Why Australia?

People often ask – Why choose Australia as a base for business or as a home?

Why choose a country so far from everywhere with such a tiny population (of people) and so many ways to get killed by the native wildlife?

Why create a startup or build a life where white pointer sharks, killer brown snakes and deadly red back spiders are just some of the dozens of ways to die that other countries simply don’t have as an issue?

So here is our definitive list Why Australia is awesome for business and quality of life.

We think it makes Australia one of the best places on the planet to call home and create a business, especially a tech startup with a global product powered by the internet and/or mobile.

  1. Internet timezone.  68% of the world’s active internet users are in the same time zone as Australia’s West Coast and 61% on the East Coast. That is a lot of people to sell to or outsource work to or get investment from without having to work crazy hours to do support or sales calls.
  2. Force of law.  Australia inherited the English legal system, one of the most stable and pragmatic in the world and has applied it consistently for over 200 years with a very useful aspect called ‘precedent’ that makes sure it is applied practically. While many countries have great legal systems but they take years to actually get to court, Australia has rare examples like that but most cases are heard in days, weeks or months.
  3. Quality of life.  Rarely a month goes by with a major Australian city, particularly the East Coast being awarded best city or top 10 city globally for quality of life. Google that shit. Don’t believe me? Dig down on food or the health system or sport or home ownership. OK, let me choose just one statistic to close he argument. There are over 10,000 beaches in Australia. Say no more.
  4. Political stability.  Australians often joke about their ‘circus’ of a political system but it is one of the world’s most enduring democracies with three levels of government with various checks and balances. Much of it is based on a system inherited from the UK and many processes and principles shared with North America.
  5. Large markets nearby.  Ever head of Indonesia? Yes that little place literally on top of Australia with 240m+ people (the US has 320m+) or nearby China and India (2.6b+ people combined). Well that is just scratching the surface of countries nearby. Not to mention amazing hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong (small populations but high influence and GDP) and super regional players like Japan, Phillipines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia which combined with smaller neighbours rounds out to another 700m+ people.
  6. Strategic Connections – With China nearby and the largest trading partner in recent years Australia is off to a good start but dig deeper into history and you will see deep links to the USA, Canada and of course the UK where the original first fleet came from in 1788.With waves of immigration from Europe and Asia as well it is probably fair to claim no one other country or even continent has those three main axis as well covered and supported in depth than Australia and Sydney has taken the majority of immigration in recent decades.
  7. Languages – with over 250 languages you can see Australia has had a mixed immigration boom. While much of this has been sheer luck (waves of migration post war being the most common in the past (e.g. Greece, Italy, Vietnam) increasingly it is a lifestyle choice or a family choice. Hindi and Arabic figure strongly recently with 40% of Sydney-siders speaking an (additional) language other than English at home with Mandarin and Cantonese figuring highly in the high density city areas and nearby. Melbourne has long been widely quoted as being the largest Greek city after Athens. With sheer scale of language diversity you would be hard pressed to find a better place on the planet to build a global tech startup than Australia.
  8. Local Market – You could call Australia a small local market but even at ranking of 14th globally the GDP per capita for each Aussie  is well ahead of the USA, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Saudia Arabia, Germany and Sweden just to name a few. One Aussie is roughly equal to the combined GDP of one citizen from each of the bottom 50 GDPPC countries. Yes income disparity is alive and well on planet earth so lets not even talk about the top 10 countries shall we?
  9. Savings – Aussies have had compulsory superannuation for over 25 years, in fact many South East Asian countries took their lead and applied similar policies soo after. With $2Trillion in savings and growing at 8-15% pa this is a big pot. It has also lead to a booming local funds management industry which consistently ranks around 3rd or 4th in the world in funds under administration. A lot of this is historical invested via bigger partners e.g. across the Atlantic but increasingly it is being controlled from Sydney and Melbourne.
  10. Attitude. Aussies have a unique laid back yet very professional style. Don’t let those Crocodile Dundee movies fool you, with a great public health and education systems, no guns, booming tech startup ecosystem and major cutting edge names like Atlassian (largest software collaboration tools provider), Freelancer.com (largest services marketplace) and Canva (challenging Adobe) to name only a few new starters this is just the beginning of a big century for Oz. Remember the existing long term leadership in resources (ever heard of BHP or Rio Tinto) and finance (the big four are some of the most profitable banks in the global scene) not to mention continued innovation in health (cancer, antibiotics and so much more) and of course little old stuff like Wifi – there is no doubt the spirit is willing and the mind is sharp but best of all the heart is open.

But keep it a secret, we don’t necessarily want the world to know 🙂

Pete Cooper is the founder of The Start Society a national tech startup support organisation based in Sydney Australia.

StartSoc is the national independent grassroots industry body for tech startup entrepreneurs and their enablers (including team members, investors, educators and partners).

StartSoc was founded in 2014 after developing the community via mentoring since 1999, events like SydStart (now called StartCon and owned by Freelancer.com) since 2009 and spaces like iCentral since 2014.

StartSoc is 100% for purpose and volunteer run and exists solely to help founders help founders with peer learning, support and connections while they build global innovative products on internet and mobile.

#startoz #geek #startups #tech #sydney #australia #differentiators #auspol

Picture Credits: Panorama of the Jamison Valley located 90 Minutes from Sydney Australia and forming part of the one million hectare World Heritage site covered with dense eucalyptus trees and composed of Sydney sandstone a geological characteristic spanning around 200km of the East Coast of Australia in New South Wales across around 100km of coastal plains to the Blue Mountains. Taken by Pete Cooper Oct 2, 2016.

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