The Tasmanian Government has launched two new innovation hubs in the state, located in Launceston and Hobart.
Labelled Enterprize – Tasmania’s Startup Space, the hubs will be open to the public yet have a focus on developing the local start-up community, providing the resources and support required to inspire and accelerate students, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Startup Tasmania president, James Riggall, said Enterprize Launceston and Hobart will bring people together, provide a location, training and hands-on mentoring to develop, evaluate and implement, pre-start-up and early stage business opportunities.
“This partnership brings together all the elements required for a thriving start-up ecosystem," Riggall said.
"For the first time, everyone will be working together with a common vision – to ensure that innovative ideas are given the best chance of success.
"This announcement sees a whole-of-state approach which, importantly, has the full support of the leaders in the startup community, corporates, university and investors,” he said.
Anchor tenants and industry mentors, made up from educational establishments and the wider corporate community, will provide support and positive business role models.
Amazon Web Services and Google will provide access to free products, services, and training.
The Tasmanian Government, through the office of the Coordinator General, provided seed capital to establish a not-for-profit company to provide the governance to manage both the space and programs. Most of the members were drawn from the local start-up community.
London Startup Scene veteran and Startupbootcamp Melbourne co-founder, Richard Celm, has been working on strategy, program design and building local capabilities for Startup Tasmania, supported through the Office of the Coordinator-General.
In addition to Startupbootcamp, local Australian accelerators, muru-D and Pollenizer, have run events to upskill local start-ups and train local potential mentors to further develop the local start-up ecosystem.
Boman Asset local investor, Rohan Boman, said the state of Tasmania is punching well above its weight when it comes to startups per capital.
In the last twelve months, Tasmanian startup, The Yield, raised $2.5 million from European tech conglomerate Bosch; Biteable successfully raised $1.1 million, and TasmaNet secured $5.3 million predominately from local Tasmanian investors.
In addition, a survey conducted by StartupTas in June 2016 for the upcoming StartupAus Crossroads report found that Hobart currently has 78 tech start-ups per million people and Launceston, 256 tech start-ups per million people.
“Tasmanian investors have invested and are interested to invest in Tasmanian technology companies and Innovation Hubs have proven to accelerator the investment opportunities for startups within a community,” Boman said.
StartupAUS CEO, Alex McCauley, said one of the great economic advantages that technology can deliver to Australia is that it removes the tyranny of distance, and that is even more important in a Tasmanian context.
“For us to capitalise fully on the vast opportunities presented by digital technology, we need engagement all over the country," he said.
“Regional innovation hubs have proven hugely successful around the world, particularly in the US.
"This is a fantastic initiative that will put Tasmania on the Australian startup map. StartupAUS is looking forward to helping high-growth entrepreneurs in Tasmania thrive."