Monday, 12 October 2020 14:48

Victorian startup sector set to grow ‘jobs of future’ predicts LaunchVic

By
Dr Kate Cornick, CEO LaunchVic Dr Kate Cornick, CEO LaunchVic

Victoria’s startup sector has the foundations to support high-value jobs growth in the thousands every year, according to the annual Victorian Startup Ecosystem Mapping report which identifies a growing network of almost 1,900 local startups in the State employing almost 37,000 people in early 2020.

The LaunchVic report found that the $7 billion sector was rapidly maturing, with a growing network of almost 1,900 local startups employing almost 37,000 people in early 2020 - and that more than 40% of firms were earning annual revenue of between $1 million and $10 million, up from 10% of companies in 2018.

The report notes that launching three years ago, Swoop Aero manufactures drones with 3D printers in Port Melbourne which it uses to ferry vital vaccines and other medicines, clinical test samples and medical equipment into remote areas in countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique and Vanuatu.

LaunchVic says the company, whose co-founder Eric Peck is a former air force pilot, has plans to use its vertical take-off-and-landing craft for aeromedical transport in Australia - and projects that its workforce of 25 including aerospace, electrical and mechatronics engineers and robotics experts will triple in the next year.

Research from Deloitte Access Economics has found the startup sector could contribute an additional 15,700 Victorian jobs a year over the next 20 years, with drone medical logistics company Swoop Aero a “prime example of a Victorian startup taking innovation to the world and growing jobs”.

LaunchVic chief executive Dr Kate Cornick said: “Pre-COVID, Victoria's startup ecosystem was demonstrating significant momentum. Now we have a benchmark to guide how we can continue to support our high-growth firms and the next generation of founders to follow.”

“This year has presented great challenges to our founder community and their teams – as we emerge from this one-in-100-year event, the startup ecosystem will be more important than ever,” said Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford.

“Entrepreneurship will play a vital role in driving our economic recovery, creating new products and services and supporting high-skilled jobs.”
Commissioned by LaunchVic, the Victorian Startup Ecosystem Report was compiled in early 2020, providing a “vital benchmark” for the ecosystem and the impacts of the pandemic.

The report reveals that Victoria’s largest startup sectors are health, enterprise and corporate services, data and analytics, and commerce, which together make up 60% of startup firms, and more than 40% of startup founders were intent on creating new markets, “underlining the potential for these companies to change the way we live”.

LaunchVic says it has supported startups during the pandemic with new angel networks helping to see early-stage funding flow between investors and founders while its recent pre-accelerator funding will boost the next generation of founders, including more women.

“This year has presented great challenges to our founder community and their teams – as we emerge from this one-in-100-year event, the startup ecosystem will be more important than ever,” said Jane Pulford, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy.

“Entrepreneurship will play a vital role in driving our economic recovery, creating new products and services and supporting high-skilled jobs.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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