Relive the highlights of Creative3 2016

From live streaming to business investment, gaming and education, this year’s Creative3 Forum explored the full spectrum of growth and opportunities in creative-tech.

With creative industries now contributing $90 billion annually to the Australian economy, Creative3 celebrates the innovation happening in this sector. This year our panel of speakers flew in from across the world and around Australia to join the conversation. They spoke about many of the challenges creative-tech entrepreneurs face, including investment, growth and product development, and looked at current trends and future forecasts for solutions.

The 2016 edition of Creative3 came after Australia was named as the number one country on the Global Creativity Index (GCI). The index is calculated by technology, talent and tolerance metrics, and our speakers touched on all of these themes and more. The key takeaways from the day showcased the potential we have to harness creativity in the development of successful, global enterprises.

Highlights from Creative3 2016

Our diverse line-up of speakers shared insights, celebrated break-through ideas and inspired the change-makers in the room. Closing the day, Bethany Koby reminded us, “65% of kids in school today will have jobs that don’t exist yet”. As we move towards this future characterised by so many unknowns, our speakers all looked at the ever-growing potential for disruption and innovation in creative-tech.

Bethany’s uplifting talk about growing a mission-based tech company was a fitting end to a day started by Anna Reeves, who explored the idea of empathy and designing human-first experiences using virtual reality. Empathy, she argued, is fast becoming the world’s most precious resource. And with virtual reality imprinting memories on the brain in a way that screens cannot, the medium presents us with new avenues to educate, entertain and become more empathetic towards others.


“The future is standing in other people’s shoes in ways we have never thought of before … Virtual reality may give us a deeper understanding of ourselves.” – Anna Reeves

Ben Britten from Mighty Games also explored how to design experiences with a human-centric approach. He highlighted that most designers only create games for the two percent of consumers willing to spend the most money. That means that 98 percent of gamers are having a sub-optimal experience, which presents a massive opportunity for game development.

As our MC Mark Pesce pointed out, many businesses right across the board are going after that two percent, so we need to ask ourselves how we can have greater empathy for people.


“We have a mantra that if we see something that has changed, we are willing to drop what we are doing and change immediately. The digital industry is moving so fast.” – Ben Britten

In his presentation, Ben also reminded us of the importance of having a strategy for scaling a company. He argued that right across the creative industries there’s a problematic belief that, ‘if I just work really hard then people will somehow find it.’ Without a growth strategy and a willingness to be adaptable, organic growth will only take you so far.

This sentiment was echoed in many of this year’s presentations. As an entrepreneur who has started a number of creative-tech companies, Chris Smith explained that creatives and investors are not hard-wired in the same way. If investment is part of your growth strategy, you need to develop a robust pitch that tells your story, explains your idea simply and gets to the point.


“There is a big gap between the way creatives think and the way investors want to hear your pitches.” – Chris Smith

On the topic of investment, our resident shark Steve Baxter agreed with Chris, explaining that, “you can’t replace brains with hustle – know when no means no and move on.” There comes a point, he said, when you may need to change your business strategy to turn that no into a yes.

The question remained, though, how do you get an investor to even agree to meet with you? Our speakers were quick to offer ideas, with Kristen Souvlis from Like A Photon Creative highlighting that she develops partnerships with “big fish” and uses these as leverage to attract investment.

Lindsay Stewart also outlined the importance of understanding your market for investors. In the same way you conduct market research to define customers, she said, you should seek out investors most relevant to your stage of business and industry. Then, once you have an investor in the room, Paul Bennetts said entrepreneurs must show passion as well as expertise in order to get their pitches across the line.


“Is this person the expert on what they are saying? That is what investors look for. You need to believe you know about this problem better than anyone else.” – Paul Bennetts

Before you get to the investment stage, however, you need to have great ideas, and these were in abundance. Having launched Bidchat just one week before stepping on stage, Roger Ein spoke about the intersection between tech and charity. His live streaming platform Bidchat allows users to join live streams and bid to chat with their favourite celebrities, experts and influencers. A portion of proceeds from each bid goes to charity. Just as Anna explored how virtual reality places the user in the centre of the action, Roger presented us with an entirely new way of allowing audiences to seek out meaningful experiences and interact with the content they consume.


“Now you can interact with your entertainment … This is live streaming 1.0.” – Roger Ein

From live streaming to education, video content is one of the biggest growth areas in creative-tech. The potential of video was on show in Ryan Lee’s presentation, where he explained how he turned Smartstudy in a global education company. The stats were compelling: more than 1,800 pieces of content have translated into over 110 million app downloads and one billion views on YouTube. Ryan explained that the formula to Smartstudy’s success is bringing in the right people to create content, understanding the market of both children and parents, getting digitisation right, and knowing how and when to monetise content.

Stepping on stage for the second time, Lindsay also weighed in on the production of video content. Her platform Stringr fosters a network of more than 23,000 videographers across the United States, who create video content to feed the 24-hour news cycle. By curating the crowd of users on the platform, she explained how Stringr delivers high quality footage to news producers. The appeal of the platform works in two ways – it provides news producers with footage quickly and for the videographers, Stringr is a creative outlet with a financial return.


“You don’t want to tackle too small of a problem. If you are going to go to the effort, you want to tackle a big problem so that potentially there is a big return.” – Lindsay Stewart

There were so many themes running through this year’s forum, but the growing relationship between tech, authenticity and success was consistent throughout the day. This narrative made for a compelling forum that inspired us all to use tech to shape not only our individual success, but also the future we’re collectively working towards.

Looking towards the future of creative-tech

 As Australia’s startup ecosystem continues to diversify, creative-tech will become an important part of the innovation agenda. Already creative enterprise is the driving force of the UK and US economies, and now Australia must start moving towards a similar future or risk falling behind.

By hosting Creative3, we hope to elevate the discussion of creative-tech in Australia and put a spotlight on the enterprises already achieving success in this dynamic field. The GCI has shown that Australia has the creative potential to lead the world in creative-tech – now we just need to take full advantage of the talent on our doorstep.

This year’s conference may have wrapped up, but we still have plenty more to come. If you want to continue reliving your favourite talks from the day, check back in the coming weeks as we’ll be releasing videos and interviews from many of the speakers.

In the meantime, let’s revisit Smartstudy’s lovable shark family one more time…

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