Alston leads venture capital delegation

AN AUSTRALIAN delegation is heading to Silicon Valley in the US to learn from its venture capitalists.

The trade mission includes ‘home-grown’ Australian venture capital funds and Aust-ralian representatives of major regional funds.

Communications Minister Richard Alston said access to ready sources of venture capital was a key driver to the success in the Silicon Valley, Israel and other successful IT clusters around the world.

“Small firms with great ideas need money to properly develop and commercialise their work but find traditional sources of finance are too risk-averse to invest in new technologies where the risks of failure are high but the fruits of success huge,” Senator Alston said.

“Although Australia’s venture capital market is beginning to mature, there is still a long way to go before it matches the US experience.”

Sen. Alston said the mission would give the opportunity to sell the benefits of Australia’s information technology and telecommunications industries.

“Australia’s strengths are often taken for granted by Australians but need to be actively promoted overseas,” he said.

“The Federal Government is also prepared to address, through the Ralph review of business taxation, the crucial issue of Capital Gains Tax, that many in the IT&T industries see as a key impediment to further expansion of the venture capital market.”

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