The Optus Innovation Hub will operate as an extension to the "Optus SMB Yes Business platform" by physically connecting SMBs and start-ups with the technology and expertise to develop innovative solutions which address the challenges faced by SMBs.
We're told that the workspace will "also serve as a meeting place for start-ups and SMBs and host regular events – ranging from Hackathons, Innovation Challenges and Masterclasses".
Vice-president of Optus SMB Matt Ball, who spoke during the launch ceremony and participated in a one-on-one interview, said: “The Innovation Hub is designed to solve and explore challenges and opportunities and foster new ways of thinking to provide Optus SMB customers with the best user experience and prospects for growth.
Minister for Innovation Matt Kean said he was thrilled to see the Sydney Start Up Hub continuing to expand and facilitate growth in the innovation sector.
“It’s incredibly important that we unlock more opportunities for startups to collaborate and innovate with big business, and this is a perfect example of just that,” Kean said.
“These innovative companies are carving out the next generation of jobs and businesses for our country, and I’m pleased to see some of our best and brightest innovators working together to create a prosperous future for our country.”
Optus SMB X Macquarie University Innovation Challenge
Launching on 9 July, the Optus Innovation Hub’s first Innovation Challenge will be delivered in partnership with Macquarie University and will ask participants “How can we support Small to Medium Businesses to grow digitally?” and will cover a broad range of topics, from digital currencies, through to cross border expansion and digital marketing.
Director, Incubation and Entrepreneurship at Macquarie University, John Shi-Nash, said, "Macquarie University is delighted to support Optus and the entrepreneurs working within the Optus Innovation Hub, facilitating an environment of excellence and collaboration, and ultimately creating real world solutions for the wider community."
In addition to start-ups and SMBs, Optus will invite corporate partners, customers and other innovation leaders across the wider Optus and Singtel network to contribute to the Optus Innovation Hub through collaboration and sharing of their expertise.
These contributions will include providing a wide and varied support network, and further developing ideas via the User Experience test lab and R&D sessions.
“As the largest physical space for startups in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sydney Startup Hub provides us with a great physical location within the ecosystem that will enable the rapid development of ideas and be the physical extension of our online Yes Business platform,” said Ball.
Here's the full video of Kean, Ball and Shi-Nash launching the Optus Innovation Hub this morning, including a media Q&A immediately following the launch:
Here's my video interview with Ball on the launch today and other Optus innovative initiatives: