How start-ups and established companies can help each other

How start-ups and established companies can help each other
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

What do start-ups in your sector think about you? Can your work with and or fund a start-up as a means of escalating your momentum in digital innovation? Would an incubation strategy work for your company and why?

These and other practical questions are the subject of an exciting  new forum on managing digital transformation better  called Daze of Disruption, to be held this May 18-19, at the the Belvoir St Theatre, Surry Hills, Sydney.

Kim WIlliams

Kim Williams will keynote the Daze of Disruption Forum. He thinks things are going much faster than many Australian executives even suspect

Produced by B&T and the Which50 digital intelligence blog, the DAZE Forum aims to provide very practical “takeaway ideas” for executives in companies which are well established but grappling with ways to speed up their innovation. It also aims to help  start-ups who see an upside in working with more established players to leverage their market intel, experience, brand and, under certain circumstances, capital.

Organiser Jeremy Knibbs, told B&T that DAZE was putting  disruptive and innovative newcomers into the same room with executives from well established brands for the first time with the intention of realising the obvious advantages for both groups from sharing and networking better within their chosen market sectors.

” Digital disruptors or insurgents'” says Knibbs, ” have a lot to offer our established brands in terms of how to think about and execute innovation. But what many don’t realise is that often the reverse relationship can be just as useful for the disruptor.  Good executives inside an established market brand can assist disruptors in all sorts of ways – not the least, funding, but also very much with their market knowledge and experience.

“The ultimate relationship is that well established companies and brands venture fund a high potential disruptor and both companies benefit.”


Marina Go, from Bauer and chair of the Wests Tigers, will reflect on managing boards, achieving rapid cultural change and ‘men behaving badly’

“At DAZE you can not only come and hear what the disruptors are thinking about how  they intend to disrupt your market  but talk and  interact with them and test the waters on some more lateral ways to speed up your company’s transformation capability. Corporate venture funding is one way, but increasingly established groups are getting much closer to their disruptors in all sorts of ways which can benefit both parties. ”

Knibbs says that event aims for other important but practical outcomes for managers of established companies and insurgents. “Things like, who you can partner with to increase your transformation transformation capability, how you hire, develop and retain  the right talent to increase transformation capability in a very hot market, the importance of your board  – if you have a board –  in moving your company to more effective transformation and how to work towards a board that is ‘fit for transformation purpose’, and leadership, culture and talent settings needed for transformation.”

Bonnet: Most large companies are failing in handling disruption

Didier Bonnet will present his research for the first time in Australia on the main tactics which are working for incumbent companies trying to transform.

DAZE is deliberately styled in a TEDx manner so its entertaining and interactive as much as informative, according to Knibbs. “We are trying first to  promote more effective relationships and networks within markets and between disruptors and incumbents,  and then there are lots of ideas to take away, think about and test.”

The speaker line up is the best and most comprehensive so far for a conference of this type in Australia. It includes:

  •  Kim Williams  (AFL Commissioner and ex CEO News Corp) keynoting on the speed and nature of disruption in Australia and who is and isn’t ready
  • Damien Tampling (Deloittes Digital) on the fast disruption markets and who is doing well and why
  • Didier Bonnet (Cap Gemini – Europe), author of the Harvard best seller, Leading Digital,  presenting his research on successful incumbent company strategies for the first time in Australia
  • Ira Kaufman (Entwine Digital US) on the importance of talent and leadership and how you and change the equation in an incumbent
  • Travis Wright (ThinkLabs US) on the coming data  wars, the data imperative and open vs private data networks
  • Pete Cooper ( on how Freelancer is winning on a global stage and how services is being transformed by global networks
  • Gerd Shenkel (Telstra) on the key aspects of the transformation ecosystem
  • Marina Go (Wests Tigers Chair, Bauer) on bankers, alpha males and managing boards with some fun stories from the frontline of the NRL
  • Tony Davis (Quantium) on how some of our local big brands are moving on data and planting stakes in the ground on data to ensure a growth future
  • Mark Green (The Monkeys) on why an ad agency bought an ice cream brand
  • Cassandra Kelly (Pottinger) on how incumbents are solving critical organisational and culture issues
  • Andy Lark (Xero) on the power of the cloud, the Xero/MYOB small business revolution and the banks
  • Steve Maarbani (PWC) on crowdfunding and coming revolution in things like commercial real estate
  • Sam Smith (Tube Mogul) on the next big thing in media – programmatic
  • Lucinda Barlow (Google) – on how to manage the global distribution platforms within the context of transformation
  • Kai Reimer (Sydney University) discusses simple frameworks for incumbents to map their  capabilities to change and strategy
  • Paul McCarney (Trademe, iiNet) on functional and dysfunctional boards and how to work with both
  • Jodie Sangster (ADMA) on the data marketing imperative
  • Yasser El-Ansary (AVCAL) on PE, VC, Angel and corporate funding
  • And more than 30 more Industry thinkers, consultants and leaders

Ticket numbers for DAZE  are limited to only 300 because of the venue.

“It looks great if you sell out of course”, says Knibbs, ” which is the  ‘create demand from scarcity’ technique, that many start-ups actually use to get attention early on,  but the small venue  choice was really so we could make it work in terms of delegates getting genuine access to speakers for networking and maximising the event in terms of interactivity and intimacy.  ”

” To assist, we’re also have a few fun sessions planned, including Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan from the Impossible Institute, talking up the disruptive scenarios to a level that might amuse some, at our Cocktail function after day one, intermission sessions by Nigel Marsh of ’40 fat and fired fame’ about the importance of balance in any venture, and a few other surprises.”

For more information on Daze of Disruption click here. For ticket sales click here.  B&T and Which50 readers can use promotion code BANDT.

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