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Sydney Launches Hub to Boost Climate Tech Start-Ups

A new, affordable innovation hub in the heart of Sydney is set to boost the city’s start-up ecosystem and economy, create more jobs, strengthen global connections and support action on climate change.

Named ‘Greenhouse’, the George Street hub will focus on climate tech start-ups and scaleups, offering cost-effective office space that enables emerging companies to expand into global markets. The hub will occupy 3,800 m2 across the first three floors of Lendlease’s new 56-storey tower at 180 George Street and is due to open in 2022.

The Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney noted that creating affordable start-up space would help support an important sector of the economy and contribute to the CBD’s post-pandemic recovery. The Lord Mayor added that Greenhouse is an opportunity for tech entrepreneurs and the scaleup economy to be located in one of the most advantageous locations in Australia, and for the city to showcase Sydney’s tech start-up ecosystem to the world.

The Lord Mayor noted that technology businesses are pivotal to Sydney’s future. They create high-quality jobs, boost the local economy, strengthen the region’s connections around the world and make Sydney a more desirable place to live, work and visit.

By supporting local fastest-growing, sustainability-focused businesses with affordable, premium office space and access to expert-run services and globally competitive talent, it is hoped that Sydney’s reputation as a vibrant and sustainable city and the home of smart, inclusive and green innovation will be reaffirmed.

Greenhouse will support scale-up businesses making a positive impact on the environment and helping reduce Australia’s carbon emissions. It aims to directly support more than 100 high-performing businesses in creating more than 1500 new jobs over 10 years. It will also engage the wider tech ecosystem, create pathways for early-stage start-ups, corporate and university talent, and help position Sydney as a global leader in climate tech.

The innovation hub is the result of planning negotiations between the City and an Australian multinational construction, property and infrastructure company. The infrastructure firm and the City entered into a voluntary planning agreement to provide a range of public benefits including open space, community spaces and the business innovation space.

The city has awarded an accommodation grant to Innovillage, a wholly-owned subsidiary of a seed investment company, to sublease and operate the hub to start-ups.

The co-founder of the investment firm and Greenhouse CEO noted that the hub’s businesses will have access to a range of talent and growth services as well as investment opportunities, including the Investible Climate Tech Fund – a new venture capital fund to be launched by Investible this year.

A space is being designed that is optimised for growth; bringing together a diverse group of investors, experts, partners and advisors to provide climate tech businesses with the nutrient capital, talent, programs and community to grow to their fullest potential.

Sydney will sublease the business innovation space to Innovillage for 10 years and offer a rental subsidy through its Accommodation Grant Program, providing Innovillage demonstrates an ongoing community benefit to the tech start-up ecosystem. Innovillage will manage and operate Greenhouse, including the running of associated programs supporting tech start-ups under a co-working model with support from Investible and its partners.

Greenhouse is expected to open in late 2022 and will be part of the new community infrastructure created by the City of Sydney and Lendlease at 180 George Street. The precinct also includes a public plaza, retail laneways, bicycle hub, public art and a new hospitality venue on the site of the former Jacksons on George.

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