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May 2016

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3 May

Media Release: StartupAUS, says Budget a ‘missed opportunity’ to advance startup agenda

by launch-admin May 3, 2016 0 News

MEDIA RELEASE

 

StartupAUS says 2016 Federal Budget a ‘missed opportunity’ to advance startup agenda

 

Australia, 03 May 2016: StartupAUS, Australia’s peak advocacy group for startups, today welcomed support for Fintech and expansion of the New Enterprise Investment Scheme (NEIS) in the Federal Government’s 2016 budget, but said overall this budget was a disappointment for startups with few advances on previous measures.

 

CEO of StartupAUS Alex McCauley, said: This is an election year budget, and the first real opportunity for Malcolm Turnbull to outline his vision for the country’s economic future. This budget was a chance for the Government to make good on its rhetoric about continuing to build momentum on innovation and Australia’s economic transition. But, from that perspective, it is a disappointment.

 

“We welcome the limited support for Fintech in this budget, as well as the extension of the NEIS. Support for young people exploring entrepreneurship is important. But these are small, niche measures in an area that still requires bold, substantial action.

 

“The Treasurer tonight 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’. But there is little in this budget to advance the government’s support for innovation and entrepreneurship. Almost all the measures relevant to startups that the Treasurer alluded to in his budget speech had already been announced, six months ago, as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda. None of those measures have come into effect yet, although some have made encouraging progress recently.

 

“The government is making much of its support for Australia’s transition to a ‘new economy’. But ‘new economy’ spending in this budget has taken the form of billions of dollars spent on old economy industries, like ship-building and traditional rail. R&D spending doesn’t feature prominently. This is a disappointing and outdated approach. Australia needs to substantially boost its R&D spending if it wants to measure up to its international competitors – we are well outside the top 10 countries globally both in terms of absolute R&D expenditure, and as a percentage of GPD.

 

“The reality is that there is more new money in this budget to help mining companies prospect for resources ($100m) than to help create a supportive environment for our best entrepreneurs to build a high-growth technology company in Australia.

 

“It’s hard to see Australia as genuinely committed to transitioning to a ‘modern economy’ if its key spending priorities are shipbuilding, rail, and un-targeted business tax cuts. That won’t be lost on those watching our progress closely, both here and overseas.

 

“Since the announcement of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) six months ago, the government has been telling startups that the NISA was just the beginning. It has been describing the NISA as a platform from which it will be able to deliver bold, decisive action in this space. This budget was a missed opportunity to make good on that promise.

 

“Startups didn’t expect any game-changing announcements in this budget. Implementing the NISA agenda items is still the top priority. But it’s critical that we don’t lose sight of the importance of genuine high-growth technology companies as a critical driver of Australia’s emerging economy.

 

“We see the upcoming election campaign as a key opportunity for both the government and opposition to outline their vision for startups and innovation in this country. We can’t rest on our laurels here – our competitors are acting decisively. We can’t afford to be left behind. We look forward to working with both parties in the lead to the election to make sure Australia has a credible plan to capture some of the extraordinary value that technology is delivering to leading economies around the world.

 

-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.

 

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

 




3 May

StartupAUS hails startup investment incentives a ‘rare feat’ for government and a ‘triumph’ for startups

by launch-admin May 3, 2016 0 News

Australia, 03 May 2016: StartupAUS, Australia’s peak advocacy group for startups, today warmly welcomed the Senate passing the government’s world-leading early-stage startup investment tax incentive measures.

 

CEO of StartupAUS Alex McCauley, said:

Last night was a quiet night for startups, but there has been some fantastic work going on behind the scenes over the last few months to finalise tax incentives for startup investments. Today the legislation enacting those incentives passed the Senate, with bipartisan support, and became law.

 

This is a huge win for Aussie startups – it will rapidly increase the amount of capital available to them, and the sources of capital they can call on. It’s also a huge win for anyone interested in investing in startups – they now have the world’s most generous incentive to explore the investment opportunities available in this exciting space.

 

“There has been a Herculean effort by government at all levels to get this legislation right, and to get it across the line as soon as possible. There was a real risk that if it wasn’t ready in time, this measure would be lost in the chaos of an early election. Thanks to lots of hard work, and the support of the opposition, that hasn’t happened – startups will see the effect of this from 1 July.

 

“The fact that the government has kept working hard on this through the turmoil of an early budget and an early election is gratifying. This reaffirms the centrality of startups to the Turnbull government’s national economic agenda.

 

“This scheme is a game-changer for startups. In the UK, where they have a similar scheme, research by Deloitte suggests the number of angel investors increased by 58% within a very short time after the scheme was introduced. If we see those kinds of numbers, Australian entrepreneurs will enjoy substantial improvements to their ability to access early-stage capital and investor talent.

 

“We commend the Government for getting this important piece of legislation moving well in advance of the budget. We should celebrate it as a triumph for the sector, and look to build on this success and momentum in the upcoming election campaign. Both parties have great ideas in this space. We’re looking forward to working closely with them to help refine them into policies to help make Australia a wold-leader in startups and innovation.

 

 

StartupAUS has been actively promoting adoption of early-stage tax incentives for startup investors for some time. The StartupAUS Board met Christopher Pyne in October 2015, listing an incentive scheme such as this as their number one priority for the sector. StartupAUS has also worked closely with Treasury and the government since the policy was announced in December to help get the scheme right.

 

Current StartupAUS board members are: Peter Bradd (Chair), Alan Noble, Bill Bartee, Glenn Smith, Andrew Larson, Wayne Gerard, and Teresa Engelhard.

-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.http://www.startupaus.org

 

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