The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Promoted event: Content Development for Social Media, Marketing Women, Melbourne — May 23, 2014

Promoted event: Content Development for Social Media, Marketing Women, Melbourne


What attributes of content lead to social sharing? How do we drive engagement on social?

The Marketing Women Inc. Masterclass event: Content Development for Social Media on Wednesday 4 June, will address these questions and more.

There are two social media gurus presenting at the event: Sasha Cunningham and Katrina Loughrey.


Sasha has recently been appointed as Edge’s Senior Strategic Planner. Sasha explains that her move to Edge has been so she can focus on content marketing strategy and lead their social media offering.

Her current clients, specifically in social include AAMI, Optus, Secure Pay (an Australia Post company), Australian Unity, Bacardi and Lesson Zone.

Katrina Loughrey brings over 10 years experience as a communications and digital professional. She currently juggles the management of the Victoria Racing Club’s digital portfolio as well as being a curator of The Fetch Melbourne.

The event kicks off with plenty of networking time while enjoying some nibbles and drinks. Remember to bring along your business cards, so you can go into the draw to win a fabulous prize on the night.

Come and hear from the experts!

Register before May 28 at the early bird rate on the Marketing Women Inc website.

Event review: She Hacks – Australia’s first female-focused hackathon — March 30, 2014

Event review: She Hacks – Australia’s first female-focused hackathon

She Hacks Melbourne - Yishan Chan Photography
Yishan Chan Photograph

Kat Loughrey recently caught up with She Hacks runner-up Jackie Antig, on her first-time hackathon experience.

If you somehow missed it, Melbourne recently played host to its first ever all female hackathon called She Hacks. Girl Geek Dinners ran the event with the aim of bringing together groups of women across different skill sets to engage in collaborative computer programming. The theme was ‘Communities & Neighbourhoods’ and each group was provided the space, and support via industry mentors, to develop and nurture an app concept in less than 24 hours. As a mentor, I was suitably impressed by the creativity, ideas and sheer determination by the teams to produce a high quality product and prototype within this tight timeframe.

Selling out within a week and with the participant’s donations going to One Girl, the event was definitely a huge success and a big win for local women in tech. It showcased just how many talented women there are locally – and generated positive media coverage in the process.

To ensure success within the teams, each group was required to include three different skill sets: think Hipster (designer), Hacker (programmer) and Hustler (marketing and business – growth hacker). The Fetch Community Ambassador Jackie Antig assumed the hipster role within her team, and shared with me her recommended tips and insights on presenting at a hackathon.

What inspired you to participate in She Hacks?

I’ve been wanting to participate at a hackathon for years, but I didn’t have the courage to before. I am a bit of a shapeshifter across product feature development, communication and design for technology but I only know how to do a couple meagre lines of code (that may change in the future). I had falsely assumed that you had to be a true-bred coder in order to be a successful participant at a hack. She Hacks did a particularly swell job at rolling out the welcome mat for all backgrounds.

Of course, the focus on supporting and promoting women in technology was the biggest draw. One of the roads to closing the gender gap in the sector is skill development. Another road is building up confidence by being challenged and overcoming the challenges in a wicked smart, supportive environment. Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne and She Hacks takes care of both ends.

In making your final pitch, each team only had three mins to present. How did you find this and working with the team, to pull a presentation together with limited time?

In the beginning we were quite ambitious about the amount of information we were going to fold into the pitch. Our early time trials proved we needed to pare down. We prioritised defining the problem statement clearly, our product prototype demo and the storyline about how it addressed the problem statement. We sacrificed the gory details about business forecasting and sustainability but had a feeling that the judges would likely tease those elements out in the question round.

There’s so much you could include but with limited time, what are the top five things you’d recommend that you should make sure to include in your presentation?

Problem, solution, empathy, feedback, and actionable idealism.

Identify a clear-cut problem, design a solution driven by empathy and test your assumptions. Display a sense of actionable idealism; dream up something wild but show you know how to break it up into realistic bite-sized pieces and steps.

I noticed that most groups used slides and visuals. What do you think are “must-haves” in the way of visuals for your presentation?

Minimalism and impact.

