Bondi Innovators: 25/Fifteen Co-Founder Kim Heras on Building An Innovation Hub in Bondi

Continuing our Bondi Innovators series, we have Kim Heras. Heras, the co-founder of 25/Fifteen – a startup studio here in Sydney, shares insights with Bondi Innovation about the successes of 25/Fifteen in the region, why he chose to move his company closer to the CBD, and how we can help build the innovation hub here in Bondi to improve the area for companies like 25/Fifteen.

Ross: So thanks for being with us Kim so what’s your story?

 Kim: Well, lots happened in the past but really what happened was i started off in marketing and law then got into tech by chance founded a couple of companies, worked in some large tech companies, ran an accelerator, some community work and then co-founded 2515 which is a startup studio.

Ross: So, what are your current ventures?

Kim: Well, at 2515 being a startup studio we’ve got a bunch of companies our own companies that we’re internally incubating, the main ones are actually the one main one for me at the moment is a company called Evenly which is focused on trying to help small businesses with cash flow problems it’s a bunch of things in that statement and we’re trying to target each of the problems that make up cash flow problems as a set of issues apart from that we’re doing some things in digital id we do some things in health tech, we’ve got some things in like a little weather app as well and a bunch of other projects we’re exploring right now.

Ross: What have some of the successes of being why you’ve been running that?

Kim: We’ve had a bunch of been involved in a bunch of projects over the six or seven years 25 15’s been around. We’re involved earlier with go catch and flamingo. We are also involved with a company called tiny beans and another company called sneaking duck. So amongst those there are a few IPO exits there’s a trade sale and there’s another exit for us where we sold down to a subsequent investor.

Ross: Fantastic, so why do you choose Bondi?

Kim: Our work here’s a little secret our work actually 25 15 is no longer in Bondi junction we started in Bondi junction and and we started in bondi junction for some very simple reasons um the area is awesome. It’s generally easy to get to transport wise and it was a mix of creative and entrepreneurial people around there and we thought um it was it’d be a good place for us to actually start 25 15. Then we were there for about three years and then in the end we moved first back to Darlinghurst and then down to Chippendale and the reality was it. While Bondi and Bondi junction are awesome places, we just need to be a bit more central to these communities of entrepreneurs and so just we just had to move back to the city. So much more of the action was it was happening in and around the cbd but we’d prefer to be back in Bondi junction if we could we would and the goal is one day to finally go back there but for now um this we just kind of had to be back towards the city. So that’s uh what you’re doing is the rationale for Bonding Innovation Alliance

Ross: So what do you think it will what do we need to do in order to be able to make Bondi region a place where you would want to bring your startup studio and run from here?

Kim: There’s a couple of things, right, one is density but i think there’s already this density in Nondi it’s just that most people kind of go out of Bondi and Bondi junction to places like the Sydney startup hub or maybe some go to north Sydney some go down to around Redfern or Chippendale / Surry Hills. So there’s i think there’s already density but the key thing is connection and there’s some really good research in on setting up entrepreneurial ecosystems around the power of just focusing on connecting people and and and not trying to guide those people through their connections and trying to manage their interactions but just to connect them and let things emerge from those connections and that’s where you have the best ecosystems form so I think the people they are in Bondi and Bondi junction. You start connecting them better and that’s the whole point I suppose as well of the Alliance is to try and connect people in the area and then once those connections happen serendipitous things happen as well that you couldn’t really plan for but that’s the secret — people make tech startups and and do innovative things and so if you connect people that’s where all the good stuff happens.

Ross: Well, thank you for your input and we’re going to be doing our best to bring you back to Bondi i hope to be there!

Kim: Thanks

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