29 September 2022

The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) members will play a lead role in the Federal Government’s Startup Year program, helping the next generation of entrepreneurs and job creators bring their ideas to life.

Minister for Education, Jason Clare, and Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic, have announced that the Albanese Government will commence Startup Year in 2023 and released a consultation paper on the developing of implementation.

Startup Year will provide 2,000 graduates and businesses with a year-long opportunity to access mentoring at our university campuses, learn from academic experts, access world-class facilities, and test new business ideas.

ATN Universities currently supports student entrepreneurs, and hosts hundreds of start-ups and micro-businesses at our campuses and through Curtin Accelerate, Deakin ManuFutures, RMIT Activator, The University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, UniSA Venture Catalyst and UTS Startups.

ATN Executive Director, Mr Luke Sheehy, said Australia’s world-class income contingent loan scheme, HELP, is one of Australia’s greatest policy innovations having served us well for more than 30 years and has played a direct role in expanding access to higher education without the barrier of up-front costs.

“The Startup Year program rightly recognises that Australia’s universities play a critical role in driving new ideas, innovation and opportunity in the Australian economy,” he said.

“ATN universities strongly believe that all Australians regardless of background or circumstance should have the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills and business acumen as part of their university experience.

“As Australia’s leading university grouping for industry collaboration, innovation and enterprise, our universities, students and graduates are uniquely placed to take advantage of the Government’s Startup Year policy.”

Startup Year will provide up to 2,000 HELP loans each year to allow final-year undergraduate students and current post-graduate students to participate in a higher education-based incubator or accelerator program.

The Government’s consultation closes on 15 November 2022.