Two significant events have happened today that as we look back many years from now have irreversibly transformed the Australian early stage technology sector;
So why are these events significant? The most common complaints that are heard from Australian entrepreneurs is;
The first will hopefully start to solve itself. No doubt other Australian VC funds such as Airtree, OneVentures and SquarePeg will have an opportunity to match or exceed the current Blackbird fund over the coming few years. It is official Corporate Australia is interested in startups and superannuation money is available!
On the second having heard Malcolm Turnball speak two years ago I was impressed and encouraged by the things he had to say. He is not yet (formally) Prime Minister yet has already dropped the terms “embrace disruption” and focus on “technology and innovation”. These are wins! As the startup conversation is brought from the obscure to the mainstream it can only have a positive effect.
On the last point, “lack of skills” I want to leave the ‘educational piece’ for another time but rather just focus on “Lack of Skills” as meaning a lack of an Australian “Paypal Mafia“. The Paypal Mafia for those that don’t know is a group of former Paypal employees who have gone on to successfully found other amazing businesses. Included in this group are Elon Musk (SpaceX / Tesla), Reid Hoffman (Linkedin) and Peter Thiel (Palantier).
We have some truly amazing technology success stories in Australia. So let me finish by making a bold prediction. Our version of the ‘Paypal Mafia’ will come from the current crop of great Australian technology success stories!
So what does the future hold for Australian Startups? Well I would say it is looking very bright. So let’s all sit back, grab a beer and allow ourselves to celebrate a little. Yes, there is still bucket-loads to do but I am feeling confident, and you should too!
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