Inaugural Rare Birds startup conference aiming to inspire female entrepreneurs: “We should be thinking bigger”

With a vision of building an international community of one million women entrepreneurs by 2020, Rare Birds will host its first conference in partnership with Vivid.

Rare Birds founder Jo Burston says the two-day event is aimed at inspiring Australian women to build global businesses.

From June 8th to 9th, Rare Birds Con 2016 will see the likes of XERO chief marketing and business officer Andy Lark and Digivizer CEO Emma Lo Russo take stage to share advice on solving a fundamental question: “How do I do business with the world.”

In addition to keynote talks and panel discussions with “superstar” speakers, the event will also feature workshops and a pitching competition to give entrepreneurs at various stages tacit advice, motivation and practical tips to build strong ventures.

“It’ll cover core stages of getting in, growing up, getting on and getting out,” Burston tells StartupSmart.

After visiting conferences around the world, Burston says Rare Birds Con will be a one-of-a-kind event for women in the sector.

“There was nothing I found specific to support women entrepreneurs,” she says.

“There was a great big hole there I wanted to fill and with such great alumni from the two Rare Birds titles, I wanted to give them a voice to share their stories, journeys and know-hows on running their businesses.”

The two-day conference will bring together hundreds of people from the startup world, innovation, government and both local and international community leaders.

“Entrepreneurship is a new global game and a viable career path that many Australians can consider from student age,” Burston says.

“Young women who don’t know where to start or need the confidence, sometimes just need to see someone who looks like them doing it.”

Vivid is one of the world’s largest creative ideas festivals attracting millions of people to Sydney and Burston says she expects more than 500 attendants at Rare Birds Con.

“Entrepreneurship is a combination of creativity and ideas which fits in really well with the Vivid scene,” she says.

Burston says she hopes the conference will one day become an iconic national event inspiring and empowering women to grow postcode businesses into global companies.

“You’ll walk away with connections to like-minded people who can help you on your journey or an idea to do something a bit different tomorrow to get a better outcome for your business,” she says.

Sponsored by the University of Sydney Business School, Sydney tourism site Destination NSW, the state government and XERO, Burston says she’s excited to see a diverse mix of people come together to create better businesses.

“We should be thinking bigger,” she says.

“To see bigger, we need to have vision and that vision comes through the experiences of other people.”

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