Young IT professionals and software developers with an entrepreneurial streak may very well want to pack their bags and head to Brisbane where Microsoft has opened its first Innovation Centre in Australia. Innovation Centres have been tried and tested in other countries, primarily in Europe and North America, to boost software ventures and start-ups.
Microsoft is a partner-led organisation and what this translates into in practice is that Microsoft is keen to nurture and connect with fresh and innovative organisations and individuals. The software giant is now turning its attention to the Australian market and young IT professionals, software developers and entrepreneurs should be ready to take advantage of its experience and support.
The Innovation Centre’s goals and aims in Brisbane
The Innovation Centre has been opened to encourage, support and assist innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs with creative ideas in the industry. There are strong advantages for Microsoft to form these partnerships, as they keep the company on the cutting edge of IT and ensure a regular in-flow of creativity that can be very difficult to create within an organisation. To ensure this happens, Microsoft will be investing $3 million into the centre over the next three years. Sharon Schoenborn, Microsoft’s State Director for Queensland, said that the aim is to assist 100 starts ups to get off the ground by 2015.
Brisbane was a natural choice for Schoenborn because Queensland is already a strong base for start-ups. There are already a number of private incubators based in Brisbane, which have had great success in helping fledgling businesses get going. Microsoft wants to connect with those incubators already functioning in the state.
The value of the innovation centre for start-ups
But what is in it for us, you may well ask? And the answer is: an awful lot. The aim of the Innovation Centre is to help partner start-ups to access the Microsoft network; these partnerships are formed with BizSpark partners like Angel Cube, Fish Burners and Push Start. The centres also help young developers and entrepreneurs to grow the skills they need for success. They offer training in business planning, human resources, sales and software development, among others to help young go-getters fill the gaps in their knowledge. An innovation accelerator is also available at the centre. This provides access to infrastructure like labs, testing facilities, prototype development and a start-up incubator.
This is an exciting moment for Australia’s software industry and Microsoft in Australia, as well as a great opportunity for those who have something to offer the world of IT but need the support to get going. Innovation is key to keeping an economy and an industry steaming ahead. The Microsoft Innovation Centre in Brisbane will provide a huge injection of creativity and growth into the industry in Australia.