Startup Australia… and Beyonce

Startup’s slam new R&D release

The Australian startup community has widely criticised the government’s proposed changes to the R&D tax incentive, slamming its focus on big businesses and saying the limitations may force local early-stage startups to relocate abroad.

A review was released for public consultation late last week after being completed by Innovation Australia chair Bill Ferris, chief scientist Alan Finkel and secretary to the treasury John Fraser.

Contribution from Paul Towers at Startup Sodastartup-soda


Tasmanian government unveils two new innovation  hubs to put the local startup ecosystem on the map

The Tasmanian government has unveiled two new innovation hubs in Launceston and Hobart that will bring together “all the elements required for a thriving startup ecosystem”.tassie

The Enterprize hubs, which will be provided with seed funding from the state government, will offer the resources and support needed to inspire and accelerate the next generation of students, founders and entrepreneurs.

Enterprize was officially opened by Tasmania minister for information technology and innovation Michael Ferguson on Friday.

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Crowdfunding Startup StartSomeGood partners with non-profit Impact Seed

Social businesses and investors are connecting through  crowdfunding— the recent partnership between Australian crowdfunding platform StartSomeGood and non-profit social business Impact Seed is an example of this type of collaboration.startsomegood

StartSomeGood is a crowdfunding platform exclusively for social change initiatives and projects that benefit the community or the environment. StartSomeGood exists to help social entrepreneurs, non-profit and community groups to raise funds that they need to make a difference. The organization provides support, enables and launches campaigns, brings together a community of supporters and raises funds to create meaningful and impactful changes. All startup ideas and projects are extensively and personally reviewed by the team.

So far, StartSomeGood has helped 550 ventures raise over $6 million, with a success rate of 53%, far above the industry average.

Meanwhile, Impact Seed works to create a sustainable social impact by identifying, supporting, and creating an environment wherein social businesses can thrive. Impact Seed operates under the philosophy that social business is the future way for all businesses, and that consumer choice is increasingly driven by conscience, not just product value. Impact Seed works with founders to foster and raise the profile of these non-profit businesses in the Australian startup community.


beyonceLook Out, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is now a tech investor! Bey has invested $US150,000 ($196,226) into a startup called Sidestep as part of her management company, Parkwood Entertainment. That’s not a ton of cash, but it’s at least enough to pay a few telephone bills, to say nothing of those pesky startup automo’ bills. It will certainly pay for a few glasses of lemonade.

Image: AP

Sidestep lets users order tour merchandise from an app before, during or after a show from a smartphone app, without having to wait in line. Instead, you simply show up to the merch telling everyone you ain’t sorry for cutting the line, hit the counter, flash the app and walk out with your flawless merch. You can even have the merch delivered to your house so that the delivery guy can see how great you look (you woke up like this, after all) after drunk and in love at the show.

Now, Beyoncé is already a highly independent woman, so we have to assume this investment is just a savvy business move. As a smart woman once said, “always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”

International tech startup accelerator Startupbootcamp is hosting its first Australian event on Monday. bootcamp

Startupbootcamp is gearing up for it first Australian startup event on October 3, with one local startup set to be flown to Barcelona to compete for a slot in its upcoming European internet of things (IoT) and data tech accelerator program.

The fast track pitching event, which will take place at the Docklands library, is open to startups working in virtual/augmented reality, artificial intelligence, big data, data analytics, IoT, cyber security, connectivity and data infrastructure.

During the event, 10 startups will have an opportunity to make a five-minute pitch to panel of experts, and also have some one-on-one mentoring sessions.

Four crucial lessons for entrepreneurs from Redbubble founder Martin Hosking: “Any startup is brutally hard and risky”


After founding the online marketplace for creatives in 2006, Martin Hosking has transformed Redbubble into a giant of the Australian startup sector worth nearly $300 million.

redbubbleDuring an AMA run by Blackbird Ventures, Hosking described how he made it through the renowned Valley of Death and why having a purpose will help you through the tough times.



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Kumolus looks to tap India’s cloud
management solutions marketredbubble

In 2013, when cloud computing technology was gradually settling in the Indian business ecosystem, two Australians — Josh McGrath, 41, and Michael Salleo, 33 — who had been working together off and on in different organisations for the last 10 years, thought of offering the technology in their  country as well as the Indian market.

kumulusIn December 2015, they launched Kumolus, a cloud management startup which helps organisations automate their cloud environment, including strong best practices around governance, cost, and security controls. Headquartered in Melbourne, the platform also has a regional office in Pune, the city Michael now calls home.

Michael says his business hit the market just nine months ago and has been witnessing exciting growth. Aligned to the growth of the public cloud market and enterprise cloud adoption, his annual revenue target for 2019 is $25 million.

Aussies Done Good

EnergyAustralia invests AU$9.3m in Brisbane solar energy startup  Redneck

Solar energy startup Redback has received AU$9.3 million from EnergyAustralia to accelerate the development and adoption of its solar energy solutions.redback

The funding will help Redback accelerate the development of a new technology that will allow Australians to have greater control over their  energy consumption, save costs, and contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.

Philip Livingston, founder and managing director of Redback Technologies, said the partnership with EnergyAustralia also accelerates the company’s strategic plan of “leading the disruptive change required for mass adoption of renewables.”

Propeller Aero

Propeller Aero, which transforms data captured by drones into survey-grade 3D maps for mining and construction sites, announced it had raised a $3.1 million (A$4 million) funding round.propeller

In 2014 Rory San Miguel and Francis Vierboom made a bet that not all drone companies would actually need to fly drones, and it seems to be  paying off.

Based in Sydney, the pair founded the startup after meeting as cofounders at Flirtey, the headline-grabbing drone delivery company now based in the U.S. Following a A$1 million round in 2015, the startup now plans to focus on hiring more creative people to boost its existing team of 17.

The original idea stemmed from the fact drones are still a complicated, frustrating thing to use in big business, San Miguel told Mashable. “The reason is not necessarily because of the hardware or regulations, and more to do with the huge amount of data they create that’s hard to manipulate with existing tools.”