Australia, 30 July 2015: Startup advocacy body, StartupAUS has welcomed the City of Sydney’s Draft Tech Startups Action Plan as an important and timely step towards realising Sydney’s potential as a vibrant startup destination.
The plan goes before Council Monday, 3rd August
However, CEO of StartupAUS, Peter Bradd, said he’s keen to see some of the action items accelerated in light of this week’s 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings which revealed Sydney and Melbourne have fallen sharply down the rankings as centres of startup innovation. Sydney is the only Australian city inside the top 20, at #16, and Melbourne has dropped outside of the top 20.
“This is a great conversation opener and it’s good to see growing recognition amongst our political leaders that startups hold the key to Australia’s economic future. They have the potential to contribute up to $US109 billion in growth to the economy, and 540,000 new jobs over the next two decades and Sydney’s local economy stands to gain enormously from this growth.
“However these outcomes are by no means guaranteed. We urgently need to do more to develop our ecosystem within cities and within the broader state economies to ensure we don’t fall further behind our counterparts in the global startup ecosystem. This means acting now and it means far greater collaboration between governments and the private sector,” he said.
Mr Bradd acknowledged Brisbane City’s agenda setting 2022 plan as a valuable example of successful local government driven startup initiatives.
“Brisbane Marketing’s 2022 plan has been quite successful and provides a good example of what focused effort at a local government level can achieve. It would be powerful to see collaboration between cities and states and all levels of government to strengthen our startup ecosystem. When it comes to attracting and retaining entrepreneurs and investment capital, the real competition is not between Australian cities or states, but rather on the global stage.”
The City of Sydney’s draft plan outlines a focus on building a strong entrepreneurial culture and community, creating skilled and connected entrepreneurs, increasing the startup ecosystem density, supporting entrepreneurs’ access to funding, and develop technology entrepreneurs’ access to markets.
Mr Bradd said the City of Sydney plan aligns with the recommendations of StartupAUS’ Crossroads 2015 report, which recommended that Australia’s political organisations look to:
o Grow our pipeline of Australian entrepreneurs
o Improve entrepreneurship education
o Increase the number of ICT professionals
o Increase availability of early stage capital to startups
o Address legal and regulatory impediments
o Increase collaboration and international connectedness
o Create a national innovation agency
“StartupAUS would like to see the Plan passed by Sydney Council, and other Australian cities to follow suit.
“To maximise the success we’d like to see far greater collaboration between local, State and Federal government – to the benefit of all Australians.”
The most significant initiative canvassed in the plan is the establishment of a major entrepreneurship centre in Sydney to act as a focal point for the startup community and to help to build startup density by acting as a base for startup events and co-location of startups, accelerators, incubators, VC firms and angel investors.
“If the various levels of NSW government were to work together to create a precinct-like environment within Sydney that housed a large concentration of startups, like we have seen in Auckland with the GRID-AKL precinct or the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, then we would enjoy the benefits of scale and collaboration between Australia’s most innovative companies,” Mr Bradd added.
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.