NSW Government secures nation's leading startup festival

Media release

21 October 2016

The NSW Government today announced a new three year deal for Jobs for NSW to support the SPARK Festival, an annual week-long showcase of dozens of events celebrating the best of Australia’s start-up scene.

Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, said the SPARK Festival grew out of last year’s successful StartupWeek Sydney, which brought more than 8,000 people together across 63 events to connect, share and develop their ideas.

“The NSW Government’s support for the SPARK Festival further underlines Sydney’s status as the nation’s startup capital,” Mr Roberts said.

“Almost half of the nation’s startup companies call Sydney home, so it is the perfect place to hold the SPARK Festival - a celebration of our nation’s thriving startup ecosystem.

“We need to do all we can to create and support more high-growth SMEs, which made up just six per cent of the State’s businesses in the six years to 2014 but helped create about one million jobs in NSW in that time.”

Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said the SPARK Festival will provide startups with a great platform to show the world the best of what’s happening in Australia’s startup scene.

“Our investment in the SPARK Festival demonstrates our commitment to provide opportunities for NSW startups to share ideas, network and realise their potential both here and abroad,” Mr Barilaro said.

“By connecting with people and resources in the industry, the SPARK Festival opens up new opportunities for entrepreneurs to start up, scale up and innovate their business into the high-growth, job creating companies of tomorrow.”

Chair of the SPARK Festival’s co-ordinating committee, Chris Clark, said he welcomed the NSW Government’s support.

“Last year’s event was a great success, attracting thousands of people to events including conferences, tours and pitch nights, and we’re optimistic this year will be even bigger and better,” Mr Clark said.

The NSW Government is committed to growing the State’s network of incubators and accelerators and, through Jobs for NSW, funding is specifically being provided to help NSW startups scale into the high-growth, job-creating companies of tomorrow.

The SPARK Festival runs from 22 to 30 October. For more information visit: http://sparkfestival.co/