Tech Startups Action Plan

Thank you for working with us to develop an action plan that will support the growth of Sydney’s tech startup ecosystem.

The new 10-year Tech Startups Action Plan outlines how the City can support the tech startup community.

The plan is based on a number of pilot programs and extensive research and feedback from the ecosystem.

The community had the opportunity to comment on the draft action plan by completing a survey, participating in an online discussion forum or emailing a submission.

During the exhibition period from 18 August — 11 November 2015, 3,397 individuals visited SydneyYourSay, there were 1,178 downloads of the draft action plan and 450 copies of the draft action plan were distributed.

In total, 344 people gave feedback via an online survey, 20 through an online discussion forum and 32 organisations and individuals emailed submissions.

The range of participants included tech startup entrepreneurs, employees and supporters, professionals in corporate businesses, investors, educators and students.

The majority of the feedback strongly agreed with the City’s proposed actions or thought that they would be useful in supporting tech entrepreneurs to launch and scale innovative companies.

Comments ranged from the need for entrepreneurship education and affordable office space, how international links are important, that tax regulation is a barrier and the need to increase diversity in the tech community.

The predominant theme was the need for entrepreneurship skills and knowledge delivered through programs, workshops, meetups, seminars or international speakers.

You can read about what the community told us and how your ideas were considered below, and take a look at the survey snapshot.

Find out what we are already doing to support tech startups.

Don’t miss out on updates about the City’s work to support tech startups. Subscribe below.


Thank you for working with us to develop an action plan that will support the growth of Sydney’s tech startup ecosystem.

The new 10-year Tech Startups Action Plan outlines how the City can support the tech startup community.

The plan is based on a number of pilot programs and extensive research and feedback from the ecosystem.

The community had the opportunity to comment on the draft action plan by completing a survey, participating in an online discussion forum or emailing a submission.

During the exhibition period from 18 August — 11 November 2015, 3,397 individuals visited SydneyYourSay, there were 1,178 downloads of the draft action plan and 450 copies of the draft action plan were distributed.

In total, 344 people gave feedback via an online survey, 20 through an online discussion forum and 32 organisations and individuals emailed submissions.

The range of participants included tech startup entrepreneurs, employees and supporters, professionals in corporate businesses, investors, educators and students.

The majority of the feedback strongly agreed with the City’s proposed actions or thought that they would be useful in supporting tech entrepreneurs to launch and scale innovative companies.

Comments ranged from the need for entrepreneurship education and affordable office space, how international links are important, that tax regulation is a barrier and the need to increase diversity in the tech community.

The predominant theme was the need for entrepreneurship skills and knowledge delivered through programs, workshops, meetups, seminars or international speakers.

You can read about what the community told us and how your ideas were considered below, and take a look at the survey snapshot.

Find out what we are already doing to support tech startups.

Don’t miss out on updates about the City’s work to support tech startups. Subscribe below.


What you told us

  • What response did the City get?

    4 days ago

    The City’s Draft Tech Startups Action Plan outlined how the City can create an environment which enables technology entrepreneurs to start and grow successful global businesses.

    On 10 August 2015, Council unanimously resolved to place the Draft Tech Startups Action Plan on public exhibition from 18 August 2015 to 11 November 2015.

    The community had the opportunity to comment on the draft action plan by completing a survey, participating in an online discussion forum or emailing a submission.

    The range of participants included tech startup entrepreneurs, employees and supporters, professionals in corporate businesses, investors, educators and students.

    During the exhibition... Continue reading

    The City’s Draft Tech Startups Action Plan outlined how the City can create an environment which enables technology entrepreneurs to start and grow successful global businesses.

    On 10 August 2015, Council unanimously resolved to place the Draft Tech Startups Action Plan on public exhibition from 18 August 2015 to 11 November 2015.

    The community had the opportunity to comment on the draft action plan by completing a survey, participating in an online discussion forum or emailing a submission.

    The range of participants included tech startup entrepreneurs, employees and supporters, professionals in corporate businesses, investors, educators and students.

    During the exhibition period, 3,397 individuals visited SydneyYourSay, there were 1,178 downloads of the draft action plan and 450 copies of the draft action plan were distributed. In total, 344 people gave feedback via an online survey, 20 through an online discussion forum and 32 organisations and individuals emailed submissions.


  • What did the ecosystem say about the draft action plan?

    4 days ago

    The majority of the feedback strongly agreed with the City’s proposed actions or thought that they would be useful in supporting tech entrepreneurs to launch and scale innovative companies.

    The predominant theme was the need for entrepreneurship skills and knowledge delivered through programs, workshops, meetups, seminars or international speakers. The need to leverage connections with TAFE and universities as a source of talent and as education providers was highlighted as was the specific need for mentorship.

