A recent report commissioned by the City of Perth found there are 2,500 people involved in tech start-ups in Perth. The same report also noted that there was only an amount equivalent to $3 per capita available to invest in them. Over in Silicon Valley there is $1,300 per person, in Israel $900, Denver-Boulder $500.
It is clear that Perth needs more investment capital if these companies are to get off the ground. Not just money though, a sophisticated approach in choosing between the best businesses, and the best mentoring should also nurture them through. Many of them will fail of course, although giving things a go and trying something new is no failure. Investors typically prefer entrepreneurs with a couple of failures behind them anyway.
What Perth needs is a few high profile winners. Companies that make a few million, have a good exit such that new funds can fund the next round of start-ups. The successful entrepreneurs and investors then have the confidence and experience to get more balls rolling.
This virtuous cycle has fed the creativity of California, Israel and Colorado. We have the people here, we have the ideas. All we need now are some more wins.
An alternative (longer) version of this post appears here