The New South Wales government is providing $35 million towards a massive startup hub spanning 11 floors in downtown Sydney.
The Sydney Startup Hub will cover 17,000 square metres — roughly the size of the Sydney Cricket Ground — in 11-31 York Street. The facility has already secured existing startup co-working providers Stone and Chalk, Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs and The Studio as anchor tenants to instantly create an epicentre of local tech activity.
“More than 40% of the nation’s startups are in NSW already and with the addition of this hub and the White Bay precinct we want to see that figure grow,” said NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian.
She added the $35 million the government was contributing through its Jobs For NSW programme was an “unprecedented investment” and “first of its kind” in the southern hemisphere, creating up to 6,500 new jobs.
The facility, located across the street from Wynyard Park, is scheduled to open November this year.
NSW deputy premier and small business minister John Barilaro said that in addition to 2,500 local startups, the hub will welcome entrepreneurs from regional areas through landing pads and community events facilities.
“The Sydney Startup Hub will support businesses, turbocharge the startup ecosystem, and drive job creation across the state,” he said.
Fintech hub Stone & Chalk, currently home to organisations like FinTech Australia, H2 Ventures and Reinventure on Bridge St, will take up two floors at the new York St facility to host up to 600 businesses over 4,252 square metres.
The new space comes at just the right time for the organisation, which would have been forced to move out of its existing site by the end of the year to make way for a redevelopment of the AMP building.
“Having reached capacity in 2016, the move to the Sydney Startup Hub will enable us to continue to support some of Australia’s top scaleups, and help the fintech sector contribute to more growth across the country,” said chief executive Alex Scandurra.
The state government’s investment was an “incredible” effort to bring the startup community together at a downtown location, according to Scandurra.
“Affordable space remains the single largest barrier to build sustainable startup ecosystems,” he said.
“This is a monumental milestone for Stone & Chalk, and more broadly for the Australian fintech scene.”
Tank Stream Labs has fostered now-household names like Airtasker, Expert360, LawPath, Equitise and StockSpot in its current Bridge St property (separate to Stone & Chalk’s building), which chief executive Bradley Delamare said would be retained.
“We’re delighted to be expanding into the Sydney Startup Hub and we look forward to offering something quite different to the usual co-working space in our new home. We’re working hard on a number of exciting elements that we’ll be keeping under wraps until nearer the time.”