ACS is set to play a lead role in growing Australia’s tech start-up ecosystem, calling for expressions of interest (EOI) to become residents of a newly established boutique accelerator space and program in Sydney’s harbour-fronting Barangaroo precinct.

This follows ACS’ recent acquisition of leading accelerator River City Labs in Brisbane, and plans to launch in Melbourne’s Docklands to round out its national expansion.

ACS’ entry into the start-up scene is part of its strategy to support all parts of Australia’s tech scene, having helped grow and revitalise thousands of tech careers nationally via its flagship membership programs for technology professionals for many years.

“As the peak body for professionals in Australia’s technology sector, ACS has long-served tech ecosystems nationally, helping to grow talent muscle and pools,” said ACS CEO Andrew Johnson.

“Expanding into accelerator programs to support those professionals who are bold enough to start their own businesses is a natural evolution for us.”

Launching under the parent brand ACS Labs, each east coast accelerator will operate under a sister brand to build their own tribe and to reflect the iconic locations from which start-ups will base themselves. River City Labs retains its already strong brand in the Queensland market, while Sydney plays host to Harbour City Labs and Melbourne welcomes Bay City Labs.

Keeping tech talent and brands on shore, addressing fall-out rates during the scale phase, and hunting for our next batch of unicorns is all on the agenda for ACS, as it builds out its national programs designed to support start-ups through the growing pains of their most vulnerable life-stages.

Johnson highlighted that statistics in history are against most start-ups, with 9 out of 10 destined for failure within their first decade of opening.

“Early-stage failure during business or product incubation is more comprehensible, but for the 75% of companies that fail during scale-up, we need to be doing more than just throwing capital or collaboration spaces at them. And that is exactly the space we want to play in and what we have been designing for – a program that fosters sustainable and tangible growth for tech start-ups ready to scale” said Johnson.

“Companies such as Atlassian and Canva show that locally grown and headquartered tech brands can scale internationally and have become the ‘poster-children’ for aspiring entrepreneurs down under.

“Whilst we would all like to see another Aussie unicorn, success for us is to show we have played a role in scaling home-grown technology brands, rallied emerging tech talent and helped accelerate Australian-made digital product and platform innovations in markets globally.

“If we can build success in our newest and finest tech companies and keep them with Australian headquarters, regardless of the markets they grow into, we can make tech and innovation our greatest export and the leading industry in economic contribution to Australia.”

With its Level 27 International Tower innovation space now open, Harbour City Labs is accepting expressions of interest. To apply or find out more information visit