Australian entrepreneurialism has received a welcome boost in the last week, with News Corp Australia investing in the country’s largest tech co-working space.
The media company has invested in Fishburners, a not-for-profit company which welcomes more than 1000 entrepreneurs each week and has been imperative in helping launch some of Australia’s most successful start-ups.
The agreement has its positives for both companies, says Fishburners founder and executive director Peter Bradd.
“Fishburners has been run by volunteers for the last couple of years and we’re taking the next step up,” Mr Bradd said
“We’ll be hiring a full time general manager and we’ll also be able to run more programs for entrepreneurs.”
Mr Bradd said there were three big positives from News Corp Australia’s side: increasing its staff’s capability with exposure to the entrepreneurial community, finding businesses to invest in, and exploring new business models.
Training, mentoring and a chance to revolutionise content
News will offer Fishburners staff training, mentor and mentee opportunities, as well as giving them access to data and applications.
Mr Bradd said these would prove invaluable for the entrepreneurial community.
“With access to all that content through an API [application programming interface], an entrepreneur might come up with a useful way, or a new app, or a web service, to deliver that data to customers.
“A new product or service can leverage News’ content in a way that has not been done before.”
He said the other benefit the partnership will provide is access to News Corp Australia’s staff for mentoring purposes.
Mr Bradd said this would be a boost for young entrepreneurs who may not have had access to mentoring before, or who wanted help in a range of wider fields.
“As an entrepreneur, you’re cash strapped, you’re running off of generally either your own revenue or limited investment,” Mr Bradd said.
“News has got access to really talented people.
“Getting access to say a UX expert to come down and help with usability for a couple of hours a week to these guys is phenomenal.”
“The potential for Australian startups is huge”
News Corp Australia group director, digital product and development Alisa Bowen said the partnership highlights News’ commitment to fostering Australian digital entrepreneurial talent.
“Fishburners is a fantastic organisation that plays a key role in the development of some of Australia’s future digital leaders,” she said.
“This sponsorship allows us to help foster innovation within the community while also gaining access to some of the country’s greatest digital thinkers.
“The potential for Australian digital start-ups is huge, and News Corp Australia is pleased to be playing such a prominent role, through Fishburners, in developing and collaborating with the industry.”