    The feedback also focused on the need for and lack of affordable office space when tech startups are launching and scaling and the opportunity... Continue reading

    The majority of the feedback strongly agreed with the City’s proposed actions or thought that they would be useful in supporting tech entrepreneurs to launch and scale innovative companies.

    The predominant theme was the need for entrepreneurship skills and knowledge delivered through programs, workshops, meetups, seminars or international speakers. The need to leverage connections with TAFE and universities as a source of talent and as education providers was highlighted as was the specific need for mentorship.

    The feedback also focused on the need for and lack of affordable office space when tech startups are launching and scaling and the opportunity for City of Sydney to provide this. A number of comments also referenced the opportunity to create a tech hub which would enable startups to connect, share ideas, mentor and partner with others.

    The lack of access to capital was raised as a barrier to the growth of tech startups in the comments about investment.

    In considering increasing business, or access to markets, the comments focused mainly on how valuable international connections are in gaining skills, obtaining customers or market share and investment and that City of Sydney can leverage these through its international relationships. The feedback also mentioned that the City can ‘open its order books’ to procure goods and services from tech startups.

    The lack of diversity and the need to support women entrepreneurs to start and grow global businesses was highlighted in the comments about diversity in Sydney’s entrepreneurial culture and community.

    Some comments focused on the lack of skilled employees, business skills (legal and support for employees) and the restrictive tax legislation which are all barriers to the growth of tech startups, that implementation of the action plan needs to be ‘entrepreneur-run’ and fast NBN/internet speed is essential infrastructure but lacking in Sydney.

    91% of respondents considered suburbs within the City of Sydney’s local government area to be best place for tech startups. The top three areas were the CBD, Pyrmont/Ultimo and Redfern/ Eveleigh.

    Read the report on what the community told us and how these ideas were considered or view a snapshot of the online survey


  • Were there themes in the feedback?

    4 days ago

    A number of themes in the discussion forum, comments in the online survey and email submissions were identified. This is a summary:

    Entrepreneurship education

    The predominant feedback (25% of comments in the online survey and submissions) was the need for entrepreneurship skills and knowledge delivered through programs, workshops, meetups, seminars or international speakers. The need to leverage connections with TAFE and universities as a source of talent and as education providers was highlighted as was the specific need for mentorship.

    · 94% of online survey respondents said it was ‘useful’ to support events to connect startups with investors.

    · 89%... Continue reading

    A number of themes in the discussion forum, comments in the online survey and email submissions were identified. This is a summary:

    Entrepreneurship education

    The predominant feedback (25% of comments in the online survey and submissions) was the need for entrepreneurship skills and knowledge delivered through programs, workshops, meetups, seminars or international speakers. The need to leverage connections with TAFE and universities as a source of talent and as education providers was highlighted as was the specific need for mentorship.

    · 94% of online survey respondents said it was ‘useful’ to support events to connect startups with investors.

    · 89% of said it would be ‘useful’ for the City to facilitate startup education courses.

    · 86% said ‘useful’ to support investor recruitment and education events.

    · 75% ‘useful’ to hold an ‘introduction to the Sydney ecosystem’ business seminar (although 11% did not).

    Ecosystem density

    The comments (15%) also focused on the need for and lack of affordable office space when tech startups are launching and scaling and the opportunity for City of Sydney to provide this. A number of comments also referenced the opportunity to create a tech hub which would enable startups to connect, share ideas, mentor and partner with others.

    · 93% of survey respondents agree tech startups need more affordable office space.

    · 84% agree startups need to be located close to investors, accelerators, customers.

    · 72% agree startups need to be located close to each other and 26% neither agreed nor disagreed.

    · 91% of respondents considered suburbs within the City’s local government area to be the best place suited to tech startups and their entrepreneurial networks.

    · The top four areas were CBD (20%), Pyrmont or Ultimo (19%), Redfern or Eveleigh (18%) and Surry Hills (17%).

    Support for action plan

    · In the comments (13%) which were about support (or not) for the action plan, strong support was demonstrated.

    Access to markets

    In considering increasing business, or access to markets, the comments (11%) focused mainly on how valuable international connections are in gaining skills, obtaining customers or market share and investment and that City of Sydney can leverage these through its international relationships. The feedback also mentioned that the City can ‘open its order books’ to procure goods and services from tech startups and raised the value of the City creating open data.

    · 93% of survey respondents consider opening up City data and encouraging testing ideas ‘useful’.

    · 89% consider a change to procurement policies to enable startups would be ‘useful’.

    · 87% consider it ‘useful’ to leverage sister-city relationships San Francisco and Guangzhou

    Entrepreneurial culture and community

    The lack of diversity and the need to support women entrepreneurs to start and grow global businesses was highlighted in the comments (10%) about diversity in Sydney’s entrepreneurial culture and community. Comments also raised the need to raise the profile of Sydney’s entrepreneurs and the community’s success stories.

