Last week, Singapore was named as the fifth and final global landing pad joining San Francisco, Shanghai, Tel Aviv and Berlin. The landing pads are part of a five-year $11 million Global Innovation Strategy announced by the Federal Government in December 2015. All five landing pads will form global hotspots for startups and businesses to work in a physical space and network with global businesses, incubators and accelerators.
To be eligible to be located in an Australian landing pad, startups must be ‘market-ready’ with a proven business model. In addition to a short-term operational base, startups will also be provided with working visas for employees. Each landing pad will also house an Austrade coordinator to provide support for startups.
On May 6 2016, the Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Singapore government which set out the innovation engagement between both countries, aimed at enhancing collaboration and idea exchanges. Under the MoU, Singapore will invest SG$25 million over five years to support the program. In reciprocating the investment, Australia will match the funding through both government and non-government sources. Currently, Singapore is ranked seventh in the 2015 Global Innovation Index, ten spots ahead of Australia. Picking Singapore as the final landing pad further cements the Government’s commitment to support startups looking to expand to Asia.
On April 26 2016, Minister for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo, and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, made a joint statement announcing Berlin as an innovation landing pad. Berlin is a leader in global innovation and disruptive technology, as well as a low-cost business centre and the emerging major tech hub of Germany. As the only landing pad based in Europe, the Berlin landing pad will strengthen ties with Europe’s largest economy and also assist with negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union.
On February 26 2016, Shanghai was selected as an innovation landing pad. A physical presence in China, where there are 618 million Internet users and 300 million e-commerce shoppers, offers access to a services-oriented economy unlike anywhere else in Australia. The landing pad will further strengthen Australia’s trade relationship with China.
The first and only US-based landing pad was announced February 19 2016 at the RocketSpace technology campus in San Francisco, the home of startups and scaling tech companies. RocketSpace offers a number of startup services such as office-as-a-service, accelerator-like programming and tech consulting. Having a landing pad in San Francisco will provide invaluable opportunity to network with successful tech companies and allow to learn from the world’s leading tech giants. The landing pad program in San Francisco will offer Australian startups a three-month period to learn and scale their startup.
Tel Aviv was announced as the first host city for the Global Innovation Strategy landing pad program. Notably, the city was ranked the best startup centre outside the US by the Compass Global Startup Ecosystem. Located at SOSA (South of Salame), the ‘town square for the innovation industry’, startups will have access to the landing pad up to 90 days.
Time for Take-Off
The $11 million investment given to Austrade for these five landing pads will immerse startup founders and their employees in an environment like no other. The opportunity to share knowledge and have access to a network of innovators, investors and founders will help accelerate growth for many Australian startups. Questions? Ask our startup lawyers on 1300 544 755.