Sole trader

Optus to sponsor co-working hub Fishburners for two more years

By Oliver Milman
Monday, 17 September 2012

Sydney co-working space Fishburners has extended its sponsorship deal with Optus, effectively ensuring that it remains viable for the next three years.


Optus has agreed to pay $100,000 a year to have its name associated with Fishburners for a two-year period. The current link-up ends next year, meaning that the extension will take the partnership through until 2015.


Fishburners, which is located in the suburb of Ultimo, expanded over a second level earlier this year and now houses around 120 different micro businesses.


The space is now the largest co-working facility of its kind in Australia and has proved the breeding ground for start-ups such as GoCatch, Recruit Loop and GradConnect.


Alongside Optus, Fishburners also has a sponsorship deal with web host Anchor and received $20,000 from the NSW government last year.


Optus’ continued involvement in Fishburners follows the rollout of a seed funding program in June that will provide $250,000 to up to eight Australian start-ups.


Peter Bradd, executive director of Fishburners, says that the Optus deal will help it over its $125,000-per year rent.


“We offer desk rentals for $300, around 50% of the market rate, so we don’t make the revenue to keep going without this kind of support,” he says.


“The backing has allowed us to fulfil the vision we had for a second level to Fishburners. There is no right of refusal given to Optus for any of the start-ups here, but we have a very good relationship with them. They help connect start-ups here to the right funding or skills they need.”


“The movement has got a real momentum now and is heading in the right direction. There are some great start-ups that are using Fishburners.”

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