[tweetmeme source=”ChazGunningham” only_single=false]Is Perth a good place for startups? The jury’s out on this one, with some folks at the recent StartUp Weekend launch saying “absolutely” and yet others decrying Perth’s lack of funding and big win examples.
It’s certainly true that there are some cool start ups here in WA, with Discovr being a very cool recent one (I shared the stage with the extremely modest founder David McKinney on Thursday night) through to Michael Malone’s iiNet as a household name. At the launch were some cool cats of the start up world, which made me feel very old and traditional (I was one of maybe 3 in the room of 60 wearing a suit). They stood and listened to our stories and hard won advice with polite attention. The buzz around the extremely funky SpaceCubed building was palpable, but you can’t help feeling that way in what is a very cool and unique environment. Set up to assist entrepreneurs find solace, peace and innovation, you can’t help feeling a bit like a kid in a candy store (“wow – I’d love to work in here!“) with its groovy work spaces, wooden indoor tree houses, panelling, hanging plants and white walls dripping with scribbled post it notes and butcher’s paper.
Sam Birmingham did a great job in launching the event on Thursday night, running through the rules for the Startup weekend (the first of its kind to be held here in Perth), introducing the judges, mentors and sponsors, and delighting all with the news that the September 7th-9th event was already a sell out. People were seen pleading for tickets, or adding themselves to the wait list.
So, well done to Sam, the organising committee, the sponsors and everyone involved. Whether Perth is a great place for a start up or not, well you are where you are, and there is an enthusiasm for innovation here. Maybe it’s our relative obscurity, maybe it’s the fact that most people have moved here from other places (so already come with some ‘get up and go‘), maybe it’s the mining/prospecting mentality or the ridiculously fabulous weather. Whatever it is, the StartUp Weekend is a wonderful idea, and you never know, something might just be happening…