Canberra: the start-up capital

Posted 30 Jan 2018

Story by CBR Canberra

There’s a hum in our city, an energy and excitement generated by a network of start-ups of all sizes.

These emerging businesses may operate out of varying innovation centres and offer different products, but they have one thing in common: they were founded right here in Canberra.

Established as a Canberra start-up ten years ago and this year’s winner of the ACT Chief Minister’s Emerging Exporter Awards, Auraya Systems has grown into one of the leading providers of voice biometric technology globally with offices in Australia and around the world. Their voice verification software is used by international businesses, banks and governments alike.

We spoke with the company’s Founder, Clive Summerfield, to understand his journey in building a Canberra tech business from the ground up, and to find out what makes this city such a solid launch pad.

“One of the distinct advantages for businesses in Canberra is its proximity to some of the top universities in Australia and the world,” says Clive, “the city is full of highly talented, qualified and highly motivated individuals who want to work on new technologies in a vibrant and innovative environment.”

It isn’t just the universities that make Canberra an attractive hub to set up a business. The living quality offered by the city allows for a fantastic work-life balance and overall health.

“The quality of life here is second-to-none. You can breathe clean air and stay active,” says Clive, “this is a huge factor not only in attracting talent to the city, but also in encouraging them to settle here, bring their families and contribute to an innovative business.”

For budding entrepreneurs, Canberra offers the perfect foundation.

“The city has a strong community of start-ups and local businesses,” says Clive, “there is an active network of companies that help guide those starting out and ensure they are on the right track.”

Supported by a progressive and open local government, the CBR Innovation Network gives startups access to growth programs, such as the GRIFFIN Accelerator and KILN Incubator that help empower entrepreneurs to make an impact.

“The ACT Government is extremely supportive of up and coming businesses,” says Clive, “their facilitation of global initiatives, grants and local start-up programs ensures the start-up community has the incubators and support it needs to thrive.”

“In fact, Auraya itself would not be here if it were not for a generous grant from the ACT Government that help us develop our technology at the foundation of the business.”

A fast-growing city, innovation and entrepreneurship are at the forefront of Canberra’s vision, and a welcoming environment means the city is always open to new ideas and opportunities.

Finally, when it comes down to business, Canberra’s reputation as a trustworthy city makes it possible to build a successful and profitable business in the capital.

“Canberra is a trusted city for investors both locally and internationally,” says Clive, “people can see how much support and effort the government and the community are putting into local start-ups, which encourages investment and helps our businesses grow.”

For more information on start-ups in Canberra, visit the CBRIN. For more information on Auraya Systems, you can visit their website.

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