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Innovation in Australia: putting dollars behind rhetoric

We welcome the  Australian Government’s statement on investment in innovation made earlier today.

It’s significant at two levels. First, it helps start-ups and early-growth companies, and the ecosystems that serve them, with practical measures. Second, it starts a change of culture that should encourage smart Australians to pursue smart ideas that can be developed and scaled to be successful across the globe.

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Technology and software especially know no national boundaries. And so Australian technology entrepreneurs have as much chance, and as much right to success, as their peers (and competitors!) in the United States, Israel, China and elsewhere in the world.

We’ve spent the first five years of our company history creating and delivering new technology in the area of social analytics. We’ve done this through the creation of our own IP and by generating revenue and reinvesting as much as we can – all with little government incentive or support.

And we have grown to employing 30 people.

These newly announced initiatives such as investment through order commissioning, and tax breaks for start-ups and growth funding, retail investors and angel investors, will all help companies like ours accelerate that success. The key to translating this policy to success will be to ensure that funding options ignite a local market of investors, to keep Australian innovation owned here.

We think we represent Australia’s future, built around smart people creating new, innovative companies with new technology, that can be exported to the world. That historical reliance on gravel has gone. As a nation we are smarter than that, and entrepreneurs with smart ideas should be supported so that they can deliver returns to the Australian economy in the future. Today’s statements by the Government will help smart people take the risk they need to create new wealth.

Greater access to capital, incentives for entrepreneurs to build and grow companies, the ability to take risks and the opportunity to rebuild or change direction after failure, and investment in building and attracting talent, are all welcome.

We also need greater access to low cost data processing and data transfer.  This requires everything from investment in education to overhauling the tax system, and governments opening up their cheque books and supporting (with fast payments) commissioned work to start-ups and early-growth companies to ensure a strong digital infrastructure.  That each of these is included in today’s announcement by the Government sends a strong signal to entrepreneurs, investors and investors.

We’ve just come 35th in the Deloitte Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500, together with only a handful of Aussie companies. With the sort of innovation investments announced today from the Government, we hope to get to that number 1 position much faster!

 

Emma Lo Russo: Emma is CEO and co-founder of DIGIVIZER.