For Murray Hurps, every morning is a joy as he leaps out of bed to discover what the new day will bring. As CEO of the not-for-profit start-up hub Fishburners, Murray is surrounded every day by the best and brightest, highly motivated, and innovative minds as they bring their new business ideas to life. Murray is a conduit for all this fantastic energy as he brings people together.
“At Fishburners, we have one goal; to create the maximum number of start-ups. And we do three things to make that happen. Firstly, we inspire more start-ups to be actualised by educating people around the management of a business, increasing interactions between founders and non-founders, providing a bit of media coverage, and removing barriers to diverse participation. Secondly, we collect and validate start-ups, so you end up with a building that has 177 scalable companies within it that are all doing impressive, ambitious things. Lastly, we connect start-ups with support from other organisations.
“We deliberately try to do as little ourselves and be a kind of not-for-profit ‘Switzerland of start-ups’ organisation that everyone can work with. It requires us cutting off a lot of revenue streams and really holding ourselves back on what we’re trying to do. We’re happy to be the one that takes the hit financially to get a company started, and that feeds the funnel for others to make money down the track. It’s an interesting position to be in, and I love it, but it’s exhausting, I have a wonderfully supportive wife who I don’t see and don’t deserve, and a baby on the way, but every day I jump out of bed because I’m excited about the impact Fishburners is having. There are over 40 start-ups joining each month, making it the largest funnel for start-ups in Australia. It’s also the largest space in Australia in terms of the number of start-ups, with 177 currently there and 621 that have used the space over the last five years. Fishburners is the most popular space in terms of start-up events, with 489 in 2015 and 2,423 since opening, and we’ve got these wonderful, category-leading supporters trying to help us make it happen. I also get to spend my time with great people from Google, News Corp, Optus, NAB, PwC, Cisco, Xero, Dropbox, Amazon, and BigAir—it’s such a lovely, dynamic environment to be working in.”