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The Australian tech startup sector has the potential to contribute $109 billion or 4% of GDP to the Australian economy and 540,000 jobs by 2033 with a concerted effort from entrepreneurs, educators, the government and corporate Australia.

In this April 2013 report, PricewaterhouseCoopers investigates the contribution of technology startups to the Australian economy and potential ways to accelerate the growth of such firms. The report finds that tech startups have the potential to generate $109 billion and contribute 540,000 jobs to the Australian economy by 2033. This would represent substantial growth for the industry which currently represents less than 0.5% of Australian GDP.

PricewaterhouseCoopers highlights five key areas of action for facilitating the growth in tech startups. These are culture, skills, opening markets, funding and regulation. In Australia the report claims the most pressing areas are culture and skills. In terms of culture the report notes that Australia suffers from a higher ‘fear of failure’ rate than other countries which contributes to the current low number of tech startups. Bringing these perceptions in line with countries like the US and Canada will be key to generating an engaged tech community and therefore a growing tech startups industry in Australia.

In addition to enhancing culture and community engagement the report promotes the need for more entrepreneurs with the correct skill set. This requires getting the existing workforce interested in entrepreneurship in the short-term whilst trying to encourage young Australians to acquire the necessary skills for the longer term. With respect to the longer term strategy, PricewaterhouseCoopers notes that 29% of tech startup founders studied computer science but only 2% of domestic graduates have a computer science qualification. It is hoped that by both increasing the popularity of computer science qualifications and starting computing education earlier the pool of available talent will surge to drive growth in the tech startup industry.