Tech start-ups have the potential to contribute $109 billion to the Australian economy, or around 4% of GDP, by 2033, according to a new report, which identifies four key ways to unlock the potential of the sector. The report, titled The Startup Economy: How to support tech startups and accelerate Australian innovation, was commissioned by Google and prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Preliminary findings of the report, which provides a snapshot of Australia’s 1500 tech start-ups, were released in March. Google commissioned the report after helping form #startupAUS, a new industry group that is working on a national campaign to promote the Australian tech start-up sector. The group is led by Google Australia engineering director Alan Noble, Freelancer.com founder Matt Barrie, Shoes of Prey co-founder Michael Fox, Fishburners’ Peter Bradd, Southern Cross Ventures’ Bill Bartee and Startmate founder Niki Scevak. Google and PricewaterhouseCoopers have now released the findings of their report, which shows start-ups have the potential to contribute $109 billion or 4% of gross domestic product – and 540,000 jobs – to the Australian economy by 2033. According to PwC partner and economist Jeremy Thorpe, the findings will prove useful as the start-up sector continues to grow. “There is no comprehensive catalogue of start-ups in Australia [but] we believe there’s 1500 start-ups in Australia… The majority are in Sydney,” Thorpe says. “The vast majority of start-ups do not succeed – they actually fail… [Only] 40% of entrepreneurs in the start-up space, when they fail, will start again.” The report highlights four key ways to unlock the potential of the Australian start-up sector: Attract more entrepreneurs with the right skills In the short term, Australia needs 2000 more tech entrepreneurs each year drawn from the existing workforce. In the long term, Australia’s education sector must produce more skilled tech entrepreneurs. Encourage more early stage funding Funding for the Australian tech start-up sector will need to increase. Australia invests approximately $US7.50 per capita in venture capital per annum, compared to the United States ($75) and Israel ($150). Open up local markets to tech start-ups Governments are major consumers, with spending totalling $41 billion in 2012. They can become more start-up-friendly with procurement reform. “Companies can [also] think more innovatively about how they use start-ups,” Thorpe says. Foster a stronger and open culture of entrepreneurship Australia has a considerably higher “fear of failure” rate than nations like the US and Canada, constraining the sector. The tech community is key to changing this by celebrating its own success and becoming more inclusive. According to Noble, this last point is a key takeaway. “This is a good thing – that the community realises the fate of the sector is actually in its own hands,” Noble says. “#startupAUS is a start-up itself. We’re still actually figuring out what the organisation’s structure will look like. It will be some form of not-for-profit. “We want to make sure it’s very much driven by the community itself. It won’t be like your traditional government body – it will be a much more community-led organisation. “A big part of its success will be ensuring we do provide ways for the community to collaborate… and, with any new venture, no one has a monopoly on ideas. “Hopefully the research released today will go some way to helping to inform the debate and get to where we need to go by 2033.”
British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill has topped a list of leaders most admired by chief executives, beating Steve Jobs and Mahatma Gandhi for the top spot, according to a survey of CEOs released last week. The finding comes out of accountancy PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 16th annual global CEO survey, which in January asked 1,400 CEOs from 60 countries what leaders they most admired. There were not many CEOs in the list of leaders that CEOs admire the most. Over half (60%) chose a politician or military leader. After that, the most popular categories were business leaders and historical leaders. Winston Churchill’s appeal was particularly wide. In France, he beat out home-grown president Charles de Gaulle for the top spot, and he also trumped Niccolo Machiavelli to come first in Italy. He managed a tie for second with Gandhi in Turkey, coming just behind wartime leader and national founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He was the most-admired leader in Latin America, Australia, the United States and Canada. 1. Stick to your convictions In the 1930s, as Hitler came to power in Germany, few sought a repeat of World War I. British politicians followed a policy of ‘appeasement’ instead. Churchill was one of the few to consistently warn about the danger of a rearmed Germany, and continued to do so even as it led to his being ostracised. Often portrayed in retrospect as a prophetic voice in the wilderness, Churchill was proved right by the German invasion of Poland in 1939. Churchill’s convictions came at great personal cost to him. In his 1948 book, The Gathering Storm, he reflected: “I felt a sensation of despair. To be so entirely… convinced and vindicated in a matter of life and death to one’s country, and not to be able to make Parliament and the nation heed the warning, or bow to the proof by taking action, was an experience most painful.” 2. Goad until it’s done Churchill is famous for his sheer belligerence in goading his countrymen to stand up to Germany, even as Britain was being bombed. “Churchill’s supreme talent,” one of his aides recalled, “was in goading people into giving up their cherished reasons for not doing anything at all.” For example, when informed of delays in shipbuilding in 1939, Churchill sent out a memorandum to one of his senior administrators: “It is no use the contractors saying it cannot be done. I have seen it done when full pressure is applied, and every resource and contrivance utilised.” 3. Maintain a positive attitude If anyone should be forgiven a moment of despair, it would be the British Prime Minister in the midst of the war with Hitler. In the early years of the war, it certainly looked like Germany would succeed. European countries were falling in rapid succession and Britain was being continually bombed, with many of its people forced to flee the cities. It wasn’t until Hitler besieged Russia that things began to go awry for him. Despite this, Churchill maintained a positive attitude with his subordinates. “It is a crime to despair,” he wrote after the signing of the Munich Agreement, which allowed Germany to occupy part of Czechoslovakia in 1938. “It is the hour, not for despair, but for courage and rebuilding; and that is the spirit which should rule us in this hour.” In 1955, in his last major speech as Prime Minister, Churchill again sounded a warning against hopelessness. “Never flinch, never weary, never despair,” he concluded. This was in keeping with the general structure he established in his earlier speeches. Churchill never ended without a call for optimism, often delivered in a bit of English poetry. Churchill wasn’t one to sugar-coat the truth. He always spoke of the dire threat to Britain should Hitler succeed. But this urgency was never intended to induce helplessness. “All will come right,” he frequently said. In the war’s darkest hours, he gave Britain courage. Perhaps that’s why he’s so universally admired by global CEOs today. This story first appeared on LeadingCompany.
Google has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to gather data on Australian tech start-ups, and has already released preliminary findings, after partnering with five well-known Australian tech entrepreneurs including Matt Barrie.
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Quest Serviced Apartments has announced plans to build 10 new properties across NSW by 2014, after revealing it is on the hunt for new franchisees to drive the brand forward across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
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Small business owners are being urged to ensure their workplace is inclusive of gay and lesbian employees, after large companies dominated a list of the most gay-friendly organisations.
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Tablet publishing start-up Reddo Media Services has secured magazine industry pioneer Ita Buttrose as its chairman, with the Cleo founding editor also investing in the business.
Four business students from Queensland University of Technology have won an international case competition for a business strategy and solution aimed at major entertainment companies.
Australia’s interactive games industry remains buoyant as local developers lead the way, industry groups say, despite a dip in “traditional retail” computer and video games sales during 2011.
Almost a quarter of companies around the world were the victim of computer or internet-related crime in 2011, a new report reveals, with cybercrime almost as widespread as accounting fraud.
A local games studio has welcomed a push by Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean to extend a 40% tax rebate to the games sector, saying any government support would be welcomed.