As part of promoting the Government's $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, Malcolm Turnbull has promised $15 million, if he is re-elected, will go towards the startup sector via his Incubator Support Program. This is a step up from the $8 million originally given, with an eye towards boosting the number of startup accelerators and incubators in Australia, especially those in regional areas.
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The funding will target both new incubators and support existing "high performing" organisations, with incubators and accelerators looking to be able to access up to $500,000 of funding. The initiative has been created with the additional goal of attracting more 'experts in residence' that will be able to provide advice to startups in need of specialist expertise.
Startup Daily reports StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley is still looking for greater support for the startup sector, however, saying, "if we really want to boost the quality and output of our entrepreneurs we can’t ignore coworking. Most startups are in coworking spaces and don’t have access to the facilities on offer in incubators or accelerators – StartupAUS would like to see the program expanded to help coworking spaces fund accelerator-style opportunities to help their resident companies grow quickly."
While the announcement has largely been received well, many stakeholders still criticise what is seen as an inadequate amount of funding for Australia to foster a truly entrepreneurial landscape, pointing to overseas programs that offer both funding and other resources such as data and APIs that startups can build their own products off the back of.
Labor announced its own plan for startups and incubators late last year, with a major focus on the creation of up to 20 new regional accelerator programs over three years. Under Labor's plan, up to $500,000 would be given in seed funding to programs launched by a consortia involving a local business organisation, university or TAFE or local government — with the contributing body having to match the Government's funding dollar for dollar.
You can read more about the proposed Liberal funding boost at the full link below.