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July 2016

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28 Jul

Startups and tech companies are the engine room for Australia’s future workforce

by launch-admin Jul 28, 2016 0 News

 

StartupAUS’ latest discussion paper examines important themes that will be included in its upcoming Crossroads Report

Australia, 28 July 2016:  As many as 4.6 million Australian jobs may be at risk within the decade if Australia fails to create a workforce for the future according to a discussion paper, Economy in Transition – Startups, innovation and a workforce for the future, released today by StartupAUS, Australia’s national advocacy group for startups.

 

The discussion paper, produced in partnership with Sydney startups Expert360 and CodeCamp, as well as global tech firm LinkedIn, suggests that while few jobs will be protected entirely from the confluence of technological advancements such as automation, startups and tech companies will generate forward-looking jobs based on emerging technologies.

 

The discussion paper examines some of the themes that will be included in the third annual StartupAUS Crossroads Report to be released in October 2016.

 

CEO of StartupAUS Alex McCauley said for every job in high-growth tech companies, as many as five tangential jobs are created. 

 

“The paper highlights the extensive economic benefits of building innovation hubs which have powerful multiplier effects. There’s a lot at stake here – if we get it right, we’ll be able to capitalise on it,” he said. “The findings reveal the very real need for Australia to keep up its momentum on innovation and startup policy. This is not a niche area – it’s about what we need to do to help our whole economy manage its inevitable transition.”

 

“We have two new portfolio Ministers who will be getting across these issues very rapidly and in a very focused way. This paper highlights the need for that urgency and focus.”

 

LinkedIn data included in the discussion paper suggests that 16 of the 20 most in-demand skills in Australia right now are technology-related, and workers with a mix of entrepreneurial, STEM, creative, and social skills will be in increasingly high demand to support the core of Australia’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem.

 

Despite this need, Australia has a profound talent shortage within the STEM field[1]. To combat this, the StartupAUS paper outlines specialised immigration as a crucial part of injecting critical skills into Australia’s current workforce. Thriving innovation hubs in the nation’s major cities will help attract this talent from around the world.

 

Mr McCauley said: “As our tech startup ecosystem develops, Australia must be open to importing talent from overseas, and at the same time accept that skilled Australians will move offshore. This is a natural part of the modern employment landscape for high skill workers.

 

The discussion paper also shows new business models have also created opportunities for independent workers. Studies have shown a substantial increase in contingent work both globally and in Australia.  

 

The paper’s author, Colin Pohl, said: “In the US, approximately 34 per cent of the workforce is already made up of independent workers and we expect this to increase significantly and for a similar trend to be reflected here in Australia. Many corporate jobs require specialised skills that are not required on a permanent basis, and infrastructure support for freelancers will facilitate an increasing number of workers operating across a portfolio of briefs based on their specialised talent.”

 

Bridget Loudon, CEO of Expert360, said: “The paper highlights both the growing demand for independent work and a need for increased specialisation and expertise within the freelance talent pool. Creating a future-ready workforce means encouraging a freelance economy across all levels of business. Platforms that enable Talent-as-a-Service (TaaS) will be key to this transition and encourage greater agility and productivity.”

 

Nick O’Donnell, APAC Head of Public Policy for LinkedIn, said: “A crucial factor that will influence the strength and stability of the global economy will be governments’ willingness to set policy levers that encourage entrepreneurism, risk taking and innovation; in doing so allowing a vibrant start-up community to flourish. LinkedIn was delighted to work with StartupAUS to share our in-depth Economic Graph analysis to uncover unique insights into the profile of Australia’s startup environment.”

 

Benjamin Levi, Co-founder of Code Camp, said: “Code Camp was founded two years ago as a solution to provide every Australian student with the opportunity to learn to code, build passion around STEM, and create their own iPhone app. Over the past two years we have grown from a team of two, to training an incredible team of over 200 engaging teachers whose priority is to inspire and challenge students in a fun environment. We’ve taught over 4,300 students in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wollongong, Bowral, Newcastle and Adelaide. These skills we teach can be adapted to any industry.”

