14 October, 2016
Employee Share Schemes changes a first step in the right direction
StartupAUS welcomes government action and hopes it is the first ‘win’ of many for Australia’s tech startup eco-system.
Sydney, 14 October 2014: StartupAUS welcomes the Government’s National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda and hopes that it will be first step of many to correct the market failures that create unnecessary barriers to high growth new ventures, and herald a sea change in how Australia supports its burgeoning startup ecosystem.
This is a critical time for Australia – with world-changing technologies and digital disruption presenting a huge opportunity to diversify the national economy, and move away from one based on resources, primary industries and domestic focused business to one based on high-growth knowledge-intensive businesses.
Peter Bradd, StartupAUS board member and entrepreneur-in-residence at Fusion Labs said: “Since the launch of the Crossroads report we have engaged with a number of government representatives, lobbying for change on behalf of StartupAUS and the broader Australian startup community. What we found is that there is a genuine willingness in government to look at how we can level the playing field for Australian startups.
“The fact that the hugely damaging regulations around ESOPs for startups are finally being changed is hugely positive, and the Government should be rightly commended for doing so. The Governments move to streamline and improve the visa process is also a very positive move, as Australian tech startups are without exception unable to recruit enough skilled ICT workers.
“However, the Competiveness Agenda is but the first step of many. There is still a huge amount of work to be done, but this hopefully signals that we are on the right track.”
StartupAUS also welcomes changes that would help foster increased venture capital investment into Australian tech startups such as a commitment to create a regulatory framework for crowd-funding.
Dr Jana Matthews, StartupAUS Board Member, ANZ Chair for Business Growth and Director of the UniSA Centre for Business Growth said: “While anecdotal evidence and recent funding news would suggest that there are rising levels of venture capital being invested into startups, the reality is that Australia still lags behind other developed nations, including our regional neighbours such as South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand.
“We welcome any moves by the government to foster investment in startups – and hope that an effective Entrepreneurs Investment Program grant scheme is next on the government agenda.”
StartupAUS also backs any move by the government to increase focus and resourcing for promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in school while expressing some concern that the proposed new digital technologies curriculum for K-10 may not be retained.
Alan Noble, StartupAUS board member and Director of Engineering, Google Australia commented: “It is encouraging to see the government recognise the importance of a tech-savvy and technically educated workforce as essential to Australia’s future. Capitalising on the digital economy will only be possible if we have people with the ICT skills necessary to develop products that can compete globally.
“As studies show the best way of increasing participation in computer science is to start young, and we hope that the focus on STEM subjects is brought forward to its logical conclusion – which is to have skills like computational thinking and coding being introduced at primary school level as outlined in the new Digital Technologies Curriculum.”
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Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group