Music has the ARIAS, sports has the grand-finals and entrepreneurs? We have Myriad Festival.
Held in Brisbane over three exceptional days in May, Myriad Festival is a smorgasbord of opportunity for everyone in the innovator space, with a plane-load of entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley already planning to attend.
This renowned event isn’t limited to those in the big smoke, with several students and entrepreneurs from Townsville returning again this year.
Curating one of the Townsville groups is Joe Hoolahan from InnovationNQ (iNQ) – one of Townsville’s leading
“To be a part of it, you don’t have to be a startup business, you could be someone who is a terrific networker,” Joe says. “This year, iNQ is really trying to get together a good, tight group of ten or so who will not only think about their own business but also others. This way you broaden that network for the benefit of our community.”
Whilst getting our regional voice and businesses out into the spotlight is a huge bonus, there are also other ways that Myriad could benefit Townsville.
“The best thing we can learn from things like Myriad is to say, ‘do it in your own backyard’. If that can be incubated in our own region that’s going to be huge. Otherwise, we will see the continual drone of talent go to the cities,” says Joe. “Another part of it is also talent attraction. If we can get talent to North Queensland and show them that they’re not isolated because there’s a whole community building around entrepreneurs then that’s a big step in the right direction.”
Helping to gather talent for iNQ is Myles Coker, GHD’s Partnerships Manager for Innovation Programs and Chair of I-TAP NQ.
“For businesses like GHD, going to Myriad provides an opportunity to connect with new and emerging businesses and technology. It inspires us to consider what we can adopt in our practices to advance our own business and discover where new value lies with customers and suppliers.” Myles says. “For an entrepreneur, startup or enterprise, there is a greater density of opportunities at Myriad. The amount of businesses and potential investors that will be brought together in a condensed venue and time frame allows for connections that normally wouldn’t be made. So whether they’re overseas or local, the right people will be there to make new possibilities happen.”
It’s not just participants from iNQ who will get a chance to enjoy Myriad either, with Dr Ryl Harrison, Strategic Policy Adviser at James Cook University Townsville, hoping another group of students will get the opportunity to go down to Brisbane this year.
Ryl also addresses some of the most common misconceptions about attending the event.
“What’s really important is you don’t have to already know a lot or have an amazing startup idea. It’s about having a look at what’s out there and seeing where you fit in. There’s a stereotype that this is for techie guys and that you have to be good at computers but that’s not correct. The entrepreneurs and innovators that we met at the festival have had diverse and multidisciplinary ideas inform their work, and all the most successful teams do. So you need people from all different backgrounds, disciplines and cultures so that you get a better product and a better team,” Ryl says.
“On top of that, people are friendly. They’re interested in you. Some undergraduate students might think that they don’t know enough yet, but when you’re at Myriad, everybody is interested in what your experience and unique perspective is. So even famous entrepreneurs are looking for students. They are talent mining, in a way, because they might have been successful for 20 years but they want to meet people who think about things in a different way. That’s really confidence building for students,” Ryl adds.
With both the schedule and venue packed with interesting people, businesses and events this is certainly going to be an event that attendees will remember.