HP sprinkles its dotcom sauce

The Australian Federal government's "non-interventionist" approach to industry development has cornered the IT industry into fending for itself, according to Hewlett-Packard managing director for Australasia Bruce Thompson.

According to Thompson, neither of Australia's two major political parties is dedicated to securing funding for IT startups or the internet-directed projects of bricks-and-mortar organisations.

"We have to go it alone as an industry," he said.

Thompson was speaking at the local launch of HP's Garage Program, a $500 million global resource assistance program for IT startups and other new players.

Under the program, HP will provide new IT players with infrastructure resources, advice on financing options, co-marketing opportunities, and guidance in taking high-tech products global, HP marketing director David Lenz said.

Lenz stressed that the Garage Program was designed to complement, not replace, other forms of funding, such as venture capital.

"We do not want to own the companies," he said.

Any unfunded startups accepted into the program will be steered towards appropriate funding sources, he added.

Lenz said HP would favour IT companies with business plans and revenue streams already in place.

The list of existing Garage beneficiaries includes online health insurance broker iSelect and buyer-to-supplier online intermediary BOBS.com.

Hewlett-Packard is currently seeking submissions from dot-coms and IT companies with revenues of around $1 million.

Information and submission forms are available online.

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