Startup community facilitator Fishburners has appointed Annie Parker as interim chief executive to replace Murray Hurps, who will vacate the role on Monday.
Just one week ago, Fishburners celebrated the end of a three-year search for a new home in Sydney, securing space at the downtown Sydney Startup Hub as an anchor tenant.
“Having grown the Fishburners community to 845 startups and secured our new hubs in Brisbane, Shanghai and Sydney, I am confident I have left Fishburners in a position to remain the leading community for scalable tech startups in the region,” said Hurps.
On social media, Hurps noted he came into the position in 2014 originally as “interim CEO”, and made the decision to step down after signing the landmark Sydney Startup Hub deal.
“In this moment, I feel like the future of Fishburners is secure, my role of ‘interim CEO’ is complete, and I’ve decided to move on,” he wrote.
“We’ve grown the Fishburners team from one incredible person [Pandora Shelley] to 13 incredible people, and I’ve had the honour of working with the best chair any CEO could hope for, Katherine Woodthorpe.”
Ironically, Muru-D co-founder Parker was, until May, leading the Lighthouse accelerator, which was set to take up three floors to anchor a massive new Barangaroo startup hub. That site was later ditched after it was overshadowed by the NSW government’s $35 million investment into the Sydney Startup Hub, due to open in November.
“I look forward to continuing the great work that has already been undertaken and maximising the opportunity provided by the new premises in the Sydney Startup Hub,” Parker said of her new role at Fishburners.
“Fishburners has nurtured some amazing startups in the last few years and the ongoing interest from new startups in being part of the program it runs speaks to the successes it has created.”
The 17,000 square metre York St facility, across the street from busy Wynyard railway station, will double the size of the co-working office Fishburners currently runs in Ultimo, allowing it to host 610 desks.
“We anticipate we’ll be very likely full, or very close to full, almost immediately upon the Sydney Startup Hub opening,” said Parker.
“The new space in the Hub allows us to not only focus on early stage startups, but gives a home to them as grow and mature without losing the DNA that the Fishburners’ community provides.”
Hurps, who is also the co-founder of startup community survey Startup Muster and the entrepreneur behind several software and hardware startups, said he enjoyed his time leading Fishburners because of his love for the startup community, care for the future of Australia and the professional growth opportunities.
“I’m [now] looking for positions that could be similarly rewarding, and would welcome any referrals… I will also be putting more time into the Startup Muster 2017 survey.”
Fishburners, established in 2011, was one of the first co-working space providers for Australian startups, operating 390 desks currently in Sydney, Brisbane and Shanghai. Parker is a director at Code Club Australia and founded Telstra’s Muru-D accelerator in 2013.
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