If you’ve been working in the local startup scene you may have seen a StartRail map — a bit like a public transport map showing how and where many of Sydney and Melbourne’s startups got started.

Begun as a small project for a design student intern in 2012, the StartRail map has appeared in presentations, blog posts, news stories and keynotes across investor pitches, lecture theatres, boardrooms and parliamentary offices in Australia and overseas.

Projects like StartupMuster and AVCAL’s ongoing industry research give us critical data on the changing state of the Australian startup ecosystem. StartRail is not that. But it does catch your attention in a slide deck, printed and hung on a wall, and it’s good to see how many of the other startups on the map you already know.

Startups, investors, government and those who service them tell us StartRail performs a valuable service. So we’re embracing the responsibility we’ve accidentally engendered and will now give the StartRail maps their own permanent home at http://StartRail.co.

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Open permanently for new and changed info

StartRail will now be permanently open for the collection of new and changed information about startups and the organisations they’re affiliated with. We will publish updated maps periodically using the latest data, announcing updated maps to the media and via social media. If you’re wondering whether you’re looking at the latest revision of the StartRail maps, you need only check http://StartRail.co.

When will the next update to the StartRail maps be published?

The publication date of the next set of maps depends upon you and the local startup community. It’s time-consuming work done at our own cost without financial support from government or industry, so when we feel like we’ve got enough new and changed submissions, we’ll get started on the graphic design. We should have a new set of updated maps ready to go in a month or two. But it all depends on how many startups submit their details. And we need your help to do that.

How do I know if my startup qualifies to be included?

Detailed criteria are available in the help section on http://StartRail.co but to be included, you should be a tech startup (not an online store for individually-handcrafted cat collars, and not a large corporate). You should be Australian (as in headquartered or substantially based in Australia). You should have a live product or service available now (not a landing page with something crowdfunded and coming soon if you spam this link to enough of your friends).

Why are the current maps only for the Sydney and Melbourne communities?

To produce a new StartRail map we need to have details for at least 50 qualifying startups. We know there are many city and regional communities with more startups than that, but so far, only the Sydney and Melbourne communities have been motivated enough to submit more than 50 startups. So this is a shout out to all our homies in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Newcastle, Wollongong, Geelong, and the Gold Coast — get your details in!”

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