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The Federal Government is committed to making innovation a centrepiece of the Australian economy. Policy Hack is an opportunity for industry to develop and pitch innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy problems and help foster the growth of innovation industries in Australia.

Along with Assistant Minister for Innovation Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, BlueChilli will bring together representatives from startups, VC funds, accelerators and other components of the innovation ecosystem, with policy experts from departments of Treasury, Industry and Communications to collaborate in a one-day industry policy hackathon in Sydney, Saturday 17 October 2015.

We’ll use the hackathon methodology to nominate, select and work together in mixed teams on new government policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.

Funding, taxation, education, migration — everything is on the table.

The champions on the highest voted policies will be invited to Sydney to lead teams on the day to workshop their ideas with government representatives.

The goal is to present a set of creative new ideas to an audience of government officials by the end of the day, to give them the top-line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

If you have a policy idea or you’d like to see and vote on which policy ideas are collaborated on at Policy Hack, you can get started right now.

The Federal Government is committed to making innovation a centrepiece of the Australian economy. Policy Hack is an opportunity for industry to develop and pitch innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy problems and help foster the growth of innovation industries in Australia.

Along with Assistant Minister for Innovation Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, BlueChilli will bring together representatives from startups, VC funds, accelerators and other components of the innovation ecosystem, with policy experts from departments of Treasury, Industry and Communications to collaborate in a one-day industry policy hackathon in Sydney, Saturday 17 October 2015.

We’ll use the hackathon methodology to nominate, select and work together in mixed teams on new government policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.

Funding, taxation, education, migration — everything is on the table.

The champions on the highest voted policies will be invited to Sydney to lead teams on the day to workshop their ideas with government representatives.

The goal is to present a set of creative new ideas to an audience of government officials by the end of the day, to give them the top-line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

If you have a policy idea or you’d like to see and vote on which policy ideas are collaborated on at Policy Hack, you can get started right now.

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The "1% rule". Mandate that 1% of all superannuation must be invested in venture capital. PROBLEM: Australia has plenty of entrepreneurs and increasingly there is enough seed investment around to get ventures off the ground. But startups move offshore when they need a Series A/B to grow. Seed-stage startups typically don't employ many people and don't make a profit. It's only when they get to the growth stage and they hire 50, 100, 200 people etc and start turning a profit that they deliver a net benefit to society. Right now, those companies are going offshore because there just aren't enough VCs who play in the Series A or B space ($1m-$10m) and valuations are a lot lower than overseas, which means Australia is missing out on the startup companies that actually generate jobs and tax revenue. Blackbird is doing some amazing work and recently raised a fund from super funds to play in the series A space. But more needs to be done. SOLUTION: mandate that 1% of superannuation funds need to be invested in venture capital specifically for Series A & B rounds. Australia has $2.02 trillion in supernannuation funds as of June 2015. Redirecting 1% of that is not going to hurt anyone, but it is going to make an extra $20 BILLION available to Australia's startup sector. Without affecting the government budget whatsoever. It would probably make more sense to phase this in over time - I don't think Australia could realistically deploy $20 billion in VC investment overnight - but having access to a major pool of capital like that would ensure that more Aussie startups stay in Australia, create jobs here, pay taxes here. And it would also create an "investor class" of previously successful Aussie founders who are able to invest in the next generation of Aussie entrepreneurs.

A study from the Kaufman Foundation revealed that 52.4% of the top US startups were founded by immigrants, creating more than 560,000 jobs and generating more than $63bn in sales.

As of today, obtaining an entrepreneur visa in Australia is extremely challenging for a young ambitious startup founder. Among the many conditions that have to be met there are need to have raised $1m in founding - already quite rare in this country, let alone for an immigrant - or to already generate $300,000 in revenue.
Tech centres such as London are flourishing also thanks to the diversity of talent within their communities. Australia does not have the strategic geographical position of London, or the sex appeal of Silicon Valley, so the option left to us to stay competitive in attracting the best talent is to have easy, clear, fast, favorable and encouraging policy in place to make sure that ambitious entrepreneurs consider Australia to start their business. Initial suggestions to start discussions could be: - lower the amount of investment required; - lower the amount of revenue generation required; - allow a minimum initial period (6 months) to kickstart the business pre-funding; - support in understanding the local tax and legal system; - targeted innovation programs (i.e. grants or tax breaks) specifically to attract talent from abroad. Surely all must be done in a way to avoid the possibility to abuse the system and enter Australia without solid business plans, but the battle for international talent is a critical one in the race to becoming an innovation centre. Let's discuss it at policyhack! Gio

