Pause Fest 2020 – Melbourne’s Best Tech Conference


Pause Fest is a self-sufficient, industry-driven movement with a purpose to bring different intelligence collectively to fuel the next generation advancing. It is known as a graphic design conference in Melbourne aimed at techies and anyone interested in the creative fields.

They spent nine years engineering the community of champions to secure the worldwide stage for them. They’ve been labelled as ‘Innovation Capital’, ‘Oktoberfest for business’ and ‘Woodstock for digital natives’.


Pause Fest was built on a collection of values that have stood firm for a decade, but their programming evolves every year as they keep up with the industry’s trends and ambitions. They’ve created a culture for the brightest of creators and innovators to collaborate and share their projects, knowledge, passions and insights – openly, freely and generously for the benefit of the whole community.

Every experience you have is the oil paint in which to create your masterpiece, on the blank canvas that is life. They believe that creativity was, is and will be the future of any business; because creativity is innovation, connecting different experiences into a brand new one. They firmly believe that everybody is creative – it’s a skill that can be learned. Pause Fest provides an environment in which you’ll find out how to be more innovative and then apply those learnings to your everyday business, regardless of the industry in which you’re working.

You need to pause to learn, network and grow.


Ten years ago, Pause Fest launched as a tiny creative event in Melbourne. Today, they’re the world’s leading festival for business and creativity.

Over this time, they’ve received various global awards, including the highly regarded RedDot Design Award for their interactive magazine and Motion Response initiative that praises collaboration, and forces the creativity to the very edge.

They’re also proud that their passion for driving progress within the industry has inspired the launch of a handful of international festivals. They were invited to Croatia and Abu Dhabi to curate some of their events and have thrown national social meetups also as executive retreats. And last year they engaged with the regional Victoria centres. Canva, Zero Latency, AKQA, For the People, Girls in Tech Australia and plenty more have launched their businesses at Pause Fest. Tesla showcased its original Model S in there with them, and Dropbox introduced its Paper product to the Australian audiences.

They welcomed HyperloopTT to initiate conversations around quick transport connecting Sydney and Melbourne in 2017; they also helped to connect the G’Day USA with SXSW, where they’re now running the Australia House among other initiatives.

All in efforts to be the instigator for leaders and communities around Australia to think huge, engage, develop significant connections and conversations as well as inspire others.

Their next chapter will be about how they can build the capacity for the next generation of entrepreneurs to succeed and crack critical societal problems.


For them, DAI isn’t optional. It’s essential. Pause Fest is constructed on diversity. It’s been in their DNA since day dot, and they are proudly championing 50/50 speaker gender diversity. Their attendees reflect an equal ratio. When looking for speakers or attracting attendees, their stand is united. The Pause Fest society is a trustworthy and welcoming environment for anyone to interact. Their Code of Conduct applies to anyone attending their events.


A brief history of venture capital

Venture capital is so recognizable from the startup world that everyone tends to overlook how it emerged and why it’s so focused on funding startups.

First, accessible information systems weren’t very helpful in monitoring what happened in an organization’s operations and finances. So we can imagine what it meant for investors to trust a whole company with the much higher amounts they were eager to invest. How could they ensure the money was put to work in the business rather than embezzled from the CEO or their workers? Without a suitable information system, it was hard to ascertain how much profit a company created, let alone if it made a profit in any respect. (In the old days, shareholders‘ liability was mainly unlimited, so even if the firm did not exist, the debt might be retrieved from its shareholders.)

Incidentally, that unlimited liability was another reason why credit was favoured over equity. Before limited liability became common practice, in the event that you owned a business’s stocks, you’re potentially liable for all of the money that firm owed other stakeholders. Because of this, it was very risky to take an equity stake in business: you needed to understand the entrepreneur, reside nearby to keep an eye on them and be certain they did not make any decisions which could lead to somebody carrying your wealth away from you.

In areas where entrepreneurial ecosystems have taken off, superior performances attract a growing number of capital, to the point where venture capital firms must compete for the better dividends, while traditional players, such as Goldman Sachs and Fidelity, are moving to the business and placing pressure on the incumbents.

At precisely the same time, there is an accelerating rate of innovation, especially at the earlier stages, aided by the growth of innovative firms like Y Combinator and AngelList. However, if venture capital is to grow as an asset class because we want it to perform, a radical change must take over in more hazardous surroundings. If we succeed in the present paradigm change, future venture capitalists will be quite different from today’s venture capitalists, as dealers in today’s Goldman Sachs are distinct from the old investment pioneers of the 1950s.


The art of innovation

There are a whole lot of problems with this so-called open innovation model, a prime one, of course, is ownership of IP.

But before we go too far down the path of cooperation and open innovation, it might first be useful to agree on what we mean by the term innovation. Innovation, a word which appears to have been tainted by so many, achieving nothing more than turning the simple into the complex!

More importantly, what’s the connection between a creative or innovative idea and an outcome?

If we think of invention when applied to building a company and making money, which is likely what motivates most innovators, then we will need to consider the dangers in business.

In most instances when an idea has been pursued, and technology development has been undertaken, if it is an IT solution, new Program, a tangible product or a new company, in essence, there are only two dangers which will need to be considered.

The first is that which we can refer to as technical risk, so can the technologist achieve the desired result?

In science and engineering, for the most part, the technologist will provide a solution or at least will have the ability to give some insight concerning the risks involved. For example, if we were to ask the technologist to provide us anti-gravity boots, they’d readily have the ability to assign the risks related to achieving an outcome. Obviously, in this case, the risk would be monumental.

On the other hand, when we requested a clock to be developed with hands which were LED strips which were visible in the darkness, the answer is that this is achievable without technical risk.

In summary, technical risk is something we can generally measure and assign a level of risk.

But, assuming I did attain the technical result with my invention, the actual questions to be asked, and those who too many innovators and even large businesses get so wrong so often are “can I sell it?

Market risk is undoubtedly out the single most significant risk in bringing new products to market.

With this in mind, we might be able to coin a definition of innovation, which has the effect of reducing market risk, and we could learn more about the opportunity landscape to create successful change hopefully.

All were followers of some prior art, and all these were great successes. In a nutshell, the key to mitigating market risk is to discover a product or service that everyone is buying and change it in some way to add value.