Joel Connolly is Head of Community at Blackbird Ventures, an Australian venture capital fund, and a former talent manager and craft beer festival director. Joel organizes and runs Blackbird's annual Sunrise festival, bringing together the best founders and ideas in the country. Blackbird has invested in some of Australia's most successful startups, including Autopilot, Canva, Coinjar, Dovetail, Redbubble, and SafetyCulture.
Before Blackbird, Connolly co-founded and was Festival Director for Sydney Craft Beer Week. He grew the program from 6 events to 140 and played a significant role in the growth of the craft beer segment in Australia. Connolly also co-founded and ran Umbrella Artist Management. In addition, he has managed Platinum-selling Australian bands, including The Rubens, Cloud Control, and Urthboy.