5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

It’s Friday! Here’s what you need to know in Australian tech today.

1. Does this mean the startup world is going to vote Labor at the next election? Labor leader Bill Shorten last night gave a blockbuster Budget reply which was packed with initiatives which would go a long way towards building out the country’s tech sector.

Not only did Shorten support crowd-sourced equity funding, he also proposed a $500 million smart investment fund to partner with VCs and fund managers to get them investing is startups.

Shorten also called for coding to be taught in every primary and high school, he proposed $25 million should be spent on training teaches in programming, and to get more people to study science, tech, maths and engineering, student debts for 20,000 award degrees a year over five years should be written-off. There was also a puch to get the Coalition to “go further”and get the small business tax rate down 5% and set a goal that R&D spending should be upped from around .5% of GDP to 3% by 2020. Whoah.

2. It was a speech which impressed one of Australia’s top tech entrepreneurs, Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

3. Microsoft is stepping up to teach Aussie kids how to code. Today it has wrangled 800 high school kids from around Sydney to introduce them to the art of coding. It also did a bunch of research, surveying 1,850 students under 24 across the APAC region to figure out what they though about coding. In Australia 70% of students surveyed said “coding is cool” and a whopping 85% though it was a solid career option while 68% wish they new more about coding. It’s a bit of a wake up call.

4.Sydney-based startup PT Essentials has turned its little office space within Bluechilli into a badass CrossFit cage.

5. On indulgence. A little bit of self promotion, Business Insider has been nominated for a few gongs at tonight’s IT journalist awards night.

Both Liz Tay and I were nominated for best tech industry journalist, we’re also up for best tech industry coverage and best website. We’re very excited and have you guys to thank for all your support and for giving us something to write about everyday.

Australia’s tech sector is bubbling with talent and cool ideas. When we launched this column last year a few people asked me whether there really were five things people needed to know about in Australian tech EVERY DAY, and while at the start it was a push, increasingly there are more than 5 quality news items each day and the selection process of what’s in and what’s not is ramping up.

That’s a fantastic problem to have, so here’s to you guys.

Have an awesome weekend! I’m on Twitter.

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