2023 Creative Industries Demo Day

What happens when ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs and some of the brightest minds in the creative industries come together to make the world a better place?

On Thursday, April 27th, TAFE Queensland Redcliffe became the focal point for creativity as Moreton Bay Regional Council and Innovate Moreton Bay hosted the highly anticipated 2023 Creative Industries Demo Day. Building on the success of the previous year, the event raised the bar even higher for future editions.

The objective was clear: to discover and support Moreton Bay's creative businesses seeking growth, expansion into new markets, and attracting new customers. This year, a group of talented business owners, selected from a pool of numerous applicants, had the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas to an esteemed panel of judges and an audience of influential guests.

Special thanks to Moreton Bay Regional Council, without whom this event, and many like it, would not be possible.

If you'd like to see other entries in this event series, click here.

Here's a recap of the unforgettable day...

And the winner is... Blind Bats!

A unanimous decision by the judges crowned Paul Szep from Blind Bats and his game-changing Beeping Ball as the judges' choice of the 2023 Creative Industries Demo Day. A well-deserved victory for a project that aims to empower the blind community by enabling participation in sports and social events many take for granted.

Introducing the revolutionary Beeping Ball, Paul, the president of Blind Bats, showcased the 7th prototype of this battery-operated cricket ball, which constantly emits a sound to help vision-impaired players better participate in sports helping bring them out into their community. With an 8th version already in development, the Beeping Ball has the potential to become the new international standard for blind cricket. It's no wonder this innovative product has captured national and international attention and support from representatives at all three levels of government.

To support the continued success of the project, the judges awarded Paul a 1:1 mentoring session with a matched Queensland AI Hub expert in residence, along with a 12-month QLD AI Hub membership.

Find out how you can support Blind Bats and the Beeping Ball

Meet our 2023 participants:

Barbara Armstrong - Sweet Peanuts: Empowering bereaved parents by providing support and breaking the stigma surrounding miscarriage and pregnancy loss.

Jennifer Lancaster - Business Author Academy: Offering resources and support for aspiring business authors to overcome challenges and succeed.

Paul Szep - Blind Bats: Developing the Beeping Ball to enable visually impaired individuals to participate in sports events, like cricket.

Vivianna Castrillon - IntrepidUs: A creative agency empowering women in marketing, supporting SMEs, women-led, and immigrant-led businesses.

Claire Rackley - Healing Ceilings: Transforming medical spaces with therapeutic and immersive art installations on acoustic ceiling tiles.

Dr. Sudipto Roy - D4 Fourth Dimension: Addressing the "Missing Middle" in the Australian housing market to build resilient, multicultural communities.

Dr. Siva Kalyan - Edu-Tech International: Revolutionising image processing to preserve texture, depth, and detail while maintaining vibrant colours.

Dene Menzel - Branthem: Creating unique team-building experiences by turning businesses into bands for a day, fostering teamwork and communication.

We look forward to watching your successful ventures into the future.

The Judges

To our esteemed panel of powerhouse judges, we’re very humbled and appreciative to each of you for donating your time and helping open doors, sharing industry insights, and encouraging participants to think outside the box.

The wealth of talent, experience and networks from the judges and invited guests in the room was incredibly powerful.

Let's get to know our 2023 Judges a little better...

Ben Johnston, Group CEO of Josephmark

Career Highlights:

Invested in or started over 30 companies in his venture portfolio

Works across three continents

65 staff in Australia in the parent company alone

Three major exits with global tech giants including Twitter and Microsoft

Working with high profile people like Scarlett Johansen, Pharrell, and Val Kilmer

Group CEO of Josephmark, a venture studio that works with entrepreneurs and enterprises to define and redefine brands, products, and entirely new businesses.

“Creativity is the key to high performance”

Amanda Jackes, General Manager and Executive Director of Woodfordia

Career Highlights

34 years with Woodfordia (producers of iconic Woodford Folk Festival and Festival of Small Halls)

It is the largest gallery of artists of its kind in Australia with 130,000+ attendance at events each year

With over 7000 team members delivering a series of activations (including volunteers)

David Clayton, Discipline Group Manager for Digital Design at TAFE Queensland

Career Highlights:

Currently overseeing 9 teams in the faculty of Creative Arts and Digital Design, including Screen and Media (Games), Screen and Media (Post-Production), Graphic Design, Interior Architecture, Photography, and Music (Performance and Production)

Teaching experience in Visual Arts for 20 years

Works with teams and industry partners to ensure innovative programs align with current and future industry demands

Formal industry connections with IJS productions, Princess theatre, Museum of Brisbane, Metro Arts, and Brisbane Photography Festival

