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Cicada Innovations revives Rachel Slattery’s groundbreaking deep tech conference Tech23

Sydney-based deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations has taken over custody of the annual deep technology conference Tech23 from its founder, Rachel Slattery
Tech23 Launched 14 years ago, it shares Cicada’s focus on championing and supporting the deep tech startup sector. Slattery wanted to create a national community to support deep tech and connect them with investors, advisors, government and potential customers.

In that time, it has highlighted more than 300 deep tech companies. Every year, 23 startups are invited to the conference to give 5-minute pitches.

Alumni include Morse Micro, Psylo, Culture Amp, Inventia Life Sciences, and BugHerd.

The latest event took place in Sydney in December 2021, with Slattery announcing in March last year that they “decided it’s time to pull the curtain” at Tech23 after 13 years.

After a 12-month hiatus, Cicada is reviving the project and taking the lead in selecting a new cohort of 23 deep tech companies to showcase. The new Tech23 conference is scheduled for July 26, with a focus on issues ranging from sustainable cities to climate solutions and new paradigms of human health.

By embracing Tech23, Cicada will undergo a strategic shift towards looking at systemic solutions to broader problems, such as “reinventing the built environment” or “ending waste”.

CEO Sally-Ann Williams said complex challenges require complex solutions that emerge from the intersection of technology and industry.

“If we want to take a systematic approach to driving change, we need to start asking the big questions around the problems we want to solve,” she said.

“Then we need to gather willing and skillful people around these problems to solve them.

“Maintaining powerful deep technology connections is something we do all day, every day at Cicada Innovations. So we look forward to building on Rachel’s excellent work to ensure the conversation continues throughout the year.”

Rachel Slattery said she was delighted to see the event being revived by an organization that has supported it from the start.

“Having Cicada take the helm in driving Tech23’s role in strengthening Australia’s deep tech capabilities is a perfect fit,” she said.

“The pandemic alone threw a much-anticipated spotlight on deep tech innovation, giving us a great example of how these innovations need to be agile, solution-oriented and people-centric.

“The magic of Tech23 is the chance connections and cross-fertilization of smart, passionate people who help us all build a better future. I am so pleased with Cicada’s plans to boost this goal of a better future in Tech23 2023 and beyond.”


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