5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

By happy coincidence, Tesla has launched a ‘pop-up’ store in Adelaide less than a week after Elon Musk offered to fix the state’s power supply problems. Photo: supplied

Hello and welcome to Thursday.

1. Startup Victoria is hoping to produce the state’s first detailed startup map. The organisation’s launched an online survey that’s open until the end of the month and CEO Georgia Beattie said they want to map the ecosystem to “work out where Victoria is really kicking goals and which areas need greater support”. If you’re keen to play your part and have 10 minutes to spare, you’ll find the survey here.

2. The debate over Spaceship, the uber-cool superannuation disrupter continues. Millennial number cruncher Jason Andrew from Smartbooks ran his careful accountant’s eyes over the whole thing to sift the performance wheat from the marketing chaff and sees positives – “It has raised the profile of a rather boring, complacent industry and is encouraging millennials to take control of their future.” – and well… “the underlying fund appears to be very average when compared to the Big 6 funds”. Read all he has to say here. Our favourite part is where he looks at the investment portfolio and goes “I think Telstra is a typo — did you actually mean Tesla?”

3. Six Australian tech startups are off to the US next month hoping to kick some big goals. They’re part of elevate61, an alliance between KPMG and Advance Australia, and on a 10-day trip to San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York in April to network and meet with top VCs and industry experts, with long term hopes to crack the US Market. Read about the six startups joining the 2017 program here.

3. The world’s biggest residential ‘virtual power plant’ has just been switched on in Adelaide. Energy company AGL kicked off the project today bringing 60-plus homes together in a $20 million trial that will ultimately involved 1000 properties with their own battery storage, creating a virtual power plant with 5MW peak capacity, run by cloud-based software and feeding back into the grid. AGL estimates customers trial will save around $500 annually – and households taking part also score an 11.6kWh energy storage system for as little as $3,849. But as noble as the project is, the thing everyone’s talking about is the state premier tearing strips off the federal energy minister as the latter stands there wishing he’d brought along Harry Potter’s invisibility cape.

5. #ICYMI. Google’s Asia Pacific boss Karim Temsamani swung by the Sydney HQ this week from his Singapore base and the former Australia-based exec also gave politicians a ticking off when he spoke to the AFR.

“The political debate in Australia is more immature than most of the governments we talk to across Asia,” Temsamani said. “It seems that in Australia people are still playing politics rather than doing what is right for the country.”

Ouch. More on what he said, including a call for the government to find its courage on innovation again, to the Fin is here.

See you tomorrow for St Patrick’s Day.

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