Tech startups and how to support their growth

November 26, 2014
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Revolutionary rideshare apps. Mobile payment solutions. Dropbox. Tech startups have been responsible for some of the most convenient, revolutionising and innovative stuff we’ve seen over the past few years. And the startup sector is still on the rise. In fact, a PricewaterhouseCoopers report has predicted the Aussie startup sector will bring over $100 billion and half a million jobs to our economy.

With both Sydney and Melbourne named by Intuit in the top 20 startup ecosystems, this is looking like the way of the future for many young and upcoming grads, creatives, tech-heads and entrepreneurs.

UTS Deputy Vice Chancellor of Resources, Patrick Woods, thinks that it is particularly important to foster the innovation that often accompanies startups among young people and students, and this will help solve some difficult problems.

“With students in particular it [innovation] is important because of the fact that much of the world –the oldies like me – have been trying to come up with novel ideas to solve some difficult problems and have not been able to do so,” he said.

Woods credits this to the enthusiasm and youth of students.

“The fresh mind of those that aren’t burdened by other focuses enables the student to really think outside the square, come up with new ways of doing things. And we love that, we absolutely need that fresh view of the world and that unimpaired enthusiasm.”

And the innovative solution to the ‘problem’ of encouraging tech startups has been the establishment of tech precincts, such as the renowned Silicon Valley or Tech City, to give emerging entrepreneurs and tech developers a physical location to get started.

In Australia, this has meant the establishment of initiatives such as the NSW Government’s five knowledge hubs – and the newest addition to the pack, Intersection.

Intersection is a new tech precinct and initiative of UTS, Microsoft and the NSW Government. It is intended to act as both a physical area to house startups and a place that can link up-and-comers with industry experts and mentors to fund and assist promising projects.

“We’re trying to give more space, more mentors, match-make, find more money,” said Woods.

Located at UTS, Woods believes the central location of UTS and the large network of the university, Microsoft and the state government will make Intersection successful in its goals.

Initiatives like this are certainly a step in the right direction if we want to create jobs for the upcoming generation, and solve existing problems in innovative ways. Woods believes that the broader community can also do more by being aware and making the most of startup initiatives

“The broader community can help by in the first instance being more aware of it. In the first instance saying hey, my son, my daughter’s really interested in that, send them down here [to Intersection],” he said.

With the rapid rise of a still relatively new startup sector in the world, Woods advises us to "put your seatbelt on and get ready for the ride; it’s going to be good.”

When all of a sudden I can pay for shit with my phone, this is something I have little doubt of.

Sam Caldwell

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