After introducing the Entrepreneur Visa last year to encourage entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to build their startups on Australian shores the government has received only one application in the last twelve months.
The 2017 Startup Aus Crossroads Report was released yesterday, with Startup Smart covering it here. The report calls on the government to add angel investors to the list of applicable funding sources, noting that “most Australian seed rounds are angel-led”.
International founders need to raise $200,000 from a limited pool of approved Australian investors, apply for acceptance by a state or territory government, pay a minimum $3670 filing fee, and then play the waiting game, which can be a lengthy enough time to kill a business or look for somewhere else to call home.
We are witnessing how challenging it is launching a startup in Australia for international founders. One of our clients (unlisted on our site) is currently hopping between countries on limited cash whilst boot-strapping his startup with uncertainty around timing for their visa to be approved after a very difficult application process. With the difficulty, expense and uncertainty the decision is close to putting startup roots down in another country where it is more viable.
That on top of difficulty recruiting technical talent in Australia with the 457 visa changes is not "encouraging entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to build their startups on Australian shores".
Startups are set to contribute $170 billion to Australia’s economy by 2020, and an ever-increasing amount of jobs. In the six years leading up to 2011, new firms created over 1.44 million jobs in Australia, compared to a reduction of 400,000 jobs from established firms over the same period (Source: StartUp Smart).
The funding requirements for the Entrepreneur Visa don't stack and need to be revisited.
Dominic Powell from SmartCompany has covered the Entrepreneur Visa in more detail here.