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December 2015

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23 Dec

Startups are the winners as both sides of politics put innovation on the national agenda

by launch-admin Dec 23, 2015 0 News

24 September 2015: StartupAUS, Australia’s national peak startup advocacy group with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship, today welcomed Labor’s plan to support startups and push for an ‘innovation nation’ which was officially announced this morning by the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Shadow Minister of Communications Jason Clare.

 

In the announcement, Mr Shorten said a Labor Government would create 100,000 university placements for STEM students, a ‘Startup Year’ for 2000 final year university graduates to kick-start Australia’s aspiring young entrepreneurs, and a ‘graduate’ entrepreneurship visa to encourage the most talented international students to stay in Australia after they complete their studies.

 

CEO of StartupAUS, Peter Bradd, said StartupAUS was excited to see the significant focus from both sides of politics and welcomed the willingness to work together to build an innovation economy.

 

“This latest announcement confirms that the both sides of politics understand that the future drivers of Australia’s economic growth are innovation, entrepreneurship and a thriving tech startup ecosystem.

 

“Both major parties are increasingly making innovation a key priority area in order to ensure Australia remains competitive and prosperous. Startups will benefit from this increased attention, but the economy as a whole will be the real winner.

 

“Earlier this year, StartupAUS released the latest version of its Crossroads report – a credible, action-oriented plan to help Australia capitalise on the enormous opportunities technology presents. This document has been critical in shifting the political debate around policy settings to stimulate start-up activity and we are thrilled to see many of our recommendations being taken up by both major parties.

 

“As highlighted in the Crossroads report, technology-based startups have the potential to add over $US109 billion to Australia’s economy by 2033, creating more than 540,000 jobs in the process. This opportunity is too big to ignore,” Mr Bradd said.

 

 

Media Contacts:

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

 

About StartupAUS

StartupAUS is the national peak startup advocacy group 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.

 

For more information: www.startupaus.org  


23 Dec

StartupAUS outlines its Federal policy priorities for startups

by launch-admin Dec 23, 2015 0 News

Australia, 13 October 2015: StartupAUS, Australia’s national peak advocacy group for technology entrepreneurship, has outlined its Federal policy priorities to improve capital and talent for Australian startups and strengthen Australia’s economic prosperity. 

 

The recommended policy action items include: Creating income and capital gains tax incentives for early stage startup investments, doubling R&D tax concessions and re-thinking the way the law deals with Directors of technology startups. 

 

StartupAUS presented the recommendations to The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, in a special board meeting on Friday 9 October.

 

CEO of StartupAUS, Peter Bradd, said: “Australia’s economy is at a critical juncture. With the right policy settings we can build an agile, innovative economy capable of taking advantage of the enormous opportunities technology is creating.

 

“The benefits to Australians will be far-reaching.­ Innovation can replace resources as the new engine room for economic growth in Australia, bringing with it vast new job opportunities and prosperity.”

 

A recent report by PwC predicted that by 2023 technology based startups could be worth over $US109 billion and could have created 540,000 jobs. This outcome is critical in light of the prediction that in the next decade, 40 per cent of Australian jobs could be replaced by automation (Committee for Economic Development of Australia 2015 report). 

 

Earlier this year, StartupAUS released the latest version of its Crossroads report – a credible, action-oriented plan to help Australia capitalise on the enormous opportunities technology presents. The report has shifted the political debate around policy settings to stimulate start-up activity.

 

Mr Bradd continued: “To realise these gains, we need to take a vision for innovation which is coordinated and strategic. A comprehensive national innovation agenda would help build towards that goal.

 

“But this change is coming fast. There are a small number top priority measures, which would have an immediate positive impact on our innovation economy. These policy changes would provide a boost to startups in two core areas: capital and talent,” Mr Bradd said.

 

The policy action points in full:

 

Action 1: Create income and capital gains tax incentives for early stage startup investments. Currently there is a funding gap at the initial high-risk ‘seed’ stage of a company’s formation. We must make it easier to start a high growth, innovative business in Australia by freeing up some of the vast financial resources for early stage funding in startups.

