The second largest city in Victoria, Geelong, is where you should turn your attention.
Being crowned the city with the fastest Internet in Australia, Geelong is more than just beautiful sceneries and bollards.
We all already know the slower lifestyle in Geelong as compared to bigger cities like Melbourne and Sydney. It is a great place to live, the beautiful waterfront, and the fact that it is closer to the Great Ocean Road is always a plus too.
But Geelong is gearing up for more than just a beautiful city; it is becoming a city for innovation and massive growth.
Recently, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that $20 million would be put into 21 projects in the Geelong region.
The projects are expected to generate 1200 jobs. Although most of the projects primarily focus on the construction and manufacturing sector, the attention towards Geelong should not be looked passed.
Australia’s first commercial carbon fibre manufacturing facility and a new additive manufacturing and engineering centre at Geelong’s innovation precinct are some of the projects included.
The government is not the only one with their eyes set on Geelong.
US-based software startup LiveTiles is coming back home to open their APAC Headquarters and Global Innovation Centre in Geelong.
The ASX-listed startup is a cloud-based educational software platform with a current market capitalisation of $236 million.
With the backing of Victorian Government, LiveTiles is planning to create 500 new jobs. Partnering with local educational institutes, they intend to develop new opportunities for recent technology graduates and researchers.
LiveTiles’ CEO Karl Redenbach plans to establish Geelong as a global tech hub, with a focus on AI.
“What we’re hoping to achieve here is to set Geelong as a technology leader, not just for Australia, but for the world,” Redenbach said.
Chief financial officer Matt Brown tells Startup Smart he is optimistic about the potential for growth in the Geelong region, saying it’s well poised to become an innovation hotspot.
“The other thing is that Geelong is a big university town, so there’s a lot of good quality graduates in the area and we don’t have to fight with all the other companies in Melbourne,” he said.
Gearing up to be the next innovation hub
Geelong is definitely not new to the term innovation hub.
Runway Geelong is a startup accelerator program with a $1.25 million funding from the Victorian government.
The funding will span over four years from 2016 with an aim to establish a major startup hub in Geelong.
Runway will act as a catalyst for innovation in the region, creating new businesses and jobs through mentoring, networks, training and access to venture capital.
What they are doing is creating a chance for startups to grow and create a community within Geelong itself.
Runway CEO Peter Dostis tells Startup Smart the incubator program is not aligned with any particular technology.
“It doesn’t matter what industry it is in as long as it looks like a good innovative idea that can be turned into a profitable business,” he said.
Just last year, 13 startups were chosen for their program.
Another major event to take note of is the Pivot Summit.
Pivot Summit is the annual Geelong symposium about the future of the digital and startup spaces and their impacts on how we work, live and think.
Last year was the third time the event has been held, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers in 1976 was the keynote speaker.
Pivot Summit founder and CEO, Leighton Wells says the summit brings together thought leaders, innovators, digital pioneers and businesses from around the world to Geelong, which is fast establishing itself as a technology and startup hub.
“Pivot Summit is now a permanent fixture on the Australian tech and startup event calendar,” he said.
“It aspires to have impact nationally and eventually internationally while also having a positive effect on Geelong’s economy directly and indirectly.”
Interesting fact: Pivot Summit 2017 trended number one in Australia on Twitter for the second year in a row.
Well, that’s enough reasons to put Geelong on the map and to convince me to move there, time to take that V line train and move outwards.
Warning: Buy Now, Pay Later racks up Debt nearing $1 billion over the coming Christmas holidays.
Instarent set to Disrupt with easy app Solution for Real Estate
Independent Reserve rolls out KPMG Crypto Tax Estimator in world first
Myriota and AIMS Partner in tech trial to track Health of Australia’s Tropical Waters