Getting from possibility to probability:
Innovation unites two processes – invention and entrepreneurship. Invention creates something new – the “possibility of innovation”. Entrepreneurship transforms something new into new value – evidenced initially in a strong business model through which investors can see the prospect of significant ROI. A demonstrably strong business model offers the “probability of innovation”. To get from possibility to probability requires skills in business model development, evaluation, improvement and optimization – with many ventures being weeded or highly modified in the process. These skills are known and substantially validated by evidence based research.
Currently the dominant paradigm through which innovation opportunities (invention + entrepreneurship) are supported is via mentors or groups of mentors (pitch panels). This method harnesses a wealth of valuable experience, war stories and explanatory anecdotes - but is very inefficient. Every mentor has a different view, every panel likewise and entrepreneurs end up with a long check-list of issues to consider in no priority order. If cars were built this way the wheels would fall off as you drive out of the showroom.
30 years of entrepreneurship research has begun to produce powerful data that substantially accounts for most of the variance between venture success and failure. Australia needs to complement the currently dominant paradigm of mentoring via anecdote with evidence based skills development, applying actuarial modelling to de-risk ventures and investment and using data analytics to help make Australia’s innovation ecosystem BETTER than those in other parts of the world. Crowd sourcing, tax incentives, more grants, industry incubators, venture accelerators and so on are all very helpful but ultimately – higher success rates are what will sustain a superior innovation ecosystem. Up-skilling the ecosystem, based on evidence to complement anecdote is ESSENTIAL to ensure that a bigger innovation ecosystem is also producing a higher return on investment and not just, more investment at current low rates of return and high rates of venture failure.

Create a Special Economic Zone in SEQ Queensland to match the Taxation conditions of Singapore & Ireland for High Tech Industry.

The establishment of a High Tech Special Economic Zone in South East Queensland (3 Major Airports, Proximity to the Asia Pacific, Attractiveness of the Climate to attract IT Global Company Operations Headquarters over Singapore), with a Taxation environment matching Singapore (And Ireland) for just the High Tech (IT, Telco, Software, Digital Business) sector, has a great potential to attract the APAC Sales hubs from the Multinationals of these industries, rather than to Singapore.
Rather than earning very little in taxation from these digital industries, we could be attracting the larger portion of it to Australia for the APAC hubs, not only to retain this taxation income in Australia, but to attract further income from the Asia Pacific for these operations. Australia is one of the few countries that does not implement Special Economic Zones for these trade benefits. More than a hundred do. But the majority of them are established to help a poor performing sector (eg. rural). In this instance it is to provide an ideal business environment for these High Tech Hubs specifically without detracting from Taxation income in other sectors, and make this region attractive to the Innovation industries. Australia and SEQ have many great attractions (Climate, political stability, financial stability, a good rule of law, etc), and the remaining element would be a competitive taxation regime for these industries. This would have a relatively low establishment cost, It is predominantly legislative change, similar to the attractive offers made to Virgin and Boeing to setup in the State, but as a formal Special Economic Zone (SEZ). For many years we have wished to establish a 'Silicon Valley' in Australia, with a High Tech SEZ, this could be the ideal seed for establishing that reality. We address the leaking of taxation income from this sector, and create an attractive area in Australia for High Tech industry investment in one swift blow.

People submitting ideas
Jack Taylor Sunny Goold Angus M Robinson Craig Davis Margaret OBrien Ed Bernacki Steve Dunn Craig Thomler Anthony Bishop Anita Spuler Andrew Downing Will Camphin Adam James Debra Rose Simon White Johan Karlsson Mark Rainbird Stephen Carroll Pete Ratcliffe Kit Kriewaldt Colin Kinner Matt vickers Clayton White Rayn Ong Andrew Macpherson