WILL THE BUDGET 'STARTUP' BRISBANE?
Written on the 14 July 2015 by Laura Daquino
ONLY 7 per cent of Australia's startups are in Brisbane. A $24 million package in the Budget promises to have a multiplier effect on this figure, but startup pioneers are reminding the 'devil will be in the details' and the direction of investment.
"This is much more than the previous government and the one before that - the numbers lend to some credible actions on face value," says Baxter. "But if funding is trapped in red tape, research institutions and universities, then it will all be for nought."
Baxter has a different idea of how to Advance Queensland, grounded in his own experience.
"There is though a lot of talk about research in these plans, through initiatives like fellowships and scholarships to strengthen our research base," Baxter says.
"It's high time we developed a plan to build more global companies in Queensland led by entrepreneurs and not the insistence that this must come from the academic sector."
He just doesn't want the recipients of STEM education to be immediately rendered as spokes on the wheel.
"I'd like to make sure people who are benefitting from this investment in educational skills are given a little entrepreneurial spark," says Baxter.
The way to guarantee this?
"There is a lot of talk about incubators and accelerators but I hope this investment isn't just linked to universities - if it is, they need to really and truly be given an entrepreneurial fire as well," he says.
"It's a well known fact that high-growth startups generate 70-90 per cent of new jobs, and the Queensland government is setting the agenda today for other states and territories.
"There is a fierce fight for talent happening around the world in places like Singapore, China and Canada, and this really raises Brisbane's competitiveness."
Like Baxter, Bradd doesn't believe a focus on research and institutions is key in leveraging Brisbane's global position.
"Importing talent to Brisbane is a big thing because we currently lack the quantity of mentors to show the way. If you look at the IPOs of Facebook, Twitter, Google, they created 4000 millionaires and not only were they that, they created second wave startups and became mentors," says Bradd.