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Winning the work/life balance battle in Adelaide

Investing

SMALL town familiarity with big city infrastructure. That’s the lifestyle advantage that is helping attract companies to Adelaide.

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Adelaide's economic advantages

Large cities like Melbourne and Sydney are reaching a tipping point where unaffordable housing and traffic congestion are making work/life balance unattainable for many.

Adelaide consistently places in the top five cities in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability ranking, which considers the safety, healthcare, educational services, infrastructure and environment of 140 cities.

The city of 1.3 million people is also known for its festivals, scenic landscape, nearby wine regions, beaches and Mediterranean climate.

Anthony Ceravolo moved back to South Australia after a string of successes in the UK including a London-based movie streaming business, LoveFilm.com, which he sold to Amazon in 2008 for about AU$500 million.

He founded Sine, which specialises in visitor registration software, in 2013.

An enviable lifestyle and favourable business conditions have convinced Ceravolo to keep Sine’s headquarters in Adelaide, despite now having his software used in in more than 600 cities worldwide.

“We have been very pleased with Adelaide,” Ceravolo, Sine’s CEO said.

“We are hiring some people and bringing them back to South Australia.

“The conditions for creating a software business have never been better, and Adelaide is a great place to base yourself.

“It’s cost effective, it’s got a great lifestyle, there’s a lot of quality talent here and there are those that train up their skills in London, Wellington or Silicon Valley who want to live here.”

PrimeQ began operating in Adelaide in May 2016 and has already grown to 86 staff with offices across Australia and New Zealand.

Last week the cloud software company announced a $2.24 million expansion in Adelaide including 72 new jobs, an Innovation Centre, 24/7 Technology Support Hub and Graduate Program to drive cloud research and development, intellectual property and 24/7 access to South Australian cloud technology expertise.

Dunedin-raised PrimeQ CEO Andrew McAdams has worked in many global cities including Vancouver, San Francisco and Auckland.

He said Adelaide’s ease of movement, access to graduates and enviable lifestyle made the decision to base PrimeQ’s headquarters in the South Australian capital easy.

“It’s the simple things like it takes me 10 minutes to drive to work and I can pick my children up from school without interrupting my work life too much,” McAdams said.

“All of the people who have joined the organisation see the benefits of that.

“We have a Sydney office and it’s very difficult for people to get to work. We’ve got people who commute an hour and a half so it’s easier for me to tell them to work from home but that’s not a great outcome because they’re not as connected to the organisation.”

When Dr Martin Luerssen, Research Fellow and Chief Technology Officer at Flinders University began exploring ways technology could assist the state’s ageing population he created Clevertar.

Clevertar’s flagship Anna Cares software is an animated avatar that assists people in their home. It reminds them to take their medication, exercise and eat well with life-like interactions through computers and tablets.

The creative thinking behind Dr Luerssen’s Clevertar is just another example of how Adelaide fosters an environment for testing new and innovative ideas.

According to Dr Luerssen the fact all these creative thinkers live in Adelaide is no accident.

“In order to be creative you need to be able to live a good life and in Adelaide you can live a good life,” he said. “You don’t feel strangled by the sheer population around you.

“The size of the city is just perfect to have both the kinds of expertise and talent that you can draw from. Adelaide is a place that new ideas can come out and flourish because we’re not that traditional we’re not that stuck in the old ways, we have to innovate and we do.”

Other notable people to relocate to Adelaide include Hollywood music composer and innovator Tom Hajdu. Canadian-born Dr Hajdu moved from southern California to Adelaide in 2015 citing his love of food, wine and Adelaide’s temperate climate among his reasons for the move.

Dr Hajdu was this month appointed South Australia’s first Chief Innovation Advisor.  He said initiatives such as GigCity Adelaide, which brings super-fast internet to 14 innovation precincts, helped smash the “tyranny of distance” sometimes associated with small cities.

An Investment Attraction Agency has also been established to help other companies take advantage of the opportunities offered in Adelaide and the rest of South Australia.

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