Australia’s largest startup community, Fishburners, has officially launched a new Virtual Membership. The membership allows founders unable to access existing Sydney and Brisbane hubs to tap into Fishburners’ world class network of events, mentors, perks and community.
New parents, people with disabilities, living in rural areas or those who simply can’t afford to rent desk space such as young students have previously struggled to access the startup community. Now, these virtual members can live stream Fishburners’ popular weekly Friday Night Pitches, get support from other members via dedicated online channels broken down by skills, geographical areas or topics of interest and access the same extensive collection of perks such as up to $100K in Google cloud credits.
Since its soft launch over 200 members have joined the virtual platform with more than 50% of virtual members located in suburbs outside of the CBD, and 35% in regional communities across Australia including: Alice Springs (NT), Ipswich (QLD), Wagga Wagga (NSW) and more.
Of these 25% of members are women, an area Fishburners is keen to grow after seeing physical memberships from women rise from 5% to 30% female in recent years.
The new, virtual membership gives founders the same benefits as a regular members, or ‘burners’, including access to member and company directories, and mentors in just a few clicks. There’s also access to a library of educational talks and resources such on topics from accounting, legal and marketing.
The 2017 StartupAUS Crossroads report revealed that “more than 150 regional areas have higher than average rates of innovative capacity”. Regional founders are finding this membership a breakthrough in startup development that takes place outside of main cities. Fishburners is actively seeking to partner with regional startup hubs to extend the resources and communities that have helped startups flourish in their respective areas.
Fishburners virtual member and founder of Pointer Remote Roles, Jo Palmer, said:
“I started my own business to be able to help people find work, and employers find talent, without the barrier of location so the virtual memberships program not only works for me from my regional location at The Rock in southern NSW, but also fits into the philosophy of my business! The virtual membership gives me access to loads of great resources and opportunities that can be a little harder to come by in the regions. Plus access to other startups is a huge benefit. We can play a part in growing other startups by giving them access to the skills they need to scale, without them having to rent another desk in a coworking space. It is also fantastic to have a desk in Sydney if I’m ever up there for work!”
Fishburners virtual member and founder of KidsWantu, Anne-Marie Walton, said:
“I’m a mother to 2 lads and based in a region outside of Brisbane, so getting to a physical co-working space with a wonderful reputation like Fishburners, was not on the cards for me! I became a virtual member to have access to top-quality workshops and presentations, become part of a genuine caring (online) community and to have the ability to access a physical co-working space once a month to tie in with my Brisbane work trips. So far I have met some wonderful people who have helped me on my journey and I’ve also been able to help and add value to others. I love having a bank of past events which I can dip in and out of for learning as needed.”
If you’re interested in getting started with a virtual membership at Fishburners head on over to https://fishburners.org/virtual to learn more.