Over the last few years the WA Innovation "networks" have been evolving into a vibrant ecosystem to support and nurture local organisations. The innovation ecosystem in WA has grown to such an extent that it is becoming difficult to keep track of the different events, associations, groups and awards that are taking place on a regular basis. The number of people putting their time and effort into helping the innovation community with valuable experiences to share seems to grow almost daily.
Over the last few years the WA Innovation “networks” have been evolving into a vibrant ecosystem to support and nurture local organisations. The innovation ecosystem in WA has grown to such an extent that it is becoming difficult to keep track of the different events, associations, groups and awards that are taking place on a regular basis. The number of people putting their time and effort into helping the innovation community with valuable experiences to share seems to grow almost daily.
The benefits and results of a growing innovation community are multifaceted and long reaching. Innovation by its very nature is a long lead-time process and often, as many people like to point out, involves failures before success. The efforts and assistance that people have put into the innovation community over the last few years will generate success stories in the coming years.
Even though network opportunities continue to grow, many people still do not value attending and being involved. Often innovators are their own worst enemies with regard to believing they know everything and “just need to focus on the technology”.
The simple fact is that entrepreneurs involved in innovation communities are more likely to be successful. Some projects, no matter how great the ideas are, continue to flounder when the innovator does not “get out of the shed”.
Innovation networking is a must do for everyone that wants to be successful.
Of course the reasons and benefits of “getting out there” are different for every entrepreneur. Here’s a list of potential benefits:
- education and advice that is specific and targeted for innovation, regular business advice is not sufficient for maximum benefit;
- awards with recognition and prizes;
- free and low-cost events with content of significant value;
- peers and mentors willing to share experiences and assistance; and
- introductions to experts who can assist with the innovation, commercialisation and all aspects of the business.
How to start building your network:
- Make the most of your industry specific networks and assess whether they have innovation specific focus, (most don’t).
- Talk to your peers and see what they are involved in.
- Assess the list below to see which ones are relevant for you.
- Stay informed; many of the networks have regular newsletters and they often share information from others, for example see AusIndustry and the WA Innovation Centre websites.
- Get involved; once you attend some events and start asking around you will be directed towards other events that are most appropriate to you.
For entrepreneurs that have not been exposed to the innovation network, it can be difficult to meet the right groups. Getting into the right network can often be the hardest step of all. Following is a list of a variety of different groups to get you started. Happy networking and look forward to seeing you and talking about your innovation!
- AusIndustry: www.ausindustry.gov.au
- WA Innovation Centre: innovation.wa.gov.au
- LESANZ: www.lesanz.org.au
- WA Innovator of the Year: the 2014 awards program will open in April
- Women In Technology: www.witwa.org.au
- Ignition: business.curtin.edu.au/courses/centre-for-entrepreneurship/programs/ignition
- Incubate (now at Curtin University): incubate.org.au
- Edith Cowan University, Enterprise Tuesday: www.ecu.edu.au/centres/office-of-research-and-innovation/news-and-events/enterprise-tuesdays
- WA Angels: www.waai.net.au
- Resources Innovation Group: www.resourcesinnovationgroup.com.au
- OzApp: ozapp.com.au
- WA Information Technology & Telecommunications Awards: www.waitta.asn.au
- Networking WA, Entrepreneur & Innovator Awards: www.networkingwa.com.au
- Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia: www.kca.asn.au
- Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation: www.cemi.com.au
- AICC(WA)’s futureNOW series: www.aicc.org.au
- eGroup: www.egroup.org.au
- AusBiotech: www.ausbiotech.org
- Australasian Industrial Research Group: www.airg.org.au
- Austmine: www.austmine.com.au
- Spacecubed: www.spacecubed.com
- Synclabs: synclabs.com.au
- Morning Startup: www.meetup.com/morning-startup-perth
- Founder Institute: fi.co/apply/231
- Pollenizer: synclabs.com.au/pollenizer-sync
- Startup Weekend: perth.startupweekend.org
- Silicon Beach Perth: www.meetup.com/silicon-beach-perth
- Inventors Association: www.iaoafi.wildapricot.org