First interactive map of the Australian tech startup ecosystem released today.

28th May 2012

Does Australia have what it takes to create the next Facebook?

Australia might not be top of mind as a hot spot for digital innovation but with Aussie companies like Kaggle, Atlassian and 99Dresses making a dent in the digital universe it’s only a matter of time before the next Facebook comes from downunder. To shine some light on this question Australian startup Floq has today released the first interactive map of tech startups down under.

Floq, which has been touted as the most beautiful and easy to use survey app on the market, created the map to help Australian tech startups get a clearer picture of the ecosystem down under, and the strengths & weaknesses of different locations.

The Startup Nation map, which can be found at – www.floqapp.com/startupnation – shows more than 150 startups across the country and across categories from digital marketplaces and ecommerce websites to social apps and mobile games. It was compiled with results collected from a survey that aimed to find out how important physical communities are in supporting startups and entrepreneurship. Startups, venture capitalists and founders of co-working spaces and incubators filled out the survey.

Floq founder Jonah Cacioppe said the survey was designed to see how supportive startups found the Australian ecosystem, and to test if the long held view that areas with more supportive ecosystems have a higher success rate for startups.

“We want to check two things: one, what folks think about the level of support their city, family & friends, mentors and investors provide across Australia.

Our second aim is to see if the guys and girls building pixels that do more mingling, and live in cities or suburbs that foster more random meet ups, track any different. Does having a coffee with colleagues really help foster bigger ideas and better companies? We’re still working on this part.”

Members of the startup community were asked to rate how supportive are your friends, family, mentors, investors and your city overall, on a seven point scale from very helpful to very unhelpful.

This first set of results show that mentors and advisors are the most supportive aspect of the startup community. Friends follow and then family and cities. Investors come out as the least supportive aspect of the Australian startup ecosystem. The map shows a breakdown of the major cities and how they fared in each of the above categories.

Based on the total scores Sydney comes out top of the pack in terms of supportiveness across all five aspects (city, family, friends, mentors and investors). Followed by Melbourne and Perth. Tasmania, Brisbane and Adelaide’s response numbers are at this stage too small to be properly ranked – however early indications show Tasmania ranking well. City rankings by total Floq score were:

  • 1. Sydney:  22.24 (50 respondents)
  • 2. Tasmania:  22 (2 respondents)
  • 3. Melbourne:  21.8 (40 respondents)
  • 4. Perth:  19.81 (18 respondents)
  • 5. Brisbane:  19.735 (4 respondents)
  • 6. Adelaide: 16.5 (7 respondents)
The supportive ranking for the five aspects of the startup community by total Floq score were:
  • 1. Mentors: 4.8
  • 2. Friends: 4.6
  • 3. Family: 4.4
  • 4. City: 3.9
  • 5. Investors: 3.7

To see the full data table download the PDF version of the press release.

The map and first survey on community and success are a part of a bigger Floq initiative, Startup Nation, which the team at Floq hopes will become a definitive resource for the Australian tech startup community.

“Through quarterly pulse surveys we’ll aim to create a picture of the different factors that contribute to a vibrant startup community in Australia. We’ll do this by using the Floq platform to publish and distribute simple pulse surveys to the industry, and then publish our findings through the interactive map, infographics and white papers,” he said.

Jonah said he hopes the resource will help Australian startups get a clearer picture of where they stand and what they need to do to create an environment in which the next Facebook could flourish.

“It’s no secret that Silicon Valley has an unbelievably supportive network driven by everyone’s that no doubt contributed to the success of startups like Facebook. The data we’ve now got gives us a clearer idea of just how supportive our country is for tech startups,” he said.

“We know we’re missing a lot of data because not every startup and those associated with them have filled out the survey but judging from this initial data, it’s questionable whether we do have an ecosystem in Australia to support the next Facebook.”

“The big gap sees to be in the seed financing of startups, and while the cost of getting the next Instagram off the ground is dropping startups still need bold investors to put cash into innovative products.  I think the data points at why many Aussie startups feel they should look for more enthusiastic investors and good deal terms in the US.”

“We hope that will change dramatically over the next few years as more emphasis is put on the importance of a digital economy. Who knows, one of these startups may be the next Facebook – really why not!”

Floq will be releasing more information in an infographic and full report from the survey over the coming weeks. Those who haven’t filled out the survey and want to get themselves on the map should visit: www.floqapp.com/startupnation

For more detailed results from the survey and Floq scores for each city across all five aspects download the full press release.

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