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Innovation statement: a giant leap in the right direction

Australia has always been a nation of entrepreneurs. There is talent, enthusiasm and drive here like nowhere else in the world I’ve experienced.

Yesterday’s Innovation Announcement addresses this and we now have a plan in place that can nurture and aid grass roots startups. Echoing Turnbull’s words this is the start of the ‘ideas boom’ and innovation will now be the driving force behind Australia’s prosperity.

Turnbull is walking the walk and addressing some of the grassroot issues that have held us back from building a thriving knowledge ecosystem. These issues include STEM education, diversity in the workplace and greater collaboration between industry, educational institutions, the tech and startup communities and government. (Not to mention the arts).

Turnbull’s announcement has rightly focused on the idea of creating a culture within Australia that nurtures and stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation, which the government aims to create through the providing of education and opportunities. This open and productive dialogue between governing bodies, younger generations and current startups will allow Australia to build strong foundations for the industries and economies of the future.

As a Brit and someone who has successfully run two startups in Australia, the Entrepreneur Visa makes complete sense. Australia already draws talent for its natural beauty so why not capitalise on attracting inspiring individuals to build exciting and unique companies? In turn, these successful startups will create more jobs for Australians and the positive lifecycle can continue.

As with any business, risk is the biggest barrier to success. With startups this risk triples and the resulting consequences can be dire.

Yesterday’s statement now shows we have a Government that believes there is no better risk to be made than in backing Australia’s startups. This is a brave but necessary move and the changes in both tax incentives and bankruptcy laws will mean risks will be encouraged and entrepreneurs will be backed. Never before have we seen a government build a safety net for ideas.

Dropbox ANZ has seen considerable growth in the past year including quadrupling our number of staff and the recent launch of Dropbox Enterprise. This announcement will allow us to continue supporting Australian startups to fulfil their purpose, roll on 2016.

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Author: 
Charlie Wood, Managing Director of Dropbox, ANZ
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