The creative state summit was a gargantuan event that brings together creative practitioners, artists, producers, technologists and academics from across Victoria and beyond. Held over two days at the Melbourne Museum, the sell-out event had the theme this year of “Creativity in a Post-Truth World”.
As part of the panel session “Building Startups in the Creative Industries” with fellow panelists Bonnie Shaw (Smart City Office, City of Melbourne), Sarah Moran (Girl Geek Academy), Helen Simondson (Head of ACMI X) and Anna Burkey (State Library of Victoria) our task was to share experiences in nurturing and supporting emerging creative ideas and startups.
The afternoon program also served to launch Foundry658, a new creative accelerator for entrepreneurs. A collaborative venture from the State Library, ACMI and Creative Victoria, the program provides training and support for independent artists, small arts organisations, creative entrepreneurs and startups to develop a concept or idea towards a commercially viable proposition.
Panelists shared their experience on developing different creative startups, or, in my case, developing a creative technologies lab.
It was good to hear about the support our state agencies — such as the State Library, City of Melbourne and ACMI X — are providing for local arts and creative entrepreneurs. It’s interesting to observe how programs have shifted from a largely grant funding approach to a startup program that anticipates more business-focused outcomes, perhaps leading to more longer-term sustainability.
Questions from the audience raised interesting points about the often conflicted agendas of technology-based startups, STEM and the creative arts. I made the point that our current technology driven agendas could benefit immensely from the humanities and social sciences, particularly in this “post-truth” age.