Startup News & Analysis

New South Wales government hopes “supersized” startup hub will help create 150,000 new jobs

Dinushi Dias /

The New South Wales government is taking expressions of interest from the startup sector to help deliver a “supersized” startup hub in Sydney, which will aim to create new jobs and boost the state’s economy.

The Sydney Startup Hub, led by the private sector and backed by government body Jobs for NSW, will work closely with the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship to establish new high-growth ventures.

“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,” Deputy Premier and small business minister John Barilaro said in a statement.

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

The Hub’s key objectives are to create jobs, increase diversity with “more startups from regional NSW and non-ICT industries”, and to strengthen the state’s broader startup ecosystem.

The Startup Hub development follows a $10 million commitment from Jobs for NSW to support startup accelerators and incubators. Jobs for NSW, which launched at Stone & Chalk in 2015, oversees $190 million in government funding for job-creation initiatives.

On average, an Australian startup employs four full-time workers, StartupMuster’s latest survey reveals.

Jobs for NSW chief executive of Jobs Karen Borg told Fairfax, the hub would need to be around “15,000 square metres in a single location” to make a substantial contribution to the government’s aim to create 150,000 new jobs in the state by March 2019.

“With the planned innovation district at White Bay more than five years away, Sydney urgently needs a focal point where startup founders and their support ecosystem can gather in the meantime,” Borg said.

Expressions of interest have opened for accelerators, incubators and startup partnering services interested in getting involved. Successful partners will be revealed this May, with the hub expected to open later in the year. Selection criteria include mandatory relocation to the hub’s premises and expected job creation in the next three years.

Meanwhile, development for a three-storey startup precinct to house thousands of entrepreneurs is also underway at Barangaroo International Towers Three on Sydney’s waterfront.

The Lighthouse, to be led by muru-D co-founder Annie Parker, will be another centre of gravity for startups in the heart of Sydney.

“Lighthouse is bigger than any one startup hub or company,” Parker told StartupSmart in December 2016.

“When completed, we will have an amazing concentration of people and activity the likes of which we’ve never seen before in Australia.”

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a journalist at StartupSmart and multimedia content producer. When she’s out of the office, she works on social projects with her We Love It Productions family and buddying filmmakers.

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