Australia drops in global startup rankings, 3 years on from Turnbull’s innovation push

Amsterdam, Denver-Boulder and Bangalore now all rate as having a stronger environment for innovation than the east coast of Australia.

It’s a reality that doesn’t surprise many in the tech community, where there is an undercurrent of discontent despite politicians claiming there’s plenty of innovation policy on the table.

More than two election cycles on from Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation agenda, founders and lobby groups say they want a clear blueprint for startup support and digitisation of work, but they’re not seeing it.

Both sides of politics vehemently deny they’ve left startups in ths shadows and insist they have a plan for future growth.

A number of individual policies have been outlined. Labor has pledged to raise research and development expenditure to 3 per cent of GDP by 2030 and will offer a ten per cent premium on tax offsets if businesses collaborate with universities.

“The problem is what people are voting for. We’re in a situation in Australia where we have a relatively tiny tech industry, and there are not enough people to build a significant voter base,” director of entrepreneurship at UTS, Murray Hurps, said.

Co-founder of Melbourne extended reality startup Snobal, Ann Nolan, believes the past five years have seen too much disruption about a future vision and there’s no cohorent startup strategy cutting through from any party.

“We’re in an unfortunate situation where tech startups have become a bit of a political football,” Ms Nolan said.