Our Community

Inspire9 is the original community-led coworking space for Melbourne’s startups, freelancers, and creative entrepreneurs

Inspire9 is a community in the truest sense. We share ideas, responsibilities and opportunities. We collaborate on projects, help our neighbours with a tricky technical problem and broker business deals over a game of pool or ping-pong.

At the end of the week, we savour the satisfaction of work well done over a cheese plate and glass of something nice at our friendly Friday Night Drinks.

A brief history

It began in a small office space in Cremorne, inner Melbourne.

A small group of people came together to work on their passion projects, seeking the company of bright, enthusiastic, awesome types.

Our motivation? To share the knowledge we’ve accrued on our journeys, learn a few things in the process, and work with others to help our businesses grow. We like to think that by giving substantial responsibility and opportunity to the people who walk through the doors, Inspire9 is generating small but significant social change.

Inspire9 moved to our current premises in 2011. The community banded together to polish the floors, build the meeting rooms and install the furniture. As the community has grown we have expanded as well; opening our 3rd floor Foundry9 space for established startups and investors in late 2014.

The team

The Community team are here to help you make the most of your Inspire9 experience.

They are the warm, friendly faces of familiarity that make your visit to the space a good one. Just like regular members, community team members add own personal flavour to the space. When exciting things happen in the space they make sure that you find out about it. You can follow along with our team and all they do to make the Inspire9 community special on our social channels;  Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or catch a post or two on Medium.

  • Nate
  • Nathan Sampimon Founder

    Nathan kicked off the Inspire9 community back in 2009, and has been adding fuel to the fire ever since. Melbourne born and bred, he's got a soft spot for seeing local startups make it big through our resident startup accelerator programme, Angelcube. When he's not geeking out with the Inspire9 Dev, team, you'll find him at a pretentious brunch spot or down the surf coast.

  • Mark
  • Mark Balla CEO

    A more varied career than Mark’s would be hard to find. He is a serial entrepreneur, starting businesses in industries that range from ship building to CD manufacturing. On the back of these businesses he made the BRW Fast 100 twice. He has recently moved into humanitarian work, starting not-for-profit, We Can’t Wait focussed on building toilets in schools in India with a view to helping adolescent girls stay in school. He spoke about his work at Tedx Queenstown.

  • Melina
  • Melina Chan General Manager

    Melina has been involved in Inspire9 since its inception. After an AYAD placement in Cambodia, Melina cofounded the social enterprise Kinyei, where she worked on a group of community development projects to generate employment opportunities for young Cambodians.

  • Emily
  • Emily Alexandra Operations Manager

    Emily Alexandra has joined as Operations Manager and will be overseeing all things facilities. Having just returned from a three-month coworking tour of the U.S, she is well placed to create inviting spaces that inspire and indulge the senses! She's also a Cofounder of the Disruptive Business Network along with our very own Rahul Soans.

  • Josh
  • Josh Lipscombe Events & Communications Manager

    Josh is an eternal optimist, cheese connoisseur and lover of the simple things in life. Coming from the Queen Vic Night Markets, Josh has become a passionate advocate for small business and local entrepreneurship. He’s here to spread the Inspire9 message and tell the world about how amazing our residents are.

  • Rahul
  • Rahul Soans Community Manager

    Rahul is an Engineer and in another life was a project manager in the telecommunications industry. After coming to his senses, he fell into the social enterprise and startup world in Melbourne. He has cut his teeth working for startups, founded a consulting company and now runs The Disruptive Business Network - an event series that looks at how new ideas and technology are changing business.He has a deep interest in entrepreneurship and technology, with a passion for how business can be the solution to the world's problems and not the cause.

  • Kirsteene
  • Kirsteene Phelan Public Liaison

    Kirsteene joined us from Etsy and was the company's first hire in APAC. She manages our relations with corporate, government and community partners to spread the word about coworking, and it's benefits for business, community and the environment. She loves art, music, Italy, brightly coloured tights, clever ideas and the internet as a centre for community and creative commerce. Look out for her new jewellery label, Molto Maxima, soon.

  • Kunal
  • Kunal Kalro Entrepreneur-in-Residence

    Kunal is a traveler, entrepreneur, mentor and a product designer. He spends most of his time living out of a carry-on suitcase and is usually found beside a glass of wine in coworking spaces in Melbourne, New York, Dubai and Bombay. He's a relatively recent Melbourne transplant by way of Angelcube 2013, and is the Inspire9 entrepreneur-in-residence as he recovers from his travel-startup addiction. Talk to him about startups, health-tech, and 90s Hip-Hop.

The space

We work from one of Richmond’s oldest buildings: the decommissioned Australian Knitting Mill which was established in 1910.

The Australian Knitting Mills complex was at the centre of the Stewart-Tanner streets industrial development area from 1912 when the supply for World War One uniforms provided an opportunity and impetus for its expansion. The complex had another major building addition in 1922-5, the same time that the ‘Golden Fleece’ and 'Kookaburra’ were established.

The AKM building now forms part of the Richmond Hill Heritage Overlay, which has strict planning rules protecting the history and character of the area. The space was laying dormant in 2011 when Inspire9 took the keys to level 1. The team quickly went about providing some needed love and attention with an emphasis on maintaining the heritage of the building and restoring the space to its natural glory.

Our Vision and Values

We believe that providing human-centric workspaces drives innovation, connection, and growth for ideas-driven small teams and individuals. Our vision is to be Australia’s most pioneering and diverse coworking community for startups, freelancers, and creative entrepreneurs.

We value community, integrity, growth, creating connections and accountability; all wrapped up in loads of passion.