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Government of South Australia - Department of State Development


    Building a stronger, more diverse startup sector

    South Australia’s startup ecosystem has grown significantly over the last decade.

    Dealroom, an online platform that maps the growth of global startup and investment ecosystems, identifies more than 750 South Australian startup companies.

    According to national startup directory Techboard, SA startups collectively raised around $1.7 billion in capital between 2017 and 2023.

    And the Global Startup Ecosystem Report, released by Startup Genome in 2023, revealed that Adelaide had jumped an impressive 33 places in the global ecosystem rankings from 2022 to 2023, and increased in value by a staggering 347 per cent between 2020 and 2023.

    It also ranked Adelaide as a Top 5 city within the Oceania region for overall sector performance, and within the Top 10 both for funding raised and for talent and experience.

    The Department for Industry, Innovation and Science plays a key role in the continued growth and success of South Australia’s startup and innovation community.

    An important part of this support is the recognition that barriers exist in the state’s business community that hold us back from reaching our full economic potential.

    We know that women in particular are under-represented in our startup sector. Female-led startups raise less capital on average than male-led companies at all stages, less deals are done with female founders, and for lower values.

    To combat these barriers, we’re investing more than $100,000 in the Fearless Innovators Grant program, which will provide early-stage, high-growth potential, women-led South Australian businesses access to the capital they need to grow into national and global enterprises.

    DIIS has also partnered with Tribe Global Ventures to support 10 South Australian tech startup founders to join international trade missions, giving them the opportunity to participate in a curated program of meetings and events, and explore opportunities for export and expansion.

    And to ensure that startups at all levels can exchange ideas and knowledge, collaborate and connect with their peers, we are facilitating the Innovation Leaders Network, which brings together seasoned entrepreneurs and emerging startups for business acumen and boardroom lunch style events, as well as leadership and mentorship programs.

    As part of the upcoming Small Business Week, startups will have the opportunity to participate in a range of free events, including an Innovation Leaders Network session on strengthening business capability, or join tours of world class innovation districts Lot Fourteen and Tonsley.

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