JAMES ROYCE WRITES – Cities like Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul have long fought to attract technology funders, firms and talent. But there’s a new kid on the block, and it woos with an Aussie accent.
Melbourne, Australia used to be internationally recognized solely for being the most ‘livable’ city in the world. However, it is now being identified by tech companies as the most ‘workable’ city in the world as well.
Benefiting not only from a well-organized government, but also a greater supply of industrial land, cheaper development and construction costs, lower office and factory rent, less traffic and transportation costs, a better cost of living, and slightly lower payroll tax, the Australian city is attracting some of the best media talent from around the globe.
These characteristics, paired with the vibrant Australian entrepreneurial spirit, have fueled Melbourne’s incredible growth as a tech innovation hub.
In recent years, Melbourne has attracted companies such as Eventbrite, a San Francisco based company valued at around US $1 billion; Thales, an 8 billion Euro French multinational technology company; and GoPro, another California based tech and media company valued at around US $2.3 billion. Although these are only three examples, the numbers add up. Melbourne and the surrounding Victoria area now boast more than 50 percent of the top 30 listed technology companies in Australia, creating around 91,300 jobs for local residents and US $34.2 billion in resulting gross annual revenue.
“Melbourne has everything a U.S. business needs to succeed in the Asia-Pacific marketplace, and that is why we are seeing more and more companies setting up shop in Melbourne as they expand globally,” Commissioner to the Americas for the State Government of Victoria Micheal Kapel told Forbes Asia.
The start-up movement in Melbourne might still be relatively new, but there is a sincere desire among both the Victorian government and citizens to continue growing. It appears the most livable city in the world will no longer be overlooked.