Australia's first startup accelerator for the sharing economy has opened in Sydney

Car Next Door’s Will Davies, Zoom2U’s Steve Orenstein, Mad Paws’ Alexis Soulopoulos and Spacer’s Mike Rosenbaum. (Source: The Sharing Hub)

Australia’s first startup accelerator for the sharing economy officially opened its doors in Sydney on Monday night.

The Sharing Hub was founded by four entrepreneurs who are no strangers to the sharing economy – co-founder and chief Mike Rosenbaum, Car Next Door co-founder and chief Will Davies, Zoom2U founder and chief Steve Orenstein, and Alexis Soulopoulos, co-founder and chief of Mad Paws.

The facility, in the inner city precinct of Pyrmont, will start with 28 startups in varying stages of maturity, and will provide training, mentorship and investment opportunities as well as physical working space.

“We are already working with some of Australia’s most innovative peer-to-peer platforms and rolling out a series of events to teach how the gig economy can help business and consumers utilise idle assets and services,” said Rosenbaum.

“Our efforts also include working with the University of Sydney to teach budding entrepreneurs the fundamentals of this sector, alongside creating a graduate program to help create world class talent.”

NSW minister for innovation Matt Kean cut the ribbon at The Sharing Hub on Monday night, backing up recent statistics that the sharing economy in the state had grown by more than $1 billion last year.

With the number of people in NSW earning an income from the sharing economy doubling from 45,000 to 92,000, the new accelerator has set a goal to grow what it calls “collaborative consumption” by 20 times by the year 2025.

“The sharing economy is still in its infancy, and there is endless potential to enable peer-to-peer exchanges through technology,” said Soulopoulos.

“This new and alternative socio-economic system embeds sharing, community, collaboration and trust at its heart, which is why The Sharing Hub has been launched to help companies succeed in this space and help consumers make a second income.”

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