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January 2018

launchgroup.com.au > Blog > 2018 > January
30 Jan

Comment from CEO of StartupAUS, Alex McCauley, regarding the Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation report from Innovation and Science Australia (ISA)

by launch-admin Jan 30, 2018 0 News


Comment from CEO of StartupAUS, Alex McCauley, regarding the
Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation report from Innovation and Science Australia (ISA)

Australia: 30 January 2018: StartupAUS today welcomed Innovation and Science Australia’s 2030 Plan and its strategy for securing talent for high-growth scaling firms. StartupAUS highlighted the importance of swift translation of the recommendations into tangible policy action.

StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley said the focus within the 2030 Plan on the role of startups and small to medium sized businesses as job-creators and economic stimulators is critical, adding that it was pleasing to see the 2030 plan align with a number of the recommendations made by StartupAUS in its submission.

McCauley cautioned that the largest hurdle was still to come for the government, which now needed to take the advice of industry leaders and the ISA with confidence and achieve tangible, timely policy outcomes for the sector.

Access to world class talent the leading issue for startups:

“Our aim is to foster a world-class innovation system in Australia, which will deliver a huge multiplier effect for Australia’s economy.  We know that young, innovative, high-growth companies account for almost all the new jobs in the economy and providing these firms with access to world class innovators and technologists is currently the number one issue.

“The 2030 Plan calls for the continued refinement of immigration rules to improve access to specialist skilled talent and attract entrepreneurs. We believe the new skilled migration regime is an ideal opportunity for the Federal Government to update the list of occupations for which skilled visas are available.

“To put it into perspective, in response to the current IT skills shortage, Australia saw a net inflow of 19,600 IT workers from overseas in 2015, with 13,900 of these workers coming to Australia under Subclass 457 (temporary skilled work) visas. According to Atlassian, around 25 per cent of its approximately 1,000 Sydney-based staff are employed on skilled work visas, a trend which is mirrored in other rapidly-growing Australian startups as well as multinationals performing R&D in Australia.

“Rather than presenting a threat to Australian workers, overseas IT workers are helping Australian startups bridge the skills gap and at the same time providing management and product development experience to Australian tech companies as they scale and begin to enter global markets.

“The focus on STEM and education, while too slow to help in the next few years, is also a critical longer-term step to improve our talent inputs by 2030,” Mr McCauley said.

R&D focus needs to be better align with startup needs

“The 2030 Plan addresses R&D in its Industry component but specifically calls for the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI) program to be better targeted to increase business R&D investment. From our discussions with the startup community, 87.8 per cent said that receiving the R&D Tax Incentive quarterly rather than annually would make a ‘huge’ (77 per cent) or very large (10.8 per cent) difference to their businesses’ cashflow because many are borrowing against future R&D Tax Incentive payments and – in some cases – incurring hefty interest rates.

“Reversing the fall in R&D spend is important. It is critical the scheme does not focus only on the ‘Research’ side at the cost of ‘Development.’ A clear declaration that commercial development from Australian startups, particularly in the software space, will continue to be covered by the scheme would go a long way to providing clarity and certainty for founders.

“StartupAUS would also like to see the Federal Government change payment of the R&D incentive from annually to quarterly to help early-stage startups with cashflow, as outlined in our Crossroads 2017 report. This would help support one of the other key themes of the 2030 Plan – establishing a thriving and sustainable base of high-growth businesses,” Mr McCauley said.

Other high impact recommendations for startups:
“Helping young firms access export markets by increasing funding for Export Market Development Grants is another important recommendation in the Plan. This grant is an important tool to both bring wealth into the country via exports and accelerate the growth of successful startups as job creators. According to StartupAUS research, while over 90 per cent of large scale-ups claim the R&D Tax Incentive, only 35 per cent claimed the EMDG. Better targeting this scheme to help young high-growth startups access global markets is exactly the right move.

“The recommendation around an Australian Innovation Precincts Statement to help shape Australian Government involvement in emerging localised innovation ecosystems in cities and regions is a valuable way to build on the investment made by individual ecosystems by linking these precincts to a network across the country.


“The establishment of secure, long-term funding for national research infrastructure is a vital structural change for Australia which will help move longer-term projects out of the political cycle. This was a key part of the StartupAUS submission to the ISA and is one of many measures that can be immediately put in place to build for the future.

“We also commend the importance of creating more detailed public data around the startup ecosystem and support the development of innovation metrics and methodologies to fully capture innovation and link it to economic, social and environmental benefits.

“Overall we commend ISA for its focus on strengthening Australia’s digital economy to capture the opportunities presented by the ‘fourth wave’ of the internet. Startups are a key player in our economic future and, by definition, if they are to succeed they must innovate intensively. It is therefore critical to make sure Australia cultivates an environment in which startups can attract capital and talent on a large scale.

“Now it is clear that there is broad alignment among innovation experts, within both government and the private sector. But the key measure of success will be the policy outcomes that are born from this plan. This is a great report, but we can’t leave it till 2030 to do something about it. These ideas require action immediately.

