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Is Australia doing enough to support tech startups?

Posted by Australia Fonality

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Australia-supporting-tech-startups.jpgAustralia has long relied on the mining industry to keep the economy afloat. However, in the face of commodity oversupply and uncertainty in the global marketplace, it's becoming more apparent that we need to seek alternative streams of revenue as a country.

Could tech start-ups lead the way for Australia's economy?

Innovative and forward-thinking, tech start-ups are able to leverage technologies such as cloud-based services and phone systems to address the needs of today's consumers while dealing with the challenges of the modern marketplace.

Business entry rates increased 1.5 percent year on year.

Of course, this is only possible if we have the right structures in place to foster growth within this sector. Thankfully, Australia appears to be fairly hospitable for new companies, with business entry rates increasing from 11.2 per cent in 2012-13 to 13.7 per cent in 2013-14, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Australia falls short as a start-up incubator

However, not all experts share the same optimism. Communications Minister Michael Turnbull, believes that while it is possible for Australia to emerge as something of a start-up haven, there are a few things we need to focus on before we can realise this potential. 

"I think one area, one thing we don't do a good enough job at, and I think the ASX can do better here, is promoting the stock exchange as a means of financing start-ups, or second-, third-round money for start-ups," said Mr Turnbull, as quoted by The Australian.

He also pointed out that when it comes to large-scale ventures, local investors often fall short in terms of capital. 

"I think there's plenty of seed capital from individuals, financial investors and so forth. It is getting to that next stage, when you want to raise not a million dollars but you want to raise 10, or 15, or 20, or 30, that is a challenge," explained Mr Turnbull. 

A silver lining

Government-supports-au-startups.jpg
The government hopes to make things easier for Australian startups.

Nevertheless, the government is moving to improve startup conditions. The tax break introduced in the May budget, for example, adjusted the tax rate for companies with an annual turnover of $2 million or less. 

In addition, the budget also raised the accelerated depreciation cap to $20,000 per item, which would enable start-ups to invest in company infrastructure such as office refits, computers, business phone systems, vehicles and so forth.

While it's unlikely Australia will ever become a full-blown Silicon Valley, the tech industry could prove to be a highly profitable sector moving forward.