Co-working community and start-up hub, River City Labs, has announced its imminent plans to double in size within the next, six months.
River City Labs, a not-for-profit aimed at fostering Queensland’s start-up ecosystem, is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech start-ups.
Current membership sits at over 100 members ranging from early stage start-ups and founders to established start-ups and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital in the last 18 months.
As part of its expansion plans, River City Labs is planning to locate itself in the redeveloped, Heritage Listed TCB Building in the heart of Fortitude Valley, to provide residents with twice the size of the current, co-working space, as well as ample room for partners and potential tenants to collaborate.
On a steady growth curve
General Manager of River City Labs, Peta Ellis remarked, “River City Labs has grown substantially over the last three years and continues to be a key driver in the Brisbane start-up ecosystem.”
“We love working in the Valley, and are excited at the prospect of setting up in the redeveloped TCB Building and continuing to expand our offering and collaboration with key partners in the sector.
“There are countless numbers of established companies that have set up here – Orange Digital, Technology One, Uber, Tanda, Tappr, CTO for QLD Health, TrekTraka, Defiant Games, Cohort Solutions, CloudMGR, AECO and Black Sheep Capital – and there is a huge benefit to this concentration of start-up activity, where essentially, River City Labs plays a vital, supporting role.”
River City Labs focuses on providing the right environment for entrepreneurs to make valuable contacts while learning from peers, mentors and industry experts helping them to connect, work and grow.
Founder of River City Labs, Steve Baxter, said, “This potential move to TCB is the natural, next step for River City Labs to take. This initial aim to double in size is just the beginning – there is up to 10,500m of space available if we move into this new location, and there is absolutely nothing to say that we won’t in time come to occupy all of it!
“Everybody wanting to play a positive role in the Brisbane start-up community will have the chance to participate given the scale of the site and positioning in the area – we invite all to be part of a vibrant precinct in Fortitude Valley.”
What does this RCL expansion mean for Brisbane?
Daniel Gavel, Director of Black Sheep Capital, commented: “Given the rate at which the Brisbane ecosystem is maturing it is great to see River City Labs planning for the future and taking a space, which they can grow into.”
“We feel that Fortitude Valley is a natural choice as well, close to transport, infrastructure, the heart of Brisbane’s creative scene and part of a precinct that is undergoing considerable urban growth.
“A large portion of the Brisbane start-up community is already in the area, so it is fantastic news to hear that one of the cornerstone’s won’t be relocating. This is fantastic news and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the River City Labs team.”
Director of Spike Innovation and Project Director of the Startup Catalyst Program, Colin Kinner, said: “The start-up ecosystems in most Australian cities suffer from fragmentation and lack of scale, and Brisbane is no different. I think doubling the size of River City Labs is a great step towards addressing these limitations and is fantastic news for the local start-up community.”
Sam Bool of Uber Brisbane and Gold Coast said, “Uber Queensland started out at River City Labs in Fortitude Valley and are excited to see the next phase in this journey of innovation for Brisbane.”
Elaine Stead of Blue Sky Venture Capital, added, “River City Labs has made an unparalleled contribution to both the growth and the cohesiveness of the Brisbane digital start-up ecosystem.”
“Their expansion is proof positive of the momentum of the sector and its coming of age in Queensland and is a testament to Steve and his vision and the tireless work of his team.”
Senior Adviser at Morgans, Chris Titley, commented, “Morgans is delighted to continue our support of River City Labs throughout 2016 as sponsors of the RiverPitch event and various other angel investor education seminars designed to activate and educate a new generation of tech investors.”
“We are also pleased to hear of River City Labs’ plans to double their size and will continue to endorse and support their initiatives.”
Partner of McCullough Robertson Lawyers, Reece Walker, said, “We have seen first-hand how River City Labs has built Brisbane’s start-up scene from a small group of individuals with skills, ambition and a thirst for innovation into a collaborative community where ideas can be quickly commercialised and translated into real outcomes.”
“We are very proud supporters of River City Labs as it continues its expansion in 2016, giving great ideas the best chance to flourish.”