Lord Mayor Clover Moore today announced that a City of Sydney program connecting hundreds of budding tech startups with successful global entrepreneurs had received federal government funding for the first time.
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.
Almost 3,000 people have attended the program’s events since it launched in November 2017. The visiting entrepreneur program will return in October with a new local and international speaker line up.
The 10-day series of events will run from 22 October to 2 November and will target businesses keen to use technology and innovation to tackle social problems, improve communities, provide access to employment and help the environment.
The Lord Mayor welcomed the $50,000 grant from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science for this year’s program.
“Sydney’s startups contribute $500 billion to the Australian economy and we are home to 40 per cent of Australia’s startups, so it is fantastic to see the Federal Government supporting this vital sector,” the Lord Mayor said.
“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 visiting entrepreneur program is an important part 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 City’s visiting entrepreneur program has held workshops, seminars, talks and mentoring sessions featuring internationally-recognised business leaders, including award-winning entrepreneur, Vicki Saunders.
“I love Sydney’s visiting entrepreneur program as it has a highly innovative model that I hope other communities will adopt,” Ms Saunders said.
“I’ve already recommended that the City of Toronto replicate this model.
“Sharing our experiences and unique approaches to economic development is critical to building more inclusive innovation ecosystems.
“In my experience, putting entrepreneurs and innovators in a room together and setting them free to connect, talk and collaborate is the only path to changing the world.”
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