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Melbourne at the forefront of the Australian tech industry, how it got there




Technological advancement is a trend of the twenty-first century that knows no borders or political limitations. It spreads its reach from Silicon Valley all the way to the Japanese and South Korean tech giants and covers almost all the areas in between.

And Australia is no stranger to this trend by any stretch of the imagination. Over the years, the country has been keeping up with the current changes and developments in the industry, trying to provide the most up-to-date technological inventions to its inhabitants. 

And quite successfully, one might add, because tech is increasingly used by other industries in various products. Just take a look at the entertainment industry: one popular online casino provider, PlayAmo offers Betsoft casino games in Australia that are driven by mobile, as well as blockchain technologies. And when it comes down to the actual productivity, hundreds of billions of dollars generated in one industry annually is not a joke by any means.

Melbourne – a tech gem of Australia

So, we have established that Australia doesn’t fall behind the rest of the world in tech. Now, there’s one particular city that’s worth mentioning because it’s been taking up a big chunk of this industry. We’re talking about Melbourne and truth be told, it’s not entirely new that this city is at the forefront of the Australian tech industry.

Take a look at Melbourne’s high-rise skyscrapers, towers, working offices, and common spaces, peep through the historic buildings and their sights and you will see a multibillion tech industry that thrives and flourishes in the city. It’s gone as far as to place Melbourne among some of the most acclaimed tech cities in the world while taking the title of Australia’s digital capital without a competition. 

Hard facts

So, here are some of the bare facts about just how magnificent Melbourne’s tech industry really is: among the top 20 Australian tech companies that drive the whole country’s technological reach, more than half are based in Melbourne. And while they’re already at their peak of effectiveness, they surely don’t stop at that, moving even further and reaching much higher results.

As for the state of Victoria, which also shares some of the benefits of its tech giant city, there are over 8,000 tech businesses that employ almost 100,000 people and generate $34 billion per year. According to the InvestVic, the government project that utilizes this giant potential of the city and the state, this level of employment is a staggering 31% of the whole country’s ICT (Information and Communications Technology) workforce. 

Foreign investments

Among many things, one of the main contributors to this rise in prominence is the intensity of foreign investments. A lot of international tech companies with huge potential have spilled multimillion-dollar investments into the city’s tech industry just because they value Melbourne’s focus on talent and dedication. 

Just to take one example, Matrix partners, which is this US-based private investment firm with a big interest in tech, has three different investment projects in Australia: Afterpay – a Fintech startup from Melbourne; Zendesk – a Danish software company with an international reach; and Canva – a graphic design marketplace based in Sydney. 

As far as the United States and its extensive tech industry is concerned, Melbourne’s posture as the tech capital of Australia makes the city more appealing to increase the investment. And the reality doesn’t fall behind the prestige either: high-quality technology and engineering products are regularly bombarding the international market.


In a search for talent and dedication

So, it’s pretty clear that the city of Melbourne is truly a gem of the Australian tech. But there’s one aspect left unmentioned that might be even more important and crucial to the city than its current posture. It’s Melbourne’s focus on attracting as many talented and dedicated people as possible, and not from Australia only – the industry is open to foreign workers as well.

To be more specific, the city has been spending millions to encourage STEM studies and promote more jobs associated with this branch of technology. Companies such as Zendesk are doing the best they can to make their workforce more resilient to future changes by instilling the most up-to-date technological approaches in them. This, compared to the more traditional methods of focusing on stable revenue inflow and achieving no substantial technological advancement, will be the main driver towards success for those companies in the future.

Cooperation with the government

Another pretty significant factor in these companies’ success, be it Zendesk, Afterpay, or any other tech companies operating in Melbourne, is their close cooperation with the Victorian government.

The programs such as InvestVic and LaunchVic proved effective, pivotal even, in the process of job creation, as well as overall improvement of the industry. That’s because the regular meetings with state officials make processes more transparent, while the city academics and industry representatives help these businesses establish themselves, leading to higher level of innovation. 

Specific examples of the government-tech cooperation in the state of Victoria include Welcoming Slack to Melbourne which was held in 2016. It was a commerce exchange that not only proved successful for the country internally but it also bolstered US investments to Australia.

The secret lies in human potential

All this is made possible by Melbourne’s extensive focus on talent. Because the city is so open to the new potential and possibilities, because the talent finds its way in this ever-evolving industry of tech, Melbourne is maintaining its lead as the biggest tech center of the country and one of the main destinations in the world.

As the year 2020 progresses, leading the world into a new decade, we’ll be seeing new developments in the tech industry. And whoever’s focused on human potential and resourcefulness, the success will undeniably find their doorstep. 


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