As many businesses struggle to keep people in jobs at the moment Wollongong based software company Easy Agile has employed 14 more people since the start of COVID.
Now it is looking to hire three more developers and six other staff during the present lockdown.
And Easy Agile chief executive Nick Muldoon hopes by sharing some of the good news will encourage the whole community and provide a glimmer of hope.
The business presently employs 25 people and its steady growth is likely to see that number grow to 40 this financial year.
"Our intent is to grow fairly significantly to support our growing customer base globally," Mr Muldoon said.
Easy Agile's success comes as the Tech Council of Australia aims to secure one million more jobs and contribute $244 billion a year to to annual GDP by 2031.
Presently one in 16 working Australians (861,000 people) are employed in the tech sector and the growing number of successful IT companies in Wollongong is likely to see that percentage rise in the Illawarra.
Reasons for that includes the supportive start-up and tech community. Which includes a grass roots networking group called Siligong Valley introducing more people to the industry.
The Tech Council of Australia believes the technology sector will play a critical role in the recovery of the Australian economy post COVID-19.
Since the start of the global pandemic 65,000 new tech jobs have been created in Australia. And the future continues to look bright in the Illawarra, according to Mr Muldoon.
He said at its present pace tech will surpass the contribution of the Australian primary and manufacturing industries within the next decade. And that will in turn spur on growth in more traditional sectors.
Mr Muldoon said since the start of the pandemic Easy Agile has grown its customer base by more than 20 per cent.
"At the beginning of COVID last year we had two of our strongest months ever," he said.
"People were moving in office activities to a digital equivalent and we were there with a solution to assist them. Every business has a software component to it. 99 per cent of our clients are overseas and our customer base has continued to grow since the start of COVID."
The Wollongong software company presently works with global companies such as Sony, Netflix and JPMorgan Chase.
Generally it does that from its Regent Street office but during lockdown all its team work remotely from home.
Mr Muldoon said the business's growth has remained strong ever since March 2020.
He said many people he and fellow chief executive Dave Elkan have employed since that time have started by working from home. And the business has successful systems in place to make that work.
But he said all staff still enjoy working as a team in the heart of Wollongong and will do so again when the lockdown ends.
Mr Muldoon said Easy Agile was not the only tech company experiencing rapid growth in Wollongong.
"It's incredible to see thousands of people working in technology companies in the Illawarra, when a decade ago that was not the case," he said.
"We're actively hiring in the Illawarra now as we grow the business globally."
Mr Elkan said the technology sector's economic contribution has grown 79 per cent since 2016 and was outpacing the average growth in the economy by more than four times.
"Regional centres like Wollongong is where this growth is the highest, with start-up incubators such as University of Wollongong's iAccelerate a vital partner in the future prosperity of our region," Mr Elkan said.
"When we moved from San Francisco back to Australia, we decided to launch a start up in Wollongong because of the lifestyle. What we never imagined is how many tech companies would do the same."
Both Mr Elkan and Mr Muldoon said the thriving tech community's willingness to network and support each other was also fundamental to the Wollongong success.
And that was key drawcard to luring new tech organisations to the region.
"Siligong Valley is a supportive community of individuals who work in tech or aspire to work for a technology company in the future," Mr Muldoon said.
"We have a free Slack community with over 1000 members ready to answer any questions about working in tech."
Mr Elkan said the sector believes it is better with balance.
"Which means we can build a global tech company here in Wollongong without sacrificing our lifestyle," he said.
"Every time we hire someone new, we love seeing the look on their face when they realise they can have a fulfilling career while still contributing to the Illawarra community."
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