Accelerating Entrepreneurship Adelaide – 03 July – Entrepreneurs Week Event


Accelerating Entrepreneurship Adelaide will support the launch activity by Brand South Australia of Entrepreneurs Week 2017 and will run as an additional and optional event in Adelaide’s Convention Centre from 1pm to 4:30pm on Monday 3rd July 2017. The event will be free to all those attending and will be promoted through a number of online and social media networks to reach a broad spectrum of potential participants from the general public, entrepreneurial, business, government and academic communities. Attached is a draft program outlining the event and the two concurrent streams.

The event is proudly supported and developed in collaboration with Brand South Australia and the Department of State Development

Date: 3rd July, 2017
Time: Registration from 12:45pm
Place: Adelaide Convention Centre, City Rooms.

Download printable program

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Stream 1: Strategic Innovation of Place: Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

If South Australia is to emerge from the manufacturing decline to see a bright future in new industries, perhaps some yet to be imagined, then we will need to have our state functioning to produce entrepreneurs at their best. Join the discussion with key city and state entrepreneurs, the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance and the ECIC team to explore what we are doing and what we need to do better.

Stream 2: The World’s First Carbon Neutral City: Learning from Entrepreneurial Approaches to Accelerate City Wide Efforts

The event will focus on uncovering approaches that entrepreneurs use to succeed in the market that may be applicable more widely to support efforts to achieve low carbon outcomes across the city and the State. Responding to climate change is both one of the greatest and most complex challenges humanity has faced and also the greatest market failure we have experienced. Both provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and numerous renewable energy industry leaders however in order for society to respond more widely it is time to share the entrepreneurs secrets and find ways to apply them at scale!


Accelerating Entrepreneurship Adelaide

The University of Adelaide is pleased to present a program of sessions that take participants through a range of discussions, viewpoints and ideas that are designed to accelerate entrepreneurship in Adelaide.

Stream 1:

Strategic Innovation of Place: Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Stream 2:

The World’s First Carbon Neutral City: Learning from Entrepreneurial Approaches to Accelerate City Wide Efforts

1:10 – 1:50 Creating the ‘new’ in AdelaideDr Allan O’Connor (University of Adelaide)

An introduction to Adelaide’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

International perspectives

Prof Paul Steffens (University of Adelaide)

A brief overview of the international status of entrepreneurship and the G20 experience.

Introduction to the Opportunity of Decarbonisation Dr Charlie Hargroves and Daniel Conley

An introduction to the opportunity of decarbonisation including consideration of technology trends, global shifts, and proven innovations.

Low Carbon Energy lessons from around the world

Garth Heron (Neoen Energy)

A brief overview of international experience in the renewable energy sector.

1:50 – 1:55 Room change allowance
1:55 – 2:35 Building SA’s Entrepreneurship Guest Speaker(s)Adelaide City Perspectives: Kirk Drage (LeapSheep)

International Learning Implications for SA:  Stephen Yarwood (City2050)

Our Energy Future: Entrepreneurs leading the way Guest Speaker(s)Changing the future of energy from Adelaide: Jenny Paradiso (Suntrix)

Panel Discussion: Garth Heron (Neoen Australia) and Jenny Paradiso, moderator Dr Hargroves.

2:35 – 3:00 Afternoon Tea Break
3:00 – 3:40 G20 Youth Entrepreneurship Alliance WorkshopModerators: Sarah Agboola (G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance)

Introduction Group task:

What Opportunities does the National Youth Entrepreneurship Roundtable Recommendations present if implemented in South Australia

7 Topics: Access to Capital, Diversity, Immigration, Education (x 2), Infrastructure, and Other.

Concludes with a brief presentation on the opportunities for South Australia.

Workshop Part 1: Entrepreneurship and a Low Carbon Economy Moderators: Dr Charlie Hargroves and Daniel Conley (University of Adelaide)

The workshop will first reflect on the experience of the guest speakers to consider new approaches that may be valuable in achieving a low carbon economy in South Australia. The focus will be on new and innovative approaches that have either not been applied in SA or not applied at scale. The session will seek to identify key considerations for implementing such approaches including the need for skills development in specific areas.

