Technology startups

Technology startups

Tech startup businesses

  • The biggest technology startup 'ecosystem' in Australia is in Sydney
  • 64% of Australian technology startups are in Sydney
  • Globally, Sydney ranks 16th from 20 cities on the Startup Ecosystem Index

Rapid growth potential

Technology startups have been described as part of the 'new economy' and are expected to play a strong part in ensuring the City's economy and local community remains diverse, global and connected.

A tech startup with a successful business model has the ability to reach a global market rapidly resulting in swift local economic and employment benefits.

Supporting entrepreneurs to start and grow their business will create more jobs, boost Sydney's economy, strengthen global connections and make the City a more desirable place to live, work and visit.

The City has drafted a tech startups action plan, which focuses on how we will work with entrepreneurs, industry and government partners to help the ecosystem continue to develop and grow. The plan was on public exhibition from 18 August to 10 November 2015. The feedback we received will be used to prepare a report for Council. View the draft tech startups action plan.

The City of Sydney has supported technology entrepreneurs through a number of pilot projects and support for industry events. Our focus is on new, innovative businesses that have technology at their core and are designed for fast growth. 

Sydney’s ecosystem is in the early stages of development and the needs of tech startups are very different to those of small businesses. . 

Startups can 'scale rapidly', that is the process where a start-up company quickly moves from a couple of entrepreneurs with an idea to a profitable, trading business with multiple employees.

International research shows that small, high-growth companies are the engine room of job and wealth creation and they punch way above their weight. 

In 2012, there were 1,500 Australian firms ranging in 1 or 2 person start-ups created in the previous 12 months to more established businesses that had been around for a decade, according to a report produced by PwC.

Of these startups, 64% are in Sydney followed by 24% in Melbourne. With more recent detailed analysis of this data, StartupAUS now believe that the best estimate available is that there are 1,200 tech startups in Australia. 

A 2014 survey found that 48% of Australian startups were in NSW, followed by 18% in Queensland and 13% in Victoria. 

This survey also found that the largest number of startups in Australia were located in the Sydney city centre, Ultimo was 4th and the Surry Hills/Darlinghurst area was 7th. All suburbs are in the City of Sydney’s local area.

Sydney is ranked 16th out of 20 cities in the Startup Genome Ecosystem Index.

A 2012 report by Deloite Private states that Sydney has the biggest tech startup 'ecosystem' in Australia – 55% larger than Melbourne, 6 times bigger than Brisbane and nearly 8 times larger than Perth.

Around 2000 people have attended an annual tech startup conference in Sydney.  Around six co-working spaces in the City’s area house a community of around 250 emerging tech startup companies. Meet-ups like the Sydney Tech Meet-up have almost 5000 members.

Of the estimated 22 incubators or accelerators in Australia, around 10 are also in our local area supporting around 190 companies a year. The city is also home to the majority of active investment firms. 

Anecdotal evidence indicates this high level of activity in startup businesses demonstrates a demand for education events, networking and office accommodation within the local area.

Program snapshots

Connecting women entrepreneurs

The City is a patron sponsor of Springboard Enterprises Australia, an Australian-first program to connect women with entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. Women-led companies that successfully apply for the accelerator program receive hands-on coaching from industry experts and exposure to Springboard's network of VCs, angels, corporate investors, seasoned entrepreneurs and strategic partners in Australia and the US.

Networking and events

CeBIT Australia is a major ICT business event focused on the use of technology to improve business productivity. The event has increasingly become a platform for international trade and business negotiations, which the City has supported since 2010.

SydStart is the largest event in Australia for entrepreneurs in technology startup companies. It aims to educate, connect and inspire Sydney’s entrepreneurs, as well as raise awareness of the ecosystem. The City supported the 2015 conference.

Sydney Startup Week is a week-long event that brings together startups, investors, corporates, government and those wanting to learn more to experience a series of events and activities across the city. It allows companies who are growing to open their doors and demonstrate what founding and working at a startup is all about. The City supported the first Startup Week held in Sydney in 2015.

Global Coworking Conference Unconference brings together operators of coworking spaces, accelerators and incubators to learn, collaborate and find support so they can grow their business and the industry and share knowledge on how to better serve Sydney’s business community.


Springboard Enterprises AustraliaStartup AusCeBIT AustraliaGlobal Coworking Conference Unconference


Manager, Economic Strategy
Economic Strategy Unit02 9265 9333

Last updated: Thursday, 12 November 2015