"Sydney has the #1 ranked startup ecosystem in Oceania and with anchor tenants like Atlassian and Block, the appeal of Tech Central is genuinely global. Whether you’re in London, Tokyo or Mumbai, everyone knows the value of locating near these unicorns."
With the largest economy in Australia, Sydney is also the country’s financial center and a fast-growing startup hub. The ecosystem is anchored by tech success stories including Canva and Atlassian. In 2022, Atlassian began construction on a new AU$1.4 billion ($948.8M), 39-story headquarters, which will anchor the Tech Central Innovation District.
Sydney is home to the regional headquarters of over 600 multinational companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, which developed Google maps in the city. In early 2023, one of the world’s largest pre-seed investors, Techstars, moved its flagship accelerator program to Sydney’s Tech Central district. The Network Readiness Index 2022, a leading index of the impact of ICT in economies, ranked Australia #14 out of 131 economies. Leading VC firms Blackbird Ventures, AirTree Ventures, Square Peg Ventures, and Main Sequence Ventures all have headquarters or offices in Sydney.
Much of Australia’s quantum research, industry capability, and investment is concentrated in Sydney, which has the full stack of quantum capabilities and a global hub of quantum expertise including over 160 active quantum PhDs and over 100 quantum university researchers. Quantum startups headquartered here include Quantum Brilliance, Diraq, and Australia’s first VC-backed quantum company, Q-CTRL, as well as Silicon Quantum Computing, which received $83 million in seed funding from shareholders including the Australian and NSW State Governments to build the world’s first silicon quantum computer. Quantum Australia Conference and Careers Fair returned to Sydney in 2023. Additionally, CISO Sydney 2023 was held in February and Smart City Expo 2023 in March.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Home to the headquarters of 60 of Australia’s 64 banks, Sydney is also home to 954 Fintech startups. In 2022, Sydney was the most active city in Australia for Fintech funding, with 42 deals announced, accounting for 37% of the sub-sector total. The FinTech Summit 2023 will take place in October. Online brokerage platform Stake has raised a total of $70.3 million over three rounds. Pocket-money app Spriggy has raised a total of $62.1 million over six rounds.
A member of the global Race to Zero initiative, NSW is set to halve emissions by 2030 and has a target to reach net zero by 2050. Sydney is also home to EnergyLab, Australia and New Zealand's largest Climatetech accelerator. In February 2023, EnergyLab announced the Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge to drive local lithium battery innovation.
Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics
The NSW manufacturing industry produces almost one third of Australia’s total manufacturing output, generating around $33 billion. $262 million is being invested in Western Sydney for an Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility (AMRF) with the aim of making the area the national capital of Advanced Manufacturing. Hitachi will establish a collaborative creation center in the AMRF. AI robotics company Advanced Navigation has raised a total of $85.2 million over five rounds, including a $68 million Series B in November 2022.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Sydney
Supportive Business Environment
Three startup hubs support businesses from startup to scaleup across Sydney and Western Sydney: The Sydney Startup Hub, Western Sydney Startup Hub, and Tech Central Scaleup Hub. The Innovation Research Acceleration Program is investing $117 million in grants to increase research in NSW. In its 2022–23 budget, the NSW government allocated $16.5 billion over 10 years to expand economic opportunities for women.
Australia’s scientific institutions rank in the top 1% in the world in 15 fields of research, including space science, computer science, and medicine. Sydney is home to five internationally ranked universities and the city ranked #8 in the QS Best Student Cities 2022 report. More than 50,000 international students come to Sydney each year, contributing to the city’s diverse and inclusive culture.
Quality of Life
Diverse and metropolitan, Sydney is Australia’s most populated city. According to a 2023 survey from The Committee for Sydney, 83% of Sydney residents were satisfied with their quality of life, compared to 75% of New Yorkers and 76% of Londoners. Sydney ranked #13 out of 50 cities in the Internations Expat City Ranking 2022. World famous Bondi Beach is just 8 km from the city center.
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
Investment NSW is the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s economic development and attraction agency, with a mandate to reinforce NSW as the most desirable place in the world to visit, study, invest and do business. It helps drive the state’s economic growth and transformation by showcasing NSW business, events, tourism and education for new markets and investors in Australia and around the world.
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