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.


The Workbench

Level 2, 645 Harris Street, Ultimo, NSW

The Workbench may not be a tech-focused co-working space, accepting entrepreneurs from all industries, but it seems to have the pull of one. It's located directly across the road from Fishburners in Harris Street, meaning that morning coffee runs inevitably result in running into another tech startup founder at one point or another.

(Credit: The Workbench)

It has all the hallmarks that tech-startup offices have: New York-inspired internal architecture, the option for standing desks, a decked-out kitchen, and the requisite retro table video-game machine.

Residents include, or have included, startup growth organisation The New Agency; food blogger Irena Macri of Eat Drink Paleo fame; and the private car-hiring company Uber.

Uber is one of Workbench's largest tenants at the moment, but it represents a slight exception to its rules, as it has a limit to the number of full-time desks it will permit. For part-timers, it has an upper limit on teams of three to four at any one time; however, Workbench partner Simon Wright said that it has agreements in place with businesses, such as Alpha Shack, to provide Workbench accounts for their staff, so long as they don't turn up "en mass".

Part of the reason for the limit on teams is to ensure that those working in the space continue to interact with each other, rather than form cliques. It also indicates that if a startup is at the stage of needing more space than they could accommodate, the business is probably ready to take it to the next level.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Workbench is packed to the rafters. Wright said that startups that find themselves stuck at the last minute can simply drop in without a booking, and can almost always get a desk.

He said that most people come in once or twice a week, and that they tend to have a fairly strong flow of people through the place, such that people are always meeting someone new. In addition to using the space, many make use of their Workbench membership to attend the various events it holds, free of charge.

Past events have included Ruby on Rails hack nights and helping host Port80 Sydney meet-ups held by the Australian Web Industry Association. In addition, Workbench hosts its own brown bag talks and show-and-tell events to familiarise members of the rest of the community with who they are, what their business is about, and where they want to go.


Hot desk:

  • AU$40/day

Basic membership:

  • One day/month

  • Reduced rates for additional days

  • Free access to events

  • AU$40/month

Lite membership:

  • Three days/week

  • Reduced rates for additional days

  • Free access to events

  • AU$300/month

Full membership:

  • Five days/week

  • Reduced rates for additional days

  • Free access to events

  • Keys for 24/7 access available on request

  • AU$500/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...