news Not-for-profit advocacy group StartupAUS has said that, while the Coalition Government’s pledge to provide a further $15 million for the startup sector is welcome, the funding would be “far from sufficient”.
The group added that there are “three to four core areas” that Government must consider addressing to help give startups the support they need.
The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced yesterday that, if re-elected, the Government would provide the funds to boost the number of startup incubators and accelerators across the country, bring in experts to advise early stage companies, and allow incubators and accelerators to access a pool of “up to $500,000” in funding.
“We welcome the Turnbull Government’s $15 million investment as one that will genuinely help startups,” said StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley.
“Funding for incubators and accelerators is important and many of our most promising entrepreneurs are going through these programs,” he said. “Incubators and accelerators provide valuable support structures to help founders skill up and succeed.”
Saying the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) was “substantially underfunded”, McCauley commented: “[I]t’s good to see it getting a boost.”
“This is a relatively modest announcement, but it’s a good start,” continued the CEO. “If we really want to boost the quality and output of our entrepreneurs we can’t ignore co-working. Most startups are in co-working spaces and don’t have access to the facilities on offer in incubators or accelerators.”
StartupAUS said it would like to see NISA expanded to help co-working spaces fund “accelerator-style” opportunities in order to help their resident companies grow more quickly.
“StartupAUS would also like to see more funding made available to help incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces measure the performance of their member companies. That’s how we’re going to know if we’re moving the needle here,” McCauley said.
While politicians of all colours recognise that innovation is a priority area for Australia’s future prosperity, he added, the election campaign has been “notable for its absence of policy in this space”.
“We’ve been told for some time that the series of policies announced by both sides last year was just the beginning, so we’d like to see both sides do more in this election campaign,” McCauley said.
In order to build a thriving tech startup sector in Australia, the country needs more of these kinds of practical policy commitments, as well as some “ambitious, big-picture thinking”, he concluded.
Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull