Around the World: Our favourite tech stories this week

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Australia is a funny place. Historian Geoffrey Blainey once said: “Every city in Europe is closer to continental Asia than are Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.” But, despite Australia’s great distance from its nearest continental neighbours, we’re far more connected than you might think. Especially when it comes to tech startups and our shared dedication to making them a success.

Here’s our pick of the best tech stories from around the world…

From robots to AI drugs, here are six tech startups fighting Coronavirus

Is there anything better than tech that is created to truly eradicate a problem? Well, six tech startups are taking on Coronavirus as countries across the world attempt to contain the outbreak and prevent its further spread. The source of the virus, China, (somewhat ironically) is leading the way, with everything from robots delivering food to quarantined people and drones that hand out much-needed health advice. But beyond China, startups in Europe are working around the clock to aid the fightback. BenevolentAI, based in the UK, says it’s using its AI drug discovery tool on an infectious disease for the first time, putting its fast-moving machines to the test. You can read about the other five tech pioneers here (spoiler alert: the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020 remains unsolved).

WFH 101: Tips and tricks from the home front as tech workers go remote during Coronavirus crisis

Still on the subject of Coronavirus – what else is there to talk about?! – an unexpected tech boom is emerging as employers dust off their business continuity plans and start to think seriously about mobilising their workers to operate fully from home. With zero commute time and the freedom to work all day long in pyjamas, could Coronavirus spark a remote-first approach for global businesses who want to maintain productivity? Demand for SaaS work-from-home products are soaring according to TechCrunch, with more analysis promised in the coming days. In the meantime, if creating your own coworking space at home with your self-isolating housemates sounds like a dream come true, you’ll be needing these tips and tricks from those already in the know.

Expect to See Fewer Unicorns in 2020 and Beyond

The tech scene isn’t always rainbows and unicorns – and that’s the prediction for 2020 from German serial entrepreneur and investor, Thomas Falk. He reckons unicorns have had their day (for now) since big tech names, including the likes of Uber, faced disappointing financial performances after years of rocketing growth and the subsequent adulation that follows. But despite being down on tech unicorns, Falk suggests they can be good news for certain categories of tech, even if a big name business within that category tanks. In this blog for London TechWatch, he describes how WeWork attracted money into real estate tech regardless of its terrible IPO efforts, and how the discipline of unit economics when it comes to listing publicly is often a unicorn’s downfall.

US technology company HubSpot to create 450 jobs

Another day, another tech company opens an office in Ireland. This time it’s HubSpot – a marketing and sales tech provider and publisher of one of the world’s most popular marketing blogs, which attracts 4.5 million readers monthly. While HubSpot has committed to creating 450 jobs in Dublin, its recruitment offering is Ireland-wide as the company uses remote working to provide opportunities beyond the big cities. HubSpot’s approach to tapping into Ireland’s regional tech talent could be a great lesson for Australian tech businesses, as the government here looks to boost regional economies with new skilled migrant visas that pave the way to permanent residency.

Tel Aviv launches ‘soft landing’ services for international businesses and workers

If we asked you which city in the world had the most engineers per capita, you probably wouldn’t say Tel Aviv. But the Israeli city has long been a tech hub, earning itself the nickname Silicon Wadi and international recognition for its contribution to the global tech scene. Despite this, there were 18,500 vacant tech roles in Israel in July 2019 and in an attempt to attract investors and workers alike, a new guide has been created described as a ‘soft landing’ for those looking to set themselves up in Tel Aviv. Start-Up Nation Central and the Israel Innovation Authority share 10 reasons to set up a business in Tel Aviv, the steps you need to take when forming a legal entity in Israel, and perhaps more importantly, a full list of national public holidays.