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March 19, 2019

New businesses are working together, not against each other

Around the world, the most successful entrepreneurs know that it’s collaboration - not isolation - that gives a company its competitive edge. Here at home, two business hubs are specifically designed to ensure working together becomes the norm for South Australia’s best and brightest.

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Founding Director Brett Jackson and his team at Innovyz have made a business out of collaboration. The South Australian company exists solely to help people with good ideas transform into people running a good business.

“What we look for now is crazy good innovation from someone we like and trust,” says Brett. “Then we can create anything together.”


This article was produced in collaboration with Renewal SA who manage the Tonsley and Lot Fourteen innovation neighbourhoods on behalf of the State Government.

The Innovyz model builds businesses by bringing a team with a very good idea together with Brett’s team, who are very good at commercialisation. It’s a shining example of the collaborative approach that underpins a new wave of South Australian economic success.

Ten years ago, Brett says, Innovyz was an anomaly in Australia. Now businesses of all types are embracing collaboration’s potential to bolster profits by creating new opportunities.

“When we first started there was no ecosystem – there wasn’t this entrepreneurial effort around Australia,” he says.

“Early stage companies very rarely have cash, so it’s always been about collaboration for us. But, the collaboration has to be of benefit – it’s not a favour. It’s mutually beneficial skills and rewards – people need to feel rewarded for the work it’s done.”

Innovyz and Co-Hab’s Brett Jackson


In early 2015, Innovyz moved its headquarters from the CBD to Tonsley Innovation District, which is managed by Renewal SA. Shortly after, Innovyz launched the CO-HAB coworking space there. It is now home to about 150 people working in start-ups and small businesses that span across technology, engineering, professional consultancy, and plenty of other industries.

As a seasoned entrepreneur and a relatively new co-working manager, Brett chose Tonsley because he believed it was the perfect place to create the future collaborations that would make his business and his tenants successful.

“Human nature is quite protective,” says Brett. “You have to orchestrate connections.”

Tonsley is specifically designed to create opportunity for connections. Precinct director of Tonsley Innovation District Philipp Dautel says the architecture of Tonsley brings people together organically, while its culture creates the chance for deeper interaction.

“Firstly, there are no canteens in the University, TAFE or other business buildings,” says Phil. “People need to come to the café areas. Bumping into the same person several times or queuing for the sushi roll breaks the ice.

“Secondly, we actively facilitate those networks through a range of activities. Tonsley Connections occurs bi-monthly and is the community’s regular after-work get-together. Also, there are fitness and yoga classes or the Squash Corporate Cup competition.”

Brett can see the success of these measures when he looks at how Innovyz is growing and how the tenants of CO-HAB are developing their businesses.

“The people you see here, we all help each other because we’re all co-located and we become a family,” he says. “You share contacts, you share knowledge.

“We work really closely with the Tonsley team. We want the people who are here co-working to grow large enough to take next step and move into their own premises at Tonsley. Amongst the wider community at Tonsley we’re also working with individual companies too – we help them, and they help us.”

In Adelaide’s CBD, startups, entrepreneurs and businesses in deep technology sectors can get the benefits of cross pollination by joining the Lot Fourteen innovation neighbourhood. It is located on the prime site formerly occupied by the Royal Adelaide Hospital and managed by Renewal SA.

Lot Fourteen locals, Myriota chief executive Alex Grant, and Scott Grigg, director of Chamonix, Exposé: Data Exposed, SecMatters and Cortex Interactive


The neighbourhood offers spaces to suit businesses and organisations ranging from multinational companies to the newest of startups.

The FIXE@LotFourteen startup hub offers support, mentors and exposure to investors for startups and entrepreneurs and is being overseen by South Australia’s Chief Entrepreneur, Jim Whalley. He says it will help take South Australian ideas to the next level.

“South Australians already have the imagination and initiative to succeed,” says Jim. “Lot Fourteen provides a supportive space to bring their ideas to market and support them with access to meaningful scale and high-value customers without leaving the state.”

Given the track record of success demonstrated by Innovyz and CO-HAB at Tonsley, there’s plenty of reasons to believe FIXE@Lot Fourteen will be another great South Australian example of how collaboration can fuel innovation.

Register your interest in becoming a FIXE@Lot Fourteen tenant


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