The State’s world leading energy and mining sectors are collaborating with academia to pioneer advanced robotics and automation technology and, in the field of radio astronomy, the high-speed supercomputing capacity of the Pawsey Centre and world-renowned research capabilities of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy are underpinning the revolutionary global Square Kilometre Array project.
Apart from a strong commitment to the use of Big Data analytics, Satellite Applications, Automation and Robotics, innovation is taking place across a wide range of technology verticals including Creative, Cyber Security, AgriTech, Smart Cities, AI, Blockchain, CleanTech and Life Sciences.
The Government of Western Australia is supporting the science, technology and innovation sector by several initiatives such as developing innovation hubs, the Innovation Vouchers Program, the Innovator of the Year award, Science Industry PhD Fellowships, and initiatives around STEM future skills workforce. WA has a Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Klinken AC, who provides advice to the WA Government and supports to attract Commonwealth and industry investment, promoting science policies and initiatives and being and advocate for science and STEM. In 2019 and 2020 the WAGO office in London organised trade missions for WA start-ups around London Tech Week to connect them with UK’s tech ecosystem.
Startup Ecosystem in a State of Innovation
Western Australia has a small but rapidly growing start-up and digital innovation ecosystem.
According to the 2019 StartupWA report there are over 500 start-ups in WA. There are over 130 start-up hubs in Western Australia and the number of seed accelerator programs has multiplied over recent years, in particular the Plus Eight program supporting a number of ventures with funding, education and networks.
Angel investment plays a vital role in supporting earlier stage businesses in WA. There are two well-established angel groups: the Southwest Angels providing investment opportunities for start-ups across the South West region of WA and the Perth Angels focusing on start-ups in Perth.
Start-up sunshine stories
Success stories from WA include following start-up companies that over 2017-2019 raised significant funding: Spookfish raised $136 million, Fastbrick Robotics raised $52 million, AusCann raised $35.3 million and Powerledger raised $34 million. Powerledger also did the first initial coin offering (ICO) in Australia. Canva, originally from WA and now based in San Francisco, is a graphic design platform which in 2020 was valued at $6 billion making it one of the world’s top unicorn companies.
Opportunities for international investors and businesses in Western Australia
There is a lack of private equity, corporate funding and Venture Capital in Perth with limited A and B series fund raising.
Most companies either bootstrap or get angel investors on board to grow their startups. A number of companies also list publicly earlier than you would see in other cities in order to access capital.
As such there is an exciting opportunity to accelerate companies in Western Australia. The entrepreneurs, talent and research is readily available.
If you are interested in hearing more, setting up an office, establish strategic partnerships, or use Western Australia as a test bed for your innovation please contact Charlotta Kemp at email@example.com
Snapshot of corporate investors in Western Australia:
- BetterLabs driven by RAC WA
- 808 Ventures
- Fogarty Foundation fund
- BHP Global Innovation HQ
- Woodside Innovation
Western Australia’s innovation clusters
Co-working spaces / startup communities
Government supported Innovation Hubs in WA
Western Australian Augmented Reality makes safety education fun
In 2017 Arility was established as a joint venture partnership between DSBS and Constable Care Child Safety Foundation in Western Australia. Arility provides an augmented reality learning platform that takes community organisation’s safety education content and makes it engaging, accessible and measurable using augmented reality. With WAGO’s assistance Arility reached out beyond WA’s borders to push their augmented reality product on a global scale…. Read more
Client: DSBS and Constable Care Child Safety Foundation