    · 78% of survey respondents consider it ‘useful’ to support initiatives for women to access co-working spaces and mentoring

    · 72% consider a marketing campaign of Sydney’s tech entrepreneurs ‘useful’ (although 14% did not).

    Computer science skills / talent

    · 8% of comments were specific comments about the need for computer science skills in our community and that limited access to skilled employees is a barrier to growth.

    · 83% of survey respondents consider ‘how to code’ classes in libraries and youth programs ‘useful’

    Regulation

    7% of comments related to the impact of government regulation, primarily the barriers created by tax legislation.

    Implementation

    6% of comments related to the implementation of the action plan, with a focus on the need for the work to be entrepreneur-run and that it needed to encompass all types of tech companies, not just ‘digital tech’.

    General information

    6% of comments were made which provided general information about organisations and the role they played in the ecosystem to inform the action plan.

    Infrastructure

    5% of comments were made about the infrastructure tech startups businesses require; fast NBN/internet speed is essential infrastructure but lacking in Sydney.

    Business education

    5% of comments were about business education; the cost of and need for legal advice or education but also that the needs of employees need to be addressed.

    Read the report on what the community told us and how these ideas were considered or view a snapshot of the online survey

  • How did the feedback change the draft action plan?

    4 days ago

    Overall, the feedback supported the key focus areas of the action plan:

    · building the entrepreneurial culture and community

    · creating skilled and connected entrepreneurs

    · increasing the density of the ecosystem, with affordable office space as a focus

    · supporting tech entrepreneur’s access to funding

    · developing entrepreneur’s access to markets

    We will bring forward work to increase the number investors and to review our procurement policies. We will also investigate ways we can support a makerspace.

    The wording was strengthened around how we encourage women’s participation in the ecosystem. Information about the Australian Securities Exchange, federal government policy... Continue reading

    Overall, the feedback supported the key focus areas of the action plan:

    · building the entrepreneurial culture and community

    · creating skilled and connected entrepreneurs

    · increasing the density of the ecosystem, with affordable office space as a focus

    · supporting tech entrepreneur’s access to funding

    · developing entrepreneur’s access to markets

    We will bring forward work to increase the number investors and to review our procurement policies. We will also investigate ways we can support a makerspace.

    The wording was strengthened around how we encourage women’s participation in the ecosystem. Information about the Australian Securities Exchange, federal government policy and other organisations in the ecosystem was added.

    The ideas the community gave us will continue to be considered as we develop projects, which will need to be scoped and implemented in partnership with the ecosystem.

    The action plan does not focus on supporting one ‘vertical’ eg fintech over another as this could impact on tech startups targeting other industries from succeeding. The focus is on creating an environment in which tech startups, in all sectors, can thrive.

    The City acknowledges the comments about how tax and other regulation is a barrier and that changes to this legislation as well as increasing the NBN/ internet speed is the responsibility of the federal government.

    Read the report on what the community told us and how these ideas were considered or view a snapshot of the online survey

  • What is the City doing now to support tech startups?

    4 days ago

    The City has supported relevant industry initiatives, in advance of an adopted action plan, including working with:

    · Hannover Fairs Australia to support the CeBIT business technology exhibition and conference;

    · Springboard Enterprises Australia to produce the Springboard Accelerator;

    · Third Spaces Group which produced the Global Co-working Unconference Conference Australia;

    · Startup Week Australia which produces Startup Week Sydney;

    · Piivot which coordinated a range of entrepreneurship education events;

    · Code Club Australia Camp which was hosted in Town Hall as part of Startup Week;

    · Code Club Australia to provide resources in after school code clubs in City... Continue reading

    The City has supported relevant industry initiatives, in advance of an adopted action plan, including working with:

    · Hannover Fairs Australia to support the CeBIT business technology exhibition and conference;

    · Springboard Enterprises Australia to produce the Springboard Accelerator;

    · Third Spaces Group which produced the Global Co-working Unconference Conference Australia;

    · Startup Week Australia which produces Startup Week Sydney;

    · Piivot which coordinated a range of entrepreneurship education events;

    · Code Club Australia Camp which was hosted in Town Hall as part of Startup Week;

    · Code Club Australia to provide resources in after school code clubs in City libraries and for staff development;

    · Freelancer, which produced SydStart conference; and

    · the startup Good360, which received a City of Sydney grant.

    The City also continues to hold a regular business seminar, Tech Startups 101 and play an important role in advocating for increased government focus on and support for tech startups as well as increasing awareness of Sydney’s entrepreneurs.

    Read the report on what the community told us and how these ideas were considered or view a snapshot of the online survey