How Brisbane has stayed in the sweet spot for company growth

Leading Brisbane-based investor and Founder of Sprint Ventures Llew Jury says Brisbane is Australia’s best kept secret as it combines the infrastructure and opportunity for business growth with a liveability that can’t be matched.

Apr 12, 2021, updated Apr 12, 2021
Brisbane River looking over Eagle St. Image: Brisbane Local Marketing on Unsplash

Brisbane River looking over Eagle St. Image: Brisbane Local Marketing on Unsplash

Brisbane is well known for its tropical lifestyle and laidback attitude, but certain conditions have contributed to the growth of Brisbane’s business ecosystem.

Jury, Managing Director of Sprint Ventures, spoke to InQueensland about the number of places where Brisbane excels as a business community, ahead of the Brisbane Business Summit’s panel talk “Our City, Our Strengths”.

Click here to register for the Brisbane Business Summit. 

Jury has been in the game in Brisbane for over 20 years in digital and technology, building his own digital marketing agency Reload, and founding and directing Sprint Ventures, an investment company specialising in early-stage tech start-ups.

He said there has been a huge level of growth and change in Brisbane over the past 20 years.

“I’ve seen a big change in terms of the maturity of tech startups and scale-ups coming out of Brisbane in the last few decades. It really exploded over the last 10 years or so, which is a credit to different levels of government for incentivising that growth,” he said.

“Local councils like Brisbane City Council help with that by introducing measures that make Brisbane an attractive place to base our investments.”

Jury said Brisbane’s primary strength was its unique lifestyle-led business community.

“The primary strength is the networks and the fact that Brisbane has a very unique business community that incorporates lifestyle, so everybody is very well connected.”

“There’s a lot of trust that gets built up over the years which allows people to very quickly refer each other into opportunities and deals, paired with a very good mentoring culture. This allows companies to become successful and helps drive investment growth,” he said.

Brisbane’s liveability factor has often made it an attractive place for migration, which increasingly extends to the business community as infrastructure continues to be built and refined.

“It’s a ‘if you build it, they will come’ mentality,” said Jury.

This is reflected in the migration trends for the past year, Brisbane had the highest population growth rate of all the capitals last financial year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Jury pointed to initiatives such as the Brisbane Business Hub and the River City Labs precinct, a tech start-up incubator, as innovative ways to attract a start-up community and culture.

“If you build that infrastructure and put the time in to develop those sorts of things, the city becomes attractive to the start-up community and culture. We still have a long way to go, of course, but the seeds of growth have begun and there are good opportunities for companies to stay and flourish in Queensland, with Brisbane as their headquarters,” he said.

Brisbane’s unique lifestyle is a boon for the market as investors see liveability as a significant driver for beneficial business conditions.

Jury said that investors prefer to do business in Brisbane rather than larger cities like Sydney or Melbourne because the lifestyle is so attractive.

“It is vital for business conditions. We just have to make sure that we keep attracting and retaining the right companies and the people to stay here to buy into it.”

He said that Brisbane was currently at the top of its game and is only projected to improve, with world-class infrastructure set to be built in the coming years.

“I think we’re in a renaissance period. We have a strong bid for the Olympic Games, the Queen’s Wharf resort and casino will be built, the infrastructure will become world class before our eyes,” he said.

“20 years ago it was quiet here. In another 20 years’ time, it’s going to explode. Brisbane is Australia’s best kept secret, but also the world’s best kept secret in my book because it has every opportunity and infrastructure requirement to actually make a world class liveable city.

“We’re going to see tremendous amount of growth here,” he said.

Jury said that anyone who was interested in where business opportunities and growth potential would arise in Brisbane should attend the Brisbane Business Summit on April 21 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Summit will also host panellists such as Mark McCrindle, Principal, Demographer & Futurist; Li Cunxin, the Artistic Director at Queensland Ballet; Dimity Dornan the Founder & Executive Director of Hear & Say; Andrea Culligan, Partner at Deloitte Australia and Jury himself.

It will be presented by TV host ​Sofie Formica who will lead a discussion called “Our City, Our Strengths” which will delve into why Brisbane is well positioned to deliver business opportunities from now into the future, despite the curveballs of the pandemic.

Audience members will gain insight into a 360 perspective on what Brisbane has to offer and how to utilise its unique strengths.

Register for the Brisbane Business Summit, visit the Brisbane City Council’s website.

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