Spark Festival has kicked off and it’s a great time for startups and entrepreneurs to access advice, support and connection in a like-minded community.
It can be daunting to leave behind the security of a nine-to-five job to bring a unique business idea to life in the unpredictable landscape of the startup world. For those who take that leap, knowing they are surrounded by others also travelling off the beaten track is invaluable.
NSW is the startup capital of Australia, with nearly half of our nation’s startup businesses calling Sydney home. Building a strong and supportive ecosystem for startups helps them thrive and prosper to become job-creating powerhouses of the future.
Close to 450 startups are currently working in the Sydney Startup Hub and have created over 1000 jobs. More than 400 individual startup and innovation related events have taken place at the Sydney Startup Hub since it opened in February last year.
The number of high growth businesses in NSW is increasing which leads to further job generation and economic prosperity. Digital capability is critical and more NSW businesses are catching up and adopting the technologies associated with growth firms.
Our workforce must be ready for the jobs of the future. The disruption of advancing technology is already upon us, including the impact of the digital and sharing economies, autonomous vehicles and drones, automation and robotics, genomics, the changing nature of work, machine learning and the effects of increased urbanisation and congestion, to name just a few.
Spark Festival is the nation’s premier festival for the startup community and is a chance for attendees to swap ideas and experiences face to face; leading to the growth of vibrant, inter-connected startup communities across Australia. Events held across the state will cover topics from artificial intelligence to future focused transport and design thinking.
To further support local startups we’ve recently relaunched our Minimum Viable Product grants. These grants are designed to support promising startups not yet generating revenue. They provide up to $25,000 to gather customer feedback and put your business model to the test.
With technology and digital disruption becoming ever more prevalent we know the startup community is vital to the continuing strength of the NSW economy and jobs growth. Continuous innovation is paramount to grow new sustainable high-value jobs in NSW.
That’s why I’ll continue to focus on supporting innovation and the startup community – they are at the heart of the future of NSW.
- The Spark Festival continues until October 27. Details are here.
- Stuart Ayres is the NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.