Fishburners is dedicated to launching and growing startups by offering more than just ideas and workspace.
Australia’s largest non-for-profit startup organisation, Fishburners is committed to supporting entrepreneurs on their journey. Their goal is to help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life by providing the best possible resources, education, mentoring and community of like-minded people to connect, learn and create successful businesses.
Fishburners hosts Australia’s largest startup community – with 450 startups and 800 entrepreneurs across the Sydney and Brisbane hubs, remote and regional locations. A recent survey recorded that in 2019 Fishburners members achieved approximately $142 million in sales, raised around $58 million in investment and created close to 1,000 jobs.
A leader in the industry and one of the first dedicated startup spaces, Fishburners hosts more than 2,000 startup entities who have been part of the operation since it opened, including high-profile alumni such as Koala, GoCatch, graphic design marketplace DesignCrowd, ConX, Code Camp, Tinybeans, Madpaws, Jayride, GradConnection and Hyper Anna. Fishburners is also home to Australia’s largest event space dedicated to startups and entrepreneurship, having hosted well over 5,000 startup-focused events since opening.
At Heels Agency, we’re passionate about innovation, startups and sharing exceptional resources to assist entrepreneurs build and grow brands. Now more than ever, it’s imperative we support one another during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we, as an independent business and collectively as a business community – initiate change and growth.
There is a lot of uncertainty at moment, the changing demands of the global marketplace is making it difficult for existing and first-time entrepreneurs, impacting startups, stifling creativity and discouraging new founders.
Yes, change is upon us. We must adapt, implement new concepts and keep moving forward. – Heels Agency
We spoke with Nicole O’Brien – CEO Fishburners, on how to do just that along with a rundown of Fishburners unique services, outstanding facilities and the many benefits of joining this enterprising community.
Demi – What services does Fishburners offer?
We offer entrepreneurial community workspaces, resources, events, education, mentoring and world class support. The Fishburners team has years of experience in supporting the growth of startups and are here to help in every way we can to see your startup go from idea to launch and grow.
Demi – How can people get involved?
There are plenty of ways to get involved with Fishburners.
People can easily become members of our physical spaces, or alternatively join our online Founders network which gives founders similar benefits as a regular member, or ‘burner’, including access to member, company directories and mentors in just a few clicks.
There’s also access to a custom-built library of educational resources such as accounting, legal and marketing tools, developed with partners including Google for Startups, Chartered Accountants ANZ and UTS. There’s always a physical desk available at any of the Sydney, Brisbane and Shanghai hubs when needed.
If, you aren’t an entrepreneur but would like to be involved with Australia’s startup community, you can mentor, judge pitch nights or host a workshop or event.
Demi – Tell us about the programs on offer?
We host an array of really exciting and pioneering programs.
‘Future Up‘ is the ultimate playbook for getting your startup off the ground. It includes a course, coaching, best of breed tools, and access to the wider community.
‘Ideate Up‘ is for anyone stuck in a rut at work and wanting to create more impact and sense of purpose in their career.
‘Fempowered‘ is the absolute must-do 6 month Launch Pad program for diverse women wanting to turn their viable idea into a sustainable business.
We also have one to one mentoring available through any of our memberships. Further program details below.
Demi – Why should one choose Fishburners?
We exist to make the hardest thing you have done easier.
Fishburners is Australia’s premier startup community. We are a not for profit organisation that is completely dedicated to the success of our startups. We do this by providing the best resources, education, mentoring and community of like-minded people to connect with and learn from so that your idea can come to life and flourish.
Demi – What are the key benefits of working with Fishburners?
- Curated support from our qualified team.
- Programmed initiatives for collaboration, networking via roundtables and think tanks.
- Weekly Learning and development events.
- Advisory sessions – from legal to accounting to marketing.
- Mentoring to guide and enhance success.
- Access to investors.
- Getting pitch ready.
- World Class Educational Programs.
Demi – Who is ideal candidate for Fishburners?
Anyone who wants to make a real impact and be the next big thing.
Anyone wanting to build a highly successful business utilising the power of those who have gone before, as well as those growing alongside them. Those who want access to our global network of partners, mentors, resources and team members.
Demi – What are some of the greatest challenges startups/entrepreneurs face?
The greatest challenge entrepreneurs face is usually in getting the support they need as flying solo is tough and trying to be across all aspects of running a business on your own is impossible.
