If there is one thing we love hearing – its success stories, especially if they come from people who have to stick their necks out. Recently I read about an Australian Start up called Atlassian. It was started by two guys in their early 30’s who developed software that was basically a “bug tracking tool”. They called it JIRA. Their company operated on a $10,000 credit card! They have customers ranging from NASA to eBay and the company is now worth $3.3billion dollars. What was interesting is – they had just one base value in their company – “Don’t sh*t on the customer.”
How the story progressed is fairly standard, though saddening as well – they left Australia because most of the customers are in the USA or Europe. They listed on the US stock market and they moved their head office to London because England has more business incentives - both innovation, tax and compliance than Australia.
Economists and policymakers have been adamant that Australia really needs to take a good look at other sectors for future job creation. It needs significant changes. Now CSIRO are set to launch a $200million dollar Innovation Fund. It includes $70m in new government funding as well as private section investment. There is a further $20m set aside to commercialise research outcomes – often the most difficult thing to do with new ideas and concepts.
As a further aside but definitely connected – Australia is one of the few countries to announce an Entrepreneurs Visa whereby they provide visa’s for people with the proven talent and skill to come to Australia. The aim is to attract the best and brightest minds with the view of developing Australia into a Pacific Silicon valley.
What’s more interesting is Malcolm Turnbull’s promise of a $1.1Billion plan to boost innovation in Australia. That is a more serious attempt to commit to supporting the types of innovative start-ups we need in this country.
Now the thing is we have amazing innovative people right here in Gladstone and its time for these people to look around and see what support is available and start considering how to get their idea off the ground. There are plenty of business support groups that can assist. At Sothertons we are ready to guide and support innovative businesses and entrepreneurs bring their plans to fruition. Call us on 4972 1300.