GROWING SYDNEY'S ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE

Written on the 16 October 2015

GROWING SYDNEY'S ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE

SYDNEY'S burgeoning entrepreneur and startup community is set to welcome some of the tech sector's biggest national and international names to the city, as two festivals promoting and nurturing the tech industry collide.  

Startup Week, a new week-long series of events for Sydney startups, includes guided tours of the city's tech hubs, ideas pitching events and a 'code club' for primary school kids.

At the same time, Australia's biggest startup conference, SydStart, will bring the global tech sector's biggest names to Town Hall for two days of new ideas and collaboration.

The two Sydney business events, both sponsored by the City of Sydney, will help showcase the city's growing startup community to a wider audience.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the aim is to create an environment that helps technology entrepreneurs start and grow successful global businesses in the city.

"Sydney is home to Australia's highest concentration of new technology startups and we want to encourage these entrepreneurs to stay in the city, grow their businesses and help create the jobs of the future," says Moore.

"Events like Startup Week and SydStart will help us build the skilled and connected community we need to make that happen."

"We're also looking at what else we can do to encourage startups, with ideas ranging from 'how to code' classes through to cutting planning red tape to encourage more co-working spaces."

Startup Week runs from 23-30 October with a seven-day program of workshops, hackathons (problem-solving idea exchanges), networking events and tours at 22 venues around the city.

Michelle Williams, national manager of Startup Week Australia, says the new festival aims to engage Sydney's grassroots tech startup community as well as more established entrepreneurs.

"Sydney has a really strong entrepreneurial culture and it's a great supportive base for tech startups," says Williams.

"We hope Startup Week will become an annual event to showcase the wealth of Australian startup talent and we hope it will lead to greater national and international investment and a broader understanding of this exciting sector."

SydStart runs on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 October at Sydney Town Hall.

The two-day event features high-profile Australian startup founders like Cyan Ta'eed (Envato) and Goran Stefkovski (Kogan) and international market leaders including Ray Chan (9Gag) and Diajeng Lestari (HijUp.com).

Sydney startup CEO, Jane Lu (pictured), is one of the speakers at SydStart. Jane founded online fashion retailer Showpo in a garage in September 2010 she now has more than 1.2 million social media followers and last year celebrated $10 million in sales.

"I started Showpo because I was working in a corporate job and I couldn't stand the idea of being stuck in a grey office cubicle all day when Sydney is so full of life,  so I guess you could say the city was one of the inspirations behind the business," says Lu.

"I'm delighted to be speaking at SydStart. It's a great opportunity for Sydney's startup community to showcase itself and to hold our own onstage with the best in the world.

"Sydney's tech startup and fashion industries are both really hot right now so the city is a natural home for Showpo."


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