One of Sydney's original co-working spaces has shut

StartNest’s garden themed room.

StartNest, one of Sydney’s original co-working hubs, will shut its doors this week.

Founders Jono Herrman and Simon Foster had been working on ways to make the space financially viable for some time. In November it was looking to partner with a corporate group in the financial space.

A source close to the space said: “It wasn’t sustainable on a cash basis.”

The tech-focused co-working space opened its doors just over two years ago, with the aim to build a tech startup community north of the Harbour Bridge.

Hosting fortnightly meetings, its had attracted some very talented speakers, including Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie and Flamingo founder Dr Catriona Wallace.

The StartNest team said goodbye on Facebook today, posting this message:


Hello StartNest friends (members, ex-coworkers, Meetup attendees, visitors … and more),

Just wanted to let you know that having achieved the aim of introducing Coworking to Sydney’s north shore more than 2 years ago, StartNest is going to close up this week.

The original founders of StartNest created the coworking space in Crows Nest in April 2013, when it was apparent that no facility of that size existed north of the bridge and space to house StartNest became available in its building.

Coworking has enjoyed tremendous growth and public attention in recent years as a mode of work, evidenced by the recent Coworking Conference in Sydney (GCUC Australia – and the NSW Government support of smart work hubs.

Council and state government, as well as corporate support helps make many coworking spaces viable through subsidised rent, space hire or event sponsorship. Several corporates (i.e.: NAB, Regus and Lend Lease) have commenced rolling out their own coworking spaces as part of their commitment to the startup community. As such, StartNest has found it increasingly hard to sustain its model as an independent, suburban space.

So, sure whilst we’re sad StartNest is closing, It’s not all bad.

In its two and a bit years, StartNest has been responsible for a Meetup group of over 2,000 members and has hosted 100’s of individuals at business networking / educational talks, pitching nights and as coworkers operating businesses from its Crows Nest base. It has attracted an incredible range of well-known speakers from the startup community and its founders have been active in broader coworking and political initiatives to support the sector. In short, we’re just a little bit chuffed with what it’s achieved for the startup community.

We have learned lots and now we’re moving onto new challenges. When we started this, we hoped to make an impact in the startup/coworking space and from the comments we’ve received over the past 27 months, it would appear that we have. Thanks for letting us be part of that. We’ve had a blast, but now it’s time for us to move on.

** Hey, we’d love you to comment against this post to chronicle any positive effect on your startup/business or you personally through any of our activities. Just for our own kudos.

See you around in the community!
The StartNest Team

Co-working in Sydney has becoming increasingly competitive with big spaces like Hub and iCentral launching in the market.

There are also a bunch of smaller spaces popping up in the city outskirts and suburbs, but without government funding or scale, the smaller outfits are finding it harder to cut it.

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