Proud of students' involvement in various events across the region

Mags Scholes, Head of Content at Screen Queensland

Career Highlights:

Over 20 years of experience as a Senior Media Executive

Worked with clients such as Netflix, HBO, BBC, and Disney

Currently Head of Content at Screen Queensland, leading a diverse team to deliver world-class series, feature films, digital games, incentives, initiatives, and training opportunities

Worked with Oscar, BAFTA, and Emmy award winners across various disciplines and led award-winning productions across Asia, Africa, UK, Australia, the Pacific Islands, the US, and Canada

Panel Discussion Recap

The panel discussion during the event, featuring esteemed judges and Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Julia Spicer, provided valuable insights and covered various topics, including the importance of creativity and innovation in economic growth, the role of technology in the creative industries, strategies for scaling creative businesses, collaboration and networking within the sector, and available support and resources for creative entrepreneurs in the Moreton Bay region.

Some key points highlighted during the discussion were the impact of the recent global pandemic on the events industry, the increasing ease of creating and scaling projects, the refocusing on human connections and values, the skills students should possess for the future, and the significance of human connection in the screen industry despite the emergence of AI.

The Prizes

The judges had the difficult job of matching participants with relevant prizes that would help them succeed in their ventures. A big thank you to the following businesses and organisations for donating incredible prizes.

1:1 mentoring session with Queensland's Chief Entrepreneur Julia Spicer

Awarded to: Blind Bats

Business Growth Mentoring Session with SRJ Walker Wayland

Awarded to: Healing Ceilings

Website Legal Audit and Website Legal Documents from Onyx Legal

Awarded to: IntrepidUs

Marketing Strategy consultation from SBIM

Awarded to: Brandjam

Advertising Package with moretondaily.com.au

Awarded to: Sweet Peanuts

Startup Onramp Founders Course (including 5k each of AWS credits) from Startup Onramp

Awarded to: Blind Bats and Sweet Peanuts

12-month membership and a 6-month part-time coworking membership each from Queensland AI Hub

Awarded to: Edu-Tech and D4 Fourth Dimension

Marketing Package from Queensland AI Hub

Awarded to: Business Author Academy

$1,000 tech voucher from Moreton Bay Regional Council

Awarded to: IntrepidUs

Preparing for Demo Day: The Workshop

In anticipation of their on-stage presentations, the finalists attended a preparatory workshop two weeks before the event. This workshop was led by renowned trainer and facilitator Jacqueline Nagle from Any Given Tuesday.

During this half-day session, participants honed their abilities by exploring key aspects of influence, including pitch development, storytelling, public speaking, strategic positioning, business model analysis, and overall strategy.

When the eight creative businesses finally presented on stage, the audience was captivated by their enthusiasm, innovative concepts, and exceptional presentation quality.

A significant number of the businesses credited their polished pitches to the invaluable guidance and insights provided by Jacqueline during the 2023 Demo Day Prep Workshop.

Comments from Julia Spicer and Anne Lawrence

While the judges were deliberating, Julia Spicer, Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, shared her thoughts on the importance of accessibility in an Innovation Ecosystem and emphasised that Queenslanders should reach out to office of Chief Entrepreneur and Department of Innovation for help in telling their stories. Julia highlighted the increasing personalisation in business and the emergence of new business models. Drawing from her background in Environmental Science, she stressed the value of taking insights from various angles to promote progress and benefit communities. Julia also praised Innovate Moreton Bay, stating that "Every region needs their own Innovate Moreton Bay." People and organisations from all over the nation look up to Moreton Bay for inspiration in the innovation space.

After Julia, Anne Lawrence, Head of Industry Advancement at Moreton Bay Regional Council, spoke about the growing community behind #TeamMoretonBay and the sense of belonging and collaboration it fosters. She emphasised the council's dedication to supporting the region and the Innovation Ecosystem in line with the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS), which aims to collaboratively build a $40 billion economy and generate 100,000 new jobs by 2041. The REDS also envisions positioning Moreton Bay as one of Australia's top 10 regional innovation hubs. Anne encouraged everyone to join #TeamMoretonBay and contribute to making the region stronger together.

Innovate Moreton Bay and Moreton Bay Regional Council's Commitment to Innovation

Innovate Moreton Bay and Moreton Bay Regional Council remain dedicated to fostering innovation in the region. The Creative Industries Demo Day is just one example of their ongoing commitment to the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS), which includes the objective of Moreton Bay becoming a top ten regional innovation hub. For more information about Moreton Bay Regional Council’s innovation programs, visit www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/innovation.