Startup coworking community Fishburners has launched a virtual membership program to allow remote founders to tap into its network of events, mentors, and online community.
The program was first launched last year via a pilot, with 100 participants signing up. According to Fishburners, more than half the virtual members are located in suburbs outside a central business district (CBD), with 35 percent living in regional areas.
Pandora Shelley, the outgoing CEO of Fishburners, said the value of the coworking space is in the community.
“We want to help incredible ideas come to life and with the new virtual membership program, we can invite founders to connect, inspire and grow startup communities wherever they are,” she said.
“There are huge costs involved in setting up coworking spaces which can really sting in rural areas, so this is a huge step in cultivating a truly wholesome, Australian startup ecosystem.”
Virtual members are given access to member and company directories, mentors, and a library of educational resources, and are able to access live streams of events.
The membership comes in two pricing tiers: $29 for a ‘standard’ membership and $49 for ‘premium’. Premium members will receive a business mailing address at Fishburners and the ability to work from one of the community’s physical spaces, in Brisbane, Sydney, or Shanghai, once a month.
Jo Palmer, founder of Pointer Remote Roles and virtual member, said the membership gives her access to resources and opportunities that can be a little harder to come by in the regions.,
“I started my own business to be able to help people find work, and employers find talent, without the barrier of location so the virtual memberships program not only works for me from my regional location at The Rock in southern NSW, but also fits into the philosophy of my business,” she said.
With growth of the virtual membership in regional areas, Fishburners is looking to partner with regional startup hubs to further extend the reach of its resources and communities.
It comes as more hubs start to open in regional areas.
Bathurst last April opened the Upstairs Startup Hub, developed by Charles Sturt University, the NSW Government, Bathurst Regional Council, and Reliance Bank, while the Bega Valley Shire received $382,000 in funding from the Federal Government’s Incubator Support Program last June to develop an innovation hub.
To be based out of the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Bega campus, it will provide support to the university’s accelerator program, iAccelerate, and space for the community.
Charles Sturt University, coworking community Working Spaces HQ, and Wagga Wagga City Council also in August received a $300,000 grant to help boost innovation in the Riverina region.
Image: Pandora Shelley. Source: Supplied.