3:40 – 3:45 Room change allowance
3:45 – 4:25 Panel Discussion: Shaping our Entrepreneurial FutureQ&A on the opportunities for South Australia and how we may shape our entrepreneurial future. Moderator: Sarah Agboola


  1. Kirk Drage
  2. Stephen Yarwood
  3. Ben Samy
  4. Allan O’Connor
Workshop Part 2: Entrepreneurship and a Carbon Neutral Adelaide Moderators: Dr Charlie Hargroves and Daniel Conley (University of Adelaide)

In the second part of the workshop will consider how entrepreneurial approaches can be used to specifically accelerate efforts to achieve the goal of a Carbon Neutral Adelaide. Participants will select items in the ‘City of Adelaide Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan’ and identify specific opportunities for entrepreneurship to unlock additional benefits and deliver even greater value and jobs creation.

4:30 Close



Stream 1, Session 1 – Host Speakers

Dr Allan O’Connor, University of Adelaide

Allan O’Connor is Senior Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) at the University of Adelaide. Combining experience with SME management, business start-up and consulting, that included product, market, and industry innovation with his academic credentials, Allan has lectured in entrepreneurship, strategic opportunities and managing strategic growth since 2001.
During his time at the ECIC Allan has worked closely with South Australian and Adelaide City government stakeholders to contribute research on South Australian entrepreneurship and innovation and has been instrumental in establishing South Australia’s annual Entrepreneur Week program. Allan’s research involves inquiry at the intersections between entrepreneurship, innovation and socioeconomic development. Stemming from this work Allan is considered an expert on entrepreneurial ecosystems recognised on the international stage being invited to deliver presentations and keynote addresses overseas in Japan, Spain and Indonesia as well as Australia.

Professor Paul Steffens, University of Adelaide

Paul Steffens is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the ECIC, The University of Adelaide. His core areas of expertise are entrepreneurship and diffusion of innovations. Paul has been a lead investigator for research projects totalling more than AUD 1.5 million and is the Australian lead on the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor research project. Paul is passionate about the key role entrepreneurship and innovation play in driving economic growth, their potential to assist disadvantaged groups in our society and the ability to deliver personal gratification and wellbeing to individuals. Entrepreneurship and innovation is of vital importance to national competitiveness and understanding key management challenges is critical to improve Australia’s performance. With 10.5% of Australia’s population, or 1.48 million Australians engaged in starting a new business, effective entrepreneurship is also a critical ingredient to economic development.

Stream 1, Session 2 – Guest Speakers

Kirk Drage (LeapSheep)

Kirk Drage is CEO of LeapSheep and Adelaide Smart City Studio’s entrepreneur in residence. Kirk has worked on several Asian based start-ups, most notably 3D Video Analytics & IoT success story Vadaro.  His responsibilities included building global market traction with customers and technology partners, and establishing operational headquarters in Silicon Valley, California.
Kirk spent over a decade at Microsoft in various roles and ultimately as Head of Entrepreneurship & Innovation for Asia.  During this time Kirk was responsible for 20 Microsoft Innovation Centres (Industry, Government & Academic partnerships) across the region in both developed and developing Nations.  Kirk also led Venture Capital Relations and Microsoft’s start-up program – BizSpark.  Kirk’s multi country team recruited over 8,000 start-ups across Asia in the first year alone, where he travelled extensively as an event speaker, coach/mentor and lecturer/judge for various incubator and accelerator programs.
Kirk’s broad functional expertise and global experience has perfectly positioned him to purse his passion…accelerating the abilities of entrepreneurs and business leaders to build value and valuation in their companies.

Stephen Yarwood, City2050

Stephen Yarwood is the former Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Australia and a well-known and respected contemporary Urban Planner who consults internationally on urban futures, innovation and change in cities.
His expertise lies in urban governance, city strategy and policy, smart cities and urban transformation. He has broad and practical knowledge of the driving forces, trends, issues and opportunities associated with technology and its relationship to best practice urbanism, governance, infrastructure and community development.
Stephen has worked, researched and attended events throughout Australia and in New Zealand, Taiwan, Europe, the Middle East, China, India and the USA.

Stream 1, Session 3 – Workshop

Sarah Agboola, G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance

Sarah Agboola is an entrepreneur passionate about the facilitation of ideas and opportunities. She is the co-founder of m-Time, a start-up dedicated to supporting busy parents, and speaks regularly about diversity in business and career pathways for young people. Sarah fell into entrepreneurship after attending a start-up bootcamp held by The University of Melbourne and never looked back. Since then, she declined her offer for law school, has been awarded over $40k in scholarships and grants to support her study of entrepreneurial practice, and has led two youth engagement initiatives which reached more than 2000 young people on a daily basis. Sarah currently serves as the Australian Sherpa for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance and is on the board of directors at the Foundation for Young Australians.

