PushStart has picked Melbourne as the first point in its national expansion, capping off a period of significant growth for the organisation that connects mentors with entrepreneurs.
Co-founder Kim Heras said that the move will leverage the growing start-up interest and activity in the city, and will bolster the local ecosystem by enabling easy access to successful entrepreneurs and businessmen.
Adioso founder Tom Howard, whose airline bookings start-up was funded by Y-Combinator, is one of nine mentors that will meet six different entrepreneurs over two hours.
The Mentor Live event, described as speed dating for start-ups, will be in Melbourne on 5 October, and there is already significant interest.
Heras said that the event was recognition that Melbourne was starting to gain ground on Sydney.
"Melbourne has always had quality start-ups, and the successes that have come out of there over the years and that continue to launch are proof of that,” Heras said.
"Melbourne has always been a little behind Sydney in terms of how organised the start-up community is, though. This has started to change of late, with a bunch of great events/opportunities being organised for local start-ups.
"We feel that PushStart has some unique experience and offerings that can help speed up that process."
The move is also validation of the PushStart model, which has grown significantly since launching earlier this year, attracting over 100 mentors, facilitating over 200 start-up/mentor matches and co-ordinating over 300 Mentor Live! "speed dating" sessions.
Melbourne is the first step in PushStart's national expansion, which aims to develop a sustainable start-up ecosystem in Australia.
"Everything we do is about putting in place the structural change needed to ensure that Australia becomes the internationally significant tech start-up hub it has the potential to be," Heras said.