The startup scene in Australia has a long way to go....says Nick Stanley , Having returned from the valley.
The Australian early-stage venture and investment scene can be characterised as something of a desert, he says ... It’s a desert with the occasional well and quite a few mirages…all of which give the weary traveller (ie: the entrepreneur) the illusion of water (ie: cash) but are either a mirage or a very deep well that is difficult to access…
However, in the US there is “water a plenty”! The market is moving and there is a feeling of a "tech gold rush".
Australia is a nation of gamblers - we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the Melbourne Cup each year!
- and yet, when it comes to investing in startups ... We are as conservative as accountants at an actuary convention!
There is capital aplenty - massive superannuation, and there is the MAD (motivation, authority and desire) to help support innovation and entrepreneurs.
I think we just need to find the key that will open the floodgates of investment in this space.
- We are rich in natural resources
- We are rich in innovators and entrepreneurs.
- We have excellent education facilities
- We have an amazing infrastructure
- We have a stable government
- We have low interest rates
As with mining, we don’t want to just ship that raw product off; we need to cultivate it here, to refine it and to then benefit from it.
To achieve this we need to make sure that we invest in our entrepreneurs so that they have the right infrastructure and are encouraged to stay here and to build our own startup scene.
The Government and Industry can play a key part in developing this.
By investing in policy and initiatives that encourage early stage ventures and startups, the Government can create a hot-house effect to rapidly grow our local startup scene. They can help develop a market to encourage the privateer and punter to invest.
In 2000 the government funded incubators as part of the BITS programme - supported by both sides of government , and BSI was privileged to be a part of it.
An $8m investment by the Government generated in excess of $250m of co-investment - and contributed to 25 investments - 5 of which are valued at more than $100m and another 5 who have that potential.
It created investor forums and forums where entrepreneurs and capital connected .
We have some of the smartest people and some really exciting innovators; Lets back them . This will transform the Australian economic landscape and allow us to join the global “tech gold-rush” in a very real way.
Investing in innovation, entrepreneurs and technology is a great investment - both for government and investors.
I am going to create a group called "Supporters of Australia's Innovation Nation"
Let me know if you want to be part of this group....
Onwards and upwards!