In the last five years, the landscape of business media has changed significantly – prior to 2012 tech coverage was heavily focused on ICT players at the top end of town.
In fact, words like ‘startup’ and ‘innovation’ were used in completely different contexts to how we see them used today in the media. The way we speak about startups today across the Australian media landscape (both independent and mainstream) stems from the formation of StartupAUS, the peak body of the Australian startup ecosystem.
One of the first initiatives the organisation – which was supported by and had key influencers from Google, Salesforce and UTS as founding members – was to actually define the term ‘startup’, giving the government, media and corporate Australia a specific way to approach the topic. It may seem quite trivial, but the act of defining ‘startup’ completely changed the way media told stories about new technology companies, the way all levels of government approached policy in the small business, trade, industry and finance portfolio, while also providing a foundation for the Federal Government to create the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Today, tech startups are an integral part of the daily mainstream conversation – touching the full spectrum of media platforms Australians engage with on a daily basis from newspapers to Snapchat. But more options and opportunity has not made it easier to get coverage in the press by any means – approaching the media with a newsworthy story always has and will be a science of sorts and some startups are better than doing it than others.
The top twelve Australian startups by news coverage are :
It is no surprise that Canva is number one. The company started building strong personal relationships with key people in the media well before it launched its platform and always presents the media with press opportunities that can be approached from multiple angles and translate well to a variety of demographics. Coming in second is Learning Management System (LMS) Moodle.
Coming in second is Learning Management System (LMS) Moodle. The Perth based eduTech startup is used by schools, private colleges, universities and companies to provide unique educational experiences to their students, clients or customers – in addition to a lot of trade-focused press in the education sector, Moodle enjoys a lot of coverage due to its open source initiatives that help communities gain access to education particularly via smartphones.
An example of this is the Green Innovation Centre and AfricaRice project teaching regional-based youth farming and agricultural skills which is helping to address unemployment levels in the African nation of Benin.
Rounding out the top three is influencer marketing platform TRIBE. Obviously, it helps that founder Jules Lund already had a successful career in television and radio prior to launching the startup and was able to leverage existing relationships for initial coverage. However, fame alone can only carry you so far and Lund has flawlessly executed a media strategy that has positioned him as a subject matter expert in the marketing sector in a relatively short period of time.