Founders and startups looking for a hub to base their operations out of can now pitch it out to secure a year’s free rent and mentoring, thanks to a partnership between Startup Victoria, MYOB and Melbourne-based co-working space CreativeCubes.Co.
Startups will pitch to a panel led by Rachael Neumann, former EventBrite Australia managing director, for the chance to win one of eight rent-free 12-month spots in the CreativeCubes.Co space, sponsored by MYOB, and 12 months of mentorship from the MYOB, Startup Victoria and CreativeCubes.Co teams.
Also on the panel will be Startup Victoria chief executive Georgia Beattie, MYOB community manager Kristen Holden, CreativeCubes.Co co-founder, Tobi Skovron, and workplace wellbeing champion and communications director, Skye Tipler Rosenberg.
The eight successful startups will be working out of the CreativeCubes.Co’s Cremorne-based office, with the inner Melbourne suburb becoming a growing startup hub that also encompasses Richmond.
Startups from around Australia can apply to participate in the pitch event, which will be held at CreativeCubes.Co on October 4. To be eligible, they must have fewer than four employees and have been operating for less than 12 months.
Melbourne’s emerging startup hub
CreativeCubes.Co’s Cremorne-based location was crucial to this partnership, with Startup Victoria chief Georgia Beattie identifying the suburb and its neighbour Richmond as the heart of the state’s startup ecosystem.
“We did the largest and most in depth report and data collection of the Victorian startup ecosystem … and the data showed that Richmond was our startup capital for Victoria,” Beattie tells StartupSmart.
This led Beattie to move StartupVictoria’s headquarters to the CreativeCubes.Co space earlier this month, “so we could be right in the middle of the ecosystem”.
Having startups work side-by-side in co-working spaces, or in the same suburb, creates a sense of community support, according to Beattie, who believes this latest initiative will provide a great boost to the local startup ecosystem.
“We wanted to set an example of collaboration in the state so there’s more inclusive behaviour,” she says, adding that “having free rent and being surrounded by like-minded go-getters is so critical for an early stage startup”.
“Whether you’re going for a coffee and meeting a high growth business, to being co-located [in a co-working space], it’s a fantastic thing for an ecosystem,” she says.
“MYOB, SEEK, CarSales and REA Group are all located in the area, and they are our four unicorns for Victoria,” she adds, observing that the success of these “fast-moving, high-growth companies” will have flow-on effects to other startups in proximity because “a rising tide lifts all boats”.
“If you have a look at a functioning ecosystem, your later stage startups that are successful and are in the high growth phase, they are very good at sending the lift down to the next generation,” she adds.
“We want to be seeing more of our successful businesses [in Victoria] more inclined to be generous to startup and entrepreneurs.
“It’s a really hard job being an entrepreneur — we want to support them as well as we can, and this relationship [between MYOB and CreativeCubes.Co] is a mechanism and a channel to create that sort of behaviour.”