“This is a time of critical importance for innovation in Australia. We already have a roadmap established, through the StartupAUS Crossroads Report, to Australia becoming one of the best places in the world to build a high-growth startup. What we need now is rapid action in a number of key policy areas to capitalise on the momentum we have built. This is not only of paramount importance for the sector, it will help secure the economic future of the country,” said Mr McCauley.


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 visit: www.startupaus.org

3 Jan

Leading finance experts unite to tackle financial literacy for women

by launch-admin Jan 3, 2018 0 News


Female entrepreneurs to prosper through Acceler8 partnership with myprosperity 

Leading financial experts unite with a commitment to boost financial literacy for women 

Australia, 20 November 2017: Australia’s leading cloud-based personal wealth platform, myprosperity has partnered with social enterprise Acceler8 to help female entrepreneurs create a sustainable wealth building program.

The partnership brings together two finance industry experts – awardwinning serial entrepreneur Tanya Titman, who founded Acceler8 based on her 20+ years’ experience mentoring SMEs, and Chris Ridd, former managing director of cloud accounting software Xero, who was recently appointed CEO at myprosperity.

Acceler8 focuses on helping female entrepreneurs to improve their financial literacy and scale their businesses. Titman founded social enterprise Acceler8 as a passion project to educate, inspire and empower women to grow and scale their businesses. To date, Acceler8 has helped hundreds of women achieve their business goals – promising participants a minimum 30 percent lift in profit over the 12-month program.

myprosperity is a one-stop-shop for managing personal wealth, unifying all assets – from property, superannuation and businesses, to personal cashflow, daily expenses and liabilities – providing full visibility over current, independent financial status. 

For Titman, who is also the founder of award-winning SME-focused accounting practice Consolid8, the collaboration provides a critical tool for women to streamline their personal and business finances.

“It’s important that women work on improving their financial literacy, which is often the key factor keeping their SMEs from reaching full potential. Technology is critical to efficient, profitable SME performance and we want to give female entrepreneurs access to the best of breed Australian technology. myprosperity is innovative software with a specific focus on financial and cashflow management, which gives SME owners access to comprehensive financial data. By pulling together data around all their assets, myprosperity reveals the independent net worth of these highly motivated women, unlocking even more potential for them,” said Ms. Titman.

While financial literacy for women has become a high priority for sectors ranging from banking to government, there is still room for growth, particularly when planning for retirement. A 2017 study by The American College of Financial Services, Americas largest nonprofit educational institution devoted to financial services, surveyed an equal percentage of men and women and found that only 20 per cent of women identified as the primary financial decision maker compared to 65 per cent of men.

Chris Ridd, CEO at myprosperity said: “This partnership is an opportunity to support a vitally important program that is inspiring more female entrepreneurs to be confident about their financial acumen. Cloud accounting revolutionised finance for businesses but we’ve yet to see a similar paradigm shift in personal finance, and that’s our aim.”

The partnership will provide Acceler8’s entrepreneurs with a year’s Pro subscription, where participants can use features of the Pro wealth user plan such as monthly updates for online home and motor vehicle valuations, balance sheet/net worth, ASX shares feed and a comprehensive wealth report. The access to Pro saves business owners hundreds of dollars a year, as well as identifying new wealth opportunities for them.

We are incorporating myprosperity into the program for our new intake of female business leaders and see it as another step for them to make strategic and informed business decisions,” added Ms. Titman.

For more information visit: http://acceler8program.com.au


Media Contact:

Sarah Bond, Launch Group: sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au | 02 9492 1041 | 0449 543 181 

About Acceler8 Academy:

Acceler8 Academy is for women who want to improve their financial literacy and accelerate their business growth. The 12-month program is designed exclusively for women in business. Delivered by Tanya Titman and her team of specialists, the program is guaranteed to deliver a 30 per cent improvement in your profits over the 12 months, with a mission to ensure women have more money, more time and less stress in their life. For more information: http://acceler8program.com.au 

About myprosperity:

myprosperity is a cloud-based, personal wealth platform that makes it easy for accountants and advisers to help their clients get their financial world – sorted. Available on desktop and as a mobile app, myprosperity is a white-label wealth portal that boasts live data feeds and digital doc signing, as well as budgeting, cashflow and goal setting tools for an integrated all-in-one approach to personal finance. Founded in 2011, the company is now the leading personal wealth platform in Australia, with over 400 adviser partners and 17,000 end users. For more information: http://www.myprosperity.com.au

About Tanya Titman:

Tanya Titman is a passionate advocate for empowering female business owners with theknowledge of the numbersand using this information to create high growth, sustainable business models. Her focus is on providingreal worldadvice and her experience comes from being involved in many successful businesses over the last 20 years.

With a focus on innovation and technology, Tanya is the founder of accountancy firm Consolid8 and assists many businesses in their transition to the cloud. Consolid8 was awarded as a finalist in the 2012 Telstra Business Awards and is widely recognised for its innovation in providing benchmarking and accounting solutions for franchisees.

As a mother of 4 young children, Tanya is passionate about empowering women in business through her Acceler8 Academy. Through this program, Tanya has witnessed the power that numbers can have in changing womens lives for the better. For more information: http://acceler8program.com.au/team/