Engineers looking to start their own business must not only have a problem their idea will solve, but know where their best chances are to access funding.
Growing bright ideas into a profitable business isn’t just a challenge tech startups face. It is also a challenge faced by university researchers and innovative engineers looking to commercialise their products.
According to University of Queensland’s Professor Stuart Crozier, getting early-stage venture capital is still incredibly difficult in Australia. “We need early-stage investors that are prepared to go for a ride for several years in reality. And that’s very difficult,” he said.
But that’s not to say it’s impossible. Australia is home to incredible startups founded by engineers-turned-entrepreneurs. Think Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, an engineer who founded Australia’s largest startup accelerator BlueChilli; James Chin Moody, who comes from a long line of engineers, started Sendle, Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral shipping service; and Engineers Australia Fellow Alan Noble, who resigned from his Head of Engineering job at Google Australia in 2018 to focus on his startup AusOcean, a not-for-profit developing open source ocean technology to help solve ocean science and conservation challenges.
Whether you are still deciding if your bright idea is worth pursuing or you are ready to look for early-stage venture capital, it is worth understanding the startup ecosystem in Australia and globally. The world’s leading innovation policy advisory and research firm, Startup Genome, released a report that listed the top 40 startup ecosystems based on seven success factors, including performance, talent, and connectedness. Only two Australian cities — Sydney and Melbourne — made the list.
Learn more about optimising idea development and managing the complex, risky processes of innovation in Engineers Australia’s upcoming webinar on May 24. For more details visit the website.