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It Doesn't Take A Tech Head To Know That Sydney Is The Perfect Place For A Startup Hub

Would you expect the heart of New York's thriving startup scene to be in Poughkeepsie, where 15 million people every day don't congregate?

24/07/2017 11:23 AM AEST | Updated 24/07/2017 11:26 AM AEST
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"Big cities have been the crucibles of creativity and innovation since the start of the industrial revolution, and it is no different today."

Nayomi Senanayake's article The Sydney CBD Is The Wrong Space For A 'Startup Hub' questions why Wynyard was chosen as the location for this key innovation destination for the startup community in Sydney and NSW.

We started our technology hub and co-working space in Sydney in 2012 to support early-stage tech businesses. I think the decision to put the 'Startup Hub' at Wynyard is absolutely the right place, and the best place in Australia for it.

Nayomi suggests "Sydney needs to build its own startup ecosystem". I fully agree, and locating the hub where it is, in the heart of the CBD, gives us the best chance to do that.

Big cities have been the crucibles of creativity and innovation since the start of the industrial revolution, and it is no different today. Our big city centres are the focal points where people are more able to come together, exchange their ideas and different viewpoints.

Wynyard ticks all the boxes for what's needed to make an innovation cluster a success. That's why we will be moving into the Sydney Startup Hub with gusto on day one.

Sydney's thriving startup scene sees tech clusters springing up across Inner Sydney, stretching from Sydney University and the Australian Technology Park, through Ultimo and UTS to the CBD and Barangaroo.

A hub will unite these clusters and provide a central destination for our startup community to get together and collaborate on a scale they could never have hoped to before, providing the impetus for just the sort of robust, large-scale, fully-networked ecosystem we need.

Would you expect the heart of New York's thriving startup scene to be in Manhattan or in Poughkeepsie just to the north, where 15 million people every day don't congregate?

While many other parts of Sydney or the State could make a case for hosting the Startup Hub -- when considering the wide variety of needs of our entrepreneurs and tech innovators you can't go past the Sydney CBD.

There are three key reasons why the central Sydney really works for startups.

The first is connectivity. While connectivity occurs on many levels in the digital age, physical and virtual, there is no escaping the benefits of many people getting together in the same physical space, close to the support they need to grow and succeed.

The Startup Hub is in Sydney but not just about Sydney -- it's about how best to connect talent everywhere -- across the state, country or region.

Multiple forms of transport are a must. Compared to Wynyard, no other part of Sydney or NSW is easier to get to from all the other points on the compass near and far -- by plane, train or automobile, from overseas, interstate, out in the suburbs, or from regional NSW.

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Secondly, startups need a wide variety of support -- finance, mentoring, and referrals on to customers and other businesses, to name a few.

Corporate contacts are "gatekeepers" to all these things and locating your startup in the country's biggest commercial district, around the corner from more corporate headquarters, covering more industry sectors than any other, offers enormous value.

Thirdly, activities and events are hugely important for startups. They bring their owners face to face with each other, and with all sorts of contacts where they gain knowledge, network, and exchange ideas. Not all events happen in the Sydney CBD but the vast majority of business, cultural and social events are in or around the city.

This is why the diversity that Nayomi suggests is lacking in a CBD location is actually one of its strengths, along with the diversity the Startup Hub attracts under its own roof -- 2500 people congregating over 11 floors.

Wynyard ticks all the boxes for what's needed to make an innovation cluster a success. That's why we will be moving into the Sydney Startup Hub with gusto on day one.

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