She Hacks had an impressive panel of judges (see list here). Knowing who they would be, did that change the way your team decided to present? What do you think the judges were looking for from the teams?

We kept their background separate from our approach. The three minute time limit was the cracking whip against our backs.

I would say they seemed to be evaluating feasibility and real-world application.

Best part of the pitch presentation?

The rush to get up and tell everyone about what we came up with.

Worst part of the pitch presentation?

The nagging feeling we forgot to mention something important.

Would you participate in a hackathon again where you need to present/pitch?

Absolutely! Already searching for the next one.

What advice would you give to others doing a hackathon for the first time and for women considering participating in next year’s She Hacks?

You have the chops!

She Hacks - Wake Up Dress Up team - Yishan Chan Photography
The ‘Wake Up Dress Up’ app team with their runner up awards – Quinnie Chen, Jude Gammie, Jackie Antig. (Image credit: Yishan Chan Photography)

Your team came second, congratulations! So what’s next for your app idea: ‘Wake Up Dress Up‘?

Thank you! We’re trying our best to follow through on actionable idealism. We will be doing a healthy dose of evaluating the morning routine needs of women and the current relationship-building models local fashion designers currently engage in with their customers through a combination of data gathering and ongoing conversation.

We also need a mobile developer on board. Drop a hello our way via Twitter if want to learn more or are interested in pitching in:

SheHacks 2014 Melbourne from Inspire9 on Vimeo.

Thanks to the She Hacks official photographer, Yishan Chan Photography, for the photos. See her full gallery here from the event.

About our Curator // Kat Loughrey is the Melbourne Curator of The Fetch, a community where professionals can discover and share what’s happening in their city. Originally from Brisbane, via Japan, Kat now lives in Melbourne – a digital content strategist by day and explorer of Melbourne’s digital/tech, arts and music scenes by night. Follow her on Twitter at @KatLoughrey & @thefetchMELB

Your guide to finding the best unofficial SXSW 2014 events — March 2, 2014

Your guide to finding the best unofficial SXSW 2014 events


Going to SXSW this year? Our community peep Shannon Byrne brings you a list of places to discover unofficial events.

Of course you are. Everyone seems to be going. I feel like the second thing after “Hello” from the mouth of every tech/startup/community person I’ve run into in the past month has been: “Are you going to South By?”. Unfortunately, I am only going in spirit. Although I am envious of everyone with a pass, I am even more envious of the people who will be attending all of the “secret,” unofficial, and pop-up events. Let’s face it, these events aren’t just a pleasant surprise, they’re usually the best part about a big conference conference. And rumor has it that the same rings true for SXSW.

Usually equipped with free food, free booze, and high-quality networking (not just the people there for the free booze and food), these pop-up events and parties bring a breath of fresh air to the typical stodgy name tag cladden networking event. If you’re looking to make the most of your SXSW experience, we at The Fetch suggest checking out these resources and guides that you won’t find on the official SXSW agenda:

1) Gary’s Guide to SXSW is described as “the ultimate” SXSW party list with lots of pub crawls, food crawls, happy hours, brunches, parties, and educational talks broken out by day. Have your SX itinerary next to you while you scan the list to pencil the most appealing events in.

2) Austin 360 has a super helpful side party guide. Choose your day with the option to select free entry only, free food and drinks only, and/or staff picks to see your curated list of the best SX side parties.

3) RSVPster has a pretty extensive unofficial SXSW party calendar. Make sure to check out their Crash Course in Attending SX. It’s pretty focused on music, but there’s helpful tips for innovation too.

4) Expion is hosting some interesting pop-up panels featuring Gary Vaynerchuck of Vayner Media, Sabeen Ali of AngelHack, and more.

5) .Co is setting up an entire pop-up SxSW HQ equipped with coworking space, coffee, tacos, meetups, talks from some of tech’s greatest leaders, and more.

6) Cool Austin has a huge list of unofficial events on their Tumblr page.

7) Start following Unoffical SXSW on Twitter or Facebook for tips on some of the best (and free) parties.

8) has put together a diverse list of tech, startup, music, arts, and showcase events. This one is definitely for those interested in broadening their networks (and one of my favorites, personally).