 

Adopting a scheme similar to the UK’s successful Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), which provides significant capital gains and income tax concessions for eligible early stage investments, would substantially boost the number of startups. Furthermore, it would greatly enhance the ability of Australian startups to grow, and amplify their already significant impact on job creation and economic activity.

 

Action 2: Double the R&D Tax Concessions for technology startups. The current R&D Tax Concession regime allows young innovative companies to employ the right people and develop world-class products. It is valued extremely highly by startups in Australia.

 

This is an area where the government already does great things to help Australian innovators­ and could be doing more. StartupAUS recommends doubling the amount of funding available for technology startups under this scheme to boost employment and competitiveness in our most innovative companies.

 

Action 3: Re-think the way the law treats Directors of technology startups. Building a successful startup involves having the right experience and talent on the board of directors. However, Australian law makes it a very high-risk proposition for prominent business leaders to sit on the board of companies that have the potential to fail ­ and this potential always exists for high growth technology startups.

 

StartupAUS sees this as a weakness and recommends that we rethink our approach to Directors’ liabilities to encourage our most successful business leaders to help the nation’s most promising companies to grow and succeed.

 

-ENDS-

 

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

 

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. www.startupaus.org


23 Dec

StartupAUS Welcomes new Cabinet Appointments as a boon for Australia’s startup ecosystem

by launch-admin Dec 23, 2015 0 News

21 September 2015: StartupAUS, Australia’s national peak advocacy group with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship, today acknowledged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s new business leadership as a strong and credentialed team well placed to support the growth of Australia’s startup ecosystem.

 

CEO of StartupAUS, Peter Bradd said Prime Minister Turnbull has clearly recognised the future drivers for Australia’s economic growth and the younger and more diverse front bench highlights this emphasis.

 

“With Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, Christopher Pyne as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Minister, Wyatt Roy as Assistant Minister for Innovation and Mitch Fifield as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Government, there is a passionate and experienced team in place to deliver on Turnbull’s opening promises around innovation and our future economy. 

 

“This is a leadership team that has already demonstrated they understand the key drivers of the startup ecosystem and its role in shaping our future economy.  A recent report by PwC predicted technology based startups are worth over $US109 billion and have the potential to create 540,000 jobs by 2033. This is critical in the face of the recent Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) report, which predicted that in the next decade, 40 per cent of Australian jobs could be replaced by automation. 

 

“It’s reassuring to see technology entrepreneurship and innovation move into its rightful place as one of the most important agenda’s for this government. The announcement of a coordinated approach to bring together innovation initiatives right across government will enable Australia to take advantage of these new growth opportunities and ensure Australia’s place as a first world economy.”

 

StartupAUS released a credible, action-oriented plan called Crossroads that set out structured world-class programs to help ensure Australia gets to where we need to be. This document was critical in shifting the political debate around policy settings to stimulate start-up activity.

 

Mr Bradd highlighted the new cabinet member’s recent achievements in the digital technologies area.   

 

“Last week, one of Christopher Pyne’s last duties as Minister for education was endorsing the Digital Technologies Curriculum and encouraging the Education Council to get more students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This was an incredibly important move in ensuring our skill set is competitive in Australia, and offers a huge advantage to current students and future graduates.

 

“Minister Wyatt Roy has spent an incredible amount of time educating and inspiring our federal government and the Australian public on embracing technology entrepreneurship as a pathway to future growth. He has sat in many meetings with StartupAUS and other ministers assisting to explain the recommendations of policy and the benefit back to the Australian economy.

 

“StartupAUS recently held a round table with most of the ASX 20, whom account for nearly 50 per cent of the ASX market capitalisation. They unanimously voiced the importance of an innovative economy of the future if Australia is going to have any chance at competing with nimble international players.

 

“Our overseas counterparts are rapidly disrupting whole industries. Therefore supporting tech startups is about supporting industry and providing them with an environment whereby they can thrive and compete in the current fast paced innovative climate where distance is no longer a defense.” Mr Bradd said.

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contacts:

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

 

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.