For startups to be on the forefront of emerging technologies and trends, they need access to an extensive network of investors, talent and advisors. All of which Fishburners provide in spades.
Demi – Things to keep in mind when starting a business?
Anyone can be a successful entrepreneur as long as they know why they are building their business, who it is they serve, what uniqueness they bring and how they plan to deliver bring it to market in a financially sustainable way. With the right support, these simple factors can transform into smart and scalable strategies for market domination.
WHAT IT TAKES
Demi – What does it take to start & grow a successful business?
To be a successful startup and entrepreneur in this day and age requires a great idea coupled with commitment, courage, resilience and the ability to take advantage of the support and resources that you need. There is so much rich and empowering knowledge out there that with the right application, ‘making it’ has never been easier.
Demi – What advice would you give new founders?
Give it a go. Do your research. Give it your all. Learn from the best. Keep your purpose at the centre.
Demi – Tell us about any new programs/resources?
We have just launched the exciting ‘At Home with Fishburners‘ platform. It is a free resource hub for those thinking about joining the startup community. ‘At Home With Fishburners’ is a curated, virtually accessible, value-packed stream of free content and online events, landing in your inbox every week!
Demi – Have you had to make changes to the way you run Fishburners during COVID-19?
We understand this is an incredibly challenging time for our members both personally and professionally and we want to do what we can to support them. As a first step, we have waived billing for a few months for our physical members. We are in the fortunate position that our community is much more than a bricks and mortar real estate deal.
As the largest and most diverse startup community in Australia, Fishburners has long provided inclusive and modernised working methods, including virtual community hubs, remote access and online communication channels. We continue to lead the remote working integration for startups and as such have provided a free version of our online ‘Founders Platform’ while ramping up our online resources.
For the wider entrepreneurial community across Australia, we have just launched ‘At Home with Fishburners’ so everyone can receive regular value soaked content.
COVID-19 WORKING REMOTELY
Demi – What sort of measures, apps, programs etc. have you put in place & believe are important whilst working remotely?
We have had online virtual channels and platforms in place for a long time.
As such, we have managed to stay in close virtual contact and carry on supporting our members through this crisis. We have also continued to host events, workshops, community groups and roundtable discussions so everyone can stay connected and able to share ideas and expertise.
COVID-19 STAY CONNECTED
Demi – How important is it for businesses, new & old to stay connected with their team, mentors etc. during the crisis?
It is very important for everyone to stay connected during this time.
We are so lucky, we have been in the position to facilitate that. Although, we have been regularly communicating and delivering content virtually, we are really looking forward to more direct contact as the social distancing restrictions start to ease.
Demi – What advice & tips would you give business owners & employees on how to keep going during the crisis?
As the global messaging keeps saying, everyone is going through this together.
Not only are regulations ever-changing, so too are the needs and wants of customers and emerging markets. With honest, sincere and receptive communication, you can continue to serve customers and grow a flourishing business.
Demi – What are you doing at Fishburners to stay positive during these difficult times?
We are staying in contact with members. Just as the key for any business is to stay focussed on their purpose, it is important for Fishburners to double down and continue serving our community during these difficult times.
Demi – Do you have any inspirational words during COVID-19 crisis you would like to share?
We might go back to normal, but things will never be the same. Let’s all be part of creating a better world.
If you have a unique business idea that you have been pondering on for quite some time and love the vision of starting it up but lack the skills or resources to make it happen – then you’re in the right place.
Fishburners provides high quality resources, education, mentoring, and the valuable connection to a community of like-minded people to turn your idea into a flourishing success.
Your entrepreneurial future starts and grows here.
We support the ‘get shit done’ attitude of our members and the collective power of people to instigate change.
From the initial idea stage till you can take your business into the real world.
The inclusive business package includes early stage support for teams of up to 20 people, program initiatives for collaboration and networking via roundtables and think tanks.
Also, included are weekly learning and development events, pro-bono advisory sessions, mentoring to guide and enhance success, pitch preparation and Educational Programs some of which are highlighted below.
A Launch Pad program for females to turn a viable idea into a sustainable business.
With the generous support of our partners Google For Startups, Fishburners Sydney is offering a 6 month Launch Pad program for 12 DIVERSE females to turn a viable idea into a sustainable business.
Fishburners will be engaging a range of female thought leaders and experts as mentors for additional one-on-one mentoring throughout the program.
