B2B Rocks 2019 Highlights

Lendlease HQ in Barangaroo welcomed the fourth edition of B2B Rocks in Australia, on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 June 2019.

In a nutshell:

For the first time this year, B2B Rocks Sydney was a 2-day conference gathering 50+ speakers from leading B2B, SaaS startups, VC firms and innovation-driven companies, sharing lessons learned and insights about disruptive technologies. The event gathered over 350 high-profile attendees from all over APAC.

Besides the inspiring talks, attendees had the chance to attend our B2B Rocks Startup Competition finals and take part in Workshops organised by Salesforce, Cynthia Dearin and CoVentured. The networking breaks gave rising startups, fast-growing companies, corporate executives and VCs the opportunity to connect and exchange tips, views and lessons learned.


Thursday 6 June:

The journey into the B2B & SaaS and corporate space started with Charles Prouse, Initiative Lead – Indigenous Supplier Diversity at Lendlease.

He was followed by Ben Weinberger, Corporate Innovation Advisor at CoVentured, who discussed The State of play of corporate in Australia.

Attendees then had the chance to listen to the first panel discussion about Challenges & Opportunities around Corporate & Startup Engagement, moderated by Anthony Johnston, CEO at CoVentured, with 4 amazing panelists: Angela Clark from Beem It, Daniel Biondi from DXC Technology, Albert Bielinko from Telstra Ventures and Jesse Arundell from Commonwealth Bank.

The panel was followed by the second talk from Jasna Sims, group head of innovation culture at Lendlease. She did a talk about Lendlease’s Approach to Innovation and Startups.

The attendees and the speakers then had a 30-minutes break to network and enjoy a coffee in the networking area where they could also meet our sponsors and startups.

The conference started again with a panel discussion about the Use of Blockchain in the B2B Space, moderated by John Greenhow, Managing Director at Peloton Blockchain. The panelists, Tim Lea from Tokenarty, Lambros Photios from Station Five, Melissa Ran from Women in Blockchain and Yuka Tomita from Ledger shared their great insights relating to the uptake, benefits and challenges emerging from corporate use of blockchains.

According to Robert Wickham, a culture of learning has become vital to a company’s success. Hence, Salesforce’s Trailhead is reinventing learning and enablement across businesses of all sizes and industries. Vice president and growth program manager at Salesforce APAC, he talked about how they have created a culture of learning at Salesforce and what you can do today to start supercharging your employee’s careers.

The attendees then had 1 hour to have lunch and network before coming back to the large conference room. The afternoon session started with the CoVentured workshop about Removing the barriers between Corporates and Scaleups working together, where they covered core areas including legal, procurement, governance, culture and other areas that directly impact the success of a partnership.

This was followed by one of the Salesforce workshop, You don’t have your BOT yet ? Create one and get your time back, that is what Paul Baptist and Mathew Porta tried to explain: as a startup leader, the one thing you never have enough of is time. Everyone pitches in to do everything because you are all dedicated to one goal: growing the business.

In the meantime, all our early stage and scaleups were pitching to get the chance to pitch in front of all the audience during the Networking Cocktail night and win a prize offered by one of our Startup Awards Sponsors.

After a 30-minute break, Yifat Shirben from Flint&Spark moderated the Founders Journey Feedbacks panel composed of Mike Sharkey from AutopilotHQ, Ben Brophy from Upwire, Jessica Ruhfus from Collabosaurus and Matt Browne from Donesafe.

Rebekah Campbell followed with an exciting talk about How Startups Innovate. She gave advice as a founder using the case studies from Hey You and Zambesi.

Last but not least, Cynthia Dearin from Dearin&Associates closed the first day with Joanne Cooper from ID Exchange, Mac Wang from Stripe, Dai Williams from SiteMinder, Sylvain Mansotte from Whispli on her sides. They shared their thoughts on the highs and lows of international expansion and provide insights on the strategies and tactics that separate winners and losers in the international space during the Going Global – Stories from the Trenches panel.

Leo Denes, Co-founder of B2B Rocks Sydney closed the day and introduced the Networking Cocktail. During this night, our attendees could attend the Awards Ceremony around French drinks provided by our wine provider Bottli. They could meet and engage around canapés and an amazing view on Darling Habour during Vivid Sydney Festival.

Congratulations to our winners, Richard Fifita and Mark Howard from Veyor for our Scaleup competition and Alastair Blenkin from Hyra IQ for our Early Stage competition.


Friday 7 June:

Lisa Claes, CEO of CoreLogic International opened the day with an exciting subject about How data is changing our lives. She explained how we are hurtling towards a future where everything will be connected and smart. A world where the level of intelligence in your t-shirt will be higher than your laptop.

After that, she joined the Women Entrepreneurship in the B2B Space panel alongside the moderator Liz Jacubowski from Data61 and the speakers Danielle Lewis from Scrunch, Stella Unphongphan from SoGal, Michelle Deaker from OneVentures.

A little break for coffee and networking during 30 minutes took place right before the Salesforce workshop animated by Stephane With, Marketing Solution Engineer. From startup to scaleup using technology, he explained how Marketing Automation accelerates growth and creates scale in startups.

In another room we could attend Cynthia Dearin’s workshop where she shared The Step by Step Formula for International Success: the common mistakes that founders and companies make as they scale globally and how to avoid them, the blueprint for international business success, the 9 International Business Accelerators and how to gain momentum in 90 days.

The Developer Coefficient: A Growth Secret of Tech-Forward Companies with Mac Wang from Stripe and Yaniv Bernstein from Airtasker moderated by Dave Gardiner ended the morning. It was an interesting fireside chat on how to successfully attract scarce technical talent and effectively empower those resources to drive business results.

The attendees then had 1:30 hour to have lunch and network before coming back to the large conference room.

For the first time at B2B Rocks and probably in Australia as well, we welcomed an amazing panel around The State of Play of the Indigenous Startup Ecosystem. Ciaran Hennessy, head of R&D Technology at Lendlease gave the mic to Rob Halsall, CPO at Westpac NZ; Corey Brown, CEO at Goanna Solutions; Liam Ridgeway, Co-founder at Ngakkan Nyaagu and Indigitek and Charles Prouse, Indigenous Supplier Diversity at Lendlease.

David Kenney, startup advisor and growth strategist, followed with a talk about building a 7-figure business and beyond. He shared key growth insights he had learned from working with some of Australia’s best founders.

Then he joined our speakers from the Funding Trends of B2B Startups: Damian Fox from Carthona Capital, Elicia McDonald from Airtree VC, Andrey Shirben from Follow the Seed and Grant Chamberlain from One Ventures.

To conclude these 2 days of insights and inspiring talks, Leo Denes and Axel Peyriere said a few words to thank the sponsors, the speakers and the attendees. A last networking time closed these 2 days to meet and engage with B2B & SaaS leaders, thinkers and shakers, corporates, businesses, startups and scaleups one last time.

A big thanks to Andrew Everingham for being an amazing Master of Ceremony !

You can retrieve the photos of the event on Facebook and have a look at the last edition’s aftermovie just below.


And to get your tickets for the 2020 edition, click here or visit our event on Facebook for more info !

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