But isn’t this just a reflection of the maturity of the ecosystem here? Are we comparing Adelaide’s-start to Sydney’s-middle? Everything is young and still developing here. Not to detract from the fact that we could be doing more at various levels, but I don’t see how we can rely on public institutions — whether university or government — to grow a startup community. At the end of the day, successful companies and entrepreneurs reinvesting in the community is what will grow the ecosystem in the long term. (see Xavier Niel and 42 in Paris churning out new generations of coders).
The universities are trying to solve their own problems first. That of survival in an environment where education funding is decreasing and students are increasingly looking online at digital pureplay institutes to up-skill rather than pursue enrolment at traditional education institutes. I don’t think its surprising universities have put their own brand and interest first by having startup events in their domain. They want to stay relevant and seen as connected to the scene. The effectiveness of their approach for the long-term benefit of all Adelaide startups I see as the strategy question there.
I don’t disagree though that Adelaide needs some entrepreneurial heroes to ignite and drive our startup scene. I just don’t think we’ll find them in government or universities.