City of Sydney seeks help to build startup space

The City of Sydney is offering 500 square metres of space to anyone who can turn it into what could rival the biggest co-location spaces for startups in Sydney.

In dipping its feet farther into the creative community space, the City of Sydney (CoS) is now turning its focus toward startups in the area, or, more specifically, toward someone who can help grow Silicon Beach even more.

It is now seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) to find an organisation along the lines of Fishburners to occupy around 500 square metres of space on William Street, Sydney, and turn it into managed co-location space for startups and/or artists.

"We are keen to hear from organisations and people working with artists, creative practitioners, collectives, artisans, craftspeople, startup creative enterprises, or cultural organisations that can activate these spaces, have some experience in managing such spaces/projects, and who have the capacity to develop networks and connections within the local precinct," CoS wrote in its EOI.

The building space consists of two suites, each of about 240 square metres, not including its lobbies. This would make it among the largest co-location spaces in Sydney if someone were to take up both areas. It also used to sit on top of a Ferrari and Maserati dealer.

CoS is considering EOIs that only wish to use part of a suite, but has a preference for parties that will use a suite in its entirety.

If both suites are used, it would rival popular startup space Fishburners, which already houses over 200 entrepreneurs across 1100 square metres of space, between two locations in Ultimo and Darlinghurst.

The successful applicant would need to work closely with CoS and achieve several key performance indicators (KPIs) that CoS has indicated may include media involvement, survey participation, and joint projects with CoS.

The space will also need to be available for startups or creatives to use at a minimum of five days per week and 8 hours per day.

Hub Sydney will also be using the two levels below the space in the same building. It is negotiating the lease for levels 1 and 2 and is using it to create its design brief. It has invited interested co-locators to provide their input into the building's fit-out designs over a two-hour session that it held earlier this week.

The organisation has already set up Hubs in 35 other cities, and has hired Hassell as its design partner for Sydney (the same company behind the ANZ Centre and the Fiona Stanley Hospital). It is already expecting to open its doors in early 2013.

Those interested in being Hub Sydney's neighbours should lodge their EOI by December 18.