Creating places for people: Melbourne city-makers navigate new markets 

10 August 2023

A Melbourne startup called Neighbourlytics is using smart tech to help build more connected cities where people love to live, work and play. Our TradeStart advisers are supporting the team to grow and go global.

Neighbourlytics is a social analytics platform that provides real-time lifestyle and behaviour data to reveal how people really interact with their neighbourhoods.

These insights allows the property industry, governments, urban designers and architects to make more effective choices to attract visitors, customers and tenants.

Lucinda Hartley developed a passion for enhancing social inclusion and connectivity in urban places during her early days as an urban designer. This led her to co-found Neighbourlytics.

“Throughout my career I became frustrated with the urban sector’s focus on the physical space – how tall the buildings are, how wide are the roads, or how full are the car parks,” Lucinda said.

“If you think about the places you love to spend time – the beaches, the parks, the markets – it is the social connection and urban life that we care about.

“People are the core of any community, and understanding their behaviour and preferences is crucial for creating successful urban developments.”

Empowering city-makers with people data

The Neighbourlytics platform informs projects for clients including Queen Victoria Market, Transport New South Wales and the Queensland government, providing data to help design places that truly resonate with people.

“I get immense satisfaction in seeing how our clients interact with our platform and how the data informs their projects and creates vibrant urban life within neighbourhoods,” Lucinda said.

“Creating new developments without people data is a bit like trying to design a transport strategy without any traffic data – it’s flying blind and leads to problems like vacant retail, slower sales or convoluted decision-making.

“We believe that by providing our clients with the insights and tools they need to make informed decisions, we can help create more equitable, sustainable, and vibrant communities.”

Exploring global opportunities through TradeStart

The City of Melbourne is supporting Neighbourlytics with industry connections and guidance through our Invest Melbourne division.

We have recently expanded our team with new TradeStart advisers who help small and medium-sized businesses identify and secure opportunities in global markets. The TradeStart network is an initiative of Austrade.

“Working closely with TradeStart and Invest Melbourne has not only opened doors to new clients and markets but has also provided us with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in international trade and investment,” Lucinda said.

“The City of Melbourne’s support and guidance have proven to be invaluable as we navigate the complexities of scaling our operations and expanding into new markets – particularly into the US. It’s early days for us in terms of international expansion but helpful to know we’re well supported.”

Top tips for women in business

Lucinda and her Neighbourlytics Co-Founder Jessica Christiansen-Franks have each been recognised for their achievements and influence as women in business.

Jessica was recently named in Inc. Australia’s list of 25 innovative female founders, while Lucinda was recognised in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Women of Influence program.

The pair encourages other women and girls with innovative startup ideas to be opportunistic, but also prepared to flex in response to twists and turns along the way.

“Running a startup can be daunting and challenging but if you look for opportunities and be ready to adjust your approach, you improve your chances of success,” Lucinda said.

“You need to be able to roll with the punches and be committed to the destination, but not really mind what route takes you there.”

Get support to grow your startup

Experts from the City of Melbourne can help you unlock your business potential and join the many innovative and successful companies investing locally. To learn more, visit Invest Melbourne.

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