Brisbane will soon be home to a new $5 million innovation hub known as ‘The Capital’, located in the heart of the city’s CBD in order to inspire “creative collisions” with industry and government.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced that the hub, the need for which was outlined as an economic priority in the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan in May, would “kick-start a ‘Clever Business District’ for Brisbane by immersing startups into the city’s corporate business precinct.”
“Innovation is an industry that is critical to our future economic growth and will continue to be a major stimulant of job creation for our city. The Capital will continue Brisbane’s momentum as an emergent hub of innovation in the Asia Pacific region and ensure the city continues to thrive in this rapidly globalising economy,” Quirk said.
He added that through the hub, startups will have “unprecedented” access to capital, expertise, global markets, and commercial networks. The Capital will also be home to community and digital education programs and the city’s Chief Digital Officer.
Already announced as anchor tenants for the new space are the Sydney-based Fishburners, Australia’s largest coworking community, and Brisbane’s Little Tokyo Two.
Murray Hurps, general manager of Fishburners, said the organisation would be focused on “feeding the funnel” and helping local talent and supporters of the startup ecosystem create the next success stories.
Jock Fairweather, founder of Little Tokyo Two, said he is happy to expanding his organisation’s “style of workplace and culture” into the CBD.
“The new location will provide even more flexibility and room for our members to continue their journey with us and the physical co-location with industry experts and organisations will provide unprecedented opportunities for them too,” he said.
With the launch of The Capital the days of the startup ecosystem crying out for government attention are seemingly over; yesterday’s announcement is just the latest in what’s become an increasingly long line of moves from governments around Australia aimed at fostering the startup ecosystem. While Turnbull’s Innovation Statement and the Victorian Government may have taken up most of the column inches, Queensland has also been fairly active. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk launched a $40 million business development fund in October and announced that coding and robotics courses were to be made compulsory for Queensland students.
The Capital is scheduled to open by mid-2016. The search for a space, which has been conducted by an independent party, is down to two locations.