Researchers can't claim much about the health of an ecosystem without good information and that also goes for Sydney's technology business environment – the reason UTS is partnering in an initiative to capture the breadth of innovation in the harbour city.
A coalition led by TechSydney with StartupAus, UTS and the Committee for Sydney is working with San Francisco-based Startup Genome to understand the factors that will push Sydney into the important top ten list of global tech cities via the TechSydney Consensus Genome Survey.
Startup Genome produces the internationally influential Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings, a ranking of global cities in terms of their suitability as startup ecosystems.
Ecosystems are ranked in terms of their track record of strong exit valuations, ability to raise private capital, availability of technical talent, a strong local market and international reach, and a strong, supportive network for new startups.
Sydney has recently slipped from 12th to 16th on the list, and TechSydney CEO and Co-Founder Dean McEvoy said getting into the top ten is critical to Sydney's tech future.
"To be a top ten ecosystem sends a clear message to the rest of the world that Sydney is a leading and vibrant hub of tech innovation," Mr McEvoy said.
"We need show the world that Sydney is an awesome place to start a business, access mentors and investment, pursue a fantastic career as well as being a landing pad to the lucrative Asian market."
"Partnering with the Startup Genome people will help us understand what drivers we need to focus on to continually improve and remain globally competitive" Mr McEvoy said.
UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said the university's role to manage the project was an obvious fit.
"UTS is at the heart of Australia's thriving technology, innovation and creativity precinct," Professor Brungs said.
"Our students are tomorrow's entrepreneurs and critical thinkers, the people who will help generate new jobs for all Australians. We are responding to the changing roles these graduates will play in the future with ground-breaking transdisciplinary courses and support for entrepreneurship through programs like the UTS Hatchery."
The Committee for Sydney's CEO Tim Williams said it was vital to promote Sydney's tech capabilities to the world.
"The best entrepreneurial tech brains in the world are looking for an excuse to move to Sydney, but if we can't crack this top ten we simply aren't giving them that excuse," Mr Williams said.
"Sydney's economic future will increasingly depend on our capacity to attract and retain global talent. We need to feature on a list like this to get our foot in the door."
Gen George Co-founder of OneShift and LMBDW, a group of like-minded professional women, encouraged the Sydney startup community to get behind the project.
"Sydney is a great place to be a female entrepreneur. We have a strong and supportive community – LMBDW has 19,000 plus members. We need to work together to increase our global ranking and show the rest of the world what they are missing out on."
Sydney startups who get involved in the Genome project by completing the survey have access to a range of incentives to support their businesses.
"By completing the survey you are supporting your local startup ecosystem which will bring direct benefits to your own businesses," said McEvoy.
Startup founders should go to TechSydney.com.au/survey.