It takes just two days to register a business in this laid-back Aussie city—a statement of its business-friendly environment that's earned praise from the World Bank, as well as from thriving locals such as these.
The world's largest crowdsourced marketplace for graphic design. Founded in 2008, it has served more than 195,000 people and paid out more than $49 million to 210,000 designers.
Love for Oz: "Melbourne has great local universities, which helps foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship," says CEO Patrick Llewellyn. "It's also known as the arts, fashion, and culture capital of Australia, so it naturally attracts those interested in or passionate about the arts and visual pursuits."
The city's premier start-up incubator houses more than 60 early-stage ventures.
Love for Oz: "Melbourne is a great place to found a startup because you need to be thinking big and global from day one," says founder Stuart Richardson, who cofounded Melbourne-based venture fund Adventure Capital prior to launching the co-working space. "It also gives us access to a sophisticated yet conservative population—an ideal audience for new products."
A research, design, and engineering firm that invented an electric motor that's fully digital, cheaper than existing technology, and more efficient over a greater range of speeds.
Love for Oz: "Melbourne has traditionally been the center for manufacturing and innovation in Australia," says CEO Chris Mosely. "As the old industries move on, there's a great deal of expertise flooding the market." The rapid development of the business was made possible by Melbourne's tight startup community. (Stuart Richardson is on the executive board.)
[Illustration by Ciara Phelan]
A version of this article appeared in the May 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.