NSW government backs $35 million startup hub for Sydney

17,000 square metre Sydney Startup Hub coming to city’s CBD

Up to 6500 jobs will be created thanks to a new startup and innovation hub in Sydney, the New South Wales government has claimed.

The hub will be funded by Jobs for NSW. Stone and Chalk, Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs and The Studio have already signed on to take space in the 11-floor, 17,000 square metre hub, which will be located in York Street in Sydney’s CBD.

“This is an unprecedented investment from the NSW Government, which will support businesses and drive jobs growth across the State,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“When Sydney Startup Hub opens it will be in a central location to help both local and international entrepreneurs flourish.

“More than 40 per cent of the nation’s start-ups are in NSW already and with the addition of this hub and the White Bay precinct we want to see that figure grow.”

Jobs for NSW will invest $35 million over five years in the hub, which will open in late 2017 and early 2018. The organisation said that there will be KPIs for hub residents.

“The KPIs will form part of a legally binding partnership agreement with Jobs for NSW,” an FAQ document said. “KPIs will be relevant, measurable and achievable. They will benefit both partner organisations, the startup community as a whole, and reflect the outcomes Jobs for NSW seeks.”

Residents that don’t meet their KPIs for two consecutive years may be asked to leave the hub.

“This is a bold and exciting initiative from Jobs for NSW,” said StartupAUS’ head of data and insights, Alex Gruszka.

“StartupAUS has consistently called for innovation districts as a key component in any startup ecosystem, and the Sydney Startup Hub represents the biggest investment toward that goal in NSW history. Now the work is ahead of us to make sure it's thriving with activity from Aussie startups.”  

“The Sydney Startup Hub will help us to attract and support startup talent and will also provide a central space where visiting experts can focus their time,” Tech Sydney CEO Dean McEvoy said.  

“In this fast moving industry the knowledge of how to successfully build a high growth technology company has a very short shelf life, so the only way you can accelerate the learning of these founders is to put them close to other founders at a similar stage.”  

McEvoy said he was keen to see the hub open quickly, “particularly given there have been a number of stalled attempts to create this sort of space in the past”.   

The Jobs for NSW fund launched in August 2015 as a replacement for the State Investment Attraction Scheme (SIAS) and Regional Industries Investment Fund (RIIF).

Earlier this year it announced it was backing startup accelerator H2 Ventures with  a $2 million loan guarantee.

Last month the Victorian government announced plans to fund a fintech hub in Melbourne’s Docklands.  

Victoria’s small business, innovation and trade minister Philip Dalidakis said the initiative would “turbocharge” the state’s startup ecosystem and attract new investment.

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