Queensland government announces Startup Summit to shape strategy for new business

The Queensland state government is holding a Startup Summit next week to determine priority areas for policy and support to encourage entrepreneurialism and set a “collective ambitious goal” for the local community in 2014.


Co-ordinated by Innovation Minister Ian Walker, the summit team is seeking online comment from start-up founders and those involved in the community to inform discussions.


Start-up veteran and RiverCity Labs co-founder Steve Baxter wrote on the forum:


“The goal needs to be a stretch and it needs to be stated in terms that will be relevant in 20 years’ time. I think we should aim to take a larger than par share of the Australian start-up scene. Defining things in terms of metrics of specific things (businesses, exits etc may be tough if in 20 years’ time this is not how the successes are counted). I think that economic benefit and jobs in particular will be a steady mechanism over decades to judge success. So in the PwC report it was noted that this sector could be worth $109B and 540k jobs by 2033, if Queensland is ‘x’% of the Australia population/GSP then we should aim to have the same proportion of the new sector (‘x’%) plus 20%.”


Elaine Stead, investment director at Blue Sky Alternative Investments, said on the forum:


“While I think we need to (sic) many things to grow the Qld innovation ecosystem, I believe the two biggest hurdles to our innovation sector are 1) the dearth of capital and the dearth of expertise in founding and growing small or technology-based businesses. I am a firm believer that we need to develop policies that support the 1) growth the amount of Qld based angel/VC and PE capital available to ventures and small business to circa $250 M within 5 years and 2) importing/developing/networking of relevant expertise.”


Wayne Gerard, co-founder and chief executive at mining start-up RedEye Apps identified developing career paths, the ecosystem and supporting legislation as key to growing the local start-up sector.


He writes that defining the government’s role in establishing the ecosystem was also key.


“Co-ordinating, supporting, strengthening and leveraging the existing start-up activities, groups, networks, funding, and media to increase the awareness of our growing start-up ecosystem, locally, nationally and internationally to attract more entrepreneurs, investors, developers, support service providers, clients,” Gerard wrote.


The summit will take place on December 12, 2013. The online forum closes December 4.


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