9) There’s even a Reddit feed with a list of and discussions around all the bets parties.

Although we are envious that you get to go rub elbows with all of tech and music’s finest, I wish you safe travels and a ton of fun! Bring me back some swag, won’t you?! 🙂

Image credit: Austin Tech Council

Open Space Melbourne: for the love of design, advertising and science — February 9, 2014

Open Space Melbourne: for the love of design, advertising and science


This is a sponsored post from our friends at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.


What do you get when you put three experts in their field together in Melbourne talking about innovation through design, advertising and science to 2000 people? Well, you get Open Space.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is opening its doors to the community for Open Space, as it welcomes three of Australia’s most inspiring leaders in design, advertising and science to its Plenary stage on Thursday 20 February.

In its second year, Open Space is MCEC’s free, signature event running during Business Events Week and alongside the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) hosted annually at MCEC.

What you can expect there?

Open Space will bring people together to hear inspiring and thought-provoking talks around the event’s theme of innovation from keynote speakers:

  • Dr Ken Cato AO – renowned designer and founder of agIdeas International Design Week and Club Melbourne Ambassador
  • Todd Sampson – CEO of advertising agency Leo Burnett and panelist on ABC’s The Gruen Transfer
  • Dr Cathy Foley – leading scientist and Chief of CSIRO’s Materials Science and Engineering Division and Club Melbourne Ambassador

Each speaker will then be taking questions from the audience via a live Twitter feed.

Dr Ken Cato is an Australian designer with an international reputation. As a graphic designer, his work has won numerous design awards and his work is represented in museums and galleries around the globe. The world’s largest student design conference agIdeas International Design Week was founded by Dr Cato in 1991 and it now attracts more than 4500 young designers and over 40 speakers from around the world.

Adman about town – Todd Sampson is CEO of Leo Burnett – one of Australia’s top creative advertising agencies. Todd is also the breakout star of the hit ABC television show The Gruen Transfer and features regularly on Channel Ten’s 7pm show The Project.

Dr Cathy Foley has a world-class reputation in her field, is active in promoting science in the media and is well known for her interests in science education and women in science. Dr Foley’s research expertise covers solid state physics, such as semiconductors, magnetics, superconductivity and nanotechnology.

Open Space provides a rare opportunity to see and hear these thought leaders talk passionately about their passion – for design, for advertising and for science respectively, and, in the context of innovation.


Want more?

For the more inquiring types, you’ll also have the opportunity to get involved with the discussion by taking part in an engaging Q&A session and join in conversations via social media which will be streamed on MCEC’s event Twitter feeds.

And the fun keeps going. After the Plenary session, guests can network with fellow industry visitors and wander through the hawker-style food market and urban-inspired installation in the Convention Centre’s foyer, featuring recycled milk crates and vertical gardens, and enjoy a complimentary taste of MCEC’s award-winning food and wine.

In case you didn’t know MCEC is an iconic, world-leading venue through its use of functional spaces, technology, in-house catering and service. Through constant innovation it leads the business events industry to create memorable experiences for its visitors.

MCEC’s business and the business events industry is an essential part of Victoria’s economy through jobs, tourism, economic impact and its support of local suppliers and producers.

MCEC is a place where people meet to connect, educate and entertain. Open Space is a place set to inspire, get you listening, talking and WOWED.

When and where?

Open Space takes place on Thursday 20 February from 11.30am to 2.30pm at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf.

So save the date and register for your free ticket to Open Space at and while you’re at it share with your friends and social networks too:

Watch the highlight video from last year’s event and connect with MCEC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (@MCEC) and LinkedIn for Open Space news and updates.

Image credits: MCEC

7 must-watch talks from Lean Startup Conference — December 27, 2013

7 must-watch talks from Lean Startup Conference


On Monday December 9, on one of the coldest days of the year, a thousand people came together to the Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco. I had been looking forward to this conference for a while, and despite the brisk walk up a very large hill to the Masonic Center, was delighted to meet and learn from some of the best practitioners of the Lean Startup movement.

