TechSydney's mission is to make Sydney a top 10 tech ecosystem.
Why are we doing this?
From the outside it looks like Sydney’s tech community is thriving. There are more startups than ever before. More funding, more successful tech businesses and more government support. Yet it’s still not enough. By all independent measures we’re going backwards compared to other cities around the world. What does backwards mean? It means we’re becoming less relevant in the global tech economy, which is fast becoming the leading source of economic growth across the world. We need to change this and it’s going to take one hell of a communal effort to put the brakes on the slide and create enough momentum the other way to accelerate past other cities.
How are we going to do this?
How do you grow an ecosystem? You grow the companies in it. If you look at startup success like a funnel, there’s currently a choke point not long after the first round of funding. We’re also seeing that Sydney startups are moving through growth stages slower than they could be. Everything we’ll do will be about helping more startups move faster through this funnel.
The next 90 days after the campaign...
In order to realise this vision we need to hire great people. These are what the next 90 days will look like for TechSydney:
- Talent - We will build an online talent community where individuals (both local and international) can express interest in working for all or some specific companies in TechSydney. Companies can then hire people from their own talent pool for free. You can hire a certain number of people from the TechSydney pool depending on what level membership you are at. See the mockup below for an idea of what we mean.
- Diversity - Empower our Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, led by Nicole Williamson, with new resources so they can achieve more, faster. At the moment half the population isn’t fully engaged in the tech community. That means they’re not starting, working in or supporting tech companies. Crazy! But it’s not only gender diversity. It’s cultural diversity as well. The more we leverage Australia’s unique population mix the greater the opportunity for us all.
- Founder forums - We will set up confidential monthly get-togethers with groups of entrepreneurs at a similar stage to you. You will be able to share wins, issues and workshop them with other smart people going through the same thing. This also gives us a way to have recurring issues in the industry escalated to TechSydney so we can do act upon it. These are only for those that qualify within their membership tier which are summarised in the table below. Any startup can buy the Startup membership but you need to qualify for entry to forums.
- Up/down mentoring - We will facilitate mentoring by a company above you in return for mentoring a group below you - 'giving back' is part of our DNA every so often a founder from a more experienced forum will drop in and you can grill them for insights on how you can get your company to the next level, of course we expect you to pay it forward too.
- Tenant introductions - Say you have 10 people in your company and want great space. Did you know there are five other companies just like you in the same boat? We will and we'll know the people who have the great spaces so we can get an even cooler space for all. Now you'll have room for that foosball table. This is a free service for members.
- Team - We will hire a team of four to get started to deliver these initiatives. Experienced entrepreneur & investor Dean McEvoy has agreed to take the CEO role and he will hire a team of 4 to start with. As the the organisation grows, so will the team and initiatives undertaken.
The next areas of focus…
We will set up a Trello board so you can check out our initiative roadmap. You can submit feedback to your elected board member who will bring it along to the next board meeting.
Here are some other things we will execute on:
- University - We’ll inspire younger generations and high potential individuals to move to a career in high growth technology companies by having annual career fairs, founder talks at Universities and graduate programs into TechSydney member companies.
- Members Lounge - Build an epicentre for the ecosystem where we will hold meetups, events and the forums as well as cool place to hang or work out of.
- Data - Collect and aggregate data on the progress and growth of the industry and distribute it to our members in a meaningful way, such as via a dashboard.
- Single voice - Be a single voice for the community. Do this by accelerating the best from within the industry and liaise with the media to make this happen.
- Events - We will conduct events for the industry. The highest paying tiers will get access to the most exclusive version of the event, for example if The Zuck comes to town, the unicorns might get to have dinner with him, whilst the startups may get to attend an event.
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Want to be part of TechSydney, but don't have an AMEX Centurion card just yet? Reach out to email@example.com and we can organise payment offline.
Foundation memberships are for those who believe in our vision and want to support TechSydney at it's earliest stage. Foundation members are members for life even if they leave and start new companies. Foundation members pay for the first two years of their membership in advance.
Investor and Venture Capital
Investors are encouraged to join TechSydney. We cater for not only VC's, but Angels too. Depending on fund size VC's can select between two options; Investor OR Venture Capital. Angels are encouraged to choose the Investor membership. We will also encourage you to attend regular dinners with founders.
Corporates sponsorships are about giving back to the startups as well as building an authentic connection with the industry. Corporates have the option of doing this by taking a forum out for dinner every month or taking advantage of us connecting you with specific startups for specific needs. The amount of access you will receive depends on how many startups you sponsor. Sponsorship starts at $2.5k for each startup with a minimum of 10 startups.
Affiliate memberships are for entities who support the industry. These include (but are not limited to) startup incubators and co-working spaces for technology companies.
Who’s behind TechSydney?
It has been a huge community effort to get TechSydney even this far and it’s not even started yet. We wrote a blog post describing the people involved in the beginning. A special thanks to those who have put in the extra hours to make this happen:
- Gen George - OneShift
- Nicole Williamson - Qantas / LanzaTech
- Sue Hogan - Innovation Bay
- Jess Quinn - TechSydney
- Patrick Woods - UTS
- Kym Kraljevic & Karen Doherty - Piivot
- Dean McEvoy - IconPark / Spreets
- Kim Heras - 25Fifteen
- Brent Harman - Atlassian
- Mick Liubinskas - muru-D / Pollenizer / Startmate
- Sam Elliott - Booodl / Robby (SM15)
- Riley Batchelor - TidyMe
After the crowdfunding campaign each tier of membership; individual, startup, growth, scale and unicorn will elect a board member to represent them. Dean McEvoy has also agreed to come on as the Managing Director and we will have an independent chairperson.
Anything we have missed? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer them.
We're also running a Thunderclap to help promote the campaign. Please sign up here!
TechSydney has early support from:
How The Funds Will Be Used
If we hit the goal, the not for profit entity will be setup. People who contribute to the campaign can have input into the constitution. Just email email@example.com for a copy of the draft. For ease of running this crowdfunding campaign TechSydney as a business name has been registered by Dean McEvoy's entity Stanley St Pty Ltd. All funds received will go into the not for profit entity when it is setup. The initial funds raised will be used to hire an amazing team and to begin the first iteration of founder forums and begin building the online talent communities. We already have had great people reach out for us who want to work for TechSydney. If you are interested and have skills at building communities and building technology companies reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will look for people who have started companies themselves or worked in technology companies and who are inspired by what we're setting out to do.
Like any startup there will be many challenges, but as startup founders, we thrive in the chaos. Our initial focus will be what we've mentioned above as well as finding a great team to join the ride. We are taking advice from those who have done it before, but we are also making a lot of this up on the fly. Be patient and give feedback. We will make this a great thing that not only adds value to you, but to the whole ecosystem. The biggest risk is that don't do anything at all.