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Start House – Newcastle Co-working Space Takes Inspiration From Fishburners: Innovation

Newcastle’s Start House keen to replicate Fishburner’s incubator success

By Michelle Hammond
Thursday, 02 August 2012

A new co-working space in Newcastle wants to replicate the success of Sydney co-working space Fishburners, aiming itself at digital start-ups in the area.

 

The space, dubbed Start House, is located in Newcastle, the second most populated city in NSW.

 

It was founded by four young entrepreneurs, including John McCann and Jacob Dorman, who wanted to create an “ideas incubator” where like-minded people could collaborate.

 

The space, which can accommodate 12 teams, will provide basic office space and equipment for start-ups.

 

Start House is supported by Newcastle Now, a not-for-profit representing business, property owners and community groups in the Newcastle CBD.

 

Newcastle Now has assisted with funding to establish Start House, but ultimately the plan is for it to run as a not-for-profit.

 

According to McCann, Sydney co-working space Fishburners was a major source of inspiration with regard to the Start House concept.

 

“We went along to Fishburners to check out their set-up,” McCann wrote in a blog.

 

“We had a chat about the space with a few members who were genuinely excited about how quickly it had grown.”

 

“There was a great vibe, and it definitely seems like something we would like to replicate in Newcastle (albeit at a much smaller scale to start off with).”

 

McCann told ABC Newcastle the idea for Start House “was a bit of an accident”.

 

“We were looking around for an office for ourselves and posted something on a Renew Newcastle website,” he said.

 

“The friendly people at Newcastle Now got in touch with us and discussed the idea of setting up a space where other people could come together and work in Newcastle.”

 

McCann said the idea is to find people who are working from home, and get them together with like-minded people.

 

“I’ve been working from home for the last six or seven years and it is really isolating. You forget how to speak to other people,” he said.

 

“So here there’s a whole lot of people in the same situation who are forced to hang out with other people during the day and speak with each other.”

 

“So far it’s working well, so we’re hoping there’ll be a natural sharing of ideas, collaboration and learning that will come about from being in the same space.”

 

Options will be available for three, six or 12 months on permanent desks, with all fees to go back into a pool for events, equipment, utilities, lease fees, etc.

 

“What we’re going to do is put all of the money back into building on improvements to the space, or networking events where people can come and speak to other business owners, and maybe even eventually moving into a bigger space,” McCann said.

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