Microsoft launches its startup program, ScaleUp, in Sydney

The New South Wales government has officially opened its Startup Hub in Sydney, with Microsoft’s tech startups program, ScaleUp  being one of the main tenants.

The venture by Microsoft, the eighth site for the program will be overseen by Annie Parker, the former Fishburners CEO recently appointed global head of Microsoft’s startup programs, including ScaleUp.

Originally launched by the company in 2012, Microsoft Scale-Up has enabled around 650 startups to raise $3 billion in funding in programs based in Bangalore, Shanghai, Beijing, London, Berlin, Seattle, and Tel Aviv, according to Microsoft Australia managing director Steven Worrall.

The 11-floor, $35 million government-backed Sydney Startup Hub in York Street in the CBD, opened last year and is home to a range of co-working organisations such as Fishburners, Stone & Chalk and Tank Stream Labs.

Microsoft Australia managing director, Steven Worrall said the launch of Microsoft ScaleUp in Sydney was a testament to the both the quality and potential of Australian tech startups and entrepreneurs.

“Our aim is to be the ‘glue’ that connects the startup ecosystem in Australia. Being part of the Sydney Startup Hub enables us to realise that ambition,” he said.

“For any business to succeed it needs strong local and global connections and we believe Microsoft can help a startup be global from the outset.”

The Microsoft ScaleUp program – previously known as Microsoft Accelerator – typically runs for four months and focuses on both business and technical development.

Since it launched five years ago, nearly 730 companies have completed the program, raising nearly $US3 billion, and resulting in 48 exits.

Worrall said Microsoft plans to be “an active tenant” at the Hub, and will run events, hackathons, investor pitch opportunities, CEO sessions, and other activities for startups. The company is now recruiting a managing director for the Sydney ScaleUp program and expects to run its first program by the end of the year.

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