Sydney to launch precinct for thousands of entrepreneurs as NSW commits $13 million to startups

Annie Parker Anthony Farah Lighthouse

Christmas has come early for New South Wales (NSW) startups with plans for a major precinct to unite thousands of entrepreneurs revealed as the state government made a $13 million commitment to back startups.

This week, NSW minister for innovation and better regulation Victor Dominello launched the state’s innovation strategy and promised to open the gateway for entrepreneurs to work with government on its most pressing challenges.

“The digital age has transformed technologies, businesses and consumer expectations,” Dominello said in a statement.

“It is imperative that government agencies embrace new ideas and ensure that current and future policies reflect the disruptive age in which we live.”

The innovation strategy will see $10 million from the Jobs for NSW program redirected to startup accelerators and incubators, and a further $3 million allocated to startup grants over the next year.

Another key initiative will be the creation of the NSW Innovation Concierge (NIC), a “front door” for entrepreneurs interested in working with the government.

The NIC’s role will include what the government is calling “Shark Tank” pitch opportunities where startups and entrepreneurs can get in front of key government advisers and relevant industry experts.

A beacon for Sydney’s ecosystem

Meanwhile, the development of a major startup precinct is underway in Sydney, with a space located across three floors and nearly 7000 square metres set to open in 2017.

The Lighthouse will be located on Sydney’s waterfront at Barangaroo International Tower Three, Business Insider reports.

The precinct will be led by newly appointed chief executive Annie Parker, who will leave Telstra-backed accelerator muru-D, which she co-founded, this year.

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“Lighthouse is bigger than any one startup hub or company,” she says.

“It’s about bringing together the entire ecosystem in Sydney, and across Australia.

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

“It’s about providing the greatest possible number of human connections in one place [from] other thinkers and founders, to advisors and mentors and to the corporate and academic worlds.”

One of the project’s architects Anthony Farah says the space will be able to accommodate thousands of founders of fast-growing startups each year.

“Lighthouse is more than an accelerator, it’s a curated program which will give founders the opportunity to grow,” he says.

This article was first published by StartupSmart.


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5 years ago

Are “startups” even classified as “businesses” as this point?

Since when has the notion of entrepreneur changed from a creator of a successful company that employs people and turns a profit, to developer of some venture that deals with “securing funding”, offering a “free” service to an ever growing user base and, crème de la crop, going public and scamming a bunch of unsophisticated band-wagon jumping investors?

Startups often don’t even have a business model that they can
monetize … Just a bunch of disruptive innovators offering solutions to problems that
don’t really need to be solved.

It’s a shame that this startup obsession is getting so much spotlight, while issues that affect legitimate businesses are often left in dark.

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