Sydney’s CBD is set to host a new start-up precinct, designed to strengthen ties in the entrepreneurial community while providing a central hub for innovation.
Announced at the official launch of StartupAUS’ third annual Crossroads report in Barangaroo, yesterday, Lighthouse will be led by CEO Annie Parker, who is the director of Code Club Australia, the co-founder of Telstra’s muru-D startup accelerator, and the former head of operations with Wayra startup accelerator in Europe.
Parker said the aim of the project is to bring together Australia’s most innovative and respected firms, industry disruptors, and emerging enterprises.
“Lighthouse is bigger than any one startup hub or company – it’s about bringing together the entire ecosystem in Sydney, and across Australia. When completed, we will have an amazing concentration of people and activity the likes of which we’ve never seen before in Australia,” she said.
“I first realised just how powerful location can be as head of operations for Wayra, which had an office in central London, and then of course running muru-D in Sydney. It’s about providing the greatest possible number of human connections in one place – to other thinkers and founders, to advisors and mentors and to the corporate and academic worlds.
“When someone has an idea anywhere across Australia, we want Lighthouse to be the place where they come to make it happen.”
Anthony Farah, CEO of human-centred innovation agency Vivant and one of the architects of Lighthouse, said the precinct would be able to cater for thousands of start-up founders each year and offer them the space to grow as their companies became larger and self-sufficient.
“Lighthouse is more than an accelerator, it’s a curated program which will give founders the opportunity to grow – and because of that, it will keep the startup community together and stop fragmentation,” he said.
“In the long run, it’s about more than just technology – it’s about bringing people and ideas together.”
In addition to Parker and Farah, Lighthouse’s advisory board will include Susan Wu (Twitter, Square, Stripe, Canva), Peter Huynh (Qualgro, Optus Innov8, Hutchison) and Ted Pretty (Macquarie Group, RP Data, Fujitsu).