Success stories in Wollongong - Local and global companies
Case Study – Twinkl
With increasing demand from its global customers and a wish to provide world-class 24-hour service, UK-based publisher Twinkl found a picture-book setting in Wollongong.
Twinkl Australia Chief Information Security Officer Jez Seaton said the educational publisher had conducted an extensive location search and found that Wollongong had all the essential criteria for its service operation.
“When we were looking to set up an office in Australia, we looked for somewhere that reflected what had made Twinkl Educational Publishing so successful in the UK,” Mr Seaton said.
“We were looking for a location that reflected creativity and innovation and Wollongong as a wider area was a strong fit for us.”
Strong business networks and support from regional and local government helped clear the path. “There are strong business networks in Wollongong,” Mr Seaton said. “We have found great support from local businesses looking to synergise and also support from local services looking to link us in to those networks to improve what we can do as a company here.”
Twinkl Australia was seeking a location with strong infrastructure links, access to Sydney and Canberra and to international air terminals. “We found the Innovation Campus and were instantly attracted to the concept,” Mr Seaton said. “Somewhere where companies could work together, connect with each other, work in business networks and really thrive and benefit from being together in a single space.”
The reputation of the University of Wollongong (UOW) was another influencing factor. “UOW is highly regarded, especially in the areas of technology and education and that’s important for us as an ed-tech business.” He said staff wellbeing was an important consideration for Twinkl Australia and Wollongong had many lifestyle benefits.
“We love that you have everything you need from bushwalking up in the escarpment to surfing at the beach. Team wellbeing is really important to us.”
Twinkl Australia country manager Laura Baron said in the first six months, the company had grown to 12 people with plans to continue expanding its service offering.
She said UOW provided a ready supply of staff. “For example, 80 percent of our graphic designers are University of Wollongong graduates.” Ms Baron said Twinkl Australia would continue to seek innovative ways “to provide world-class customer service and to ultimately help those who teach here”.
Case Study – Easy Agile
Easy Agile is a Wollongong based software company, founded by two former Atlassian employees – Nicholas Muldoon and David Elkan. The pair worked for Atlassianin San Francisco before returning to Australia, deciding to relocate their young families to Wollongong.
Upon returning to Australia, the pair were eager to start their business and decided that Wollongong was the best place to do so. Muldoon and Elkan were attracted to Wollongong for the ICT graduate pool the UOW offered, its family friendly lifestyle, the local business accelerator, iAccelerate, and the opportunity to realise their business dreams. Today, Easy Agile has over 1,500 customers, supporting 95% of them outside the Asia Pacific region.
“We are serving a customer base that is mainly on the other side of the world – and we are doing it from Wollongong.”
Case Study – NEC Australia
After a thorough investigation of options, NEC Australia, a leading Australian tech solutions and services firm chose to locate its newest corporate office and support centre in Wollongong, today employing 130 staff.
NEC Australia was impressed with the quality of the workforce in Wollongong and tapped into the many experienced senior IT professionals and executives located within the region along with the UOW IT Graduate Pool.
Wollongong has provided NEC with the opportunity to develop strong links with the local and business community. Being located in Wollongong also providing staff with access to greater work-life benefits, the cosmopolitan CBD and a reduction in commuting times, resulting in an improved work life balance
Case Study : Accelo
Local company Accelo provides cloud-based solutions for professional services businesses, with offices in Silicon Valley and Denver. The company employs over 100 people and is continuing to grow its engineering, research and development arm in Wollongong.
Key factors in Accelo’s decision to set up in Wollongong included the high quality University of Wollongong IT graduates, proximity to Sydney, short commuting times, the NBN and higher staff retention rates. The city’s lifestyle was also an important factor, and encouraged employees to stay longer. Approximately 90% of Accelo staff are UOW graduates.
‘It’s been awesome to be part of a global company having offices in San Francisco and Denver, while still being able to service the whole world from Wollongong.
A huge advantage of being based in Wollongong is the talent pipeline coming from UOW has been really important and valuable for us’ said Eamonn Bell, co-founder of Accelo.