Two Sydney-based former Deloitte technology consultants, Ricky Marcon and Lee Jiang, have launched a new online marketplace, Upspot, that enables employers to tap tech talent on-demand.
The platform addresses the new-found trend of technology professionals and employers looking to move to an agile workforce model in the ‘gig economy,' according to Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro.
“Upspot is aiming to be the go-to marketplace for hiring talent on-demand in the technology space and the platform aims to enable any employer to quickly identify and tap into a pool of great tech talent in a fast and cost-effective way online,” he said.
It remains to be seen how the launch of the new platform, which is designed to give end clients instant access to a network of local digital professionals from leading companies who are keen to take on additional start-up work, will affect the local channel community that serves that part of the market.
Regardless, Barilaro said that employment in the ICT sector was expected to grow by 2.5 per cent each year to 2020, with the digital economy driving huge demand for up to 100,000 ICT workers within the period, according to an Australian Computer Society report - undertaken in partnership with Deloitte Access Economics in 2015.
The start-up platform received a Minimum Viable Product Grant (MVP) from private-sector led, NSW government backed Jobs for NSW to develop the software, as it aims for international reach.
Jobs for NSW is a $190 million private-sector led, NSW government backed organisation, with a priority to create 1 million new jobs by 2036. It offers a portfolio of product and service offerings including grants and loans to accelerate new job creation.
Specifically, MVP grants provide funding of up to 50 per cent of approved project costs to a maximum of $25,000 per project to help “promising” technology start-ups like Upspot gather customer feedback and test their business model.
According to Marcon, the grant was “invaluable” and without it, Upspot would not have been able to properly validate the business need they saw in the market.
“The feedback and market reception has been extremely positive. We aim to develop the platform to find the perfect product-market fit within the next three to six months. Then we will be looking to raise venture capital funding and expand Australia wide,” he said.
In February, the NSW Government beckoned expressions of interest for a new Sydney Startup Hub, which is financially backed by Jobs for NSW.
“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 Barilaro, at the time.