Hit LINK to sign up or ‘Fempowered’ program details.
Cultivate an entrepreneur mindset and future proof your career.
Is a best practice ideation program designed for leaders and teams wanting to embed Intrapreneurial mindsets in their organisation to drive innovation and change from within, future proof their jobs their career.
- Do you want to have more engaged staff and teams?
- Are you under pressure to build new business models or process improvements?
- Are you in a rut at work?
- Do you have ideas and don’t know how to execute them, sell them to your team, your boss or your clients?
- Do you want to boost your motivation and capacity for innovative thinking?
- Do you want to learn the first steps to building a new venture?
- Are you a change maker?
Hit LINK to sign up or ‘Ideate Up’ program details.
New Founders, your entrepreneurial future starts and grows here.
Developed by both Fishburners and the UTS Business School, it is a 12-week online and face-to-face course to provide you with all the knowledge and power required to succeed in your industry of choice.
The proven playbook for getting your startup off the ground: course, coaching, tools, and community. If you relate to 3 of these statements then this life-changing program is for you.
- You are a first-time founder.
- You have a great set of skills but not in all areas.
- You are lacking some fundamental business knowledge.
- You have an idea/prototype, but you are not getting the results you were looking for.
- You have a great set of skills but not in all areas.
- You are unsure about how to proceed, where to start, and what to focus on.
- You are lacking the confidence to take the next step.
- You feel overwhelmed or like an impostor among all those ‘successful entrepreneurs’.
- You are not talking to customers every single week.
- You learn better through accountability and in a group.
Powered by the UTS MBA in Entrepreneurship and Fishburners.
Hit LINK to sign up or ‘Future Up’ program details.
Want to become a startup mentor and support new founders?
Great opportunity to mentor some of our new founders in our startup community. Some current Fishburners mentoring sessions are in our legal, business, accounting, design and other areas.
Fishburners connects inspiring mentors with Startup Founders.
Hit LINK for ‘Mentoring’ program details.
Access to everything you need to grow your startup anywhere, anytime.
Looking for more startup convenience? Access Fishburners community platform and national Slack workspace with dedicated groups for growth marketing, tech, social impact, machine learning and more online.
This membership provides live-streamed educational workshops and talks with exclusive expert speakers. Also included, is a library of startup resources and recorded content in a range of business growth areas.
Free Basic access – Standard membership starts at $29.00 per month with live sessions, resources, community access and more.
Hit LINK to sign up or ‘Virtual’ membership details.
Following, are some Fishburners success story highlights to get you inspired…
Will Davies, founder and CEO of Car Next Door a peer-to-peer car rental service system that focuses on improving road life sustainability with services conveniently across Australia.
We grew from 1 to 25 desks in Fishburners… It’s a great place to get your startup started.
I met amazing people who were ahead of where I was (where I wanted to be) which was very helpful & inspiring.
Annie Slattery, Co-founder and CEO of Con X a business which aids in managing the tendering process of the pre-construction phase with operations in Sydney.
Fishburners has been instrumental to our success to date.
I’ve built the team, worked with amazing contractors and learnt so much from my fellow burners.
Jessica Walker, a passionate entrepreneur, founded the business Idle Airbnb Property Management in 2016.
Fishburners is more than a co-working space- it’s a community of awesome like-minded people who really care about what you’re working on.
Manal al-Sharif, Founder of Women2Hack Academy which aspires to be Australia’s first social enterprise through nurturing women leaders in cybersecurity and is located in Sydney.
The central location, light-filled halls, friendly staff, & the community spirit makes Fishburners more of my home & family.
Accessibility too energetic, positive members who inspire me every day.
Freight Exchange an Award-winning digital marketplace automating movement of goods. It is a winner of the Gold Stevie Award in the Tech Start-up of the Year category. Want more, hit LINK for more info.
KOALA make furniture for the digital age. It has earned the label as Australia’s highest-rated mattress brand. Want more, hit LINK for more info.
Gradconnection is one of Australia’s largest and most successful student and graduate careers website. Over 500 of Australia’s leading employers advertise on GradConnection. Want more, hit LINK for more info.
Whilst a small business grant can enable you to initiate your startup, the unparalleled dedication from a non-for-profit enterprise such as Fishburners, can provide the long-term tools needed to continue growing and succeeding.