It is an order of magnitude smaller than Sydney and Melbourne, but the Perth startup scene has been bubbling away over the past year or two, and is in the early stages of its busiest month ever. With a suite of national and international investors descending for the OZAPP Awards and WestTech Festival later this week, pitching dinners and a bunch of related events leading into the next #SWPerth, *drumroll please* Pollenizer and muru-D round it all out with Get-Started workshop, on 4 December 2014.
For a deeper look at the Perth startup ecosystem, check out this study commissioned by the City of Perth and carried out by local startup Boundlss. Not only are the visualisations decidedly beautiful, it maps out all the key nodes of a rapidly growing scene and digs deeper in a few key areas.
- There are 100 plus startup technology companies within Perth, and ~2,500 people involved in startups.
- On a per capita basis, VC and PE funding (excluding government grants) of tech startups in WA is $2.69, as compared to $4.09 across Australia, and per capita betting on the Melbourne Cup of $9.09.
- 8 of the top 10 raises also attracted government funding.
Perth-based (and born) blogs/media that startups should follow
- With the local version of The Fetch parked, there is a gap in the Perth startup media space which Startup News has just popped up to fill.
- Startup Digest provides a snapshot of upcoming events and meetups.
- Business News has been taking an active interest all things innovative since startup success story and all-round nice guy Charlie Gunningham joined the BN team as Head of Digital. Their YouTube channel is worth a look, particularly the Morning Startup talks.
- StartupWA is a non-profit organisation that aims to promotes growing technology startup ecosystems in Western Australia.
- Startup Weekend Perth is a movement for entrepreneurs looking to learn the basics of starting a startup and launching successful venture.
Perth startup events/groups
- Morning Startup is the perfect entry point for newbies to the Perth startup scene. The group is now 700-strong, and with meetups held every second Wednesday at Spacecubed, often sees 50-80 aspiring startup-pers get out of bed early to take in advice and war stories from colleagues and startup veterans alike and the presentations are usually recorded.
- Silicon Beach has been a reliable alternative for those who prefer their meetups over beer than coffee. Closing out your working week with Friday night drinks, the group is experimenting with a more focused, topic-specific format in 2014.
- On the technical front, Port 80 holds outstanding get-togethers once a month, as do the Mobile Beers guys and UX Perth.
- Perth Startup Founder 101 hold meetups for aspiring and early-stage startup founders to hear talks from successful local entrepreneurs.
- Perth Rapid Startups are for small businesses and startup entrepreneurs who have transitioned form ‘wantrepreneurs’ to looking for help to build, launch and grow their businesses.
- The Pulse is a community for entrepreneurs looking to pitch their business ideas, participate in Q&A sessions and practical workshops as well as attend monthly expert panels and networking events.
Perth co-working spaces
- Spacecubed is the acorn from which Perth’s startup community grows. In a little over a year, the CBD-based co-working space has built a network of some 500 Cubers, opened its doors to a second venue (Spacecubed 131), and played host to a couple of hundred startup-related events and meetups.
- Sitting just outside the CBD in the cafe capital of Leederville, Sync Labs is Spacecubed’s baby brother. With more of a tech focus, Sync is a hub for Perth’s developer and web community.
- Hive Coworking offers shared office space for professionals.
- FLUX provides co-working space , resident desks, offices, event spaces and meeting rooms.
- Atomic Sky Tech Hub provides co-working spaces and incubation package for entrepreneurs looking to take their validation forward quickly.
- BubDesk offers a supportive and collaborative environment for close-knit innovators. They hold weekly learning seminars, monthly networking events, neck and shoulder massages and optional onsite child care.
- WA Angel Investors have been increasingly active of late, with government and corporate partners now supporting the network, and pitch nights becoming more regular. Next stop: More deals and a sidecar fund?!
- While based out of Melbourne, the Aurelius Digital crew also run invitation-only angel investment dinners a couple of times a year. The next one happens to be coming up next week.
- Perth Angel Investors provides a list of top angels residing in and interested in startups in Perth.
- Business Angels provides a comprehensive list of angels all around Australia and their minimum and maximum investments.
- After successfully graduating its first cohort last year, the Founder Institute team are in the final stages of recruitment for their next batch, with the program scheduled to run from April-July 2014.
- INCUBATE launched at Curtin University this year, with the Summer accelerator kicking off at the end of January and working towards Demo Day on 7 April.
- I am obviously biased given this is one of my babies, by last year’s PhDo pilot was well-received, proving the basic hypothesis that people need some structure and accountability as much as anything else, when it comes to bridging the gap from “I’ve got an idea” to “I’m quitting my job and going all on”… Stay tuned for more on this front 🙂
- Voice Upstart is a tech accelerator program suited well for Perth’s tech startups
- Every month or so, we hear of another incubator or accelerator that is on the way to Perth, but one to keep an eye on is RIIT, with its resource industry focus playing to WA’s biggest competitive advantage.
Next for Perth’s blossoming startup scene?
The same goes for early-stage startups communities the world over, but what Perth needs to capitalise on all the activity of the past few years is some success stories which the next generation of founders something to aspire to.
There are a few promising companies in the pipeline, and we have seen some outstanding WA born-and-bred entrepreneurs move interstate and overseas to do great things. With grassroots activity bubbling away and the capital end of the ecosystem coming together, could the next step for Perth be a genuine accelerator which not only helps to retain local talent, but might even attract promising startups to the country’s West Coast capital, with all its natural and economic advantages?