News & Analysis

South Australia startup community gets $400,000 from State government

- October 3, 2014 3 MIN READ

As South Australia’s startup ecosystem continues to flourish, State Government delivers on its promise to allocate $400,000 worth of funds to industry-led skills programmes delivered by Majoran, Adelaide’s only coworking tech community.

The funding is intended to foster innovation and job creation in South Australia. In February this year, SA State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall said South Australia has “brain drain” crisis and that the Labor government wasn’t doing enough to boost the state’s economic growth.

Many South Australian entrepreneurs disagreed, saying both major parties have taken a keen interest in local startups, with both Labor and Liberal leaders having pledged to invest in the community if elected.

In a previous interview with Startup Daily, Orren Prunckun, Adelaide Startup Weekend coordinator and prominent personality in the state’s startup scene, said “It’s welcomed news that the leaders of our state have taken an interest in startups as a way of developing the local economy.”

“Adelaide’s Startup Community has gone from strength-to-strength over the last two years and has achieved a critical mass through its community run grassroots initiatives. Any government financial support for groups like Majoran Distillery, SouthStart, Startup Adelaide and Startup Weekend will be positive and well received.”

In a recent news release, Minister for Science and Information Economy Gail Gago, who is a member of the Labor government commended Majoran for supporting local entrepreneurs and startups to collaborate and share ideas.

Majoran was established in 2012 by Michael Reid, a chartered accountant, and Chhai Thach, a software engineer. It boasts 40 members across 20 businesses that employ the equivalent of 38 full-time employees. As a group, their combined turnover last year was approximately $2.5 million.

The $400,000 funding commitment will see Majoran deliver a range of initiatives and events that caters to the needs of startups in South Australia, kicking off with HackFest on October 18th and 19th. Minister Gago also said that the funding will also support Mobile Enterprise Growth Alliance (MEGA), which provides entrepreneurs and startups with access to a network of mentors offering strategic advice and industry perspective.

Adding to that, Managing Director of Majoran, Reid said, “This funding will continue to showcase the work Majoran is doing to build strong and resilient local networks, fill knowledge gaps and bring a roster of experienced entrepreneurs to Adelaide.”

The investment will also be used to support the SouthStart conference being held in early February 2015. The event is expected to attract more than 50 exhibitors and 600 delegates from across Australia.

“The conference will connect and promote local startups and encourage industry to develop strategies to boost the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Importantly, it promotes Adelaide as the place for entrepreneurs to achieve their startup ambitions,” said Minister Gago.

“These initiatives are only the beginning and I encourage local industry to get in touch with Majoran to see how local startups and entrepreneurs can provide innovative IT solutions to business and industry problems.”

Reid stated in the news release that Adelaide is competing with the world to gain and retain talent.

“The way work is done nowadays has changed. There’s nothing stopping our members from jumping on a plane tomorrow and doing what they’re doing somewhere else.

“Majoran is passionate about providing the right tools, experts and connections to these people so that they can take their business to the world and succeed. We have members doing work for teams interstate – including some of the largest companies in Australia – and across the globe. This funding will help more of this happen.”

Minister Gago said South Australia’s long-term economic prosperity relies on nurturing a culture of innovation.

“There is no doubt that innovation is the way of the future and with this new State Government funding, we’ll see greater opportunities for local entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and create new businesses, new industries, and new high-tech jobs, boosting South Australia’s competitiveness,” she said.

“With resources like the Adelaide Free WiFi network and the recently announced Internet of Things Innovation Hub, Adelaide provides the perfect test bed for new ideas and ventures.”