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Coworking Spotlight: YBF Ventures 

The right space, support and surrounding community can really bring an idea to life, which is why Canberra Innovation Network’s not-for-profit Coworking space is integral to our mission. Our location in the heart of the capital makes it easy for innovators across the ACT to have a home base from which to innovate. But as your business grows, pivots and diversifies, you may find yourself taking important meetings in Sydney and Melbourne, and when you do you’ll benefit from our partnerships with like-minded coworking spaces.

Meet our friends at YBF Ventures.

YBF takes its name from their first location in one of the oldest buildings in Melbourne – the York Butter Factory. Opened in 2011, YBF is Australia’s first and largest tech and innovation hub, and have served as the international landing pad for firms setting up in Australia / APAC including Uber and Kickstarter, as well as hundreds of Aussie tech startups and scaleups.

The community aspect to coworking is what drives the day-to-day at YBF. “The great thing about fostering a tech community with so many verticals is that startups and scaleups are able to collaborate and work together on projects and ideate about things that they never would have thought about had they been garage or kitchen-table based,” says Courtney Blackman, YBF CMO.

We love the word “ideate” 😉

“On a larger scale, YBF’s global network reaches over 50,000 people annually, meaning our startups, scaleups, corporate partners and the greater ecosystem that we touch, are able to access a massive matrix of contacts,” boasts Blackman.

After the year of pandemic precautions that kept entrepreneurs around their kitchen tables, so to speak, innovators are keen to begin coworking on the regular once again. To celebrate Melbourne emerging from many a lockdown, YBF is launching Victoria Tech Startup Week in March, then getting behind their second annual Startup Immersion Program in partnership with the Victorian Government in an effort to reskill members of the corporate workforce that have been displaced due of the pandemic – getting them fluent in entrepreneurialism in order to accelerate startup and job creation in Victoria.

“We’ll also be producing our two flagship events: the Lift Off Awards, celebrating gender and cultural diversity in tech, and the Online Startup & Innovation Awards – hopefully that one is self-explanatory!” says Blackman (links are to last year’s events).

In addition, they’ll have a milestone birthday to celebrate, having been in the business for a decade this year.

Is YBF the right place for you when working out of Sydney or Melbourne? If you’re a tech startup or scaleup (or thinking about launching), or an innovating corporate who wants to be linked to Australia’s oldest and most-renowned tech community, including government and higher education, the answer might be ‘yes’.

Blackman believes that there are five key benefits to being associated with a tech and innovation coworking hub such as Canberra Innovation Network and YBF: 

  1. Community – Being connected (offline) is important. A shared workspace is a great foundation for a support network, especially for budding tech founders and entrepreneurs. 
  1. Flexibility – Space and contract options can give tech startups in coworking spaces room to grow. A startup can scale fast without the concern of space limitations or complex leases. 
  1. Accelerated Growth – A well-connected space with a solid reputation can help the startups that call it home with partnerships ranging from financial services to media, to corporate and government connections – providing unprecedented access across a variety of industries.
  1. Work-Life Balance – Separation between home and office helps a startup remain focused at work and relaxed after hours. The right space should be able to cater to different work modes accommodating corporate-style meetings as well as more relaxed, open collaboration.
  1. Location – A CBD address is a crucial advantage in business; it allows for closer proximity to clients and provides city amenities. Standard central locations can be costly, often exceeding the budget of early-stage startups. CBD-based coworking spaces provide the location at an affordable price point, and being located within walking distance of public transport, eateries and shopping can increase the attraction and retention of top talent.

Find out more about coworking at Canberra Innovation Network and our partnerships that allow you to work at YBF’s facilities, because now really is the time!