The 2016 Startup Muster survey results are in, providing key insights into the startup scene in Australia.

The Startup Muster is the largest survey on the Australian startup ecosystem, which measures and publishes the challenges and opportunities in the industry, and aims to demonstrate and accelerate impact. The results are subject to an extensive validation process and presented in the form of an annual report.

The survey was founded in 2013 as a volunteer effort, but soon elicited the support of the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science and Google.

The last survey was conducted during July 1st to August 15th and it had 118,926 questions with responses from 1,075 startup founders, 245 prospective startup founders, and 568 individuals or organizations who support Australian startups, such as incubators, investors, or accelerators.

The final report is based on responses from 685 verified founders as opposed to the report of 602 verified responses last year.

Some of the key findings of the reports are:

  • Despite the presence of startups in all eight states of Australia, a majority of these startups (40.9%) are located in New South Wales, followed by Queensland and Victoria. Western Australia, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory come at the lower end of the spectrum with 7.7%, 6.3%, and 6.2% of startups presence, respectively.
  • Fintech’s are the most predominant startups, at 15.9%, with retail coming in second at 14.8% and content or media startups are the third most popular industry at 14.4%
  • Emerging fields include fintech, healthtech (medtech and biotech), Internet of Things (IoT), education, software development, virtual or augmented reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • 2% of supporters— such as investors and co-working space owners are looking to support fintech and 52.1% are looking to support healthtech startups. However, content/ media is the least preferred by investors and accounts for only 15.1% in the survey results.
  • At 20.5%, founders aged 35-40 make up the majority, while founders aged 40-45 make up 14.7% of the startup ecosystem.
  • The average amount of funding raised per startup was AU$448,300
  • The issue of gender diversity, highlighting the fact that 47.5% startups do not employ women.

Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos, wrote the foreword for the report, highlighting the importance and role of the startup community. Sinodinos stated,

The government is committed to helping our startups and small businesses continue to grow. As our economy transitions we need more jobs, opportunities to trade and investment. The startup community is an essential tool to help us achieve that. While other sectors go through significant change, it’s our small businesses and startups that are hiring. That’s why it’s so important we continue to focus on innovation and understand how we can do better at turning our ideas into reality.”

State governments have launched several initiatives to support the startup ecosystem. For example, recommending measures to extend the school curriculum, implementing entrepreneurship programs in all Australian primary and secondary schools and universities, and the North South Wales government innovation strategy.

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