional Victoria’s innovation ecosystem amassed in Bendigo for the Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival (#BIIF). Kicking off a week-long series of events was the Day 1 symposiums that saw representatives from across government, private and education sectors, innovation thought leaders, entrepreneurs and start-up founders come together for a full-day of innovation in all its imaginative and inspirational guises.

Maxsum was proud to feature as both a session presenter and stage host over the course of the Monday symposium. If you follow what we do at Maxsum, you’ll know we talk a lot about innovation and so we were more than excited to revel in all the great content on offer during the day.

Here are our top takeaways from the sessions we attended over what was an amazing day of all things innovation and change.

2018 Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival Opening Keynote

One of the many insightful takeaways we gained from the ever-engaging Andrew Jones during his opening keynote was about shifting the focus on what we are aiming to deliver through innovation. We loved this message of keeping the customer at the centre of it all and moving innovation from the traditional quality, cost and delivery drivers towards an end-user focus that prioritises:

  • Performance
  • Flexibility
  • Functionality
  • User experience
  • Connectivity
  • Simplicity

Panel Sessions We Loved!

The Role of Government in Innovation, Smarter Regional Areas and The Regional Innovation Experience Panels

A stellar panel of regional public, private and education sector leaders and commentators left us with their vision for the role government and private-public sector partnerships should play in supporting innovation. Ideas and discussions raised some pretty clear mandates, including having our government-private-education sectors work together to:

  • Manage risk factors and support agencies and the private sector with change management and skills-building.
  • Encourage and support a vibrant start-up and innovation ecosystem
  • Create regional areas that attract and grow talent, and retain it!
  • Invest in using data better and providing channels for experts to advise and nurture investment opportunities.
  • Refresh the way we talk about innovation to refocus the discussion on “problem solving”
  • Maintain how regulation keeps pace with disruptive technology: balancing the protection of public interest but not limiting innovation by overregulation

Founder Panel: Feats and Failures

Ever thought about launching a start-up? Here’s what some of our most successful regional entrepreneurs shared about their start-up experience.

Q: How did you get started?

A: By starting conversations, testing, and selling

Q: What’s the one thing you wish you had done earlier?

A: Collaborate more openly with other organisations and test assumptions

Q: What the experience of launching a start-up in a regional area?

A: Need to actively seek out support that may not be locally available, as sourcing resources and opportunities is more difficult in regional and rural areas.

Q: How did you know when to go full time in the business?

A: After coming to realise that you can’t start making money without a dedicated and intentional focus.

Q: What did you sacrifice to start?

A: Time, sleep, TV, money, workplace socialising, regular pay, holidays!

Q: What’s been unexpectedly new that you’d hate to give up?

A: Identity within the business, Creativity allowed in start ups, Freedom and responsibility, Seeing plans come to fruition

Presentation Sessions We Loved!

Newsflash: Disruption vs. Innovation: Maxsum’s own Rebecca Ciancio talked about why you won’t succeed in changing anything, much less succeed in disruptive innovation, without building a culture of change in your organisation and nurturing your change champions to support and drive it!

Where Will Tomorrow’s Opportunities Come From: Bec Kempster from the Churchill Club ran us through an amazing cross-section of opportunities that spanned almost every industry sector! What a way to broaden our focus and look ahead to what adjacent business sectors might be doing!

Towards Conversational AI: Founders of Pat Inc John Ball and Beth Carey took us through a demo of what they are working on to change the way we interact with machines and create real conversations of the future. Great to see what might what lie behind our digital assistants, chatbot and robot technology of the future.

So that’s our wrap-up – just a few of our favourites, but there were tons of great takeaways from the day.

Now, in the words of the our keynote speaker – Go Innovate!

Want to read more about Maxsum’s take on innovation?

Check out our 2018 whitepaper: Forging Our Digital Future.

Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival - Forging our digital future whitepaper 2018