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Sydney’s ‘new economy’, startups and the tech space

There is a great deal of excitement surrounding the tech and startup space in Sydney, and Australia generally. The adoption of a “new economy” provides Sydney the opportunity to reinforce its place as the economic capital of Australia in the 21st Century. It remains attractive to all sides of politics and is capable of creating a global market very quickly with broader economic and employment benefits.

Sounds good to me! What next?

Well, Sydney is currently the biggest technology and startup ecosystem in Australia, with a whopping 64% of Australian based startups living and working in Sydney. According to IoT Group chief executive Simon Kantor, via the Australian Financial review, Australian entrepreneurs choose Sydney as their base due to its proximity to funding and services. Great! What are those funding opportunities and services?

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Despite our position as the startup capital of Australia, criticism of the NSW state government has suggested that there is insufficient support for the sector. Furthermore, late last year the City of Sydney introduced a ‘Tech Startups Action Plan’ around the same time that Sydney (and Melbourne) fell sharply in the rankings of international startup innovation.

According to startupaus.org, “The City of Sydney’s draft plan outlines a focus on building a strong entrepreneurial culture and community, creating skilled and connected entrepreneurs, increasing the startup ecosystem density, supporting entrepreneurs’ access to funding, and developing technology entrepreneurs’ access to markets”. According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015, “Twenty years ago, almost all tech startups were created in startup ecosystems like Silicon Valley and Boston. Today, technology entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon, with startup ecosystems similar to Silicon Valley rapidly emerging all around the world. An interconnected, global startup landscape is taking shape”.
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The suggestion and criticism from the startup community to local and state governments is that there needs to be further collaboration between governments and the private sector in order to establish an ecosystem that doesn’t lag behind our international counterparts.  For the record, I hear that loud and clear. I have been a small business owner for 30 years but the tech startup space is a whole new beast.If you’re reading this and you are employed by or operate a startup business, are considering starting one, or just generally interested, please let me know what you would like to see from your local government to maintain and improve our position on the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking.

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