MEET THE CEO BEHIND BARANGAROO’S NEWEST STARTUP LAB

As CEO of River City Labs Peta Ellis knows a thing or two about startups. She’s mentored hundreds in her time as the former General Manager at River City Labs.

As the founder of multiple startup and entrepreneurship programs, she is responsible for fostering one of the most thriving entrepreneurial scenes in the nation. Now Ellis will be bringing her extraordinary skills to the Sydney startup scene as River City Labs launches a sister brand Harbour City Labs at swank new premises in Barangaroo.

The latest incarnation of River City Labs is the result of the acquisition last September by ACS and is packaged towards startups and scaleups who are in the B2B space. According to Ellis, the Barangaroo location provides an ideal opportunity to leverage the proximity to corporates and utilise the ACS’ already impressive network of connections.

“I think the ecosystem in Sydney is very different to Brisbane, it is mature and thriving.” says Ellis. “The companies down here are quite mature. The overall level of activity in this sector is also much higher. There’s so much going in Sydney. We will have the opportunity to work with founders in NSW who are looking for a level of support that we are well known for.”

Ellis added:

“One of the strengths of Australia’s system of federation, is that our citizens and founders respond positively to States and Territory rivalries, pushing each other to greater heights. You can see this on our River Pitch program currently being aired on Your Money. In launching the sister brand strategy of Harbour City Labs we really want to foster the tribe spirit in our Brisbane and Sydney operations. Of course, this is not about cannibalising the domestic market, we are concentrating on supporting founders to go global.”

The Harbour City Labs startups and scaleups will situated in Tower One, Barangaroo, where neighbouring companies the likes of PwC and KPMG, offer the opportunity to rub shoulders with key people within other organisations.

“We will engineer those opportunities,” Ellis confirms.

Habour City Labs is seeking scale-ups in the B2B enterprise space who are product focused and building for global markets from day one.

“Through Startup Catalyst, another key brand in our stable, we facilitate international missions to global startup hotspots such as London, Berlin, San Francisco, Boulder and Tel Aviv. We have strong networks and connections in those countries with government, industry, founder and investor networks, and provide founding teams with exposure and immersion into those ecosystems, particularly beneficial if they are looking to expand there.”

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