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Some of the advantages of basing your startup or scaleup business in Wollongong includes:
We appreciate that many entrepreneurs need to be connected to Australia’s largest business hub, Sydney, for client meetings, events or even to travel internationally. By basing your startup or scaleup in Wollongong you have ease of access to Sydney infrastructure and transport links without having to deal with the congestion and stress that comes with living in a major city.
Work-life balance is real in Wollongong thanks to our much shorter work commute times. This has been very appealing to entrepreneurs who want to boost their workforce creativity, productivity and health.
“The process of moving here has been a pleasurable experience, because we’ve had breathing space. It’s less of a pressure cooker [than Sydney].”
Wollongong has a large commuter pool (over 23,000!) including managers, professionals, tech specialists, admin and sales staff. And given our proximity to Sydney, we calculate a total of 1.2 million workers live within one hour of Wollongong. UOW also provides startup businesses with a constant stream of permanent, casual, temporary and part-time staff. And of the 5000+ who graduated in 2018, over 1300 were from the Faculty of Business and over 1,100 from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences – appealing specialisations for many startup founders.
Recent research conducted highlighted that Wollongong’s staff turnover rates are half that of the Australian average. People want to be able to work where they live – they appreciate the work-life balance they achieve because of it – so having your business based in Wollongong means that you will have happier and refreshed employees that are more productive and want to stay. Lower staff turnover rates are music to the ears of HR teams and business owners who work hard on their workforce planning and talent acquisition.
One of the many business networks of interest to startups and entrepreneurs is Siligong Valley (Australia’s Silicon Valley) an inclusive community of tech and entrepreneurial founders and professionals based in Wollongong who share knowledge and regularly organise meetups. They have over 1000 members many of whom hail from Sydney, Melbourne and abroad and have chosen Wollongong as their business base. Our Illawarra Business Chamber and other business networks are also supportive of welcoming startups and entrepreneurs to our region.
“We have had no problem finding people. We employee UOW graduates and interns.”
Wollongong is home to many startups and businesses who chose to scale up their business in our city whilst servicing Australia and the rest of the world. Moving your startup or scaling your business in Wollongong means that you will be joining a pool of entrepreneurs who are supported by our region. Following is a list of some startups and scaleups who based their headquarters in Wollongong:
Additionally, Wollongong has offices from innovative international companies who wanted to scale up in Australia. They chose Wollongong as their base over other Australian cities. For example:
“There are strong business networks in Wollongong and as part of us coming to the area, we found great support from local businesses looking to synergise.”
The University of Wollongong prides itself on being an industry-focussed university and has particular strengths of interest to those in the startup phase of their business – or who are thinking of scaling a business in Wollongong. For example, did you know that:
“Being part of iAccelerate has just been really helpful for our business in terms of the contacts, the mentors and advisors.”
Our state, NSW, is Australia’s startup capital! Our state is aware of our growing startup community and strengths and are committed to supporting regional entrepreneurs, such as those who would base themselves in Wollongong.
The NSW Government’s Regional Landing Pad is a free and dedicated space allowing regional entrepreneurs to have a base in Sydney for up to three days at a time and use the space to meet potential investors, supply chain partners or service providers from Sydney.