I’m recently back from Wellington. The startup community is buzzing there and there are possibly some lessons for the Canberra Startup community.
Firstly, some comparative data from startup genome, a global research database of startups. Wellington has 3 times the number of startups Canberra has!
Canberra has a population of 367,752. Startup Genome lists 9 startups (http://www.startupgenome.com/city/canberra-act-au). Thats one startup for every 40,861 head of population.
Wellington has a population of 393,400. Startup Genome lists 27 startups (http://www.startupgenome.com/city/wellington-wellington-nz). Thats 1 startup per 14570 head of population.
The is a lot of grassroots activity driving the scene however of interest on the strategy/policy side, is Grow Wellington.
Grow Wellington is a government backed venture: http://www.growwellington.co.nz/page/home.aspx
To help startups, Grow Wellington has played an important role in enabling the following initiatives:
- Partnered with BizDojo to provide a co-working space for independent workers, creative freelancers and innovative small businesses. There is capacity for 50 people. (Average age is 39).
- Has seeded a large scale investment for the screen and digital sector in partnership with industry. (Targeting USD $500 million fund)
- Can be a first point of contact for businesses seeking investment, ideas and connections to other businesses.
- Has supported Creative HQ, the regions incubator. Creative HQ has a strong focus on supporting digital sector and creative businesses. (This is being tweaked to become an accelerator model)
- Supports Angel HQ – a community of Angel investors.
- Helps to fund the Young Producers network in Wellington, dedicated to increasing the opportunities for emerging digital content producers in the region.