Demo Day showcases creativity

Published 9:00am 20 May 2022

Demo Day showcases creativity
Words by Kylie Knight

The owners of six of the Moreton Bay Region’s most exciting creative industry businesses have walked away from the inaugural Creative Industries Demo Day with life-changing experience and ideas.

The event, held at Caboolture on May 4 was hosted by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Innovate Moreton Bay.

Mayor Peter Flannery says it was a day those business owners would never forget, and the invaluable insights from industry experts will set them up for businesses success well into the future.

“Our aim was to unearth some amazing new creative industry businesses right here in Moreton Bay and to help grow the industry so that creatives can thrive and prosper for many years to come,” he says.

“Six lucky creative business owners were selected from a pool of applicants to present their business ideas in front of a guest audience and industry leaders to get vital feedback and make lifechanging connections.

“We couldn’t have been happier with how the first edition of this event went and it certainly set the bar high for expectations for next year’s event to be even bigger and better.

“Our six leading creative businesses who took the stage absolutely blew the audience away with their passion, their thought-provoking business ideas, and the calibre of their presentations.

“Congratulations to Pia Robinson from The Culture Crusader, and her project Martin and Friends: Enabling through Augmented Reality, for being awarded the overall winner of the day.

“Her truly inspiring idea to help give everyone the ability to access arts and safe sensory spaces was amazing, and I hope the prize supports and aids her journey as an emerging business owner.”

Many of the businesses credited their refined pitches to the support and advice offered by world-leading facilitator Jacqueline Nagle during the half-day pre-pitch workshop.

Hosted by Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina, finalists were invited to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges comprising international industry powerhouses who work across the creative industry sector.

And the winner is ...

Pia Robinson from The Culture Crusader, and her project Martin and Friends: Enabling through Augmented Reality (AR), was the overall winner.

Pia’s project aspires to be an inclusive tourism exhibition and engagement program, aiming to transform 2D artwork into engaging AR that can be accessed anywhere, enabling a national reach and an inclusive cultural experience for young people on the spectrum or with sensory processing sensitivities. Scroll down for more about her project

Judges awarded her a one-on-one mentoring session with a matched Queensland AI Hub expert, as well as a 12-month Queensland AI Hub membership to support the project’s success.

The judging panel included industry-leading professionals from across the Creative Industries landscape including Josephmark Group CEO Ben Johnston, Innovation Architects Managing Director Mark Gustowski, Woodfordia General Manager Amanda Jackes and Orange Entertainment Co Development Producer Diya Eid.

Regional Innovation Co-ordinator Steve Butler says the wealth of talent and experience in the room was powerful when teamed with the networking opportunity created by the event.

“We’re very humbled and appreciative to each of our judges for donating their time and helping open doors, sharing their industry insights and encouraging participants to think outside the box,” he says.

Demo Day showcases creativity
Pia Robinson. Photo: Dominika Lis

Invaluable opportunity

Overall winner Pia Robinson, of Samford, says being involved in the Creative Industries Demo Day validated participants’ projects and work.

“To have a platform where we could have our voices heard in an appropriate space to get awareness around the local projects and the passion and drive within the community,” she says.

Being able to meet others in the industry but also those from other industries, and receive feedback was also helpful as was connecting with experts in the tech space including Queensland AI Hub.

“They’ve encouraged me to think bigger. It’s empowering to have industry believe in you,” Pia says.

She says having so many tech people on the judging panel and in the audience has given her a different perspective to think beyond what she perceived the project to be.

“The judges awarded a prize that would best suit my project and the next stage of my professional development,” Pia explains.

She says during the COVID-19 pandemic, she has consumed an enormous amount of online professional development content and she’s ready to take it further.

The opportunity with the Queensland AI Hub would push her into the “unknown and uncomfortable” and she’s thrilled at the prospect.

“The view ‘diverse representation impacts aspiration’ is fuelling the project,” she says.

“It’s enabling the invisible to become visible, profiling and celebrating the diverse individuals in our community.”

The project is a national touring exhibition celebrating Strathpine artist Martin Edge which aims to engage and inspire young children in particular.

It will be launched at Pine Rivers Art Gallery in 2023 and will incorporate Augmented Reality to “activate a 2D image” so children with a “busy brain” can use a mobile phone or other device to engage with the artwork long after they leave the gallery.

“Technology is enabling. We’re pushing the boundaries of how technology can be used as an enabling tool,” she says.

Demo Day showcases creativity
Martin Edge with Pia Robinson

Next steps for Pia

The Martin and Friends: Enabling through Augmented Reality (AR) project recently secured $60,000 in Arts Queensland funding and it is the only Queensland and only visual arts initiative which is part of this year’s Creative Partnerships Australia.

Pia says it is an Australia Cultural Fund MATCHlab recipient, which means if she raises up to $5000 the project will receive matched funding. Here’s a link to the fundraising page.

“The overall budget is nearly $250K which we are slowly chipping away at to maximise the reach nationally – and ‘export’ an incredible Moreton Bay cultural asset to the world,” she says.

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