Google Study: Australia set for start-up boom by 2033

Posted on April 23, 2013 10:02 am

A report released three hours ago by Google indicates technology start ups could be worth Aus$109 billion to the Australian economy in the next 20 years on a par with retail or education and create half a million jobs. The PricewaterhouseCoopers study dubbed “The Startup Economy” said that by global comparisons there is no better time to be an entrepreneur in Australia, with some 1,500 tech start-ups and support for the industry expanding rapidly. Google Australia, which commissioned the study, said tapping the sector’s potential would require hard work, including increasing the success rates for start-ups and boosting computer science education. Close to 1,100 of today’s 1,500 start-ups are expected to fail by the end of this year and numbers of domestic computer science graduates have fallen two-thirds in the past decade. In the short-term, it’s estimated Australia will need to have 2,000 more tech entrepreneurs drawn from the existing workforce each year.

According to the report, if the growth to accelerate to a rate of 5,600 new start-ups by 2023, PwC said the sector could account for 1.1% of gross domestic product, from the current 0.1%. A decade later, that figure could be 4.0%, according to the PwC projections. If achieved, it would mean 540,000 new jobs. The report called for Australia to flaunt its technological successes, which include the invention of Wi-Fi Internet technology and bionic Cochlear hearing technology. It also boasts several global success stories in the start-up sector. The report said greater government funding for early-stage projects would be needed, with current levels at one-tenth that of the United States and one-twentieth that of Israel. The government could also play a major role as purchaser of tech start-up services, with spending in the sector last year totaling Aus$41 billion. The report states that Industries such as finance, manufacturing, mining and healthcare all had significant scope for tech start-ups, with few firms yet targeting those sectors while a strong homegrown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth.

Contador Harrison