Contact : Nick Stanley
ICT Geelong's role : Facilitator
Status : Planning
Funded/Non-funded : Non Funded
The Startup Geelong Fund (SGF) is focused on transforming the startup economy for Geelong commerce. SGF is expected to support a more diverse, dynamic and robust economy over the next 20 years.
SGF’s goal is to support the attraction, creation and evolution of approximately 100 SME businesses over a five year period through an evergreen style of fund.
The Startup Geelong Fund is a necessary and vital initiative that will be central to support the transformation of the Geelong economic region.The Startup Geelong Fund offers the potential to grow a new startup culture that will be both dynamic and resilient and which will provide real benefits in terms of jobs and economic growth.
The fund aims to generate more than 500 direct and 2,500 indirect jobs, create up to 70 new enterprises, more than $150 million in annual GDP and $500 million plus in accretive asset value.The fund can achieve this via a Government investment of $10 million into a structured and considered program of works over a four year period with additional private contributions.
It is essential that the Government takes this leadership position to help assist where industry has been slow to respond; other international market competitors are doing the same, which leaves us at a competitive disadvantage. The local seed and early-stage venture capital markets in Australia are immature which is due to a variety of factors including historic policy that has discouraged some startup activity. This will take some time to correct so it is important to encourage conditions to remedy this in the short-to-medium term.
As evidenced in other global markets such as Singapore, the UK, Israel and North America, if the actions and incentives are right, industry will then follow.The consequence will be the creation of a dynamic, startup ecosystem in regional Victoria; the fund will be a positive attraction for businesses to both stay in Geelong and others to locate in Geelong,potentially supporting the need to help accommodate Melbourne’s projected population growth. This is an important aspect to the revitalisation and transformation of the Geelong economy and to also drive growth in Victoria’s second city.The fund has been well-socialised and has strong support across the Geelong region from key stakeholders. The program of works will also leverage off past investments and initiatives and promote those so as to amplify the benefit.
The Geelong Startup Fund is an important initiative as part of the future prospects for the Victorian and Australian economy and aligns with policy initiatives at both a federal and state level, an example being Victoria’s $60 million “startup initiative” as announced by Premier Andrews. It will support greater economic diversity, stronger second-cities, a focus on the knowledge economy and development of valuable intellectual capital while promoting sustainable jobs and GDP growth for future generations.