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Wollongong’s Advantages

Some of the advantages of basing your startup or scaleup business in Wollongong includes:

Wollongong is only 1-hour south of Sydney

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.

Learn more about our connected city

You are able to provide your staff (and yourself) with enhanced work-life balance

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].”

Nick Muldoon, Co-founder, Easy Agile

Access to plenty of highly talented people

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.

Find out more about our highly skilled workforce

Low staff turnover rates

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.

Learn more about Wollongong’s low staff turnover rates

Our many supportive business networks

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.

Find out more about our business networks

“We have had no problem finding people. We employee UOW graduates and interns.”

Leanne Connelly, Co-founder, Me3D

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Startups and scaleups who chose to call Wollongong home

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:

  • Devika- Working in the Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence space
  • Easy Agile- Software development services and agile apps for Atlassian Jira
  • Me3D- 3D printing solutions and education services
  • Accelo- Cloud-based software to automate professional services operations
  • Beer Mogul- Game developers who specialise in mobile games
  • RooCreate- Creators of sustainable materials and eco-friendly packaging
  • Binary beer- Creators of smart beer kegs that monitor their quality and supply via the cloud.

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:

  • Ingeteam- From Spain, Ingeteam specialises in electrical engineering and the development of electrical equipment, motors, generators, frequency converters and automation.
  • Twinkl Australia- From the UK, Twinkl is an EdTech business that develops teaching, planning and assessment resources for the education industry.

“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.”

Jez Seaton, Twinkl Educational Publishing

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Collaborate with the University of Wollongong

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:

  • iAccelerate is the universities own business accelerator and incubator program. They attract startups, social enterprises and entrepreneurs to their program and are situated about 5 minutes from Wollongong’s CBD. In 2018 alone they helped launch 210 products!
  • Many startups and scaleups have a tech component to it. So you will be pleased to know that UOW is ranked as one of the top 250 universities in the world for Computer Science and Information Systems by the 2018 QS World University Rankings. In 2017, the Australian Federal Government’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) ranked UOW as the second among all universities in NSW/ACT for Computing and Information Systems.
  • The university has many overseas links. Their iAccelerate program has partnerships in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Portugal. Scaleups and startups that join iAccelerate have the opportunity to work or expand their business to these countries. The university itself is based in several countries creating additional opportunities for scaleups who partner with them.
  • UOW’s Advantage SME is the university’s industry matchmaker. They help scaleups and startups find their ideal research partner.

“Being part of iAccelerate has just been really helpful for our business in terms of the contacts, the mentors and advisors.”

Monica Knight, Managing Director Ecoheat

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Our entrepreneurial strengths as a State

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.

Contact Invest Wollongong

Industry assistance for scaleups and entrepreneurial businesses

The team at Invest Wollongong are keen to help you experience the benefits of basing your startup or scaleup company in Wollongong. One of the best ways to see firsthand what our city has to offer is to join one of our business familiarisation tours tailored to scaleups and entrepreneurs.

Below is an example of that it looks like: