Spacecubed is among the best known of Perth’s thriving startup support network. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Act soon or it’s all ideas, no boom

For Perth to become an innovation hub, in a global context, there will need to be a step-change from a range of stakeholders – the startup community and its funders, schools and universities, and, importantly, the state government – in order to support the structural change needed to achieve significant success.


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The government talks about innovation but then when I put a proposition to the government so big it could lead to us becoming a world leader in transport technology possibly generating hundreds of $billions, the government wont even sit down and talk about it and that would mostly involve private enterprise. Unbelievable. Theo Marshall Nedlands

Perth, San Francisco, London
Great article Tim. Currently in SF, the competition for talent is fierce. Even locally SF is competing with Boulder CO, Austin TX to maintain its talent pool, all the while the cost of living goes higher. My Cofounder has just left the USA for the UK to set up our UK branch, and the immediate feedback is that the Mayor of London is heavily investing in the startup scene, making it easy for new startups to reach the advice and meet the talent they/we need. Perth is one of the top ten cities of the world to live in. It should not be hard to attract and keep talent and encourage the ideas we already have, we just need investment to get the word out.

Innovation is about doing things better and differently from before. We have an innovative ship building cluster at Henderson. But what is value added in the mining industry. Let look at iinovative opportunities in energy generation and storage, additive manufacturing, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAV's), transportation systems.

People outside of startups (mining, O&G) often think of 'startups' in terms of consumer apps - the next instagram...blah, blah - with a massively unlikely chance of success, particularly out of WA. And they are right. However, there is a massive opportunity to innovate in industries that WA knows well and this is where the focus should be for govt, industry AND startups. Unearthed is doing a great job at this but is turning a big ship alone. StartupWA shone a light on the proportionately large number of WA startups focusing outside of WA's strengths (new shiny apps is a bit harsh but you get the gist) rather than leveraging what we have. A concerted effort by govt, industry and startups on innovation in current industries is the best use of limited resources. It may also encourage traditional resources investors to consider startups as they will know the domain.

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