Stream 1, Session 4 – Panel

Panel Moderator: Sarah Agboola, G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance
Panellists: Kirk Drage, Stephen Yarwood, Allan O’Connor and Ben Samy (biography below)

Ben Samy, Manager, Commercialisation & Entrepreneurship, Office of Science, Technology & Research, Industry, Innovation, Science and Small Business Division, Department of State Development
Ben Samy has spent several years working in public policy, focused on industry and economic development.  Starting his career in the State’s Economic Development Authority, Ben has undertaken a range of analytical and policy development roles across industry vertical such as defence and automotive, to State-wide policies on manufacturing, and science and technology.
Ben has a particular interest in innovation and entrepreneurship policy and strategy to support the translation and commercialisation of ideas into the next generation of high-growth South Australian companies.  Ben is currently involved in the establishment of the $50m SA Venture Capital Fund and is working to ensure South Australia has a strong pipeline of entrepreneurs and startups aiming to build scalable global companies.

Stream 2, Session 1 – Host Speakers

Dr Charlie Hargroves

Dr Charlie Hargroves is a dedicated, passionate, and collaborative action researcher and consultant focused on making a contribution to the world’s sustainability transition. Charlie has worked with many of the world’s leading sustainable development experts over the last 15 years and has made a strong contribution to the field through his writing, consulting, and public speaking. Charlie has co-authored 5 international books (currently selling over 85,000 copies in 6 languages), numerous chapters and papers, and delivered over 50 keynote presentations and guest lectures around the world. The first book won the Australian Banksia Award for Environmental Leadership, Education and Training in 2005, and the two released in 2010 were ranked among the ‘Top 40 Sustainability Books’ in the world that year by the Cambridge Sustainability Leaders Program (with ‘Cents and Sustainability’ ranked 5th and ‘Factor 5’ ranked 12th).
Charlie works on a number of national and international projects focused on understanding how to achieve greater sustainability outcomes, in particular those related to the low carbon transition. Charlie is a full member of the Club of Rome and a member of the Decoupling Working Group of the UN International Resource Panel. Charlie has a PhD in Carbon Structural Adjustment and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, working with Professor Peter Newman, and is the Sustainable Development Fellow at the University of Adelaide.

Daniel Conley, University of Adelaide

Daniel Conley is a PhD Student focused on how an entrepreneurial approach taken across industry, government and civil society can accelerate a low-carbon transition in the built environment given the rapid rate at which our cities are growing. Daniel is the Founding President of the Adelaide Sustainability Association, an inter-disciplinary group of over 750 members comprised of students, industry, government and academics focused on progressing integrated economic, social and environmental solutions for our city and state.
Daniel undertakes research to support the work of the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) through Curtin University, and also tutors corporate courses in the Middle East and academic courses at the University of Adelaide with Dr Charlie Hargroves. I am one of two inaugural South Australian recipients of the prestigious Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship.

Stream 2, Session 2 – Guest Speakers

Jenny Paradiso, Suntrix

Jenny is the Managing Director of the award winning solar company, Suntrix. Since starting the business in 2009, Jenny has grown Suntrix from the kitchen table into a multi-million dollar company. Jenny’s focus is to provide the most efficient, value for money energy systems on the market today, with emphasis on expert advice, consultative-based selling and great customer service.
Prior to establishing Suntrix, Jenny worked in management roles, predominantly in the library and software industries. Jenny worked in local government and also for international companies, providing training to staff and customers and high level support to both internal and external customers.
Suntrix was awarded the Telstra SA Business of the Year and the Telstra SA Medium Business of the Year in 2013. In July 2014, Jenny won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Emerging Category) for the Central Region. Jenny is member of the Clean Energy Council (CEC) PV Leadership Committee and a board member of Cure4CF Foundation.

Garth Heron, Neoen Australia

Garth Heron is Head of Wind Development for Neoen Australia and holds responsibility for the company’s wind energy portfolio across the region. Garth has over 12 years of management, banking, technical and construction experience in the wind energy industry and has made substantial contributions to wind power projects and transactions across China, Australia, India, South Africa, Latin America and USA. Garth’s previous roles include Vice President for Renewable Energy at Macquarie Bank based out of Hong Kong, Director of International Business Development for Goldwind (China), and General Manager of Windlab (Australia). Garth was also one of the founding members of Roaring 40s, an Australian based wind developer that completed approximately 1000MW wind power projects across Australia, China and India.

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