5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Steve Baxter joined Caltex in backing this startup. Source: Shark Tank/Facebook.

Good morning. Only 45 more sleeps to the election. Here’s what you need to know.

1. If you want to get Sydney’s tech scene firing, don’t wait for politicians standing around talking about innovation and startup hubs. Just do it.

That’s the message from Spreets founder Dean McEvoy, startup “godfather” Mick Liubinskas, and Riley and Gen Bachelor, who’ve rounded up their sector’s very best to create TechSydney, an industry group to mentor and develop promising tech startups.

It’s a supergroup of mentors including Atlassian, Canva, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Tyro, Prospa, Airtree Ventures, Reinventure, Blackbird Ventures, and 30 more companies.

McEvoy is TechSydney’s CEO and their goal is to make Sydney a top 10 tech hub, as well as being a contact point and lobby group for the sector. Read more about it here.

2. Shark Tank recap. Yes, we know you were watching The Voice and who the Madden brothers were choosing for their team, but we thought it was cool that Brisbane-based Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter was keen to stump up $300,000 for 4% of car-sharing platform Car Next Door. Baxter is also getting on board as an advisor.

Despite the “Uber of…” reference and the market already filled with a bunch of established car-sharing models, this one looks like it has serious pedigree, including $2.5 million from Caltex, plus another $1.3m from VCs recently.

They currently have 400 cars, with a target of 10,000 in four years. Keep an eye on them.

3. Speaking of Uber, not, Ingogo, the taxi payments service is moving from metered fares to fixed rates, basically making cabbies bid for your business. You have to accept the price before the taxi is dispatched, but rather than a $35 fare to Sydney airport suddenly costing you $50, that means you know what you’re up for.

Ingogo CEO, Hamish Petrie says they want to keep taxis competitive and take the battle up to Uber.

Read more about the plan here.

4. Looking for your next big career move? Before you sit down to negotiate your salary, it might be worth checking out “ValueMyCV”, a new tool that from online job search engine Adzuna.
Business Insider’s Greg McKenna tried it with his CV and after about a minute, they reckon he’s was worth about what he was paid the last time he worked full time in banking.

The site launches officially on Wednesday but the beta version is live here.

5. Good news if you’re a prolix Twitter user. Word the micro-blogging site, which is trying to find ways to stay relevant, is going to ditch links and photos as part of the 140 character limit, according to Bloomberg.

Twitter declined to comment, but after everyone got pretty cranky when the idea of scrapping the 140 cap was floated earlier in January, you can bet most users would be happy with a bonus 23 characters if a link no longer counts.

The details are here.

* BONUS ITEM: How to protect your privacy if you’re using apps which track your movements

EXTRA BONUS: Build you own Tesla Model 3? Yes please. Gizmodo reports that there’s a way to fill in the time waiting for Elon Musk’s volkswagen, thanks to one electric car fanboy. He’s build a configurator to muck around with paint jobs, even though we don’t yet know what colours Telsa will offer. It’s pretty basic, but the view of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge in the background makes it an easy way to while away a few minutes dreaming.

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