Myriad Festival: Bringing The World's Brightest Minds To Brisbane

From Silicon Valley to the Fortitude Valley: A planeload of the world’s best and brightest innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have touched down ahead of Queensland’s largest ever innovation festival.

What you need to know
  • Myriad will bring together the best minds from all over the world, starting conversations today that can change the world tomorrow
  • Myriad Air was one of the biggest mid-air networking events ever staged
  • Special guests include a former CIA officer, a former Olympian, and a young 14-year-old with big ideas

Some of the world’s most influential thinkers and tinkers are currently gathering right here into our sunny backyard, aiming to celebrate creativity and connect dots previously unknown.

The Myriad Festival is an opportunity for start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs from across Australia and the world to see what’s on offer in Australia, and to connect with innovation leaders across many different industries.

To kick-start the conversation, Myriad chartered a flight from the hub of innovation: Silicon Valley.

Networking is the name of the game, and on-board along with the special guests were a few of Australia's very own best and brightest.

Thinkers and tinkers arriving at Brisbane International Airport

One of them is Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Steve Baxter, who has become well known for investing in new ideas on popular TV show ‘Shark Tank’.

“It’s amazingly exciting, this is the start of one-hundred or maybe one-thousand conversations that will kick off in the next few days. The flight was a nice bit of glue that will bring us all together.

“It’s about bringing all these different ideas and people into our market, so we can understand what the world does.”

Jeremy Bloom, Host of CNBC’s ‘Adventure Capitalist’ and former Olympian, says the opportunity to create and innovate in Brisbane is a positive sign of our growing importance in the global market.

“I’m really excited to be here, I love the angle of creating more entrepreneurial energy in Brisbane and by extension all of Australia.

“No longer do you have to be in Silicon Valley to create disruptive products that change an industry and create big companies. I’m excited to tap into that creative energy here and support it.”

2016 Young Australian of the Year Nick Marchesi founded Orange Sky, Australia’s first mobile laundry service for the homeless.

Nick (right) and his best friend Lucas Patchett (left) started Orange Sky Laundry in 2014

Nick’s one of many young Aussie’s trying to create a platform to help others, and Myriad is the perfect launch pad to extend that help globally.

“Unfortunately there are homeless people all around the world, so we hope one day that Orange Sky can grow outside of the walls of Australia, and through conversations like we had on the plane those small connections will continue to grow which will inevitably mean we can help more people.”

An Aussie young gun

Another young Australian leading the push is fourteen-year-old Tom Stolberg, who launched his first start-up at just thirteen years of age.

Tom’s now gone on to conceptualise and build furniture for the Split Spaces innovation hub in Mackay.

“To me the Myriad flight has really just been an eye opener. The conversations and the people I’ve got to meet has changed my view of what this world is, where it can go and where it is going.

“I want to come away from this and inspire my generation to tell them and help them get involved.”

Myriad Festival 2017

The creative event brings in brilliant minds from a myriad of fields, and one speaker certain to draw keen ears is former CIA officer and natural security advisor Yael Eisenstat.

“It was amazing, I’ve travelled the world and I’ve never seen something pulled off that amazingly. I feel really like to have been on that flight."

Appearing on Forbes’ 2017 list of ’40 Women to Watch Over 40’, Yael now focuses on helping those outside of government find solutions to social and environmental issues.

“I like to talk to entrepreneurs and tech innovators about the impact they’re having on society and having worked all over the world, and from working on some really huge global challenges, I really like to help entrepreneurs think about what their impacts are on society with what they are creating.”

Myriad kicks off Wednesday May 16 and runs until the 18th, at the Royal International Convention Centre at the Brisbane Showgrounds.