​Big business supports Aussie tech but fails to give start-ups a fair go

​Big business supports Aussie tech but fails to give start-ups a fair go

Does the top end of town embrace emerging businesses across the country?

Australian business leaders will readily buy from local technology companies but are alarmingly hesitant to embrace start-ups.

That’s according to new research by local start-up, Nitro, which sheds light on how ready the top end of town are to embrace emerging businesses across the country.

The survey of 300 of Australia’s business decision makers, from medium to large companies, found 71 per cent “prefer to support Australian tech companies over global tech brands”.

When it comes to supporting start-ups however, just six per cent of business leaders indicated “they trust and support start-ups over long standing brands” - of this group no business leader over 55 said they’d trust and support a start-up over a long standing brand.

Furthermore, this lack of trust appears to be correlating with relative inaction when it comes to buying start-up products or services with only 14 per cent of respondents indicating they purchase from start-ups frequently.

Delving deeper, research shows that decision makers, including C- Suite, senior executives and senior management, were actually more likely to buy from a start-up with 53 per cent indicating their company purchases from start-ups frequently - just 11 per cent of middle management said the same.

“Our research speaks volumes to how deeply informed and connected senior management are with the benefits start-up solutions can bring to big business,” Nitro director of Asia Pacific, Adam Nowiski, said.

“Even so, it’s disappointing to see that overall there is still hesitancy when it comes to embracing start-ups."

Nowiski outlined how this distrust stems from a widespread lack of clarity among the business community on what a "start-up" encompasses.

“There needs to be a distinction between start-ups in their infancy and companies, such as Nitro, that have start-up roots but have since developed a global brand presence and now have customer success systems in place,” he explained.

But while having this clarity is necessary, Nowiski acknowledged that it’s also important that young start-ups aren’t discouraged by big businesses not giving them a look in.

“Start-ups need capital, talent and above all customers to grow,” he added.

“So, without Aussie businesses backing them and integrating their ideas into organisational strategy, we’re at risk of stifling the growth of our innovation sector.

“You’d be amazed at the systems and advanced processes in place, even at some of the most early stage companies. What you see on the surface often doesn’t reflect the depth of capability and innovation when it comes to start-ups of any shape or size.”

Australian-founded, Nitro is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Melbourne and Dublin, and is recognised as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the world, following BRW Fast 100, Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Software 500 recognitions.

As a software partner of Lenovo, more than 600,000 businesses run Nitro, including over 50 per cent of the Fortune 500.

Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis, said research such as Nitro’s is a “great indicator” for government decision making.

“Research like this is great for state and federal governments to get a better understanding of how big business is looking at the local tech industry and where they see opportunities for growth," Dalidakis added.

“It's great to see Nitro, one of Victoria's great start-up success stories, getting behind the local industry to help others like them attract investment and grow.”

In addition, research claimed that business leaders are more likely to buy from an Australian tech company (55 per cent) than a global tech brand (38 per cent), yet more C-suite executives (52 per cent) don’t pay attention to the origin of their tech product than do (44 per cent).

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