Matthew Hodges is a journalism student at UTS. He's interested in all things Sydney, pop culture and politics.
Bikers and inner westies are flocking to an old Newtown garage to tinker with their motorcycles and bond over coffee and ramen.
Rising Sun Workshop is the first business of its kind to bring coffee, food and a motorbike workshop under one roof, creating a community hub.
"Through community collaboration we have built a space that is a one-stop men's shed, cafe, ramen restaurant, motorcycle workshop and an area where people come together to share ideas," founder Adrian Sheather said.
"It's been very rewarding to take a business model that was plucked from thin air and see it not only come to fruition, but also be successful and profitable.”
Sheather, who will share his success at a seminar on business innovation next week, grew the workshop out of his shared garage and into the current site; a 100-year-old former service station, also called Rising Sun.
He did so with a sponsorship from Harley-Davidson Australia and a loyal base of motorcyclists, who crowdfunded $40,000 towards Rising Sun in 2013, wanting a communal space to work on their prized possessions. The lesson, Sheather says, "is that you can be a one-off and economically viable all at the same time."
Motorcycle enthusiasts can access tools and public workshops for annual rates from $150, while cafe-goers can order classic Australian and Japanese dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Next Wednesday's seminar, called How innovation is changing the face of business, will hear from business owners who have flourished using new technology and business models.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she hoped other start-ups would learn from trailblazers, strengthening the city's entrepreneurial culture and, ultimately, the economy.
"Programs like this are crucial for Sydney, because we want excellent companies and the talented entrepreneurs behind them to stay here and succeed," Cr Moore said.
Also speaking at the event is Fiona Tschaut from UNSW's Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, who helps small-to-medium businesses adopt new technology.
"There are so many ways businesses can harness the power of innovation and design thinking, things like robotics, 3D printing and virtual reality," she said.
This seminar is part of a City of Sydney series called City Thought Leaders, held at Customs House until the end of the month. Entry is free, but bookings are essential. whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/sydneys-tech-startup-revolution