blog If you listen to the rhetoric emanating from Australia’s political sector, especially the Australian Labor Party, you’d no doubt believe that the construction of the National Broadband Network alone was enough to guarantee that Australia will develop a strong local technology startup culture, similar to that found in Silicon Valley in the US, or in other locations internationally such as Tel Aviv in Israel. However, as one of Australia’s most experienced startup mentors and commentators, Sandy Plunkett, writes in Business Spectator this week (we recommend you click here for the full article), this simply isn’t true. Plunkett writes:
“Innovative industries are as dependent on government policy intervention to foster success (or at the very least, not get in the way of it) as they are on industry big and small to make it happen. Policy leadership has to connect old and new economy transformation potential by creating “joined up” portfolios of expertise in innovation, skills and productivity. That means re-thinking industry linkages and political portfolios.”
One of the first things the Government needs to pursue in this area, as Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy Kate Lundy wrote on Delimiter this week, is reforming the employee share scheme program for Australian startups. However, there’s a bunch more steps that the Government can take to improve things here, such as further tax incentives for local technology companies and venture capital and angel investors, supporting startups hubs in major cities, working on building a startup culture into our educational institutions and more.
As Plunkett notes, one of the most under-rated tasks will be building acceptance of a culture of failure; most startups fail, after all, and this needs to be a normal part of the innovation process. There is no doubt that Australia’s technology startup scene is exploding right now, but there’s a lot further to go.