Passengers on Qantas flight 73 departing from Sydney to San Francisco this afternoon will experience the world’s first tech talk in the sky.
‘Ideas That Travel’ – a partnership with TEDxSydney – will see four of Australia’s most exciting technology and science innovators share their vision for the future of technology and design in a series of talks held in the nose of Qantas’ B747 during the thirteen hour flight.
The talks will be live-streamed to passengers via the in-flight entertainment system and available online following QF73’s arrival into San Francisco. The series will also be screened during TEDxSydney on 25 May 2016.
Joining QF73 will be a group of ten Australian tech entrepreneurs and start-ups sourced by innovation hub, The York Butter Factory, and Australia’s leading supplier diversity organisation, Supply Nation.
Qantas Group Executive Brand, Marketing, and Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth said: “Ninety-five years ago, Qantas was a start-up itself, and a large part of our success comes from the fact we have kept trying new ideas. So, we’re delighted to be able to give these emerging thinkers a unique platform to tell their stories.
“This is the perfect route for a world-first. We all know about the impact of the California tech boom, but what’s really exciting is the growing number of Australians doing business with Silicon Valley on the one hand, and building a home-grown Australian culture of entrepreneurialism on the other.
“One of the reasons we re-launched flights between Sydney and San Francisco was to support growing business travel driven by the tech boom, and we’re looking forward to playing our part in strengthening the ties between innovators on both sides of the Pacific.”
TEDxSydney Founder Remo Giuffré said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Qantas on this exciting ‘Ideas that Travel’ adventure celebrating the airline’s San Francisco service connecting Australian and US-based entrepreneurs.
“Some of the most exciting speakers from TEDxSydney alumni will be sharing their ideas at 30,000 feet while members of our extended networks are anticipating some serious meeting and greeting in the Bay Area next week. We’re all looking forward to hearing more about those experiences at TEDxSydney 2016 at the Opera House in May,” said Mr Giuffré.
The group of Australian start-ups travelling on QF73 will tour the world headquarters of tech giants Google, Twitter, Facebook, Khan Academy and Silicon Valley Bank and will participate in workshops at the Singularity University to help the businesses progress their business plans and explore new business opportunities on both sides of the Pacific.
During the trip, the startup group will also wear Fitbits to trial the new Qantas Assure app, which goes live later this year*. Australian Qantas Frequent Flyers who buy eligible insurance products from Qantas Assure and download the app will be able to earn Qantas Points for being active, which they can monitor through wearable technology.
Qantas’ Sydney-San Francisco services operates six days per week, with flights operated by Boeing 747-400 aircraft with the same interiors that feature on the airline’s flagship A380s. The service re-started in December 2015.
*While not yet available for purchase, Qantas Assure will be a new insurance membership with its own wellness program. It will be available to Australian resident Qantas Frequent Flyers aged 13 years or over.