Here’s why Melbourne ranks high as a healthcare startup hub


Melbourne, the capital of Victoria is now home to over 150 coworking spaces, a rise of 900% in the past few years, says a report by Startup Genome.

There is also a sixfold increase in the number of startup accelerators. 

Since 2014, the city has seen eight life sciences companies go public, and four software companies exiting for over $100 million.

Most recently, construction software company Aconex was acquired by Oracle for $1.2 billion. Since 2016, nearly $300 million of VC has been invested locally, suggesting a sustainable pipeline of competitive startups, said the Startup Genome 2018 report.

Here are the top three sectors in Melbourne: 

Biotech & Life Sciences: Over half of Australia’s publicly-listed life sciences companies are based in Melbourne, where approximately 180 biotech companies cluster in the innovationprecinct surrounding the University of Melbourne, which ranks 9th in the world for medicine and health.

In 2015, Spinifex Pharma was acquired by Novartis for $200 million, Hatchtech signed a commercialization deal with Dr. Reddy’s for up to $280 million, and Starpharma entered into licensing deals with Astrazeneca worth up to $450 million.

Health: Since 2014, $149 million has been invested into Melbourne’s health startups, which make up 11% of startups in the city but employ one-quarter of startup employees.

As befits Melbourne’s title as the world’s Ultimate Sports City of the past decade, 6% of Melbourne startups are in sports tech, with many of those working on health issues.

Health startups in Melbourne benefit from the presence of Monash University, which is highly ranked globally for its clinical medicine and pharmacy programs.

courtesy: startup genome

Adtech: As early as 2011, Melbourne hosted Australia’s inaugural ad:tech conference, establishing itself as a forerunner in the Adtech space. Six years later, Melbourne was home to nearly four dozen Adtech startups raising millions of dollars in funding.

Today’s Adtech startups benefit from the presence of massive successes REA Group and, multi-billion dollar publicly-listed companies that have generated jobs and economic value for the region.