My name’s Aun Ngo and I’m the Community Lead for StartSpace.
StartSpace is about providing a physical space for people to come in and work on an idea. It could be an extremely innovative startup idea, or a traditional small business idea. It could be a creative pursuit, or a social enterprise or social impact idea. It’s about providing a space that’s accessible and open to all, for members of the community to come in, work on their business idea and really give it a shot.
Before joining StartSpace, I worked at the Foundation for Young Australians, supporting 18–29 year olds who are working on social enterprises. I’ve had a very interesting career and the common denominator has been people. At uni I ran clubs and societies, then supported newly arrived international students in a residential capacity. I moved to the Philippines to do some marketing and PR for a social enterprise through AusAID, then worked at a non-profit nursing home in Singapore. It’s all been about people – running programs, supporting volunteers and working with partners.
What excites me about working at StartSpace is the way we support people at the very start of their journey, and remove barriers so they can join the startup ecosystem. It won’t cost them anything and we’ll be able to offer the support, the programming, the events and ultimately the community that will help people in that very early, nascent stage.
The community is a key part of what we’re offering. You could try starting a business by yourself at home, in your bedroom or in a café, but it can be isolating and easy to get distracted. At StartSpace there’s the opportunity to share ideas, have conversations, build networks. You’ll meet people who could be working on something completely different to you, but they could be someone you can learn something from or collaborate with.