Canberra, 27 November 2023 – The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) welcomes the official launch of the Government’s $392 million Industry Growth Program today, which will provide advisory services and grants to support startups and SMEs to commercialise their ideas and scale their businesses.
TCA CEO Kate Pounder said while Australia has produced some great global success stories in the tech sector, scaling remains a major challenge for many Australian startups.
“The Industry Growth Program will provide much-needed support to help translate great ideas into more jobs.”
The new program supports the “Shots on Goal” research launched by the TCA at its inaugural National Tech Summit earlier this year, which revealed that the survival rate of startups in Australia at the scaling stage is much lower than in the United States. Without action on the investment environment, the research revealed that Australia will face a $53 billion scaleup funding gap by 2030.
“Australia has built a strong tech ecosystem over the last 20 years, with a vibrant tech startup sector and 28 unicorn companies valued at over $1 billion.”
“However, Australia remains a challenging place to scale a tech startup compared to leading countries like the United States, particularly due to funding availability.”
“This challenge is faced across the tech sector and is particularly pronounced in critical tech companies in capital-intensive sectors like quantum, AI and robotics,” Ms Pounder said.
The Shots on Goal Report noted that fixing our scaleup challenges is vital because it is these medium-larger size firms that produce substantial economic benefits, including a significant number of jobs for Australians.
“Initiatives like the Industry Growth Program will be essential if Australia is going to become a global tech leader and improve its record on commercialisation and scaling.”
“Past government funding programs have been credited as a key factor in the growth of some of Australia’s most successful tech firms, such as Canva and Atlassian.”
The TCA welcomed the commitment to the Industry Growth Program from the Government in the May Budget as part of a broader suite of Government initiatives focused on industry commercialisation and innovation.
“Combined with the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, there is now a big opportunity for the Government to partner with the private sector to help create the next pipeline of great Australian tech companies.”
“We encourage the Government to move with urgency in the implementation of these important initiatives, particularly given the challenging funding and economic environment facing tech companies compared to recent years.”
About the TCA
The Tech Council of Australia is the peak industry body for Australia’s tech sector. Providing a trusted voice for Australia’s technology industry, with over 160 members, the Tech Council comprises the full spectrum of tech companies.
We aim to advise and engage with Australian governments, businesses, and the wider community to help support the ongoing creation, development, and adoption of technology across industries. Our vision is for a prosperous Australia that thrives by harnessing the power of technology.
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