How can Australia kickstart the local startup community?
Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin makes some excellent points, most of which are ones that I would have made. In particular, getting to critical mass (of entrepreneurs, angel investors, engineers, et al) is perhaps the most important thing you can do. Whether this is by City (the most useful) or pan-Australian (perhaps a bit easier), it provides a host of benefits both in terms of availability of resources and visible success stories for new entrepreneurs.
Australia has some very active, organized, groups of angel investors, and they should be embraced and brought into the startup community as a resource.
An online central hub of the entire startup ecosystem would be a great way to bring all of the startup constituents and components together.
Celebration of entrepreneurship is also important, because fear of failure is one of the most debilitating things for an industry that needs to be nurtured. Here, Australia should take as its model we crazy Americans, rather than our delightful British cousins. In the US (particularly in tech centers such as Silicon Valley or New York), failure is almost a badge of honor, and is largely perceived to be a great learning experience. Across the sea, however, a single failure can often ruin reputations and social standing…which means that many great entrepreneurs never dare to start.
Finally, immigration policies are certainly an important subject for discussion. Here in the US we are having the same debate, for the same reasons. Although we have a lot more people than you do, every year there are tens of thousands of foreign-born great people who would do wonders for our tech community, but who are not allowed across our borders. You have the problem to an even greater extent, and I would suggest doing what you can to increase the number of qualified people who are able to enter the country and join your startup workforce.
*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *
Written by David S. Rose
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