Angels deliver $100k for tech startups

10/12/2021 - 14:26

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A new cohort of angel investors has shown support for the state's startup scene by presenting $100,000 to three emerging businesses at this year’s West Tech Fest.

Angels deliver $100k for tech startups
The three winners and members of the investor network.

A new cohort of angel investors has shown support for Western Australia's startup scene by presenting $100,000 to three emerging businesses at this year’s West Tech Fest

The West Tech Fest Investor Network was founded in 2021 and includes five organisers from the festival, including Larry Lopez, Rob Nathan, Charlie Gunningham and Andrew Outhwaite.

After growing to a group of 10, each agreed to invest $10,000 in up to three startups attending this year’s West Tech Fest, which celebrated its 10th year this week.

After receiving nearly 40 entrants, the number was reduced to three winners.

Taking home the largest portion of the funds were Nick Saunders and Tobias Schoep for Grow Impact, who received the $50,000 SAFE note investment for their developing novel software that allows research funders to see the outcomes of their investments.

The pair graduated from last year’s Plus Eight program, a bootcamp-style accelerator program aiming to help WA startups go global.

Husband and wife Paul Kamarudin and Leanne Russell were awarded $25,000 for their already live service Anticipate Life.

The service aims to organise people's finances, logins and funeral arrangements before they pass away.

The third winner was TacTest, a company founded by Mandurah-based auto electrician Chris Field who has built a testing tool that can identify faults in car or trailer lights.

The investment will be put towards developing the first 100 units for trial and sale.

Investor Rob Nathan said the decision came down to which three companies the group could collectively help most.

“Some companies were well on their way, and we wish them well, but $25,000 or $50,000 was not going to make much difference,” he said.

“So we decided on the three, where we thought the money could go the furthest, and where also we could chip in and help with advice and our own networks, over time.

“We're glad to have got started, selected our first investments, and hopefully we will be back next year, even bigger.”

West Tech Fest started December 6 and will conclude on Friday.

The festival was co-founded by Paula Taylor, Larry Lopez, Rohan McDougall and US venture capitalist Bill Tai in 2012.

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