A new communal incubator for start-ups is set to launch in Melbourne this month, the latest in a wave of collaborative working spaces to spring up for promising early-stage companies.
The York Butter Factory, situated at the foot of Melbourne’s Rialto Tower, is set to open with 25 entrepreneurial tenants. The space has room for 25 further tenants and will hold interviews with start-ups keen to join the collective.
VC firm Adventure Capital and Equiset Grollo, co-owner of the Rialto Tower, are behind the scheme. Tenants will be charged $600 a month in return for a desk, internet connection, meeting and ‘quiet’ rooms and member events.
Stuart Richardson, managing partner of Adventure Capital, says that the premises will be open to digital-focused start-ups and freelancers.
“The ideal candidates will be early-stage businesses in digital media and web 2.0,” he says. “The business-to-consumer area is very hot at the moment and we are seeing the second coming of the business-to-business area, so it’s a very exciting time.
“We saw there was an opportunity after seeing what has happened in Silicon Valley. There’s been a rise in collaborative working and you can see some of the great businesses that have come out of sharing ideas and an environment with other start-ups.”
The venture is the third major collaborative working space to launch in Australia over the past year, following the arrival of the Hub in Melbourne and Fishburners in Sydney.
Richardson says: “Things are slowly happening here in terms of engagement. Things aren’t quite as open as Silicon Valley, but start-ups here are beginning to work together.
“We’ve had Aurelius Digital events, where we match businesses with investors, and Silicon Beach networking drinks in Melbourne and we’re seeing more than 100 people show up each time.
“I think we can be quite complementary to services like the Hub, which is a bit different to us. I think there will be natural segmentation within the industry.”
Richardson adds that any profit the venture makes will be ploughed back into resident start-ups, with a seed accelerator set to launch in the coming year. The fund will invest around $20,000 to $50,000 in early-stage companies.