Sydney’s Going To Have Its Very Own Startup School For Entrepreneurs

Australia isn’t necessarily the first country to come to mind when talking progressive entrepreneurialism and startup culture. We’re lagging behind global hubs like Silicon Valley and Tel-Aviv, mainly due to a difficulty in accessing funding for new ideas and corporates getting behind innovation. But this is set to change with the announcement of The Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, backed in part by the NSW state government.

This week, the NSW state government announced something useful as opposed to the general lock outs/nanny state thing they’ve had going on of late. They will partner with universities and TAFE to put Australia on the startup map, by way of an startup school for entrepreneurs based primarily out of Ultimo TAFE in Sydney. The Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) is a giant leap forward for innovation in Australia.

Why Sydney? Industry minister Anthony Roberts reported that 46% of all Australian startups are based in Sydney, with NSW accounting for 64% of all tech startup activity across the nation.

But it won’t prevent students from around Australia attending. The Sydney Morning Herald says, “About 1000 top students each year from partner universities and TAFE NSW are expected to attend the school” which will start accepting admissions as early as 2017.

The best part is that the startup school will be modelled from Sweden’s world-renowned Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, run by Australian Nick Kaye. If their success is anything to go by – more than one in three graduates of the Stockholm school have successfully launched startups, including two ‘unicorns’ (a startup valued at more than USD$1 billion) – then we’re about to see a dramatic shift in the standard of startups and innovative ideas. High enough, hopefully, for a few Daniel Eks, Mark Zuckerbergs and Larry Pages of our own.

So how are we funding this? The state government will front up a cool $25 million, alongside a few backers, like high-profile businessman Tony Shepherd.

Sydney is set to become ‘the epicentre of entrepreneurship’ in the Asia Pac region, which we’re more than happy about considering Sydney loves to be the centre of anything.

It’s estimated the tech startup sector could be worth $109 billion to the national economy and create 540,000 jobs by 2033.

NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian told SMH, “We want to help create a critical mass of informed, dynamic and enthusiastic professionals with the practical skills required to thrive as an entrepreneur… the SSE will foster the emergence of small innovative companies with the potential for rapid growth – and that means job creation.”

Investing in tech innovation and startup culture could see Sydney – and Australia – moving in a very positive, progressive direction, fast. Cheers to that.