New Sydney hub to help scale up climate tech startups

Wednesday, 11 August, 2021

New Sydney hub to help scale up climate tech startups

A new, affordable innovation hub in the heart of Sydney is set to boost the city’s startup 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 startups 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.

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said creating affordable startup 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 startup ecosystem to the world.

“Technology businesses are pivotal to Sydney’s future. They create high-quality jobs, boost the local economy, strengthen our connections around the world and make Sydney a more desirable place to live, work and visit. By supporting our fastest-growing, sustainability-focused businesses with affordable, premium office space and access to expert-run services and globally competitive talent, we hope to reaffirm Sydney’s reputation as a vibrant and sustainable city and the home of smart, inclusive and green innovation,” said the Lord Mayor.

Greenhouse will support scaleup 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 startups, corporate and university talent, and help position Sydney as a global leader in climate tech.

The innovation hub is the result of planning negotiation between the City and Lendlease. Lendlease 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 seed investment company Investible, to sublease and operate the hub to startups.

Investible co-founder and Greenhouse CEO Creel Price said Greenhouse 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.

“We’re designing a space that’s 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,” said Price.

The City 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 startup ecosystem. Innovillage will manage and operate Greenhouse, including the running of associated programs supporting tech startups 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.

Image credit: ©

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