The Network

The Network is where you connect with other people, take part in intimate conversations and meet with expert founders, operators and service providers.



In between the keynotes we are running a separate program that will take The Sunrise out of the theatre and put it into the hands of the participants (that’s you!). We crafted The Network in response to our greatest feedback in past years: attendees at The Sunrise want to meet amazing, like-minded people that can help them become better founders.

Over the two hour lunch break Blackbird and our partners will host a curated selection of meetups and talks that will allow attendees to meet with great people across a number of different themes including SaaS, eCommerce, Fintech, AI, Space and more. Learn from experts in these fields, and meet fellow conference attendees who are on similar journeys.


The lunch break will be split into three periods.  You’ll join an activity - an area of interest where small groups will meet with a handpicked group of partners and Aussie founders who have done it before. You’ll be hanging out with like-minded people, starting conversations and building new relationships, friends, advisors and perhaps even co-founders.

At the end of each 30 minute period, a bell will ring and you’ll be asked to move to a new activity to meet new people.  Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of time to meet up with new friends at the drinks in the evening and the event app will let you swap details and chat directly.

1. The Network by Blackbird

An arena of awesome - experts from the themes each with their own area. This is where you will join a small table of ten or so people, each led by a hand picked founder who is in the thick of it right now. The themes are:

  • SaaS

  • Marketplaces

  • Hardware

  • SpaceTech

  • Fintech

  • Consumer

  • E-Commerce

  • AI

  • Cloud, Infrastructure, Dev Ops by Amazon

  • Fundraising and Strategic Partnerships

2. Lessons on maintaining a strong culture as you scale by Dropbox

  • Deeps De Silva Head of Marketing APAC & Japan, talking about how to maintain your company DNA as you scale into new markets
  • Daniel Iversen Head of Solutions Architecture APAC, talking about how to foster a deep-seeded culture of innovation to make sure you can stay at the forefront of your industry

3. “Think big”– how to take your business global, attract international investors and win in new markets by Telstra Ventures

  • Matthew Koertge, Managing Director Telstra Ventures, will help you create the perfect pitch – it’s about best in class products, differentiation and You!    
  • Marcus Tan, CEO Health Engine, explains how to attract international investors like Sequoia by laying the right foundations.
  • Ted Gannan, Co-Founder and CEO Panviva, details the importance of engaging your influencer community and how to create impact

4. Keys to Growth through Customer Experience by Salesforce

5. Accelerating Global Growth by Stripe

  • Drawing from their experience working with leading marketplaces, SaaS companies and platforms around the world, the Stripe team will be on hand to discuss any challenges you may be experiencing with online payments, and the technology tools you can deploy to accelerate growth, enter new markets and efficiently scale. 

6. From Idea to IPO – Presented by LegalVision and Gilbert + Tobin

  • Lachlan McKnight, LegalVision CEO, providing practical tips on how to raise capital for your million-dollar idea.
  • Deborah Johns, Partner at Gilbert + Tobin, talking about flip ups, overseas fundraising, and considerations for going global.

7. The things Founders wished they knew presented by Hall Chadwick


How it works

Preview the full schedule on the mobile app and favourite the programs you are interested in. During the lunch break you’ll have time to eat some food, then head over to your first session. The Network will be divided into three sessions and you can attend multiple sessions that interest you.


Q: Can I visit multiple programs or themes?

A: Yes, you can take part in a number of different themes - whatever you take part in is entirely your choice.

Q: Is there a schedule?

A: Yes there will be a schedule published in May.

Q: Who are the “experts”?

A: We are publishing a full list in May and will continue to update it. We’re hand picking successful founders and operators from each of the themes.

Q: What if I just want to hang out?

A: By all means! We’ll have a lounge space for you to meet fellow conference attendees and enjoy your lunch.