 

For more information: www.startupaus.org  

 


23 Dec

StartupAUS Welcomes Appointment of the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP as Prime Minister

by launch-admin Dec 23, 2015 0 News

15 September 2015: StartupAUS, the not-for-profit organisation looking to transform Australia through promoting technology entrepreneurship, today congratulated the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP on his appointment as Prime Minister of Australia.

 

CEO of StartupAUS, Peter Bradd said StartupAUS looks forward to continuing the strong working relationship it has established with Mr Turnbull.

 

“Mr Turnbull’s business acumen along with his knowledge of and well known support for the Australian technology sector will provide him with unique insights into the barriers facing Australian startups, particularly in terms of accessing venture capital and talent.

 

“As Australia enters a new era of growth, technology based startups have the potential to transform the economy and create the jobs of the future,” Mr Bradd said. “In the next two decades, startups have the potential to contribute up to $US109 billion in growth to the economy, and create 540,000 new jobs.

 

“StartupAUS is committed to continuing its work with Government to boost Australia’s prosperity and modernise its economy through a well supported and thriving tech startup ecosystem.

 

“This is a critical time for Australian startups.  There is so much to be gained if we can grow this important part of our business community.  But we must act swiftly and decisively in this area and we need the support of our Federal Government to lead a unified, centralised approach to building this ecosystem.  We believe Mr Turnbull has the vision and conviction to do this effectively and we very much look forward to working with the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to ‘seize the day’ in support of Australia’s many startups,” Mr Bradd said.

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contacts:

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

 

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.

For more information: www.startupaus.org  

 


23 Dec

StartupAUS’ recommendations championed in Turnbull’s innovation policy announcement

by launch-admin Dec 23, 2015 0 News
Australia, 07 December 2015StartupAUS, Australia’s peak advocacy group for startups, welcomed the substantial suite of innovation policies announced today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, saying this is the first big step down a very important road to modernise startup rates across the nation.

 

In its innovation statement, the Turnbull Government has outlined a series of policies across the innovation spectrum to help boost startup and entrepreneurial activity in Australia. This will begin the process of transforming Australia’s economy into one in which innovation is encouraged to flourish

 

Commenting on today’s announcement, CEO of StartupAUS, Peter Bradd, said: “It’s fantastic to have this at the top of the political agenda. Both sides of politics are now recognising the critical importance of innovation to Australia’s economy – and the vast opportunities we can harness if we are smart and act quickly.

 

“The innovation statement announced today is a great start, and shows clearly the government is intent on real action rather than just rhetoric. We are particularly pleased to see policies aimed at boosting capital and talent available to startups. Some of these policies, such as tax incentives for angel investors, have been central parts of StartupAUS’ policy platform for some time. We expect this scheme to substantially boost seed capital available to startups. 

 

“We’ve also been calling for the introduction of entrepreneurship visas, which will significantly boost the talent available in Australia. 

 

“It’s a credit to the government that it has listened to the needs of its stakeholders on this topicStartups have had a strong and consistent voice in this process – and the result is that we are now seeing innovative, effective measures to boost jobs and growth.

 

“Transforming Australia’s economy to take advantage of emerging technology is no easy process. Malcolm Turnbull’s government has moved very quickly on these issues, and these policies establish a strong initial platform for growth. We’ve got a budget and an election next year, so we’re going to focus on consolidating these gains and setting ourselves up for the big strides we still need to take in order to start to catch our international competitors.

 

In April, StartupAUS released its annual, action-oriented Crossroads Report that set out structured, world-class recommendations to help ensure Australia becomes a leading modern economy in the years to come. This document has been essential in shifting the political debate towards the policy settings outlined in the Prime Minister’s innovation statement.

 

Mr Bradd continued: “At the top of StartupAUS’ list of recommendations was the creation of a national innovation agency and today the Turnbull Government has announced that Innovate Australia will become Innovation and Science Australia, with Co-Chairman of CHAMP’s Board of Directors and Investment Committee, Bill Ferris, and Australia’s newly appointed Chief Scientist, Alan Finkle, to head what is to be the Nation Innovation Agency. 

