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Startup Genome: Abundance of startups in Australia, but not enough support

The first Australian startup ecosystem report, a collaboration between Startup Genome, Pollenizer, and Deloitte Private, was released yesterday. Involving data from over 1,000 startups, the report, titled ‘Silicon Beach — Building Momentum’, provides a snapshot of Australia’s startup ecosystems.

What the data indicates is that while the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, Australia’s entrepreneurs don’t have the support they need yet to take their startups to the next level.

A look at the global rankings (below) by Startup Genome indicate that Australia’s startups can stand toe -to-toe with the world’s best in terms of talent, output and differentiation. Sydney has even ranked number one globally for being trendsetters.

Startup Genome Australia

Click image for full, interactive rankings.

Yet the ecosystem does not seem to be maximizing their entrepreneurs’ capabilities. While Australia’s startups are forward-looking and cutting edge, they raise 100 times less than Silicon Valley startups in the scale stage.

And for some reason, despite the availability of government grants and R&D tax concessions, only 39% of startups have applied for these schemes. The government will have to figure out a way to reach more startups.

The tax environment makes offering employees company share options difficult, resulting in startups finding difficulty in rewarding employees for taking entrepreneurial risk.

The result is that Australia ranks lowly in having a visionary mindset and high risk tolerance, as well as in performance. The Australian report supplements this by adding that startups in the country tend to be the integrator type, which refers to high-certainty, product-centric, SME-focused businesses that move consumer innovation to enterprises.

Finally, the report gave some suggestions on how stakeholders can improve the ecosystem. Governments can make their grants easier for startups to apply, corporations can seek out startups as acquisition targets, while entrepreneurs can strive to be more ambitious.

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