Sunrise Australia festival Banner Image. Show a giant Crocidle and Sunrise Australia Graffiti
MAY 1 - 2 2024

What is Sunrise???

Sunrise is a festival of creativity, technology and ambition. It's our love letter to startups and the people who build them. A place to be immersed in our  community. A place where ideas collide. Above all - Sunrise is for you.

What happens at Sunrise?


You will be inspired by stories of triumph and failure, resilience and setback. Hear from diverse visionaries on BIG ideas, examples of exceptionalism, creativity and a future just out of our reach.


You will learn new things from fresh skillsets, innovative frameworks, models and methodologies. Discover practical tools and a treasure trove of insights.


Meet your co-founder, next investor, first hire or new best friend. Our festival app uses AI to help guests connect, set up meetings, and exchange messages. We facilitate hundreds of 1:1 meetings and thousands of direct messages each year through our official Sunrise app.

Three programs across three stages


Groundbreaking keynotes from visionary leaders as they share their big ideas and bold visions of the future.


Where unexpected ideas collide. Led by experts going head to head, these in-the-round style sessions will provoke, offer new perspectives and fuel debate.


Your go-to stage for personal growth. Dive into practical workshops to help you on your career journey and beyond.

The Sunrise Story

Now, more than ever, we need wild hearts to pave the way. Every one of us must set to work on building the future. Sunrise exists to inspire the next generation of wild hearts.

Sunrise started in 2014 when Blackbird’s founders Rick and Niki pulled the whole thing together in six weeks. With limited resources, experience and time, the whole community came together to make Sunrise happen.

This year, we are returning to Sydney for our tenth edition of Sunrise Australia, featuring new speakers and themes designed to provoke debate and spark ideas. Be inspired and connect with a magical collection of founders, performers, artists and inventors. See you there, Travellers!

Festival Schedule:

Collisions Stage

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Debate Club - Investment success is more dependent on luck than skill.

Step into the arena of fortune and expertise as we host a structured debate on the motion: 'Investment success is more dependent on luck than skill.' Mike Kelly, Vinisha Rathod, Jodie Iman, Kevin Jochelson and Maxine Minter will challenge you to reconsider the foundations of financial victory in the startup ecosystem.

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Algorithmic Overload: Is Our Culture Getting Flattened?

Pip Bergman, Nadia Lee, Jon Whittle and Brianna Kerr debate the impact of AI on cognitive diversity and creativity, questioning if AI's role in innovation might homogenize thought or foster a multiplicity of ideas and who gets to shape the future.

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Cutting Through the AI Noise: A Guide for Startup Success

Dive into AI's real potential with Ben Sand (Strong Compute), Nicole Robinson (LYRO Robotics), Jessie Hughes (, and Sachin Samarawickrama (Folklore Ventures), focusing on its utility for startups and enduring AI-enabled practices shaping the future.

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A Safer Ecosystem: Grapevine Tackle Harassment & Bullying Stories Pre-Shared By Sunrise Attendees

The team behind Grapevine will challenge us all to take accountability and move beyond talk to tangible action. Through live advice on real stories pre-shared from Sunrise attendees, this session will arm you with practical ways to actively shape safer, more equitable, and inclusive workplaces. Are you ready to be part of an ecosystem where actions have more impact than words? It’s time to make accountability a part of our collective values.

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Breaking the Mould: Are VC Heuristics Holding Back Innovation?

Is the startup world stuck in a rut? This session challenges VC norms, exploring if they hinder innovation and exclude non-technical founders. Join us for a lively debate with Sebastian Cox from Paloma Ventures.

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Make Them Love You: From Fred Again to Elon to Taylor – Mastering the Art of Building Devoted Communities

Dr. Georgia Carroll and writers Jonno Seidler and Brodie Lancaster unravel the mysteries of cult leadership across figures like Elon Musk and Taylor Swift, examining the dynamics of charismatic leadership and its impact on creating a devoted community.

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Data vs. Daydream: How to find the balance

Creative or analytical? This session will equip you with strategies to balance intuition with data for impactful decisions. Join Tim Doyle, co-founder and CEO of Eucalyptus, Michael Beveridge, Head of Creative at Hnry/Creative Director at Eucalyptus and Katie Skelly, Head of Creative at Eucalyptus to learn how to leverage both for startup success.

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The Constructive Critic: Media's influence on building the future

Explore the evolving role of media in society, from watchdog to information provider, and its effects on startups and Australia's clickbait culture. John Capital Brief's John McDuling, Zara Seidler from The Daily Aus and Sling & Stone founder Vuki Vujasinovic to discover how startups can shape a more informed society.

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The Paradox of Ambition and Balance

We keep talking about 'work-life' balance, but is it a trap? Is the hustle actually the only path to success? What do startups really think about finding personal-professional equilibrium? Join us for a thought-provoking discussion with actionable insights for building a career you love, regardless of your definition of success.


Foundations Stage

Giants Pitch Competition Presented by Airwallex

Blackbird’s Giants community and Airwallex have teamed up to give 5 early stage founders the chance to pitch their idea live on stage at Sunrise! One of the pitching finalists will walk away with an Airwallex Business Acceleration Grant, valued at $5k.

Life Is An Experiment: Embracing the Adventure of Experimentation

May Samali, Founder & CEO of Human Leadership Lab, will share a data-driven approach to life's big decisions, applying startup experimentation principles to work, health, and love.

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Launch From Australia faster than ever: Global Startup Strategies for AU & NZ Founders presented by Fullstack

Just because you build it, that doesn’t mean they will come. This interactive forum hosted by Fullstack Advisory busts myths and unveil powerful tools to scale your AU/NZ startup to the world stage. You’ll be able to ask questions and get advice from people who have been there and done that, including fellow founders and global strategy experts.

