Deloitte calls for more incentives to keep tech gazelles in Australia
Deloitte celebrates Australia’s gazelles: 2016 Technology Fast 50 Australia nominations now open
30 August 2016: With technology changing the world at a rapid pace, innovation is no longer something businesses can opt out of. Australia’s start-up ecosystem is firmly on the national agenda, is well supported and as a result is booming. But what happens to those start-ups when they begin to succeed, expand and become ‘gazelles’?
Australia’s innovation future is under threat, with many of our high-growth start-ups, or ‘gazelles’, being lured overseas. Successful gazelles are being attracted to innovation hot spots around the world by favourable incentives, opportunities to network with like-minded gazelles and potential investors, profile building opportunities and deep talent pools.
“Australia is home to a huge number of growing start-ups with world-class ideas, technologies and potential and we must keep it that way,” said Joshua Tanchel, Deloitte Private Partner and leader of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Program.
“We must continue to incentivise start-ups, as they do in the UK with tax based initiatives such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Entrepreneur’s Relief and Patent Box, in order to harness the ideas boom currently underway. But we also need to share the spotlight, currently being enjoyed by early stage start-ups, with our high-growth companies in order to safeguard our country’s future prosperity.
“We need to identify the opportunities attracting our gazelles overseas and learn from them. Israel offers a range of incentives both to home-grown entrepreneurs and foreign investors, including tax incentives for angel investors and government co-investing with experienced venture capitalist funds. They also invest in programs to nurture talent and strengthen links between academia and industry and prioritise a responsive business environment. As a result, second only to Silicon Valley, Israel has the highest concentration of high-tech start-ups globally. We can also look to Singapore where they offer tax deductions for investors, concessional tax rates for start-ups, a Technopreneurship Investment Fund aiming to attract high-growth companies to relocate to Singapore and a grants scheme funding salaries of technical staff. We must learn from these global exemplars, while also recognising the importance of creating the right settings for our start-up eco-system in the Australian context, in order to secure the future of our gazelles here in Australia and in turn secure our position on the global innovation map and with that our country’s economic future.
“It’s encouraging to see the Federal Government outlining the second and third waves of its National Innovation and Science Agenda - crucial in this pivotal moment for Australia’s economy post-mining boom. However, we can’t purely rely on the government to help realise this potential or to create a globally competitive tech ecosystem for Australia. We all have to play our part.” suggested Tanchel.
Deloitte has long championed Australia’s gazelles, in particular through the Technology Fast 50 program, now in its 16th year.
“Our TechFast50 program not only celebrates the success of Australia’s fastest growing technology companies but provides ongoing support, opportunities to connect with potential investors and helps put them on the map – both domestically and globally,” said Tanchel.
The program ranks nominees involved in any tech related industry - from media, communications, software and hardware to life sciences and healthcare and clean energy - based on their percentage revenue growth over three years. And by making Australia’s top 50, companies are automatically nominated for the Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific.
Those making Australia’s 2016 TechFast50 instantly become a recognised technology innovator, joining the ranks of previous winners including Prospa, Vocus Communications, Vinomofo, Siteminder, NextDC and Atlassian.
Internet and software companies led the charge in 2015 with last year’s winner, fintech Prospa - an online small business lender - taking out the 2015 Tech Fast 50 award having achieved an incredible 6,971% growth, almost double that of the 2014 winner.
“Prospa is a great example of a tech company not only embracing innovation itself, but supporting Australia’s prospective gazelles. They facilitate innovation and entrepreneurialism, having lent more than $70m since 2011 to thousands of small businesses, using a proprietary technology platform and a fast, simple online application process. And we’re delighted to have them as part of our TechFast50 winners’ alumni.
“We’re also excited to be welcoming back both the ASX and NetSuite as Tech Fast 50 sponsors. And also announcing law firm Clifford Chance and the UK Government’s Department for International Trade as new sponsors for 2016,” said Tanchel.
2016 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia awards
Find out more about this year’s awards, including eligibility criteria, and how to make a nomination.
Nominations close 30 September 2016.