Hundreds of jobs are being created by an explosion in new startups who are working together under the umbrella of Siligong Valley to grow their industry and help create 10,000 new jobs in the next decade.
Many of Wollongong's emerging startups have doubled in size in the last six to months and every week there are Siligong networking events that university students are welcome to attend.
As Wollongong City Council prepares to vote on the proposed new 10 year Economic Development Plan with its target of 10,000 new jobs those behind Siligong want to highlight just how many positions are already being created. And how many opportunities there are for University of Wollongong graduates to secure employment locally with startups doing work in the Illawarra for clients around the world.
The Siligong events are becoming so popular that those in the industry are themselves discovering new businesses they previously knew nothing about.
Siligong has quickly grown to the point where it is expecting to have 1000 members by the end of the year. It is thought to be one of the fastest growing support network bodies of its kind in Australia.
Siligong Valley now has over 800 members from local businessesNick Muldoon
Nick Muldoon, of Easy Agile, said such a group was a priority when he and business partner Dave Elkan relocated from California.
"When Dave and I arrived in Wollongong we didn't know anyone. In Silicon Valley I used to run the SF Agile Marketing meetup with 3500 members," Mr Muldoon said.
"To meet folks locally we decided to bring the best of Silicon Valley to Wollongong, and so with the help of Nathan Harper of Beer Mogul Games we started Siligong Valley.
"Siligong Valley now has over 800 members from local businesses. Each month we host meetups for software developers, product managers, marketers and more. At the meetups people share their experience with others that aim to hone their craft and learn something new.
"Siligong has also been instrumental in helping folks find jobs locally. For example, Eamonn Bell at Accelo hired several people via Siligong in the first quarter of 2018. It is a great place for employers to search for local talent and for locals to find a job close to home".
University of Wollongong student Stephanie Seymour said it helped her secure a 12 week internship that led to employment.
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