The NSW Government is calling on business accelerators, incubators and other affiliated organisations including capital partners, to bind forces and sign up to the new Sydney Startup Hub, hoped to rival similar venues around the globe.
The ambition - financially backed by the government’s $190 million jobs-growth agency, Jobs for NSW - is to build a single site up to 15,000 square metres in Sydney’s CBD to nurture a high-density cluster where it is hoped collaboration will drive the future workforce.
“A prosperous start-up community is essential for creating the jobs of tomorrow and 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,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for regional NSW, skills and small business, John Barilaro.
He said the hub would also benefit regional NSW start-ups looking to leverage Sydney opportunity.
“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. We want the hub to be a globally significant location because similar approaches are happening across the world,” he added.
Whilst Sydney is the startup capital of Australia, its startup community density is only 18 per cent of that found in Silicon Valley, as measured by number of startups created per 1,000 people, according to Jobs for NSW.
Whilst this isn’t a necessarily poor comparison, the government agency believes the community needs better support to flourish and achieve three key objectives - create jobs, grow the strength and size of the ecosystem and increase diversity with non-ICT industries and regional players.
Initially, the NSW Government made a commitment to create a long-term innovation district at White Bay and Glebe Island, but this is not expected to come online for another five years.
Jobs for NSW said the Hub will enact as an “innovation bridge” - a short-term promise of financial and non-financial support, physical infrastructure and facilities, stronger networks including links to investors and a direct connection to the agency itself.
“Over the past six years, high-growth SMEs that make up just 6 per cent of NSW firms created over 1 million new jobs,” said Jobs for NSW chair and former Telstra CEO, David Thodey.
“We want to create more high-growth SMEs by providing a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
In endeavouring to achieve the end goal of driving the future workforce, Jobs for NSW said it looks to rival hubs dotted around the globe such as The Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC) and Station F Paris which is set to harbour 1,000 startups within 34,000 square metres upon opening in April this year.
Since inception almost 20 years ago, the agency said CIC companies have added roughly 40,000 jobs to the economy.
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