Cyber security underpins government commitment to supporting start-ups

Daniel Paperny for FinTech Australia

Investment in cyber security and artificial intelligence will form the central focus for the Victorian Government who reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the local fintech and start-up ecosystem at FinTech Australia’s intersekt festival this morning.

In his address, Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis said that events like intersekt were a very important part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to nurturing the local start-up environment and understanding some of the key challenges that fintechs were faced with.

Dalidakis said a key priority for the government will be to focus on growing the artificial intelligence and machine learning industry for local start-ups and businesses, noting that fintech remained both a necessary and key component of the growth strategy for the Victorian economy but also Australia on a national level.

“Some people have been concerned about the fact that the Victorian government for a period of time wasn’t initially as focused fintech as they would have liked but the reason for that was that we wanted to make sure that we built the infrastructure in relation to cyber-security from the ground up,” Dalidakis said.

“We have noted of course that around the world, where fintech has flourished it has done so on the back of a very strong relationship with cyber security so that’s what we’ve been doing.”

“Now that we’ve gotten to a point where we’re getting some size and scale about our investment in the information technology sector, we will turn our attention to fintech.”

Earlier this week, the Victorian Government unveiled the start-ups that have been selected to participate in Australia’s first cyber security accelerator program, known as CyRise, which is jointly backed by Dimension Data, Deakin University and LaunchVic.

The group, which includes Brooklyn Dynamics, CYDARM, NetCrypt and Cybercitadel, will participate in an intensive six-month program, with each start-up receiving $50,000 to support initial validation, product development, growth and scaling.

Dalidakis noted that cyber security was one of the world’s fastest growing technology sectors and said Victoria was rapidly emerging as a leading Asia Pacific hub for the $120 billion global cyber security industry.

“We’ve seen some amazing tech capabilities in data and cyber security, together with web and mobile app development being the essential backbone of fintech investment and that has formed a key part of our focus,” Dalidakis said.

“However, the next big thing the Victorian Government will concentrate on is AI [artificial intelligence] and machine learning.”

Dalidakis also said that the launch of a new Victorian fintech hub was imminent.

“Many of you will be well aware that we went out to the market with an RFP [request for proposal] for a fintech accelerator program and a fintech hub here in Melbourne,” Dalidakis said.

“Whilst I’m not at the point where I could make that announcement, we are very close and within the next couple of weeks we’ll be able to talk about what we’re doing in Victoria as that next step for us to be able to support all our local fintech companies.”

Daniel Paperny was formerly a senior journalist for trade publication Financial Observer and now works as an Account Manager for Media & Capital Partners.