 

Robert Wickham, VP Innovation and Digital Transformation, Salesforce, said: “Addressing the skills shortage in Australia is a critical challenge that requires sustained bi-partisan support. We need to ensure that we focus on how to attract the world best talent immediately, but also how to retrain and educate future talent in the mid to longer team. Talent is the fertilizer that will enrich the local ecosystem to drive economic growth.”

 

StartupAUS believes by fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, nurturing a workforce with a forward-looking skill set, and establishing the infrastructure to support innovation we can be well-positioned to ensure the future of work in Australia is a bright one. 

 

ENDS

 

 

For StartupAUS interview requests: Louise Proctor louise@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1003 / 0452 574 244

 

For Expert360 interview requests: Lauren Trucksess lauren.trucksess@mcpartners.com.au 0497 858 651

 

About StartupAUS

 

StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.

 

StartupAUS will expand its efforts to bring financial partners on-board to help corporates have a bigger voice in the emerging innovation conversation and assist StartupAUS in increasing its resources and activities ahead of this year’s election, as both sides of politics vie for innovative traction. The organisation’s current corporate partners include Salesforce and Google Australia. It also has a growing list of philanthropic benefactors including successful tech entrepreneur, Steve Baxter, Co-Chairman of CHAMP’s Board of Directors and Investment Committee, Bill Ferris, and Director and Co-Founder of Allen & Buckeridge, Roger Allen.

 

For more information visit: www.startupaus.org


[1] ACS’ Australia’s Digital Pulse 2015

27 Jul

Last chance to enter the 2016 Digital Disruptor Awards

by launch-admin Jul 27, 2016 0 News

Interested applicants have until August 4 2016 to showcase their contribution to

Oz digital future

 

Sydney, July 27 2016: The ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, has today announced entries are open for the 2016 Digital Disruptor Awards, and will close on 4 August 2016. The ACS encourages digital specialists and digital businesses not to miss out on their chance to have their work recognised as transformational to Australia’s digital future.

 

At a time when the economy is undergoing a digital transition, the awards, now in their second year, play an important role in recognising and championing the individual men and women, businesses and teams behind Australia’s digital economy.

 

In collaboration with the Pearcey Foundation, the highly competitive awards feature 12 categories, comprising six individual and six team or project awards. These include the prestigious ICT Professional of the Year and the Young ICT Professional of the Year (Male Under 30 and Female Under 30).

 

A key component of the Digital Disruptor Awards is showcasing the new wave of talented ICT professionals, including the contribution of young women. At last year’s inaugural Digital Disruptor Awards, the award for Young ICT Professional of the Year – Female – was awarded for the first time, with South Australian entrepreneur Emily Rich taking home the coveted title.

 

Recent research by Gratten Institute reveals Australia’s GDP could be $25 billion higher if female labour participation increased by 6%[1].

 

Winners of last year’s team awards included the Australian Tax Office, Woolworths, Serco, Australian Crime Commission, Blamey Saunders Hears and CSIRO. A full list of winners is available at http://reimagination16.acs.org.au/digital-disruptors-awards2015/.

 

This year’s winners and Gold Disruptors will be announced and recognised on 1 December 2016, at a Gala Dinner at The Star in Sydney, as part of ACS’ 2016 ReImagination Thought Leaders Summit.

 

To view the full list of awards categories and to enter, please visit: http://reimagination16.acs.org.au/digital-disruptors-awards/

                            

-Ends-

 

Further information

Louise Proctor, Launch Group, 02 9294 1003, 0452 574 244, louise@launchgroup.com.au

Sarah-Jane Williams, Launch Group, 02 9294 1000, 0409 362 675, sarahjane@launchgroup.com.au

About the ACS

The ACS is the professional association for Australia’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.

