Australia, 09 May 2017: , Australia’s peak advocacy group for startups, today acknowledged support for Fintech in the 2017-18 Budget, but noted that overall it had not focused on innovation or entrepreneurship.
CEO of StartupAUS Alex McCauley, said: “There clearly isn’t a focus on startups or innovation in this budget. That will certainly cause some frustration, because the Government has done a lot to build expectations that it is committed to making Australia one of the best countries in the world for innovators. It still has a lot of work to do to deliver on that commitment.
“We welcome this Budget’s support for certain segments of the innovation sector. It includes new measures to increase competition and access to data in the banking sphere, along with taxation reforms for digital currencies, which will help Australian Fintech companies. It also includes plans to introduce Crowd Sourced Equity Funding for proprietary companies, which is a step forward for startups looking to raise crowdfunding. It’s encouraging to see advanced manufacturing attracting additional support, too.
“Nevertheless, these measures are modest, both in terms of their budget impact and their overall effect. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not major focal points of this budget. In his budget speech last year, off the back of the launch of the Government’s laudable National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), Treasurer Scott Morrison, said that ‘harnessing the power of innovation and entrepreneurship, to create our own ideas boom, lies at the heart of our plan to support jobs and create growth’. In this year’s speech, entrepreneurs were not mentioned. Startups seem to have dropped off the radar.
“Tonight the Treasurer said that ‘the signs of an improving global economy are there to see’, and that he saw the ‘potential for better days ahead’. Technology will play a big role in delivering economic value around the world in coming years – in order for Australia to benefit we must maintain a strong commitment to supporting the development of young, high-growth, innovative Australian businesses,” Mr McCauley said.
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.