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Sydney incubator to support media, entertainment and creative industry startups

Providing a home for the next-generation of media and arts-based tech entrepreneurs is the aim for accelerator The Studio which will be one of the first anchor tenants in the NSW Government’s Sydney Startup Hub.

Slated to open later this year, the Sydney Startup Hub was launched yesterday by state Premier Gladys Berejiklian. The Hub is located in the Wynyard Green building on York Street in Sydney’s Central Business District.

Chantal Abouchar CEO of The Studio incubator

Chantal Abouchar, CEO and General Manager of The Studio, told Mumbrella: “The Studio is a global media and creative tech hub which is going to help startups in or from the media, games, innovative design and creative industries get going.”

While Abouchar could not reveal the exact opening date or the number of participants the program will take on, expressions of interest are now open for the incubator. She sees The Studio as providing an alternative to the other tenants who will focus on fintech and general tech startups.

“We’re different to the other incubators because we will have a number of studios within the incubator which the startups will have access to,” she said.

Having received $500,000 co-investment from the Australian federal government as part of the Incubator Support Initiative earlier this year, Abouchar said The Studio’s main focus will be on content-based startups: “We will have a number of green screens, VR studios, edit suites, we’ll have a sound studio and we’ll have broadcast capacities.”

The industry’s evolution in recent decades is one of the driving ideas behind The Studio, Abouchar explained: “I have over 30 years experience in the film and television industry. When I started, film was the primary medium, analogue was the standard and the internet didn’t exist.”

“Fast forward to now and the landscape has totally changed. In my own work practices as a cinematographer and then as a producer and journalist working on documentaries, technology absolutely impacted how I work and what I could do.

“Podcasts are reinventing radio, Netflix is reinventing distribution platforms for content and now you have Snapchat in this space as well.”

This incubator has 20 consortium partners including Animal Logic, the University of NSW and Data61 along with Dolby Australia.

“This is the first time Dolby has ever supported something like this,” said Abouchar.

Chairperson of The Studio, Jennifer Wilson said the Sydney Startup Hub will provide a home for the next-generation of media and arts-based tech entrepreneurs.

“Using the creative industries as a pathway to encourage more women and girls’ participation in STEM and tech Startups (STEAM) is a core focus of The Studio,” Wilson said in a media statement.

“The move also further strengthens the positioning of a booming and growing sector in Australia, which sees the intersection between media, entertainment, music, games industries and technology.

“Emerging areas including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) attract a new generation of innovators and entrepreneur,” Wilson said. “Traditionally, the creative sector has had a lower-profile due to the highly-fragmented nature of ‘the arts’.

“The Studio is being designed from the ground-up to better connect Australian growth companies to global talent, capital and corporations,” said Wilson.

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