 



[1] ACS 2016 Election Manifesto, page 11. Analysis by Gratten Institute suggests that if Australia lifts its labour participation rate by 6%, to be roughly comparable to Canada, our GDP would be $25 billion higher.

21 Jul

Australia’s first app helps maximise tax returns for property investors

by launch-admin Jul 21, 2016 0 News
New app Abakus cuts receipt clutter and eases the burden of property tax management

Sydney, Australia, 18 July 2016 – Abakus Apps, a new finance-based smartphone application and the first of its kind in Australia, launched today. Aimed at everyday Australian residential property investors, Abakus makes property tax management more convenient and efficient – helping users self-manage their investment/s, maximise their tax return and obtain an estimate of their tax position at any time during the financial year.

Investing in property offers tax benefits that make real estate an attractive financial venture. Abakus offers a unique set of features for users to keep on top of tax requirements and paperwork associated with property ownership. Property and financial details entered in Abakus enables the app to provide a wealth of valuable information including pre and post-tax position and deductions, rental yield, total running expenses, and cost base tracking of the property. Receipts and documents such as an Offer of Acceptance or a Settlement Statement can also be easily uploaded safely to the cloud. Furthermore, users can enter personal expenses and keep individual income tax-related deductions all in one place.

Created by Brenton Tidow, farmer’s son from rural Western Australia turned pipeline surveyor, already has a number of properties under his belt. Abakus came about through the frustration of handling the many pesky expense receipts relating to his investments. Now a budding entrepreneur, Tidow identified a gap in the market for an uncomplicated approach to managing property tax affairs. By selling one of his own properties to finance Abakus, Tidow streamlined a massive, methodical Excel spreadsheet with intricate algorithms into the app.

Brenton Tidow, Founder and Managing Director of Abakus Apps, said, “As a property investor, managing my assets was always strenuous and I knew there had to be a better way of handling things, especially in this day and age of advanced technology. The amount of time spent tracking transactions linked to property ownership can take the joy out of investment. The goal is to simplify the tedious administration involved with financial management for property investors and present important and readily available information at your fingertips.”

Designed by Monster Apps, Abakus is a subscription app that is cloud-based with a monthly fee of $5.99 for an unlimited number of properties – paid through the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store and is free for the first month. Other accounting software tools available cost approximately $20 a month and bookkeepers charge roughly $100 a month, whereas Abakus offers the whole package for a fraction of these prices and provides investors with significant savings. Furthermore, Abakus gives users control and allows them to be more engaged in their property investment/s through its straightforward and intuitive interface.

Abakus is available now through the iTunes Store for iPhone and the Google Play Store for Android:

iPhone – click here to download
Android – click here to download

About Abakus Apps
Abakus is a finance-based smartphone application aimed at Australian residential property investors that makes property tax management more convenient. A comprehensive tax management system with a user-friendly interface, Abakus provides a complete portfolio overview and is a one-stop shop for property investors, to easily and efficiently store and export all required information at tax time or any time during the financial year. For more information, visit www.abakusapps.com.au.

20 Jul

U.S. startup arrives in Queensland to take up Hot DesQ

by launch-admin Jul 20, 2016 0 News

MEDIA RELEASE

 U.S. startup arrives in Queensland to take up Hot DesQ 

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia selected by U.S. virtual reality startup, TimeLooper, as debut APAC base

Australia, 19 July 2016: The first international startup to benefit from the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland Hot DesQ initiative has arrived in the state, selecting QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) as its host.

Tourism-focused virtual reality (VR) platform, TimeLooper, recently won a $50,000 grant from Hot DesQ to extend its operations to Queensland, following its participation at New York’s TechCrunch Disrupt event in May.

TimeLooper selected CEA from the 13 Queensland Government approved Hosts via the Advance Queensland Hot DesQ program, due to its network strength in the creative tech communities, its link to Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the facilities available through its extensive networks. To date, CEA has supported over 500 creative industry businesses on site, including raising over $60 million in capital.

