· River City Labs straw poll reveals top startup eco-system policy wish: incentives to bring more successful startups to Queensland
· 83% say Government is not doing enough to support State’s startup eco-system
· Only 19% rate the Queensland opposition ALP party’s policy on startups ‘good’ or ‘very good’
· Funding, a Brisbane startup precinct, and incentives for corporate and government bodies to work with startups also key call
Brisbane, 21 January 2015: River City Labs today released the results of a straw poll that shows Queensland’s startup community feels it is being ignored by politicians. The survey collected responses from 200 entrepreneurs, investors, startup employees, mentors and supporters. It found that 83% do not believe the state government is doing enough to support the startup eco-system, and only 19% rate the opposition’s policy as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
Steve Baxter, entrepreneur, Shark on Shark Tank Australia and founder of River City Labs, said that the next government needed a wake-up call, to recognise the benefits that Queensland’s startup sector could bring.
“Governments the world over are investing time, energy and resources to understand and support technology startups. They have become accepted as key drivers of employment opportunities and economic growth. Ingenuity, creativity and entrepreneurship are not finite resources, and with a little elbow grease and a lot of government support, I truly believe Queensland has the potential to be a powerhouse for global innovation,” he said.
The poll also asked respondents to choose the most important policy areas for the next Queensland government to consider. Interestingly, while State government funding for new startups did feature prominently, the top policy identified by the startup community was incentives to bring more successful Australian and international startups to Brisbane.
Queensland’s startup community government policy wish list:
Launch financial and regulatory incentives to attract more Australian and international tech startups to operate in Brisbane
Startup funding grants for new Queensland tech startups
Establish a Queensland Startup Precinct in Brisbane to bring the eco-system closer together
Make technology education a focus in the school curriculum in Queensland
Create incentives for Queensland companies and governments to partner or work with Queensland startups
Source: River City Labs
Other areas on the startup community wish-list included the establishment of a Startup Precinct in Brisbane and improved technology education and incentive for large Queensland organisations to partner and work with startups.
Mr. Baxter commented: “It’s not just about ramping up investment and spending government funds to encourage new startups, although that is part of it. What the startup scene wants is a Government committed to doing things smarter, faster and more agile – and bringing our policy making into the 21st century.
“Startup and technology are not exactly simple areas to understand, and traditionally Australian politicians have struggled to get their heads around where they fit in to the government agenda. In recent years we have seen some market improvement steps, but based on our straw poll it appears the report card says “more effort required”. We hope that this survey will be useful to the next Government in formulating its approach to new business in the state.”
– Ends –
Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group
Laura Blue, Launch Group
About River City Labs
River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.
Current membership sits at over 100 members ranging from early stage startups and founders to established startups and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital in the last 18 months.
River City Labs focuses on providing the right environment for entrepreneurs to make valuable contacts while learning from peers, mentors and industry experts helping them to connect, work and grow.