INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARKING

The question of how well Australia is performing relative to the rest of the world is important, but also very difficult to answer. In particular, it is hard:

  • to define exactly what one means by ‘good performance’,
  • to know what metrics are appropriate to measure that performance, and
  • to collect like-for-like data across the globe without distortion.

In short, it’s important to take any bold ranking or summary of national performance with a grain of salt. That being said, Australia is competing internationally in this space and our relative performance matters. Individual startups compete across borders and markets. They compete for talent with other startups and technology companies the world over. Australia itself competes as a destination for interest and investment in its technology sector.
 

Getting left behind has real consequences for the nation’s economy. So understanding how well our ecosystem(s) compete with our international peers is vital. This section provides a summary of key data from some of the leading global efforts to measure and benchmark ecosystems including Australia’s. Each of these data collection efforts concentrates on different areas, with different methodologies and weightings, but taken together they help paint a picture of Australia that is at least a solid representation of where we as a nation fit in globally. And comparing performance over time a sense of whether Australia has improved or declined relative to each organisation’s methodology.

STARTUP GENOME 2019

Sydney has been ranked 23rd in the world, and while Melbourne was not included in the top 30, it was noted as a growing ecosystem and given the 'Challenger' moniker in Startup Genome's 2019 report.

Sydney's ranking has dropped 6 places since the 2017 report, which in itself was a fall of 1 place from 2016. It performed well in connectivity and talent of the local ecosystem, but lagged behind in many other areas including performance, market reach and experience (Figure 21).

Both Sydney and Melbourne were acknowledged as growing ecosystems, and it is important not to give the impression that we are moving backwards. But growth in absolute terms is not enough to maintain a consistent ranking when other cities and countries are investing more heavily and moving faster.

Startup Genome is one of the best global rankings available - its results are intuitive for those who work in technology, it has links with local ecosystems that provide good access to data on the ground and is particularly focused on startups (rather than focusing on broader terms like innovation or entrepreneurship.) Our decline therefore is a warning sign that if we continue to let our support for new industries stagnate, we will fall behind.

FIGURE 21: TOP 30 STARTUP ECOSYSTEMS AS RANKED BY STARTUP (ECOSYSTEMS ARE CLASSED IN TIERS FROM 1ST TO 5TH)
genome rankin

GENOME ANALYSIS:
SYDNEY

genome sydney

GENOME ANALYSIS:
MELBOURNE

genome melbourne