Steve Wozniak knows a thing or two about start-ups. He, with the late Steve Jobs, co-founded one of the most fabled start-ups ever – Apple, maker of the world’s first personal computer, as we know it.
When Woz speaks, the tech world, understandably, sits up and takes notice. It was just the thing that happened when he was here Down Under.
“APAC has some great start-up hubs but what it needs is global recognition,” Wozniak said, with Talent International chief Richard Earl by his side.
“The USA works well to promote its industry and the start-ups there are well placed to access VC and other types of support and financing. But now we need to focus on the rest of the world,” he added.
The tech wizard also urged the global industry, which is often biased towards Silicon Valley, to harness global talent.
“We all know diversity brings so much more to the table and by focusing outside of the usual and rewarding all sorts of people in tech, we can only make it better,” he said.
“…more and more we’re seeing interesting start-ups flourish outside of Silicon Valley in places such as the UK and India but also in Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, and Brazil to name just some,” he added.
Earl, the founder and managing director of Talent International, called out for more support to entrepreneurs and professionals in the APAC region.
“Our concern is the insufficient interest and activity at a grass roots level in terms of innovation, ideas and technology start-ups,” said Earl, whose firm does IT consultancy and placement. “This is becoming more of a concern in Australia than ever before – we need to provide the same support as our counterparts in Northern America.”
Earl urged, notably, the government to increase access to start-up capital for new businesses, offer tax incentives for innovation, support research, and, generally, build a better entrepreneurial culture.
“We need to recognise that at times we live in a risk averse region and this needs to be addressed. If we’re naturally less inclined to support and finance innovation, to implement new processes and to apply new technologies; then we need strategies to overcome that.” he said.
Earl, with Wozniak by his side, also announced the Talent Unleashed Awards that will honour technology superstars across APAC.
Wozniak, who will be a judge of the awards, said he believed the awards would inspire people and provide exposure to some great minds and achievers.