Why All the Commotion Over Start-Ups?

October 27th, 2015

There is no denying Turnbull has been welcomed with predominantly open arms by the tech industry in Australia. His victory speech alone caused a wave of excitement for the digital community, with him primarily pushing for an innovative Australia that fosters start-ups. However, one may wonder, why all the excitement over start-ups and what about other industries?

Undeniably, the world is becoming increasingly technologically-driven, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the rise of the ‘smart product’ is evidence enough of that – but what is the impact this has on society? A recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers report, Expanding Australia’s Economy: how digital can drive the change, revealed that if Australia was to successfully adopt a digital change our estimated federal budget deficit could be reduced by $6 billion. The report also revealed if we were successful in a digital shift, this would contribute to an additional 1.5 per cent to Australia’s GDP by 2024.

Furthermore, the findings from the report highlight that if Australia is able to sustain this digital change for another ten years, there is potential for a $136 billion increase in GDP and 540,000 new jobs to be created by 2034.Thus, start-ups are a big part of adapting to this digital economy – the ideas, jobs, GDP, and international competitiveness they generate is vital. In addition, the report recommends Australia observes other countries, like Canada, Sweden, and Singapore, and learns from them. Each of these countries has deliberate strategies in place that  are focused around innovation, STEM education and research and development.

Indeed, digital advances are happening in other nations and Australia has the building blocks to construct technological success. In our country’s favour is the depth of Australia’s capital markets, our relatively low level of regulations around operating a business, and our universities and CSIRO generate relevant IP in areas such as mobile communication, big data and more.  The new digital economy is creating opportunities and start-ups could assist Australia in competing in this new environment.

Aside from boosting Australia’s economy and international competitiveness, many businesses in Australia can learn from having a ‘start-up mentality’. Results from a recent Commonwealth Bank research report found that innovation is valued more by smaller Australian businesses than larger ones. Adam Bennet, Commonwealth Bank’s group executive of business and private banking, said that the findings show a need for mid-size businesses to think more like start-ups when it comes to innovation.

Therefore, in order to have a sustainable and long term economy that can compete in this increasingly-technological market, it is vital that Australia supports start-ups. However, continued support of our existing industries is required too. For instance, sustained support of the research and development tax incentive and a continued investment in education. Overall, Australia has all the basic ingredients to make a digital economy work and start-ups could certainly assist in fueling economic growth and innovation.

Are you are start-up conducting research and development? Read our last post: Pointers for Start-Ups on Claiming the R&D Tax Incentive