Melbourne has been declared the ‘tech capital of Australia’, as the city today released its new proposed four-year Startup Action Plan.
The new plan, released by the City of Melbourne, is the result of consultation with more than 400 start-ups and other stakeholders. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle AC said a renewed focus on start-ups meant more jobs, innovation and productivity for the city.
“Our vision is for Melbourne to be recognised as the number one destination for start-ups and entrepreneurs to ‘start, grow and go global’, across Australia and Asia,” the Lord Mayor said in a statement.
“New figures show that Melbourne’s CBD is now the co-working capital of Australia with more co-working office space than Sydney. Demand for flexible co-working office space is being driven by the start-up sector, which is helping drive job growth.
“Melbourne is also the top ranked ‘tech city’ in Australia and 14th in the world, according to real estate service provider Savills. Knowledge-based jobs, of which start-ups are a key contributor, have grown by 25 per cent or 60,000 jobs across Melbourne in the past decade. Start-ups aren’t just about technology. They’re small businesses from all sectors that have an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset and grow quickly.”
The plan recommends the City of Melbourne work with start-ups to connect them with industry so they can commercialise intellectual property; uses the city’s international connections to help start-ups go global; and work with State Government and developers around affordable spaces for start-ups.
Other recommendations include that the city continues convening an annual program of events and learning − including Melbourne Knowledge Week and Melbourne Conversations − to connect start-ups with one another and the community; and making it easier for the City of Melbourne to engage start-ups as suppliers via procurement innovation that minimises red tape, along with advocating for other organisations to do the same.
Co-founder of Melbourne co-working space York Butter Factory, Stuart Richardson, said co-working spaces are an integral part of any start-up ecosystem, with entrepreneurs collaborating and thriving in the hubs in Melbourne for the past six years.
“While the focus tends to be on ‘co-working’, or ‘flexible spaces’, what’s far more consequential to the new economy is the density of entrepreneurial activity and diversity of communities, at scale. This brings together communities of start-ups, corporates, academia and government into innovation precincts,” Mr Richardson said.
“There is now a need to achieve scale and better ‘network the networks’ and kickstart strong innovation precincts. In doing so, it is important to cast aside any state or city-based rivalries in favour of strong collaboration to build Australia’s competitiveness globally as a recognised destination for the best and brightest.”
Council will consider the Startup Action Plan at a meeting next Tuesday.
The proposed plan is available at the City of Melbourne’s website.
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