This year’s conference displayed the breadth of just how much “Lean” has grown. From its roots in engineering and startup culture, the Lean Startup movement has sparked a passionate and often very visible community interested in using lean startup principles. Conference attendees and speakers this year hailed from diverse industries and backgrounds, ranging not just from startups and traditional tech, but also healthcare, government, manufacturing, large industry, and especially notable this year – social impact organizations.

Eric Ries kicked off the conference with a status check on the Lean Startup community. “What are the new things we’ve learned in the last year? Or since the books came out? If we’re not learning, we’re wasting time.”

“A startup is not a product, it’s a human institution developing something under conditions of great uncertainty.” Eric further noted.

We certainly live in interesting and uncertain times. For all its merits as a new management theory, Lean Startup has the fervor of a social moment. There were so many great moments to the conference, here are my top 7 highlights for every entrepreneur (or for everyone for that matter).

1. Learning to Be an Organization that Pivots

ElectNext’s Keya Dannenbaum gives a very wise and informed talk on how entrepreneurs should recognize that passion is fleeting, but dedicated practice leads to success.

“Whereas passion crashes & burns, practice sets up on the path for steady progress” @keyajay @ElectNext #LeanStartup
— Jin Zhou (@soulcandies) December 10, 2013

Video of the presentation:

2. Frame Before You Build, Measure, Learn

Zach Nies of Rally Software spoke on the importance of framing before taking up the central Lean Startup conceptual loop of build-measure-learn. You’ll need to frame the problem by using empathy and insight documentation, and how hindsight bias eliminates surprises. Consider this a ten minute crash course on the design thinking approach in conjunction to lean.

“Learning lives at the intersection of what we expect to happen and what actually happened.” @zachnies @RallySoftware #LeanStartup 
— The Lean Startup (@leanstartup) December 10, 2013

Video of the presentation:

3. Using Kickstarter to Run an MVP

“Screw investment banking, screw consulting. Full time mushroom farming for us!” Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora on how they raised $250K on Kickstarter for their MVP product. I loved these guys. A crowd favorite.

Lean viable “mushroom kit” & #aquaponics. @nikhilarora @VelezAlejandro @bttrventures #LeanStartup on #kickstarter 
— Jin Zhou (@soulcandies) December 10, 2013

4. The Medium Is the Message

Patrick Vlaskovits, author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development and an old friend in the Lean Startup Movement, describes how it is not enough to have an innovative product, but also to have an innovative medium. He goes on to talk about TupperWare parties as being the “original growth hack”.

Innovative products don’t fit into existing distribution channels, they demand new ones. @pv with one of the best talks at #leanstartup — christiegeorge (@christiegeorge) December 10, 2013

Video of the presentation:

5. Risk, Information, Time and Money

Dan Milstein of Hut 8 Labs talks about how you should be really terrified of working on the wrong thing. How do you use your time wisely and tackle your riskiest assumptions?

You only get information when there is uncertainty and risk. If you’re not surprised, it’s not useful. @danmil #leanstartup
— Davender Gupta (@coachdavender) December 9, 2013

Video of presentation:

6. Acquiring Your First Users Out of Thin Air

The Muse’s very own Kathryn Minshew dishes out how the “build it and they will come” concept is a horrible idea. She further goes into five zero-cost strategies for customer acquisition.

Video of presentation:

7. Evidence-based Entrepreneurship

The godfather of Customer Development Steve Blank speaks on the difference between large companies and startups, bringing lean startup methods to the National Science Foundation, and the Lean LaunchPad Educators Summit.

Video of presentation:

And there we have it. I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from the conference. Hope to see you there next year!

“The work you’re doing is too critical for you not to choose the riskiest and ultimately most profound path.” @akashtrivedi @kiva #LeanStartup
— The Lean Startup (@leanstartup) December 10, 2013

About our Ambassador // When not reporting for the Fetch, Jin Zhou is an avid bookworm and tea drinker, exploring the cross sections of technology, psychology, human potential, wellness and compassion. She has previously led marketing at several startups, including The Alchemist Series, VanceInfo and EventBacker. Follow her on Twitter @soulcandies.

Image credit: Lean Startup Conference 2013