May 25, 2022 2 min read

Stoic VC are looking forward to reforms promised by the incoming Labor Government.

The Labor party’s trade union rather than pro-business background has meant they have not traditionally been thought of as a positive for the venture capital sector. However Labor have promised reforms that should benefit venture capital firms and the start-ups they invest in.

The Labor Party has promised to create 1.2 million technology jobs by 2030, a $1.6 billion research commercialisation fund and a $1 billion Critical Technologies fund. A “Start-up Year” program is planned to get more graduates into start-up jobs, while a $1.2 billion defense research agency will boost innovation in the nation’s defense capabilities.

Venture capital investors should also benefit from Labor’s more ambitious climate policies giving better alignment with other advanced economies on environmental goals.  Australia’s previous lower climate standards have been a barrier to technology collaboration, particularly with Europe.

Increased technology collaboration with similar advanced economies means more advanced intellectual property can be developed in Australia. And not just in clean tech, but also areas such as defense, space and cybersecurity.

Venture capital managers want local skills development that supports Labor’s long term “Australian made” policy stance. However this will not happen straight away. So in the short term VCs want immigration policies that help fill the skills shortage in areas such as IT, engineering and start-up managers with an applied science background.

Labor should restart the processing of Significant Investor visas so more venture capital can flow into the Australian technology sector.  This is especially valuable as the recent fall in technology share prices has had a chilling effect on the availability of angel seed capital in Australia.

 

- Geoff Waring, MP