The Sydney startup scene moves fast. So you can’t be blamed for missing a few golden nuggets of information over the last month. Here’s what we heard recently…
“Technology entrepreneurs tell us that the lack of affordable office space in the city is one of the biggest challenges they face.”
– Clover Moore, Sydney Lord Mayor
A 53-storey building at 180 George Street is set to become home to Sydney’s next wave of startups. Due for completion in 2022, the City of Sydney is seeking an operator for a planned 3-floor business innovation space for the tech sector. With affordable co-working at the heart of the proposal, an expression of interest document describes the vision for the space as a “future-focused innovation hub that supports and enables Australian tech startups to expand into global markets.”
“If just 6% more mothers worked, we would see a $6 billion win for our economy. By creating an integrated online and offline space that supports how women work and live, we’re providing a platform for women to succeed, and a community in which we can all thrive.”
– Oonagh Geoghegan, Co-founder, Frankly Co
On ‘a mission to completely redefine flexible working’ co-founders Dee Behan, Oonagh Geoghegan and Emma Startup have recently launched a $2.5 million equity crowdfunding campaign on Birchal to fund the first Frankly Co co-working space. If successful the flagship space is set to open its doors in 2020 and support professional women through flexible membership options, childcare, fitness and food amenities and fostering connection among its community.
“You can’t just purely rely on site analytics or the data on your website to suggest what people might like or want … That’s very valuable, and worth investing in … but there’s also tremendous value in just simply picking up the phone and chatting to the people that use your product.”
– Adam McCurdie, Co-founder and Director, Humanitix
Adam McCurdie recently shared his perspective on the value for startups in building relationships with their customers. This comes as the not-for-profit ticketing platform announced a relationship of another kind, partnering with Facebook to allow event organisers using Humanitix the capability of simultaneously launching their event on the social media platform, driving instant reach and engagement.
“From there, we went from engineers and became marketers.”
– Scott McKeon, Co-founder, Espresso Displays
In a recent chat with Smart Company Scott McKeon reflects on the versatility required as a founder after launching the current iteration of Espresso Displays via a Kickstarter campaign following a year in development and 8 prototypes. The ‘world’s thinnest touchscreen monitor’, which connects to any laptop, was funded within 7 hours of launch and has raised over $350,000.
“It shows maturity. That the local VC sector can be supporting funding opportunities of this scale and making such a difference in people’s lives is a great milestone for the local ecosystem.”
– Nathan Walsh, Co-founder and CEO, Athena Home Loans
Cloud-based home loan platform, Athena Home Loans has finalised a $70 million Series C funding raise led by Australian venture capital funds. As the largest capital raise led by local funds to date, existing investors Square Peg, Airtree, and Hostplus were joined by AustralianSuper, Salesforce Ventures, NAB Ventures and Apex Capital to bring about this mammoth milestone.