Victoria continues push to be startup state with new initiatives and a local’s big expansion

Dinushi Dias /

The Victorian government has outlined further strategic initiatives to bolster the state’s startup ecosystem at the launch of a local tech company’s big new headquarters in Melbourne.

At the opening of Sidekicker’s Melbourne office, minister for small business, innovation and trade Philip Dalidakis told StartupSmart a key aim of its $60 million LaunchVic fund is to grow accelerators and local co-working spaces.

“We believe in a very focused roll out of that model will see more and more companies locate into Victoria not just because the talent pool is there but because they know the government support is there,” Dalidakis says.

Major announcements in the festival, startup and tech space are underway, he says, including a state-wide mentoring program for entrepreneurs.

Dalidakis says they are strategically creating scale for local startups to make Victoria the number one destination.

“We have undertaken a very specific program of attracting overseas companies within the tech industry to locate here in Melbourne,” he says.

Sidekicker CEO Thomas Amos says he looks forward to building a great relationship with the Victorian government and growing Melbourne’s startup community.

“As part of the Melbourne tech sector, we’re very eager to provide more job opportunities, flexibility in choice for workers and doing all that through a beautiful iPhone app,” Amos tells StartupSmart.

Sidekicker, an on-demand workforce platform, launched its rebranded website on Wednesday and is projected to facilitate more than $15 million worth of work this year.

Melbourne is a great place to launch operations and continue strong growth across Australia and New Zealand, Amos says.

He says the increase in startups locating themselves in Victoria is exciting because it will mean more young people can get exposure to successful startup companies, which will create a great foundation for them to launch their own ventures.

“When I graduated from uni the choices were the big four accounting firms and banks and now graduating students have got options to work at companies by the likes of Sidekicker or Uber in Victoria,” Amos says.


With global brands like Zendesk, Square, Slack, Eventbrite and GoPro choosing to locate their Asia-Pacific headquarters in Victoria, Dalidakis claims the state is the startup capital of Australia, even compared to one of Sydney’s strengths.

“Despite the fact that some people try and rate Sydney for fintech, unequivocally Victoria’s got more fintech companies starting up and located here right now,” he says.

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.