Visiting entrepreneur program, Sydney

Visiting entrepreneur program, Sydney

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Globalising Sydney's tech ecosystem

The visiting entrepreneur program brings high profile international entrepreneurs to Sydney twice a year to share their expertise and knowledge with the local tech startup community with a range of events, including talks, mentoring sessions and workshops.

The program aims to strengthen the local startup ecosystem and support entrepreneurs to start and grow successful global businesses. It will help foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation and raise awareness of Sydney's tech startup ecosystem locally, nationally and globally.

Since the program launched in November 2017, the City has brought some of the leading minds in artificial intelligence, big data, female entrepreneurship and product management to Sydney.

Program events are produced by the City of Sydney and partner organisations from the local startup ecosystem including co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators and university innovation hubs. 

The next visiting entrepreneur programs will run in November 2018 and May 2019. To submit a suggestion or to hear more from us, please complete our online form

This program is a key component of our tech startups action plan. The program is supported by funding from the Australian Government's program for entrepreneurs and its national innovation and science agenda. 


Victoria Moxey
Economic Program Manager
02 9265 9333 

Australian Government. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Business Entrepreneurs' Programme. Australian Government. National Innovation and Science Agenda. 

Upcoming events

Date Event Bookings
Thursday 20 September

The Tech Revolution in Southeast Asia
In this talk with TechSydney, chief operating officer and co-founder of Kudo, Agung Nugroho, one of Indonesia's most successful tech entrepreneurs, will describe the enormous changes unfolding across Indonesia and southeast Asia and how they could impact Australian companies and society.
Hosted by TechSydney and PwC with support from community partners Haymarket HQ and CAUSINDY.

Book now


May/June 2018 program

The second visiting entrepreneur program ran from 17 May to 8 June 2018. 3 international entrepreneurs participated in a range of events to share their expertise and connect with the people growing Sydney's innovative tech companies. 

Visiting entrepreneurs include:

Jim Mckelvey Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Silicon Valley success story Square – a high-growth $20 billion fintech startup that revolutionised mobile payments for millions of small businesses. Jim is also the founder of LaunchCode, director of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis and a master glass artist and industrial designer. His work is featured at both the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian. Jim most recently founded Invisibly, a startup aiming to give people control of their online identities.
Stephanie Hannon Stephanie Hannon, a product development and community building expert who has worked for Google, Facebook and Eventbrite. She was the first female Chief Technology Officer on a major presidential campaign – Hillary for America 2016. Stephanie is currently the chief product officer of Strava, a health and fitness startup inspiring a global community of millions of athletes.
Liesl Yearsley Liesl Yearsley, CEO and co-founder of A·kin, which is developing a new approach to general artificial intelligence to autonomously solve complex problems and form deep relationships with humans. Previously Liesl was founder and CEO of Cognea Artificial Intelligence, which was acquired by IBM and is now an integral part of Watson. 

Program highlights

The City and partner organisations have hosted over 35 events as part of the visiting entrepreneur program. Here are some of the highlights.

Event Highlights

Me, Myself and AI with Liesl Yearsley

A dynamic discussion around the future of AI and its moral impact. Find out what it looks like now and what needs to change.

In collaboration with Cicada Innovations and UTS.

  Watch video  

Democratising technology – Jim McKelvey on the Square revolution

At this CityTalks Sydney, Jim discusses the role of the consumer and the implications of greater participation in technological development.

   Watch video   

Technology for Social Good with Stephanie Hannon

Part of Vivid Sydney 2018, our discussion delves into technology’s potential to tackle global social problems and shape an inclusive future.

In collaboration with Remarkable and muru-D.

  Watch video  

Workshop: Introduction to Product Management

Stephanie Hannon’s best practice for product management with a focus on her broad expertise in building products, online communities and local activation.

In collaboration with The Warren Centre and Fishburners.

  Watch video  

Resilience – What I learnt from failure with Stephanie Hannon

Stephanie shared her learnings from Google Wave (before it crashed), the Strava heatmap crisis in Afghanistan and one of the most highly publicised losses of 2016 – the Hillary for America presidential campaign.

In collaboration with Sydney School of  Entrepreneurship.
Photo highlights

The Future is Female at Customs House

Vicki Saunders was joined by a panel of entrepreneurial trailblazers, including Jo Burston, Dr Chelsea Wise and Naomi Simson, to explore what's working for women entrepreneurs and what needs to change.

  Watch highlights  

November 2017 program

In November 2017, 3 international entrepreneurs shared their expertise and connectede with the people growing Sydney's innovative tech companies.

The program ran over 2 weeks and  included public talks, roundtables, breakfast forums, workshops, mentoring sessions and more, produced by the City and key organisations in the Sydney startup ecosystem.

Visiting entrepreneurs included:

Vicki Saunders Vicki Saunders, serial entrepreneur, award-winning mentor, advisor to the next generation of change makers and leading advocate for female entrepreneurship. Vicki is founder of SheEO, a global initiative to radically transform how we support, finance and celebrate female innovators.
Jager McConnell Jager McConnell, CEO of Crunchbase, the leading platform used by millions of entrepreneurs and investors looking to discover innovative companies and the people behind them.
Marcus Segal Marcus Segal, general partner at UpShift Capital and mentor at Google Launchpad, ex-partner of Y Combinator, one of Silicon Valley's leading accelerators and ex-senior vice-president of operations at Zynga, a global gaming platform.


Last updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2018