In my experience, one of the biggest pain points in growing a startup is in hiring and recruitment, which stems from issues in education. There are not very many students studying courses which teach them how to code. Those that do, and are good, get snapped up very quickly by the highest bidder (often a Silicon Valley behemoth). Encouraging more students to study technology related degrees is a good idea for many reasons. Making the local job market more enticing for these students, and especially the job market within growing startups, is a great way to get them actively involved in innovation from the day they finish uni, and a great way to teach them the skills they need (on technical, communication, and business levels) to start their own venture next.

The recent changes to ESOP laws were a step in the right direction. But share options don't put food on the table for new graduates, and giving out options in lieu of salary isn't a good idea for every startup. The ESOP changes applied specifically to private companies below a certain age and revenue threshold. These are the startups that are actively creating jobs, so it makes sense to help them where we can.
The QLD government is launching a program to help startups hire graduates to work on specific projects - http://advanceqld.initiatives.qld.gov.au/funding/knowledge-transfer-partnerships.aspx. It could be improved by focusing on less on research projects and more on outcomes that can be commercialised. The tricky aspect is making sure government doesn't fall into the trap of "picking winners" but instead focuses on helping all startups which have reached a certain level of market validation to grow engineering teams and attract the best talent. I think some form of financial incentive for technical graduates who start their careers at startups would be a significant boost to the startup's ability to recruit top talent, and for new graduates to get actively involved in the innovation ecosystem. Call it the Australian Startup Signing Bonus, and make it, say, $10,000 if they stay with the startup for 6 months.

user picture Alex Ghiculescu · 2 years ago · 59 votes · 13 comments
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What about wool leavers going into startups, what about non-technical grads going into technical start-ups (startups need more than programmers), what about non-technical business startups - the tech industry is a small fraction of the Australian entrepreneurial scene. This is a very flawed and narrow idea that bias one type of business over another with little justification except the bias of the proposer.
Craig Thomler · 2 years ago
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Every clown can storm a castle with the A-Team. A real leader can do the same job with the C-Team. Unfortunately our community is not made up of eagles but turkeys. We need to build our enterprises in such a way that an average person can be an effective member of the society, innovation startups inclusive. Average people were building tanks, locomotives, bridges and ships. Suddenly only "the best" can help us build future prosperity? What are we going to do about everyone else? Basic income is anathema, Dole is evil, Serving coffee destroys our hospitality industry unless you get paid minimum wage (no weekend loading!). So that leaves death camps or virus engineered to kill all the poor. Hey, how about that as an "Innovation" project for the really smart people eh?
Jay Wulf · 2 years ago
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whatever is done there has to be prevention against rorting. what stops a family or friend to create a 'startup' for tax breaks. in fact what is the definition of startup. is it limited to IT business only or can a plumber start a plumbing startup. what if the starttup founder outsources all technical work outside Australia, should they get benefit as well.
pratik khasnabis · 2 years ago
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whatever is done there has to be prevention against rorting. what stops a family or friend to create a 'startup' for tax breaks. in fact what is the definition of startup. is it limited to IT business only or can a plumber start a plumbing startup. what if the starttup founder outsources all technical work outside Australia, should they get benefit as well.
pratik khasnabis · 2 years ago
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whatever is done there has to be prevention against rorting. what stops a family or friend to create a 'startup' for tax breaks. in fact what is the definition of startup. is it limited to IT business only or can a plumber start a plumbing startup. what if the starttup founder outsources all technical work outside Australia, should they get benefit as well.
pratik khasnabis · 2 years ago
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The new digital technologies curriculum has just been signed off on and will introduce computational thinking & coding from K-8 and optional to year 10. It's a long tail play though. We need to keep that in mind :-) Oh and we need to put resources like http://careerswithcode.com.au/ in front of kids so they understand what it can lead to.
Sallyann Williams · 2 years ago
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The
Sallyann Williams · 2 years ago
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Not sure. I did a Bachelor of IT and my HECS debt is around 25k, whereas some of my friends who did law degrees are facing double that or more. It's just not a terrifying sum of money, and it's paid off so gradually, so I don't think I would have made a career decision based on the option of it being reduced slightly. I'm also not sure it makes sense to say that under this suggestion a startup could employ someone "for free/vastly reduced cost" - having a lower HECS debt doesn't put bread on the table any more than share options do.
Alex Ghiculescu · 2 years ago
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How about reduction of HECS/HELP debt based on pro-rata time spent at start-ups - financially for the individual this is NEARLY the same as getting an income, so the start-up could get work for free/vastly reduced cost from graduates.
Michelle Vanzella · 2 years ago
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+1
Alan Jones · 2 years ago
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Michelle, would be great if you could submit this as a new idea so it can get voted on and maybe becomes part of the hackathon event
Alan Jones · 2 years ago
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Done!
Michelle Vanzella · 2 years ago
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or based on time in community startup programs (startup weekend events, coder dojo etc).
Stephen Baxter · 2 years ago
People who voted for this idea
A sh Mark Ostryn CY Lim Rowan Grant Tony Pittorino Ray Bell Claudia Barriga-Larriviere Ellen Malone Peter Jackson larene lg Bridget Maidment Mitch Pierias Justin McMurray Dominique Fisher Marcus Newton Stuart Snyder Munly Leong Andy White James Farley Elizabeth Butler Christopher Drake Stephen Baxter James Peterson Grant Nay Jess Shoolman