News Pulse for December 7, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

The Business Council needs a reality check

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) looks set to double down on its failed strategy in its appointment of new president Grant King.

The chief business lobby group found itself at odds with the Coalition government in the last term, as it relentlessly pushed the government to pursue politically unsaleable agendas. It had a significant hand in the Coalition’s disastrous first budget that was widely seen as benefiting the rich at the cost of the poor.

Uber just bought a startup to help launch the company’s first artificial intelligence lab

Uber made two big announcements on Monday: It is acquiring Geometric Intelligence, a New York-based startup, and using that 15-person team to help launch a new artificial intelligence division within Uber, called Uber AI Labs.

Uber AI Labs will focus on improving both ride-hailing software and the company’s self-driving car software, according to a blog post by Uber’s product chief Jeff Holden.

lookfit offers first comparison site to fitness industry

Comparison sites are the new norm for savvy shoppers. Whether it’s booking flights, finding the right home loan, purchasing private health insurance or switching mobile service providers, there are platforms available that compare all of the options in one easy location.

Parents who run small businesses make time for longer holidays, new research reveals

The commonly held belief that small business owners are too busy to take substantial holidays is at odds with new research from Xero . The cloud accounting provider’s Working Parents Report, which involved a survey of 1248 Australians, found that small business owners with children will have more time off than other working parents this summer.

On average, working parents will take two weeks off work over the December/January holiday period. However, those who run their own business will take an average of three weeks off. Further, the vast majority parents who run a business (94%) said they now spend more quality time with their children now than they did in their previous jobs.

Xero subscribers can now use Apple Pay to receive payments

Cloud accounting software provider Xero has clinched a major win for subscribers, launching integration with Apple Pay through payment system Stripe today.

Xero chief technology officer Craig Walker said “mobile payments are the way of the future”, adding that, considering more than 60% of invoices issued by Xero’s customers are paid late, its small business subscription base would appreciate the time and effort a payment service would save.

“There won’t be a more passionate advocate” for Australian security innovation, new ACSGN head vows

A recent high-profile win for Australian security stalwart Mailguard – which was last month designated as a ‘critical’ security partner by Microsoft – is the kind of recognition that Australia’s burgeoning community of innovative startups deserve to see more of, the head of the country’s new cybersecurity commercialisation arm has said as he gears up to hit the ground running.

Craig Davies, for years the CISO of local success story Atlassian, has long been an active member – and promoter – of the Australian security community and told CSO Australia that he jumped at the offer to be appointed as CEO of the newly hatched Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (ACSGN).

Lads grab slice of global event action

GEELONG entrepreneurs Shannan Gove and Bennett Merriman are taking the sporting world by storm with their event workforce solutions start-up — tackling youth unemployment along the way.

The cousins founded Event Workforce Group while studying a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Sport Management, at Deakin University in 2010.

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