 

“Not only has this been something StartupAUS has championed for some time, it demonstrates real commitment for the development of a comprehensive national innovation and entrepreneurship policy, and for oversight and delivery of programs under this policy.

 

“We also applaud Mr Turnbull’s commitment to elevating innovation and science to the heart of the government with the creating of a special cabinet committee to coordinate all research and science spending across government, set to reach A$10bn a year by 2020.

 

“Right now we are looking at ways to measure where we need to be by 2020 in terms of startup density, growth factors, and sector value (exits and valuations). We need to set some goalposts. What’s clear is that we still need to do a lot of work to even get close – today’s announcement will set a great platform for that,” Mr Bradd said.

 

Salesforce, a partner of StartupAUS and a supporter of the Australian startup ecosystem, also welcomed the new initiatives. Salesforce Regional VP of Innovation and Digital Transformation, Robert Wickham, said: “The statement is a first step in breaking down a number of long standing barriers to entrepreneurship in Australia and importantly, provides practical solutions to some major pain points. 

 

“The focus on forging deeper engagements between research, universities, startups and businesses is particularly encouraging because this collaboration will create an open innovation culture that has so far been missing in Australia. The industry now needs to help bridge the gap between great ideas and commercialisation, and spur on the creation of home grown innovation crucial to a prosperous 21st century economy,” Mr Wickham said.

 

-ENDS-

 

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

 

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. www.startupaus.org

 

14 Dec

River City Labs and muru-D lay another $100,000 on the table for Accelerator teams

by launch-admin Dec 14, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE

Australia, 11 December 2015: Co-working community and startup hub, River City Labs announced at last night’s Demo Day for the inaugural, muru-D powered River City Labs Accelerator that the five participating teams will be eligible for a three-month extension program alongside a further $20,000 cash injection[1].

 

Each of the teams started their 14-week residency in early September, equipped with $20,000 of seed investment from the River City Labs Accelerator fund and muru-D.

 

Entrepreneur in Residence for the program, Aaron Birkby, said: “Demo Day marked the three-month milestone for the five startups in the Accelerator program and we were stoked to be able to showcase the rapid traction the teams have achieved in such a short period of time. We’re excited to see their continual growth over the course of the next three months.”

 

Team highlights over the 14-week residency include:

 

· GreenSocks, an online lawn-mowing platform, has achieved 646 per cent growth on bookings and has doubled its team size.

· Outbound, a social network for travelers, has achieved 25,000 downloads for its apps across 140 countries and has grown its active monthly users by 85 per cent.

· ParkFit, an app for outdoor fitness enthusiasts, has a number of Instagram influencers on board with a total of over 1.5M followers.

· ProcessPA’s foundation membership offer is over-subscribed with 12 paying associations using the beta version ahead of its official launch in January. It is set to secure more than $90,000 in seed capital by the end of the year and is looking to grow the team from two to three members.

· Puntaa, a peer-to-peer social betting platform, has grown 54 per cent week-on-week; is looking to grow the team from five to six members, and has secured early commitments of $150,000 for a raise of $750,000.

 

General Manager of River City Labs, Josh Anthony, said: “The bar has truly been set by the five teams of our first ever Accelerator program. It has been fantastic to see their consistent gains and achievements, and I am looking forward to their continual growth in the coming months and beyond.”

 

Entrepreneur in Residence at muru-D, Mick Liubinskas, added: “River City Labs has been leading a strong, world class technology ecosystem for years. Working with them on an accelerator program was a great opportunity and the quality of the team, mentors and entrepreneurs has been impressive. Many of these companies will be coming with us on a trip to Silicon Valley in January as a big next step on their way to creating a global tech company.”

 

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contact:

 

Laura Blue laurab@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0416 699 925

 

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.  

 

About muru-D:

muru-D is the startup accelerator backed by Telstra, which aims to support the very best tech entrepreneurial talent that the Asian Pacific region has to offer. Through providing mentoring, tailored acceleration services and investment to early stage technology companies, muru-D’s goal is to help Australia and South East Asia become a centre for digital business.

 



[1] $20,000 for 3 per cent equity.


Photo credit: Kenneth Au