An exciting evening at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship for SACC Seminar about Entrepreneurship & Innovation

On Wednesday 4 October SACC organised a business seminar at the newly opened Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE), led by their distinguished CEO Nick Kaye. With a list of highly experienced panelist invited, we had high hopes for the evening, which we believed were exceeded by far. The panelists were;

  • Dr. Leila Alem, Entrepreneur, Digital innovator, Scientist & Speaker
  • Nick Kaye, CEO of Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE)
  • Professor Michael Nilsson, Director Hunter Medical Research Institute in Newcastle
  • Charlie Macdonald, CIO Schenker Australia Pty Ltd
  • Paul Illmer, VP Sales Strategy and Support, Volvo Group Australia
  • Per Edwards, CEO Coredination, Strategist, Marketer, Serial Entrepreneur & Innovator

Although the seminar ran mid-week during the school holidays we had a full crowd in the inspirational venue of the SSE. With the room set-up as a square, where everyone faced inwards and at all times saw all faces in the room, it created an engaging environment which got all attendees involved in the interesting topic discussion.

Mikael Dahlgren (Alfa Laval & Director of the SACC board) welcomed us to the event and introduced Nick Kaye who gave us a short intro and background about the SSE. Then the former Swedish Trade Commissioner turned start-up founder with KingHill Pty Ltd., Jonas Lindholm moderated the session during the evening. During the evening the panelists and the audience went on a journey touching subjects as varying as gender equality, drones changing the way of stocktaking at DB Schenker, the Government´s role in fostering innovation, what Australia is doing right and what could be improved, how to attract and incentivise the right people in the future all in a high-paced and fun manner.

Without summarising the whole discussion some of the key points were;

  • The Australian debate on the subject tends to focus on the negative aspects (low ranking in OECD on the rate of commercialisation of innovations) rather than acknowledge the positive side (for example the innovation rate is high and that some segments really are world class).
  • The Swedish Government´s social security system has traditionally meant less risk for Swedish entrepreneurs to try their wings than the system here. Both Australia and Sweden could arguably learn from the Silicon Valley, where failed start-up attempts are regarded as prerequisite for a successful entrepreneur.
  • Large companies are slow and global governance models are very strict – yet most innovations seem to come from people daring the norm of their times and stepping outside current regulations. This is a key challenge to solve for international giants.
  • If you are an innovative person and/or SME and would like to work with the large companies, it is important to understand that they are typical neither fast, agile nor flexible – but will have a lot of resources to push for the right solution if given proper time and in the right manner (i.e. governance model again…).
  • There is no secret formula or one model that fits all – but you need people with courage who dare to try something new to create innovation.

The evening ended with networking drinks where discussions on the subject continued and all seemed to have enjoyed the format of the discussion. If you have ideas for focus & topics for future SACC seminars please contact us! Thanks to SSE, the panelists and moderator and everyone how attended to make this a great evening!


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