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Fishburners start-up community launches

Friday, 1 April 2011 | By Oliver Milman

A new start-up community officially kicked off in Sydney on Friday, with 22 emerging businesses selected to share a collaborative office space in the Sydney suburb of Ultimo.


The Fishburners project, named after one of the supply ships in the First Fleet, has filled 44 of the 50 desks in the office space after receiving enough applications to fill 200 desks.


Successful applications include Orion VM, a cloud computing start-up that has already received investor interest from large corporates, Audio High School, a venture that puts school books online to aid student learning, and Click PR, which counts Kogan and Freelancer.com among its clients.


Fishburners is the brainchild of six start-ups that already co-habit, including The Entourage, GradConnection and 99Dresses. The founders of these business, along with PayPal investor Peter Davison, will sit on the Fishburners board.


The lease for the office space began on 1 April, with all 22 start-ups expected to move in by the start of May. The ventures will pay rent of $250 per month, per desk.


Jack Delosa, founder of The Entourage, says that the applicants were carefully chosen so that they would collaborate, rather than compete, with each other.


“We’ve got people in there with beneficial skillsets that others can use,” he says. “It’s all about creating a support group for start-ups and helping them create viable businesses. It’s not about restricting them in any way.”


“We will also be using our collective resources to leverage better outcomes. For example, we can have 44 people use the same accountant.”


Delosa adds that a second Fishburners-style community is set to launch within the next six to nine months, with a Melbourne branch due to follow shortly afterwards.