The report "The Startup Economy: How to support tech startups and accelerate Australian innovation" (embedded below) provides a snapshot of Australia’s 1500 current tech startups and a roadmap to help ensure the success of the sector.
Australian entrepreneurs working more closely with educators, government and corporate Australia is the key to unlocking the potential of the tech startup sector. The startup sector is a rapidly growing part of the economy which has the capacity to contribute four per cent of GDP or $109 billion and create 540,000 new jobs by 2033.
According to the report findings, the key ways to unlock the potential of the sector are:
- Attract more entrepreneurs with the right skills: In the short term Australia needs 2,000 more tech entrepreneurs each year drawn from the existing workforce. In the long term, our education sector must produce more skilled tech entrepreneurs.
- Foster a stronger and open culture of entrepreneurship: Australia has a considerably higher ‘fear of failure’ rate than nations like the U.S. and Canada, constraining the sector. The tech community is key to changing this by celebrating its own success and becoming more inclusive.
Also important is:
- Encourage more early stage funding: Funding for the Australian tech startup sector will need to increase. Australia invests approximately $7.50 per capita in venture capital per annum (all quoted in US$ figures), compared to the United States ($75) and Israel ($150).
- Open up local markets to tech startups: Governments are major consumers with spending totalling $41bn in 2012. They can become more startup friendly with procurement reform. Continue to improve the regulatory environment, such as removing the barriers created by taxing Employee Share Option Plans up front.