Creative Capital

New Innovations Switch Things Up

The Chronicle

3 November 2015

When Gutenberg’s printing press emerged in 1440, it transformed the world. Today, three-dimensional printing is threatening to do the same. From hobby parts to medical implants, 3D printers are transforming manufacturing.

But while the technology promises a great deal, a decent 3D printer remains expensive – which is where Canberra firm Made for Me comes in. By allowing printer owners to rent out time to users, Made for Me lets more people have access to 3D printing.

I met the Made for Me staff on a visit to the Canberra Innovation Network in the city. Home to dozens of new firms, the network is brim full of ideas. It also boasts Australia’s youngest entrepreneur (10 year old Will G), and best gender diversity (half of the firms in the accelerator program are run by women).

If you have a new idea that might make a great business, Canberra has never offered a better environment to help it thrive. A plethora of co-working spaces exist across the city, including The Studio in Braddon, where entrepreneurs have access to fibre-to-the-premises broadband and great coffee from Lonsdale Street Roasters downstairs.

Access to finance, too, is getting easier. The ‘Capital Angels’ investors just celebrated their tenth birthday. Angel investors back companies who want to go beyond their initial seed funding (often provided by family and friends), but aren’t yet ready to access formal venture capital.

For over a century, we’ve taken it for granted that Canberra will produce Australia’s best policy ideas. But in recent decades, we’ve seen that our city can also produce great business ideas. From weekend hackathons to CSIRO’s invention of wi-fi, ours truly is the ‘creative capital’.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.