One of the country’s oldest and most well-respected co-working space providers Tank Stream Labs has announced it will be expanding into Perth in a bid to help link the startup ecosystems on Australia’s east and west coasts.
Faced with many alluring prospects when considering which Australian capital cities to launch TSL’s first every non-Sydney co-working space into, chief executive Bradley Delamare tells StartupSmart he picked Perth because of the potential for growth in the city’s startup ecosystem.
“Melbourne has almost double the co-working spaces of Sydney, and Brisbane is small market already with some standouts like Fishburners and River City Labs,” he says.
“Perth is an interesting one, and over the last 12 months we’ve seen a large number of WA startups coming over to Sydney looking for funding, talent, or to set up satellite offices.”
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Coupled with the fact the Western Australian economy has been through a “shakeup” recently, Delamare thinks the space is ripe for startup love, especially considering the number of high wealth individuals and large companies headquartered in the state.
A wave of successful startups have emerged from Western Australia over 2017, including blockchain success story Power Ledger, and constructiontech businesses such as ParkD.
The co-working space will open in early February 2018 with 50 desks, with the potential to expand based on the response the company receives from startups in the state. The offices are located on a floor of big four accountant Ernst & Young’s Perth offices, as part of a partnership which Delamare says has been very beneficial for both companies.
“I’m ex-EY, so I’m familiar with the ways they operate in both a corporate manner and their interaction with startups. I’ve seen both sides, and that understanding of how they operate has been a big part of our relationship,” he says.
Co-working space looking to bring east-coast startup culture along too
Delamare says Tank Stream Labs wants to provide more than just a co-working space to startups in Perth, with an aim of funnelling some of the more culture-focused aspects of its Sydney spaces across the Nullarbor.
This includes things like events for startups, mentoring services, and ways for companies to be connected with investors and corporates, of which there are plenty of in Perth.
“Corporates are the gatekeepers for startups, so we’ll be providing startups an opportunity to tap into those corporates, like big mining companies, professional services, and even companies like Wesfarmers,” he says
“We’re giving businesses a connection to that, and to the whole of Australia. We want to really connect west and east coast.”
Although startups in Western Australia have traditionally turned their sights towards sectors such as mining, construction, and transport, Tank Stream Labs wants to break this open and help diversify the field, including into areas like fintech and healthtech.
“This could be aided by Perth’s time zone, which is closer to Asia than the rest of Australia,” Delamare says.
“Also from next year there will be direct flights from Perth to London, which will open up European markets, which is part of our strategy.”