Australia’s most successful startups and global tech giants, including Atlassian, Airbnb and Airtree Ventures are backing a new not-for-profit aimed at turning Sydney into Australia’s Silicon Valley.
The new group, TechSydney, will work to address the Sydney innovation ecosystem’s greatest challenge: collaboration.
Last year, Sydney’s global startup ecosystem ranking slipped last year from #12 in 2012 to #16.
This was despite increasing efforts from major tech companies, startups and all levels of government to improve both Sydney’s, and in turn, Australia’s startup and technology ecosystems.
It became apparent that while all of these groups were working towards a common goal, they tackled it in isolation, limiting their impact and ability to change the sector for the better and there was no organisation focused on Sydney.
Recognising this challenge, serial entrepreneurs Dean McEvoy(Spreets), Mick Liubinskas (muru-D), Kim Heras (25fifteen), Riley Batchelor (tidyme) and Gen George (OneShift) devised a new group that will act as a central point for the sector.
Already, the not-for-profit has gained the support of Australia’s largest tech firms including: Atlassian, Tyro, Canva, Airbnb, Prospa, LinkedIn, Airtree Ventures, Reinventure, Blackbird Ventures and more than 30 other funded startups and high growth technology companies.
TechSydney will start with three main focus points that will improve the sector:
- Creating a hub for Australia’s startups and high growth technology companies.
- Attract world-class technology talent to Australia
- Promote startups and high growth technology companies as a viable career path, and in turn, bring more women into the sector
In order to achieve these goals, TechSydney will:
- Serve as an organising body and a central point of contact for for all initiatives relating to Sydney’s high growth technology sector.
- Bring together the best in the industry, so they can learn from each other and address the common issues via advocacy to government and implementation of initiatives.
- Promote both Sydney and Australia’s startups and high growth technology companies locally and abroad.
“Recent moves from all levels of government to support our startup and technology sector have been heartening, but we can’t rely on them to carry it forward,” said TechSydney CEO Dean McEvoy.
“By working together, we will drive the initiatives that will turn Sydney into a world class, top 10 hub for technology companies.”
The group will launch at an exclusive invitation-only Dinner on May 30 at the Powerhouse. Sydney’s top 200 technology companies will be in attendance. The first 100 have already been invited, and the group is now taking applications for the next 100 attendees at TechSydney.com.au, and is urging companies to register their interest today.
Annie Parker, co-founder, muru-D
I’ve been consistently bowled over by the talent I see in Sydney, this city has incredible potential and with the strength of TechSydney behind it, we could see exponential growth in the next 10 years.
Alex McCauley, CEO, StartUpAus
TechSydney is a really important initiative, it’s bringing key voices in the Sydney technology ecosystem into the national conversation. Efforts like this around the country are essential to building a globally competitive national framework in Australia.
Andrew Rothwell, Co-founder, Tyro
I worked in Silicon Valley for 9 years for one of the biggest technology companies in the world. I learned a lot but longed to return to Australia, as nowhere beats the lifestyle you can have here.
We wondered what it would take to start a Silicon Valley style company in Australia. So we started Tyro 13 years ago and more should do the same. TechSydney will be an essential ingredient in helping facilitate more successful startups being grown in Sydney.
Cameron Adams, Co-founder and CPO, Canva
In order to play on the global stage, the calibre of talent that we require is immensely high. Fostering the growth of engineers, designers and entrepreneurs at a local level is vitally important, but we also need to make Sydney an attractive place for experienced talent from around the world. Not only will they help our existing startups grow, but they’ll also spread vital experience and knowledge throughout our startup ecosystem and foster the next generation of startup talent.
Craig Blair, Managing Partner, Airtree Ventures
The Sydney technology scene has come a long way over the last 15 years but it still has a long way to go. A dedicated body to organise and promote Sydney as a technology hub is a must if we are to compete on the global stage. We are excited to be a part of TechSydney
Danny Gilligan, Co-founder and Managing Director, Reinventure
There is huge power in the tech industry within Sydney banding together to drive a long term vision for the city. A single voice focused on a couple of key issues will drive real change in a short period of time.
Gen George, founder, OneShift
Sydney has a lot of potential to be a serious competitor as a global startup ecosystem ranker. And on the back of the release of the Innovation Statement by the Federal Government, we have seen so many positive conversations happening to create more accessibility and visibility to the national ecosystem.
However in true entrepreneurial style, the Sydney Startup community knows if we want to have a fighting chance of being in the top 10 globally, we need to connect all the stakeholders from universities, incubators, investors, startups, small businesses, corporates to truly drive this from the ground up. Through an inclusive approach, TechSydney has brought together the community to understand our biggest challenges as an ecosystem.
Kim Heras, founding partner, 25Fifteen
TechSydney is a really important initiative bringing key voices in the Sydney technology ecosystem into the national conversation. Efforts like this around the country are essential to building a globally competitive national framework in Australia.
I’ve been involved in helping to grow the startup community for over 10 years and never have I seen such a concerted effort to create a world-class ecosystem in Sydney.
The threat to our economy, if we don’t act significantly and in unison to build a strong tech industry, is real.
For the first time there is a common understanding of that threat with every part of the Sydney tech industry committed to doing something about it – starting with the creation of TechSydney.