NSW Government and Startups

I had a particularly disappointing meeting with NSW Government last week.

I’ve been a strong supporter of Government’s role in the formation of a sustainable startup ecosystem where others have pushed much harder for a laissez faire approach. That has extended to dedicating time and resources to helping with the creation and promotion of government activities.

Implicit in my position, however, was an assumption that this engagement with the startup community was being led by people with an understanding of the needs of startups and the startup community more generally and that those people were working hard to address those needs within the confines of Government process and structure.

In the past this was the case. Now it’s the exception.

There are still some fantastic people trying to make a difference but the meeting I had last week was farcical. It’s now clear to me that NSW Government’s broad digital innovation agenda is to do as little as possible but to stay engaged enough to try and hang their hat on any possible successes.

I feel sorry for those good people inside NSW Government who really do believe deeply in the role that tech startups can can play in our state’s future and who are trying hard to gain the industry a higher priority. If I was in your position, I would have quit a long time ago.


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