The report, which surveyed over 2,200 founders and future founders of startups, revealed 35% of companies were established by those born overseas, and 86% were university graduates.
“There’s a great opportunity for the international education industry to connect with the startup industry”
Considering the potential correlation between these two statistics, Riley Batchelor, chief executive and founder of education startup Masterly, said the figures point to a possible selling point for Australian education.
“When international students are looking for destinations to go to to learn, if there’s a strong startup community here in Australia, on top of our strong economy, that just gives them more potential options and reasons to come to Australia to study,” he said.
Speaking with The PIE News, Batchelor said that while on the surface the findings could be interpreted as a potential area of concern for graduate employability, they should instead be used as a selling point for Australia.
“There’s a great opportunity for the international education industry and the graduates to connect up with the startup industry more and continue to grow,” he said.
“It’s outcomes and it’s jobs.”
According to Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson, the findings showed a clear link between higher education and the startup community.
“This data powerfully refutes the myth that entrepreneurs are mostly people who either never went to university – or dropped out during their studies,” she said.
“This data powerfully refutes the myth that entrepreneurs are mostly people who either never went to university – or dropped out during their studies”
“Once again, the largest annual survey of startup founders in our country actually shows that the overwhelming majority of startup entrepreneurs in Australia are university graduates.”
Meanwhile, education also jumped from fifth to second highest focus industry for Australian startups.
Earlier this year, Navitas Ventures and EduGrowth, of which Batchelor was previously chief executive, lead a trade mission to the US for edtech.
Navitas Ventures chief executive Patrick Brothers noted that Australia could potentially beat out the US within the sector.
“Education is Australia’s largest services export. The US is the most desired study destination. Who’s going to seize this global opportunity?” he told The PIE at the time.