CEA will host TimeLooper for a six month period, helping the team to connect to the local startup networks, provide access to mentors and its onsite coworking space, The Coterie, business advice, access to its incubator masterclass program, exposure at Creative3 and other levels of support required to accelerate the growth of the platform.

CEO of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, Anna Rooke, said: “We are thrilled that TimeLooper has selected CEA as its inaugural Australian host. We are passionate about supporting startups in the creative tech space and are excited to help accelerate its development and growth in the APAC market.

“Creative tech is contributing hugely to economies overseas, so we’re looking forward to leveraging the skills and network that TimeLooper will, in return, bring to Queensland, and indeed Australia, through its work in our market,” added Ms Rooke.

The TimeLooper platform enables users to experience and re-live unforgettable moments in history through their smartphones in 3D reality – such as the 1940 London Blitz. The app is proving to be an ideal travel companion for tourists visiting monumental landmarks around the world, transporting them back through time, from the Great Fire of London to the V-J Day ‘kiss’ in Times Square.

Commenting on the relocation to Queensland, COO of TimeLooper, Andrew Feinberg, said: “When considering expansion beyond London and New York, we sought a market with a robust tourism ecosystem, rich pool of talent, and proximity to the booming APAC region.  

“Queensland provides each of the above in abundance and the Hot DesQ program does a wonderful job of bringing the pieces together in an attractive manner. Advance Queensland has clearly done its homework in developing a highly compelling value proposition for emerging companies,” added Mr Feinberg.

Speaking on the first international startup to arrive in Queensland via the $8 million Hot DesQ program, Innovation Minister, Leeanne Enoch, welcomed TimeLooper to the #StartupState.

“TimeLooper’s tourism focus makes them an ideal first recipient of a Hot DesQ grant,” Ms Enoch said. “Hot DesQ is designed to attract established startups from across the country and around the globe to Queensland to develop their ideas at one of 13 locations right around the state.

“The company’s arrival in Queensland will provide wonderful collaborative opportunities for the state’s tourism sector and this innovative company will inject exciting new talent into Queensland’s dynamic startup culture.”

The Hot DesQ initiative is part of the $405 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland agenda providing a suite of programs to support the growth of startups and business, and increase innovation activity and venture capital investment.

This Australian-first Hot DesQ program is modelled on successful international programs such as Startup Chile, which has been running since 2010, and the French Tech Ticket launched just last year.

Applications for the program are open until 31 July 2016 to international startups via www.HotDesQ.com.au

– Ends –

Media Contact

Sarah Bond, Launch Group 

E: sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 449 543 181| T: +612 9492 1041.

About QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA)

CEA helps start, grow, scale and connect creative companies. Providing essential business skills and mentoring focused on company growth and investment, CEA accelerates companies with a focus on design, fashion, entertainment, photography, music, film and television, digital technology, games and interactive content.

Since 2008, CEA has established more than 50 startups, engaged with 4,000 entrepreneurs, supported over 500 creative industries businesses on site and raised over $60m in capital.
CEA offers access to workspace, business mentoring, special events, networks, research expertise and capital to foster the growth of the creative industries in Australia.

About TimeLooper

Visit. Download. Time Travel. TimeLooper is a location-based platform that enables people to re-live the most amazing moments from a location’s history via virtual reality delivered right on their smartphones. TimeLooper’s open platform delivers a combination of content produced by TimeLooper’s award winning creative team and creative history buffs and virtual reality enthusiasts around the world. TimeLooper is currently available for time travel at historic locations in London, New York, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Turkey. 

About Hot DesQ

Hot DesQ is a startup relocation iniative from the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland program, which provides successful applicants with funding to base themselves in Queensland, Australia for a minimum of six months to grow their venture. As well as receiving funding of up to $100,000, Hot DesQ participants will also be embedded within an established startup community, and be provided with free co-working space for six months, access to mentors, and the ability to leverage off Queensland sectoral strengths and proximity to Asia-Pacific.




