Startup Genome ecosystem report 2022 review

10 July, 2022
Startup Genome ecosystem report 2022 review | News | Pause Awards
Nikita Lamba, writer contributor
Nikita Lamba
10 July, 2022

Startup Genome is the world-leading policy advisory and research organisation for public and private organisations committed to accelerating the success of their startup ecosystem. To date, the organisation has advised more than 125 clients across 6 continents in 45+ countries to date – huge work!

Startup Genome’s mission is to accelerate startup success and ecosystem performance everywhere. They have continued to work with global thought leaders and practitioners to define and execute robust policies and programs that drive lasting change.

Just under a month ago, Startup Genome released its 2022 Global Startup Ecosystem Report that detailed insights on the founder journey, capital raising process, and global rankings of the various ecosystems across the world.

And given that the Australian ecosystem has moved from strength to strength year on year, we decided to chalk out the key findings for Sydney and Melbourne’s ecosystem. Take a look:

With Sydney showing Oceania’s biggest leap in rankings, moving up 4 places from last year to #20, its $68B ecosystem value is in large part due to Canva’s $39B valuation.

Sydney ecosystem, global startup genome report, city, ratings
Taken from the Startup Genome ecosystem maps

Closer to home, Melbourne’s been seen as a thriving hub for startups for years. Be it SaaS, Fintech, AI, Blockchain, Big Data, IoT or Life Sciences – the city has been the birthplace of numerous success stories.

In its most recent findings, the Melbourne ecosystem was valued at $17B, with the total early-stage funding rounding off at a solid $816M.

The total early-stage funding for Sydney was higher at $1.3B, with its median seed round sitting at $835k (against a global average of $671k) and the median Series A round hitting a high $5.4M against a global average of $4.7M.

On the flipside, Melbourne’s median seed round sat at $670k with the median Series A round hitting $3.9M. Total VC funding for Melbourne clocked in at $3.1B against the $4.5B global average, whereas Sydney once again topped it higher with $5.9B.

The number of exits for Melbourne’s ecosystem were 185, valued at $7B, with the time to exit being 9.3 years. Sydney witnessed a total of 288 exits valued at $12B, with the time to exit equalling 9 years against a global average of 9.4.

Melbourne ecosystem, startup genome map, report, insights, rankings 2022
Taken from the Startup Genome ecosystem maps

All in all, both states sat well on the Early-Stage Funding Growth Tier, with Melbourne at 6 and Sydney at a solid 9 on 10. (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest measure of growth).

It’s safe to say that both ecosystems have shown consistent and robust growth across all domains, which is why they both continue to attract entrepreneurs and ecosystem supporters from across the world – Melbourne for its dynamic, educated workforce, world-class universities, and strong government support, and Sydney for its supportive business environment and great quality of life.

And while Sydney continues to attract substantial international investment, Melbourne too shows promise through its initiatives, including LaunchVic’s $10M Alice Anderson Fund backing women-led startups, as well as the $240M Victorian Startup Capital Fund that aims to support early-stage startups with high growth potential.

With the impending economic downturn that’s standing at everyone’s doorstep, it will be interesting to see how both these ecosystems respond. While systems and processes to tackle the same are definitely in place, we guess we’ll know better when the 2023 ecosystem report comes around.

If interested to read global report, head over to the Startup Genome website.

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Category tracks

The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.

  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.

  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.

  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.

  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.

  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.

  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.

  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.

  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.

  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.

  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.

  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.

  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.

  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.

  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.

  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.

  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.

  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.

  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.

  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.

  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.

  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.

  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.

  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.

  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.

  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.

  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.

  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.

  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.

  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.

  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.

  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.

  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.

  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.

  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.

  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

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