What is a supersized startup hub and why is Sydney getting one?

Elizabeth Barry 14 February 2017

startup hub

The NSW Government is calling on business accelerators and incubators to sign up to the new hub.

Jobs for NSW, a state government-backed program, has announced a plan to establish a new "supersized" startup hub in Sydney. The government has called on business accelerators, startup partnering services and incubators to sign up to the new hub with the hope of rivalling hubs in other cities across the world.

“NSW has one of the most dynamic economies in the world and Sydney ranks in the top three startup ecosystems in Asia, a sector worth $70 billion to the State economy," said John Barilo, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Skills and Small Business.

"We want the Hub to be a globally significant location because similar approaches are happening across the world.”

A "supersized" approach to collaboration

The hub is planned to be located in or near the Sydney CBD and will be designed as a high-density cluster of organisations that will foster innovation and collaboration. While there are a few hubs already in existence, including Stone & Chalk, the Tyro Fintech Hub and Fishburners, the government is aiming to have a single site where these and other similar organisations to come together.

“Over the past six years, high-growth small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that make up just 6 per cent of NSW firms created over 1 million new jobs,” Jobs for NSW chair David Thodey said.

“We want to create more high-growth SMEs by providing a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Sydney's startup ecosystem

Sydney is largely recognised to be the startup capital of Australia, but its startup density is only 18% of that in Silicon Valley. We also fall behind other startup-focused cities such as London and Singapore.

A recent report by Startup Muster found that 41.9% of Australia's startup founders and supporters are located in NSW, with 33.3% of them located in Sydney. This is compared to 16.4% in Victoria, with almost all of them (15%) concentrated in Melbourne. The report also found a preference for coworking spaces, with 73.3% of startups using them.

Making the hub

Barilo the government is focused on creating the jobs of tomorrow, and a prosperous startup community is essential for this.

"By helping to build and support the start-up ecosystem in New South Wales we can encourage a pipeline for future growth businesses and jobs," he said.

Applications from interested organisations are due by March 1 and can be submitted on the Jobs for NSW website.

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