Sarah Bond, Senior Account Manager
Launch Management Group Pty Ltd
 
FSA #100, Fox Studios Australia,
38 Driver Avenue, Moore Park, NSW 2021
 
office: + 61 2 9492 1041
mobile: + 61 (0) 449 543 181
facsimile: + 61 2 9492 1099

twitter: @Launch_Group I @_sarahjbond

18 Jul

StartupAUS welcomes Turnbull’s newly appointed Cabinet ministers

by launch-admin Jul 18, 2016 0 News

Greg Hunt and Craig Laundy will become Minister and Assistant Minister of the innovation portfolio

 

Australia, 18 July 2016: StartupAUS, Australia’s national advocacy group with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship, today welcomed Greg Hunt as the newly appointed Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and Craig Laundy as the Assistant Minister for Innovation.

 

CEO of StartupAUS Alex McCauley said StartupAUS had confidence both Minister Hunt and Minister Laundy would deliver strong results in an area that had been reconfirmed as a key priority for the Turnbull Government.

 

CEO of StartupAUS Alex McCauley said Minister Hunt had already delivered the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, a billion dollar renewable energy program with a strong focus on innovation in 2016 as Environment Minister.

 

“Greg Hunt is one of the Government’s most senior frontbenchers. He is experienced, credible, and capable. He has worked across portfolios and in the private sector, and his appointment to this role is a clear and welcome sign that innovation policy remains right at the top of the Turnbull Government’s economic agenda. We look forward to working with him to help build and implement a bold and ambitious innovation agenda,” said Mr McCauley.

 

Mr McCauley also welcomed the appointment of Craig Laundy as Assistant Minister for Innovation. He said Wyatt Roy and Ed Husic had been the first frontbenchers on each side to take on this focused innovation role. “Both men were welcomed as honorary members of startup communities around the country, and we look forward to welcoming Craig Laundy with equal enthusiasm. This is a great front-bench job – you meet fantastic people and you don’t have to wear a tie to work every day.

 

Since its formation, StartupAUS has actively engaged with all levels of government to help shape some of the country’s most important economic policy discussions.

 

“One of our key objectives is providing greater support for the creation and growth of tech startups, specifically those that have the potential to be globally commercial companies. If we are to become a knowledge intensive economy, we need to up our game by assisting ‘generation startup’ in incentivising their ideas. This is an area that we believe requires considerable attention,” said Mr McCauley.

 

StartupAUS will shortly release its most ambitious Crossroads Report to date. “StartupAUS is currently hard at work developing policy options that we believe will help Australia join the elite ranks of global startup ecosystems like those in the US, Israel, the UK, and elsewhere. With two new ministers in the portfolio, and the Labor party also committed to innovation, the 2016 Crossroads Report will present a host of opportunities to develop world-leading innovation policy in the new Parliament,” said Mr McCauley.

 

 

-ENDS-

 

About StartupAUS

 

StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.

 

StartupAUS will expand its efforts to bring financial partners on-board to help corporates have a bigger voice in the emerging innovation conversation and assist StartupAUS in increasing its resources and activities ahead of this year’s election, as both sides of politics vie for innovation traction. The organisation’s current organisation-level corporate partners include Salesforce and Google Australia. It is doing project-based work with KPMG, Commonwealth Bank, Twitter, and the QLD Government. It also has a growing list of philanthropic benefactors including successful tech entrepreneur, Steve Baxter, Co-Chairman of CHAMP’s Board of Directors and Investment Committee, Bill Ferris, and Director and Co-Founder of Allen & Buckeridge, Roger Allen.

