The newly-hatched Sydney School of Entrepreneurship has thrown open its doors to its first 60 students, the latest big ticket investment by the NSW Government to retain the state’s leadership status in startups.
The NSW Government made a $25 million cornerstone investment to get the school off the ground, as a partnership between 11 universities and the NSW TAFE.
The investment follows the $35 million over five years announced last month for a Sydney Startup Hub at Wynyard Green in the Sydney CBD, and a further $18 million to support the building of a network of accelerators and incubators across the NSW.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro told InnovationAus.com the state government would continue to find ways to invest in the city “to ensure that Sydney remains the startup capital of Australia … and to create the next generation of entrpreneirs.”
“As a global city, Sydney is already seen as the startup capital in Australia, and we want to build on that,” he said. Sydney is home to 46 per cent of the nation’s startup companies.
“In New South Wales we are leading the charge, and the significant investments of the past 18 months has focused on making sure that we continue to be a global player and that Sydney remains a global city,” Mr Barilaro said.
“These are significant investments and we are flagging to the sector and to the nation that we are serious about startups and about entrepreneurship.
“The truth of it is that I would rather see 1,000 entrepreneurs try and fail than not … and we will be measured on output based on the success of some of these great stories,” he said.
“It will take one startup to make it globally to make this – in my mind a success story. And clearly it sends a message globally that we are in this space [in a serious way].”
The 60 initial students at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship are from all over the state. They are taking part in what is effectively a pilot program as the SSE scales up.
By Year Three the school will be putting more than 1,000 students a year through courses, in addition a busy extracurricular calendar at the school of workshops, hackathons, educational boot camps and networking events.
The SSE will be run by Australian Nick Kaye, a global entrepreneurship leader. He return recently to Australia following a ten year stint as the head of the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship.
“I’m particularly pleased Nick Kaye has come home to run the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship. Nick’s decision to take on the job is a clear sign of just how significant this place will be on a global scale,” Mr Barilaro said.
The SSE is housed in a building on the NSW TAFE’s Ultimo campus that was originally a shoe factory, and then a school of fashion and footwear.
Mr Barilaro said the entrepreneur ecosystems was a focus for many state governments, which had led to unprecedented levels of competition between the states for startup talent. The investment in the school was about driving new ideas and bringing a pipeline on new entrepreneurs into the Sydney and NSW ecosystem.
“Every state is doing their own piece in this area, some more significant than others. I think for New South Wales it is Victoria that we probably see as a rival.”
“But really, competitive in itself is actually quite good. We can’t do it all out of one city, or out of one state,” Mr Barilaro said.
“As a global city, we have a right to lead, and that’s what we’re doing. We are making serious investments to get the right outcomes,” he said.
“I’m OK with that. And Victoria will do whatever Victoria does.”