Fresh off opening spaces in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, the Government has announced plans to establish its third of five global landing pads for Australian entrepreneurs in Shanghai, giving local startups easy access to the world’s biggest market. Part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the landing pads aim to help Australian innovators and tech startups pursue international opportunities from collaborative workspaces in the world’s biggest startup cities.
Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science along with Treasurer Scott Morrison, and Steve Ciobo, Minister for Trade and Investment announced Shanghai as the selection for the next landing pad in a joint statement, acknowledging the city as a global centre for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurs accessing the landing pads will be assisted to commercialise their products and services through access to the expertise, infrastructure and innovation and marketing networks of local partners,” Pyne said.
“Landing pads are a key component of our agenda because they will build international collaboration performance by emerging Australian companies, enabling them to leverage the entrepreneurial expertise in these strategic hubs.”
The landing pads are part of $11.2 million that has been invested into Australia’s global innovation strategy, which aims at penetrating agile business markets that have the capacity to scale Australian startup businesses.
Morrison is currently attending the G20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Banks Governors’ meeting in Shanghai and will be consulting with the Chinese Government and local stakeholders for the landing pad proposal.
Morrison said recent changes to the city’s labour market is opening its economy to further opportunities for Australian entrepreneurs.
“These changes have attracted the global attention of investors and entrepreneurs with an eye on China’s 618 million internet users and 300 million ecommerce shoppers,” he said.
“Additionally, China’s rapid economic growth and increasing centrality to the global economy mean its markets represent an exceptional opportunity for Australian entrepreneurs aiming for global scale and impact, particularly as our services-oriented economy is stepping up to the wicket.”
The Government announced the first landing pad in Tel Aviv, Israel last December, highlighting the fact that Tel Aviv has the third highest number of companies listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.
“We in Australia have watched Israel’s economy rise from an economy primarily based on agriculture and traditional manufacturing sector to a technologically advanced nation,” said Pyne.
“The potential for Australian companies to take advantage of Israel’s knowledge-based, technologically advanced economy is enormous.”
San Francisco, recently announced as the second city to host a landing pad, is expected to facilitate networking between US investors and the 20,000 Australians working in Silicon Valley.
As well as acting as physical spaces for Australian entrepreneurs looking to expand their ideas and businesses overseas, these pads will give entrepreneurs access to venture capital funds, facilities, and contacts.
Pyne has confirmed that $36 million has been allocated towards the creation of five landing pads around the world, enabling Australian startups to step into foreign markets.
The two other cities set to host the final landing pads will be announced by the Government shortly.
Image: Christopher Pyne. Source: The Sydney Morning Herald