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Three ways that Newcastle needs to capitalise on the Turnbull Government’s Innovation statement

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If you’ve ever had an idea for a business website or an app, now’s the time to put your business plan together and work on a prototype of your idea.

I’m a country boy at heart (I grew up in Mudgee and Bathurst). But, like many, when I wanted to build my career I moved to Sydney and spent more than ten years working with some of Australia’s biggest brands.

When I moved to Newcastle a few years ago to start Mudbath, I couldn’t believe that I had found a place that combined the community feel of a country town with big city business opportunities.

As a business owner, I’ve realised the importance of having a great standard of living, lower overhead costs, access to other cities and the opportunity to network with a growing business community.

This is why I believe there is a massive opportunity for Novocastrians to take advantage of the Turnbull Government’s innovation statement.

Now local business people are incentivised to make Newcastle the Silicon Valley of Australia.

Here are the three biggest opportunities for Newcastle startups to take advantage of the new innovation policy framework:

  • Capital gains exemptions: This is Gen Y’s version of negative gearing. If money remains invested in start-ups for more than three years, the investor will be exempt from capital gains tax on any profit made. It’s a win-win and we can invest in real, innovative, Aussie companies that have amazing digital ideas.
  • 20% tax offset for investing in new businesses: This is a fantastic opportunity to promote collaboration with investors, which ultimately spreads the risk of investment.
  • New entrepreneur Visas: Our biggest commodity is human capital so for this innovation strategy to work, we need to attract skills to Newcastle.

Just as the new tax offsets encourage a culture of risk-taking through early-stage investments, Mudbath seeks to use these early stages to turn ideas into viable products.

How do start-ups turn big ideas into digital products like apps or business websites?

Start-ups, in particular, have great visions and ideas but may be unable to develop those ideas into a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or possess the business acumen to fine-tune their idea and build a business plan. We can help turn ideas into reality.

Through our Vision Canvas (which is our process of researching, testing and analysing ideas, markets, user experience and design), we give our clients the framework to define their product idea and business plan. Then we develop an MVP/prototype that they can use when pitching their ideas to Venture Capitalists (if they aren’t self-funded).

We love local innovation and we fundamentally believe that with a solid user experience design and development team behind them, start-ups will thrive in Newcastle.


Our team of highly experienced User Experience Designers and Developers can help you research, design and build your next digital project. Got an idea in the works? Get in touch.