'STRONG FIRST STEP' BUT MORE SUPPORT FOR STARTUPS WITH 'REAL SKIN IN THE GAME'
7 December 2015, Written by Laura Daquino
AUSTRALIA'S startup community is celebrating the Turnbull Government's Innovation Statement released today but questioning the weighting of the policies.
Baxter says the weighting of funding towards the startup community was 'disappointing'.
The 24 policies include investors in startups being able to claim tax rebates of up to $200,00 per year, $3 billion into research facilities and scientific programs over the next decade, a new visa category to entice entrepreneurs and high-skilled tech workers to Australia, and a pledge to officially define 'startup' for funding eligibility.
"As a passionate advocate of the pipeline approach, I believe to achieve a truly entrepreneurially friendly and inclusive environment we require a collaborative, consistent and multi-faceted approach to business.
"In my view though, there has been too much emphasis placed on the traditional support for university and education sectors in today's announcements.
"Left unaddressed, this will be to the detriment of our global positioning. To compete on the world stage, we need to put the focus on supporting the people with real skin in the game, in the trenches of our startup community."
Baxter voiced support for changes to bankruptcy laws, which will put Australia more in line with the US system, where the period before a bankrupt can restart a business will be reduced from three years to one year.
The policy proposed today may still be viewed as rudimentary though, with Baxter calling it a 'strong first step'. Fellow community members including StartupAUS CEO Peter Bradd (pictured right) added 'it is a great start' to see the government 'intent on real action rather than just rhetoric', while OneShift founder Gen George said the 'capped claimable investment was seen to be a disappointing amount' but the Prime Minister has 'repeatedly referenced this is just the first release'.
"We just want consistency."
O'Kane points out that half a billion dollars of the plan is going towards 'government oriented initiatives'.
This may reveal a policy gap where some fall through the cracks - but O'Kane says 'it's a 'greater good' argument' at the end of the day.
Back at Steve Baxter's home base, River City Labs general manager Josh Anthony says the policy mirrors the co-working community's expansion in many ways.