These days a new Australian business is typically cut one of two ways, one that follows the traditional path, perhaps a hairdresser, café or motor mechanic, and then there’s the startup, an enterprise that is mostly technology based, usually targeting a much larger audience, and in many instances has innovation and a desire to shake up the status quo at its core.
Startups are generally the brainchild of an entrepreneurial individual or group that combine talents, to realise their idea and achieve success; quickly. Girl Geek Academy’s Sarah Moran1 describes a startup’s winning formula as a combination of hackers, hustlers and hipsters – the developer; the marketer, business development, subject matter expert, or sales expert; and the designer – each contributing to the overall product and delivery.
In Australia, the importance of startups and their contribution to the economic landscape has become very apparent in recent years. Crossroads, a 2016 report authored by StartupAUS2, Australia’s national non-profit startup advocacy organisation, attributes the substantial changes to the, ‘….result of accelerated growth in the national startup ecosystem and a notable bipartisan nationwide political shift towards innovation and entrepreneurship.’
The Federal Government’s $1.1 billion investment over four years National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) has recognised the drastic need to support innovation as a means to ensure economic prosperity. With respects to startups and entrepreneurs a number of schemes and initiatives3 have been developed to support innovation, removing previous road blocks and incentivising contributions from the broader community. Some of these projects include tax incentives for investors, changes to venture capital partnerships, improved insolvency laws, incubator support and a global innovation strategy.