The City of Sydney’s popular visiting entrepreneur program has received a funding boost, obtaining a $50,000 grant from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science for this year’s program. It’s the first time the federal government has backed the initiative which is a popular event in the startup community’s calendar.
The visiting entrepreneurs’ program gives Sydney-based entrepreneurs free access to internationally renowned leaders in the startup sector through workshops, talks and seminars. Previous guests of the program have included chief product officer at Strava, Stephanie Hannon, and co-founder of Square, Jim McKelvey.
The inaugural program launched in November 2017 and attracted over 3000 people. This year’s event will take place over 10 days from October 22 to November 2, 2018.
This year’s series of events will target businesses keen to use technology and innovation to tackle social problems, improve communities, provide access to employment and help the environment.
According to the Lord Mayor, Sydney’s startups contribute $500 billion to the Australian economy and Sydney is home to 40 per cent of Australia’s startups. She said the grant was most welcome.
“It has a significant impact – the most recent available data shows a phenomenal growth in IT professionals in our area. These jobs have increased by over 7,500 to over 20,000 in the last 5 years. That’s growth of over 60 per cent.
“The City is now the ‘tech’ capital of Australia with significant and growing clusters of the digital economy.”
The Lord Mayor suggested the visiting entrepreneur program was vital to the growth of the Sydney startup scene
“The visiting entrepreneur program is an important part of our work to promote our tech startup ecosystem around the world and ensure Sydney remains the startup capital of Australia.
“It is fantastic that this year’s program will focus on social impact and sustainability – supporting businesses working to improve the wellbeing and resilience of our communities. I look forward to announcing more of the program in the coming months,” the Lord Mayor concluded.