Sales Principles for Accelerating Your Career

Dan Brockwell from Earlywork will show how sales principles can accelerate your career, not just in sales but in interviews, projects, and promotions.

Thriving in Transition: From Individual Contributor to Exceptional Leader

"Thriving in Transition" is a workshop with Tandem co-founder Lauren Humphrey for new managers, focusing on discovering leadership styles, mastering feedback, effective communication, and practical strategies for time management and goal setting.

Angel Investing 101 with Airtree’s Explorers Program

Airtree’s Elicia McDonald and angel investor Rayn Ong will demystify angel investing, covering risk/reward, Power Law Distribution, portfolio diversification, and investment budgeting in this interactive workshop.

Know thyself | discover your personal values and grow into your power

Explore your core values with Greta Bradman & in a session designed for self-discovery and optimisation. Learn how understanding your values can enhance performance, decision-making, and relationships.

You Need a Career Strategy

Lucy Wark from Fuzzy will guide you through crafting a fulfilling career strategy, covering skill investment, career transitions, and balancing personal and professional goals.

Flow State Breathwork: The Consciousness of Creativity

Experience the transformative power of breathwork with Dave Murphy's "Flow State Breathwork" workshop, unlocking creativity, peak performance, and flow state consciousness through deep breathing techniques.

Launch Your Purpose: Finding Meaning in your career

Startup life is thrilling, but is it fulfilling? This interactive session with Louise Pfieffer and Skye Riggs will equip you with tools to discover your career purpose and build a meaningful journey within the fast-paced world of startups.

Building resilience as an intentional and continuous practice

Feeling overwhelmed by the startup rollercoaster? Join Greta Bradman for an interactive session that will equip you with the superpowers of resilience to support personal growth and startup success. We'll explore how to bounce back from challenges, not just for yourself but for your entire team.


Moonrise program


Immerse yourself in Buddy Malbasias' captivating contemporary dance piece "Bahala/o," as he explores the significance of rice through an immigrant lens.

Breathing Space

Tash Atkins, a Naarm-based mezzo-soprano and creative coder, presents "Breathing Space," a 30-minute Algorave performance blending classical music, coding, and abstract art, capturing the emotional life of a twenty-something.

Dragon Dreams

Get ready for an immersive and mesmerizing journey through the clouds with Dragon Dreams, an otherworldly shadow puppetry show that improvises dream sequences inspired by ancient dragon mythologies and eco-feminism.


"Cryptophonics" by Frank transforms short-wave radio recordings used for spy communications since World War 1 into ambient sound art, highlighting the mystery of cryptic sequences and critiquing modern privacy invasions.

Life, Death and Mushrooms: A Divine Comedy

"Life, Death and Mushrooms: A Divine Comedy" is an interactive spoken word poetry performance exploring life, death, and fungi growth as models for circular economies and community regeneration.

Giants short film

"Giants," an AACTA-nominated short film, captures 18 months on a farm transforming during Australia's worst drought, where Luke bets on rain to sustain his herd and family, but faces an uncertain reality.

CONCRETE short film

"CONCRETE" is an extended short film about Aggelos, a 20-year-old third-generation Greek-Australian exploring his identity by venturing from Midnight Mass into the underground rave scene, questioning cultural connection and urban influence.

Bridget's Colours

Bridget Kelly, a non-verbal Sydney-based artist with a unique chromosomal makeup, expresses herself through vibrant abstract drawings, paintings, and screen-prints, and will showcase twelve pieces at Moonrise.

Telling Australian Stories through Film

Archie Hancock and Jack Zimmerman of 2KN Productions will share a preview of their experimental short film that addresses challenging topics on rural Australian properties, highlighting uniquely Australian stories.

Pilgrimage in Five Parts

Anita (@maddog.pdf), a zine-maker and poet based on Gadigal land, explores rebirth through grief in her spoken-word performance "Pilgrimage in Five Parts," which delves into industry, resistance, and joy amid darkness.

Lauren Gin

Lauren Gin, an influential third-generation Chinese-Kiwi in the electronic music scene, breaks industry barriers and supports women in music and business, recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30 and performing globally, ending 2023 with her "Adrenaline EP."

Moonrise Vox Pops

Originally from Oromia, Ethiopia, Sagalee runs Locationest in Melbourne, sharing candid stories and photos that highlight unique perspectives and break social barriers. He will collect stories from Moonrise attendees at Sunrise.


Incizor, emerging from Sydney's party scene, mixes a dynamic range of dance music from Glitch to Drum & Bass, infused with funk and robust, chunky basslines.

DJ Performance

JJ Fiasson, founder of, aims to revolutionize content production in gaming and entertainment with his Generative AI platform and also expresses his artistic side as a DJ.

Culture in Chiaroscuro

Presented by Abby Shen, "Culture in chiaroscuro" is a photographic series that explore the streets of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong through a lens of thoughtful stillness.



Can I sponsor Sunrise?

Each Sunrise, we work with a small group of partners who are as committed as we are in creating an extraordinary event. We're deliberately pretty picky about who we work with, but if you work with a company that wants to champion startups and the people building them, then flick us an email at and we can chat there.

Can I speak at Sunrise?

Sick! Lots of people want to speak at Sunrise. To help us keep track of it, fill in this form and one of our Sunrise team will come back if we want to make it happen.

What’s your COVID policy?

We are working closely to follow all local restrictions and COVID-safe event requirements, which you can read about here.

Where and when is Sunrise Sydney happening?

May 1 & 2 2024 at Carriageworks in Everleigh, Sydney. Need a map? Here you go!


Supported by

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x15 ventures logo
AWS logo
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Community Partners