Creative³ Forum by QUT Creative Enterprise

Zombies. Virtual Reality. Startups. Robots. Gamechangers. Disruptors. This is Creative³.

Thanks to QUT Business School, I received a full bursary to attend the event on Friday 22 September 2017; the conference (or rather, forum!) was my first professional foray into the world of exciting, innovative technologies and an excellent introduction at that.

The company describes it best in their own words. “Creative³ is the only event of its kind in Australia, featuring a series of dynamic presentations from the world’s leading creative game changers and entrepreneurs offering real-world insights into creativity, investment, and enterprise.”

Organised by the ‘QUT Creative Enterprise Australia’, the forum acts to help start, grow or innovate creative businesses focused on design, fashion, entertainment, photography, music, digital technology and games.

Many of the attendees were founders, investors, and entrepreneurs who use the event as an opportunity to network with other successful and growing startup founders; they learn more about the technological trends disrupting their industries and seek initiative on how to grow and advance their startup to change how we perceive technology.

I attended this conference not as a startup founder or investor, but as a student, as a creative and as an entrepreneur. Through studying Business (Marketing) and Interactive & Visual Design, my interests lie within technology, design and digital marketing. I was able to take on my role as spectator and take in the energy, learn from the conversations and feast off of the creative talent that burst out of the Brisbane Convention Centre.

Topics thrown around on the day were diversity, gaming, cryptocurrency, investing, going global and influencers.

Keynote presentations were broken up with food (yay!) and three main panels; ‘Breaking into Creative Tech’, ‘Disrupting Static’ and the question, ‘Real Enough?’.

I was most engaged with Gretta Van Riel, a panellist in the ‘Disrupting Static’ presentation and a keynote speaker. Gretta is one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs with five successful startups in under her belt.

As the founder of ‘Skinny Me Tea’, an extremely successful startup that uses social media trends and influencers to sell tea and build a community of followers and supporters, she also co-founded The 5th Watches. Her keynote focused on how to turn audiences into brands and trends into markets, creating successful startups.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I took many pointers from Gretta, especially the conversations surrounding a product that solves a problem, creating an audience through a key differentiating factor (price, exclusivity, design etc.) and building relationships with influencers. I felt very inspired to start thinking about my own startup ideas and how to turn these into a viable enterprise.

Other standouts were Tim Ruse, who co-founded Zero Latency, a free-roam virtual reality gaming system and Jess Thomas, who is a founding partner of a design agency, Xandra.

During breaks, we were able to experience ‘Startup Alley,’ (an interesting if under-developed initiative that needs more participants in the future) which was a neat way to have conversations with founders on the brink of genius and experience their products. I was able to participate in a simulated boxing round using VR technology, have a conversation with a humanoid robot and engage with a life-sized hologram!

Every aspect of this conference oozed creativity and innovation. I felt motivated to go and change the world.

Of all the inspired discussion, three main topics stood out to me:

  1. Going global: CHINA! Mobile first technology only, eCommerce, games! Data is key. Look for opportunities in some of the biggest markets.
  2. Diversity. Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being spoken to and engaged! Who uses your product, do we have people like this on our team! Diversify your risk – don’t rely on one Instagram account or just one influencer!
  3. Courage. Have the courage to fail, fast. Know that what you are learning and doing is repeated – for your benefit! If it all comes crashing down, you know you can try it again but with your new skills and lessons.

Be excited. The world is changing. Technology and design are making our lives better and disrupting the static.

Thank you to the Business School for sponsoring me for this event.

Bachelor of Business (Marketing) / Bachelor of Fine Arts (Interactive & Visual Design)

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