History of the TCA
The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) was created to be the voice of Australia’s tech ecosystem.
The TCA was the brainchild of Alex McCauley, the CEO of StartupAUS.
In 2020, Alex saw that a new body was needed because the tech sector had grown substantially in past decades to become a key source of jobs, growth and innovation and because technology was becoming central to a range of policy questions.
However, local startup companies that were involved with StartupAUS often rapidly grew beyond the startup phase and didn’t graduate into joining an industry body to work together on common policy issues.
From 2020 to mid-2021, Alex worked with influential leaders in the Australian tech sector to establish the new group and merge it with StartupAUS. The TCA’s inaugural board was formed, chaired by Robyn Denholm, and an inaugural CEO was appointed.
On 18th August 2021, the Tech Council of Australia launched with 25 founding member companies, including Australian tech companies, venture capital firms, and the local branches of global tech powerhouses like Microsoft, Stripe and Google.
Have 1.2m people in tech jobs by 2030
Have tech sector activity contribute $250bn to GDP
Make Australia the best place to found and scale a tech company
The TCA released a ten-point plan focused on three policy areas: growth and investment policy, jobs, skills and migration policy, and regulatory policy.
Soon, the TCA became known as a source of definitive, original research that showed the jobs and economic contribution of the Australian tech sector.
The launch hit a nerve, with the TCA’s membership rapidly growing to over 150 member companies. The TCA team expanded, and the TCA opened offices in Sydney and Canberra.
Since launch, the TCA has gone from strength to strength. It has worked with multiple federal and state governments to deliver better policy for the tech ecosystem and for Australia, including:
A national goal to have 1.2 million people in tech jobs by 2030
A shared commitment to launch a digital apprenticeship model
Reform to employee share scheme rules
A $1 billion Technology Investment Boost to increase tech adoption by SMEs
Greater investment in tech commercialisation, including $1 billion for critical technologies as part of the National Reconstruction Fund and a new $392 million Industry Growth Program
Improved guidance material for software claims under the R&D Tax Incentive
More collaborative regulatory design, including the creation of a constructive tech industry voice on cybersecurity and privacy reforms.
Improvements to the migration system, including additional funding to reduce visa processing times and a major reform agenda underpinned by an independent review
The TCA has also helped raised the profile of the Australian tech ecosystem by running a National Tech Summit conference, and an annual Tech Showcase at Parliament House.