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“I want 10 Atlassians, not one”:  City of Sydney mayoral candidate pledges start-up support


City of Sydney Lord Mayoral candidate, Christine Forster has pledged support for local start-ups and entrepreneurs in the form of grants, affordable office space and overseas opportunities ahead of Saturday’s election.

“Sydney has become Australia’s entrepreneurial hub, but we are still struggling to attract, nurture and retain world-class talent,” the Liberal candidate said.

“We still suffer from brain drain which prevents Australia-based companies from performing up to their potential. Sydney shouldn’t be a ‘poor relation’ on the global innovation stage.”

“We have a global reputation in finance, the arts and education – all the preconditions for a thriving innovation culture. Size can’t be an excuse: the City of Sydney electorate has twice the population of Jerusalem, but Israel’s capital has already made a name for itself as a world-leading innovation hub. I want the same for Sydney. I want there to be 10 Atlassians, not one.”

Councillor Forster said she and her team developed the following policies to help Sydney compete internationally:

  • Emerging Entrepreneurs Program: “This is at providing practical support and small grants to the city’s best emerging start- ups. Currently, Sydney ranks 16th out of 20 cities on the Start-up Ecosystem Index, but with 64% of Australian technology start-ups coming from Sydney, I’d like to stimulate growth further, creating more jobs, and boosting our local economy.”
  • A dedicated start-up incubator: “Start-up businesses tell me that the biggest challenge they face is finding affordable office space in Sydney. If elected, I will establish an incubator similar to ‘The Capital’ in Brisbane and provide affordable office space for start-ups.”
  • International start-up satellite offices: “Sydney’s proximity to Asia and its highly developed knowledge economy make it an attractive stepping stone for US companies interested in expanding into Asia. To help promote Sydney to US companies wanting to establish an outpost to expand into Asia, we will establish an office in San Francisco, and investigate further offices in Guangzhou and Singapore.”