Boardroom briefing: the best places in the world for startups, the dreaded performance review and pigs on blockchain


Report reveals top places in the world for startups, what to do instead of annual performance reviews, and a traceability system for the pig farming industry in Papua New Guinea. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

Where are the best places in the world for startups?

StartUp Blink has published a map of startups around the world. The US, the UK, Canada, Israel and Australia top the list. Credit: StartUp Blink

StartupBlink is an organisation that monitors the ‘ecosystems’ around the world that encourage startups, and has just released its 2019 rankings.

PNG and the Pacific don’t rate a mention in the top 100 countries (yet!), but topping the list are the US, the UK, Canada, Israel and Australia.

India (17th), Singapore (21st), Japan (23rd), New Zealand (26th), China (27th), Thailand (33rd) and Indonesia (41st) are the leading countries in Asia-Pacific region.

The rankings identify some of the factors that make startups work.

‘Building a new company in a vibrant ecosystem provides an immense advantage by connecting the startup with crucial resources: investors and accelerator programs, potential co-founders, clients, suppliers, coworking spaces, and other critical infrastructure, as well as the knowledge gained from meetups and events.

For inspiration, PNG’s policymakers need look no further than across the Torres Strait:

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‘Queensland … has seen a huge surge of startup activity over the past 5 years. This was not an accident, rather a well-orchestrated effort with massive funding from the government to turn Queensland into a global startup hub.’

Annual performance reviews? Fail

Performance reviews can be stressful for both parties. Credit: Anagha Dhomne CC 4.0

Have you ever been involved in an annual performance review that went really well?

If not, you are not alone. According to this article on the BBC website, republished from Knowable Magazine, staff and managers alike detest annual performance reviews but most companies still do them.

If you are ready to try a different approach, one suggestion arising from the article is for managers to ‘double down on the practice of everyday management. That means checking in on employees every day and giving them real-time feedback on things they’re doing well and areas where they can improve.’

So in other words, managers need to manage. Who would have thought it?

Pigs get the blockchain treatment in PNG

Farmers learning to tag pigs and use the mobile app. Credit: FAO

An exclusive diet of sweet potato and the correct vaccination program increases the value of pigs tremendously. But keeping a register of each animal and then showing those records to potential buyers isn’t that straightforward for farmers in PNG.

That is why AgriDigital, a Sydney-based blockchain company specialising in agricultural commodities, has partnered with the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Unit, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, digital consultancy Switch Maven and tech venture studio Decoupled Ventures to implement a traceability system for the livestock industry in PNG.

The system is called Geora and AgriDigital describes it as ‘a commercial blockchain protocol to trace, trade and finance agriculture supply chains.’

The program was launched in March this year in Jiwaka province. Farmers learned how to tag pigs and create a record for the animals using a mobile app.

The implementation of the program coincides with the Lunar Year of the Pig, which we hope is an auspicious one for local pig farmers.

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