Finding a Sydney co-working space for your Aussie startup

Finding a Sydney co-working space for your Aussie startup

Summary: Some of the best ways to stay motivated in a startup is to look for like-minded entrepreneurs. But why just have coffee with them when you can work alongside them? We take a look at some of the co-working spaces in Sydney that house some of the best Aussie startups.



Level 2, 608 Harris Street, Ultimo, NSW (Fishburners)
Suite 6, Level 2, 66 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, NSW (EngineRoom)

If tech startups were made of iron, Fishburners would be a giant electromagnet. It's difficult to get your toes wet in the Sydney startup community without hearing from someone who has worked from, gone to a coffee meet, or listened to a speaker from Fishburners. And that's not without good reason. With two workspaces split between Ultimo and Darlinghurst, it houses over 100 Australian tech startups over 1,100 square metres of space.

(Credit: Fishburners)

It has previously housed startups like OrionVM and AirBnB, and is currently home to GradConnection, Tapestry, and PushStart.

Fishburners is a not-for-profit organisation that evolved from a former co-working space called Project Hollywood, but its current form didn't truly take shape until April 2011, when it took hold of the building on Harris Street. At first, it was a single floor, but as Fishburners gained momentum, it expanded to another floor and eventually to the "EngineRoom" in Darlinghurst.

Despite its not-for-profit status and being one of the least-expensive options in Sydney, its large membership base (of about 220 entrepreneurs) means that it has been able to attract some significant support. The NSW government previously provided AU$20,000 to help the space out, and Fishburners receives support from one of its sponsors, Optus, to run its event space in the lower floors of the building.

BigAir provides connectivity to the building, including wi-fi services to each member's computer, and Fishburners even has the beer for its weekly events covered, with Anchor providing two cases.

Members' own businesses also benefit from partnerships that Fishburners has with various organisations. Such partners include PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which has recently been increasingly dipping its toes into the tech development industry, with free business accounting advice; up to AU$2,000 in cloud storage from Ninefold; a free year of GitHub's silver code hosting plan; and AU$75 in credit for Google AdWords and Consumer Surveys each.

An important distinction that Fishburners Executive Director Peter Bradd made is that although Fishburners may have some big names under its roof, its focus is on the entrepreneurs behind them, not the businesses themselves. It doesn't invest in companies, so the success of the business isn't a significant consideration when approving membership. Instead, with the focus on the entrepreneurs, members can use the space to figure out and experiment with whether their ideas are feasible.

Although Bradd would undoubtedly cheer for the success of another Australian startup, he said that sometimes success at Fishburners could mean that an entrepreneur realises they need to go back to their day job first, or that they are forced to pivot their idea into another.


Guest pass:

  • Three days of access during office hours

  • AU$0

Day pass:

  • One day of access during office hours

  • AU$40 (excluding GST)


  • One to three desks at Fishburners or EngineRoom

  • Three days/week of access during office hours

  • AU$200 (excluding GST)/month


  • One to six desks at Fishburners

  • 24/7 access

  • AU$300 (excluding GST)/month


  • One to six desks at EngineRoom

  • 24/7 access

  • AU$450 (excluding GST)/month


  • Minimum of three desks at Fishburners

  • 24/7 access

  • AU$285 (excluding GST)/month

Topics: Start-Ups, IT Employment, SMBs, Australia, Leadership

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • Anything Similar In Auckland?

    Just on the off-chance...