Startup News & Analysis

Melbourne CBD gets $80 million incubator … Uber’s new chief sets IPO timeline … Academy Xi launches coding scholarship for indigenous students

Angela Castles /

Melbourne-based startups looking to break into the Asian market will be supported with a new $80 million incubator that has opened in Melbourne’s CBD this week, The Australian reports.

The incubator received an $80 million investment from Chinese venture capital firm Suzhou High-Tech Venture Capital Group to manage the centre, fund project development and provide access to investment over the next three years.

Opening at 51 Queen Street in Melbourne’s CBD, the Jiangsu-Victoria Innovation Centre was created in collaboration between the City of Melbourne, RMIT University, the University of Melbourne, and the Australia China Association of Scientists and Entrepreneurs.

Uber could go public in 18 months

Uber’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has set a timeline for Uber’s initial public offering, saying it could happen in as soon as 18 months, TechCrunch reports

Khosrowshahi addressed employees at a company meeting this week and said Uber could IPO in the space of 18 to 36 months, with the timing yet to be finalised. This timeline suggests an Uber IPO could happen in 2019 or 2020.

Khosrowshahi, who was previously the chief executive at travel company Expedia, was offered the role at Uber on Sunday, and formally announced he had accepted the role on Tuesday.

Virtual reality eductech startup Academy Xi launches indigenous UX scholarship

Edutech startup Academy Xi is offering Indigenous Australians with an interest in user experience design (UX) a chance to receive a scholarship to participate in the startup’s 10-week ‘UX Design Transform course’, Startup Daily reports.

The scholarship is valued at $10,000, and teaches participants how to develop their UX design skills, with the aim of kickstarting a career in the design industry with real-world mentoring and experience.

“These are skills that everyone should be learning, and unfortunately not everyone has the access and ability to learn these skills. We’re constantly seeing professionals upskilling to high-demand careers, but we’re committed to bringing in more students from different backgrounds,” Academy Xi chief executive Ben Wong said.

Academy Xi has partnered with digital agency Isobar Group to launch the ‘Founding Futures’ scholarship.

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Angela Castles

Angela Castles is a former StartupSmart journalist.

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