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Startup hub gets Microsoft and $35 million from govt

A key ingredient to getting the Sydney Startup Hub up and running was getting Microsoft onboard.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro made the announcement at the hub’s base in Sydney’s CBD as it was officially opened.

“Last July the NSW Government committed $35 million to create a world-leading startup and innovation hub and today we can see what has been created,” Berejiklian said. “The decision by Microsoft to move in is a huge vote of confidence in our city, our economy and the people that make up our start up community.”

“Within Microsoft, there is enormous competition to secure Microsoft Scale-Up for different countries, so it’s an incredible result to see Sydney chosen as the newest location to host this sought-after and highly acclaimed program,” said Barilaro.

Sydney will join the likes of Seattle, Beijing, Berlin and London in becoming the location of the eighth Microsoft ScaleUp program.

Commenting on the announcement, Microsoft Australia managing director, Steven Worrall said, “This is a resounding acknowledgement of both the quality and potential of Australian tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.

“It is also recognition of the important role governments across Australia continue to play in fostering a strong start-up ecosystem and providing the infrastructure to support and grow the next generation of Australian tech businesses.

“Microsoft launched the Scale-Up Program in 2012, and since then, close to 650 startups have raised around US$3 billion in funding after graduating from programs run in Bangalore, Shanghai, Beijing, London, Berlin, Seattle and Tel Aviv,” said Worral.

The Sydney Startup Hub has secured tenants including Stone & Chalk, Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs, The Studio, Westpac’s FEULD, H2 Ventures, Slingshot, Transport for NSW’s Future Transport Digital Accelerator, the Department of Finance and Services, and an innovation team from Caltex’s C-Lab.

Barilaro said the Sydney Startup Hub will rival international facilities like Kendall Square in Boston and Station F in Paris.

In the five years the Microsoft ScaleUp programs have been running, close to 730 companies have graduated from the program and raised almost US$3 billion in venture capital with 48 exits – where the company is bought out or acquired by another company.

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