 

For more information visit: www.startupaus.org

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Louise Proctor louise@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1003 / 0452 574 244

14 Jul

Academy Award winner to speak at Australia’s largest creative-tech summit

by launch-admin Jul 14, 2016 0 News
 

MEDIA RELEASE

Academy Award winner to speak at Australia’s largest creative-tech summit

      First confirmed speaker line-up announced, including That Startup Show’s Anna Reeves and Stashd co-founder Jessica Wilson

      Conference committed to boosting Australia’s burgeoning creative-tech ecosystem 

Australia, 14 July 2016: Australia’s largest conference for creative entrepreneurs – Creative3 – has today announced its first round of speakers and panellists, featuring a number of world-renowned creative entrepreneurs and thought-leaders, from creator and producer of That Startup Show, Anna Reeves, to film and games veteran Ben Britten – an Academy Award winner for technical achievement in films including Spiderman, Superman Returns and Terminator 3.

An initiative by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA), Creative3 is Australia’s leading creative-tech event designed to spark collaboration and connect those within the industry. A series of dynamic presentations and interactive panels hosted by world-class creative game-changers will offer unique insights into creativity, investment and enterprise.

Creative3 will also host an exclusive breakfast event – Creative3 Pitch – where four shortlisted creative-tech startups from across Australia will pitch to angel investors. CEA will provide pre-event coaching and workshops to ensure each startup is pitch-ready. The winner will go on to represent Australia and compete against 63 countries at the Creative Business Cup in Denmark later this year.

Additional speakers and panellists featured in the impressive line-up include: former David Jones Limited CEO, Paul Zahra; Stashd co-founder, Jessica Wilson; MD and co-owner of children’s production house, Like A Photon Creative, Kristen Souvlis (who recently formed part of the first Australian female team to produce Sesame Street); Area360 and STQRY founder, Chris Smith; co-founder and CFO of Smartstudy, Ryan Lee; and Bidchat co-founder and CEO, Roger Ein. 

International startup industry veteran, Mark Pesce – who initially launched CEA nine years ago – will be joining Creative3 as MC. 

CEO of QUT CEA, Anna Rooke, said: “We are incredibly excited to announce the first round of confirmed speakers and panellists joining us at Creative3 this year. We have a sensational line-up of entrepreneurs and industry leaders covering a wide range of creative disciplines, and we can’t wait to hear them share their experiences in scaling their creative-tech venture.

“Around 10 per cent of the Global 500 in 2016 are creative enterprises, and with Australia’s creative industries currently worth almost $90 billion, we must do more to stimulate this. By underpinning the creative industry with technology disruption, Australia will be in a better position to create more viable and sustainable startups capable of scaling their success worldwide,” added Ms Rooke.

Now in its seventh year, Creative3 has previously attracted big name speakers from the creative-tech arena, including Shoes of Prey CEO and co-founder, Michael Fox, CEO of Halfbrick, Shainiel Deo, and Former CEO of Sass & Bide and founder of Mimco, David Brisken.

Creative3 will take place at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Thursday September 22, 2016 from 9:30am – 8:30 pm. For more information on the Creative3 conference visit the website.

-ENDS-

Media Contact

Sarah Bond sarah@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1041 / 0449 543 181

About QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA)

CEA helps start, grow, scale and connect creative companies. Providing essential business skills and pragmatic training focused on company growth and investment, CEA accelerates companies with a focus on design, fashion, entertainment, photography, music, film and television, digital technology, games and interactive content. 

Since 2008, over 4,000 entrepreneurs have engaged in QUT CEA services, supporting over 500 creative industries businesses on site, establishing over 50 start-ups, and raising over $60 million capital.

CEA offers access to workspace, business mentoring, special events, networks, research expertise and capital to foster the growth of the creative industries in Australia.





Sarah Bond, Senior Account Manager
Launch Management Group Pty Ltd
 
FSA #100, Fox Studios Australia,
38 Driver Avenue, Moore Park, NSW 2021
 
office: + 61 2 9492 1041
mobile: + 61 (0) 449 543 181
facsimile: + 61 2 9492 1099

twitter: @Launch_Group I @_sarahjbond