StartupAUS welcomes focus on innovation

Advocacy group StartupAUS has welcomed a series of policies formally unveiled this week by the ALP, including the creation of 100,000 university placements for STEM studnets, new entrepreneur visas and the creation of a 'startup year' for final year university students.

The 'startup year' policy will give 2000 students access to loans through the HELP system to help them establish a startup business through an accelerator.

"T?he loan will cover the cost of the support provided to them by an accredited accelerator program and accredited non-award programs and initiatives, up to the maximum annual student contribution level under the HECS system," the outline of the policy states.

?Labor also said it would create an 'Innovation Investment Partnership' that would bring together VC, superannuation funds and representatives of the startup community to identify barriers to investment in Australian-based VC funds.

"This latest announcement confirms that the both sides of politics understand that the future drivers of Australia's economic growth are innovation, entrepreneurship and a thriving tech startup ecosystem," said StartupAUS CEO Peter Bradd in a statement.

"Both major parties are increasingly making innovation a key priority area in order to ensure Australia remains competitive and prosperous. Startups will benefit from this increased attention, but the economy as a whole will be the real winner."

StartupAUS earlier this year released its second Crossroads report.

The report argued that the government had fallen short in its understanding of tech startups.

Overall, "there is a significant gap in the government’s understanding of what tech startups are, how the government could support them, and the impact that they could have on Australia’s economy," the report stated.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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