PARRAMATTA START UP HUB
The NSW Government has announced that it will replicate its successful Sydney CBD Startup Hub with a new hub in Parramatta. The Hub which is expected to be operational within about 12 months, will be within proximity of Westmead’s burgeoning bio-medical precinct, and a proposed campus of The University of Sydney. The Government is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from organisations focused on helping startup and technology companies to operate the new Hub.
Located in the Parramatta North Heritage Core, the 1,500 square metre Western Sydney Startup Hub (WSSH) will provide affordable space and support programs to help Western Sydney startups, scaleups and businesses grow.
This move shows confidence in the existing Parramatta startup ecosystem from the NSW Government. Across Parramatta’s existing incubators and co-working spaces, startups are already flourishing in areas of advanced technology, engineering and more.
Goals of the new Startup Hub
The new WSSH aims to play a key role in building the local innovation ecosystem of the future Westmead Health & Innovation District (WHID) and Greater Parramatta River City enabling entrepreneurs to build high-growth companies and jobs.
The good news for Parramatta is that the WSSH will promote and showcase innovation opportunities in Western Sydney.
Partnering with an operator
Through its EOI, The NSW Government is looking to partner with a startup hub operator who is committed to creating a site dedicated to the growth and development of technology startups, scaleups and local businesses of Western Sydney.
The Government will provide:
- a unique building to support, showcase and connect startups in Western Sydney
- a dedicated space for networking, events, pitches, learning and thought leadership
- facilities to support multiple uses (at operator’s discretion), e.g. accelerator programs, hackathons, podcasting, video production and 3D printers
- on the ground Government representatives to support the growth and activation of the WSSH and community
- connection to government grants and support programs
- connection to the talent, partners and insights of the existing NSW startup community, including the Sydney Startup Hub, Tech Central, Local Innovation Network and the broader startup support community
- potential to expand existing facilities, subject to market demand, and heritage approvals.
The Government is providing significant resources including capital works, design, fit-out and heritage upgrades to make the site suitable for use by startups. A cafe will be located next to the WSSH and will also undertake an EOI process for a cafe operator.
Part of a revitalised Parramatta North
The new WSSH will be a great addition to the revitalisation of the Parramatta North precinct. This area will be rejuvenated by restoring and protecting existing heritage buildings and infrastructure.
When Parramatta North is complete it will incorporate a blend of residential, commercial, retail, and cultural uses. The WSSH will complement the Parramatta North area, encouraging innovation and collaboration, as well as benefiting from the commercial and education uses in the area.
It will be seamlessly linked to the Parramatta CBD by the new Light Rail which is currently under construction and will run through the precinct, providing a direct connection not only to the CBD but also to Westmead and its Innovation Quarter.
Building on the success of the Sydney Startup Hub
The Sydney Startup Hub located near Wynyard Station in the CBD which has been fully operational since 2018 was the Government’s first foray into this type of facility.
With the new WSSH, the same type of services and features will soon be available in Parramatta, so local startups and businesses can remain in their local area to flourish rather than moving outside of Parramatta.
Growing startup ecosystem in Parramatta
There is already a growing startup ecosystem in Parramatta and it’s only going to strengthen over the next few years. Parramatta is well placed to offer startups great opportunities, connections and partnerships that they may not easily access elsewhere.
The EOI will close on Tuesday, 22 December 2020. The Government plans to announce the Western Sydney Startup Hub operator in April 2021 with a view to opening the Hub by the end of 2021.
To view the EOI visit here.