[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…

For more on StartUp Weekend Perth, September 7-9th 2012 -> http://perth.startupweekend.org
For more on SpaceCubed, including a virtual tour of the place -> http://www.spacecubed.org/space/

About the author

Charlie has spent more than 20 years in Perth’s tech and startup sector, firstly as a founder himself, through to exit, and more recently as a writer, advisor and investor. Originally from the UK, Charlie worked in Singapore before arriving in Perth in 1997 to do an MBA at UWA. Graduating as top student in 1999 he set up online real estate business aussiehome.com, running it for 10 years before selling to REIWA, whereupon Charlie ran reiwa.com. In 2013, he moved to Business News to lead their digital transformation as CEO, and then worked for the federal government’s Accelerating Commercialisation program, funding pre-revenue startups and innovative businesses. He now works in an advisory capacity for multiple tech and other businesses, is managing editor of Startup News and co-host of the Startup West podcast. He also writes a column for Business News on startups. Charlie sits on the advisory boards of WA Leaders, TEDxPerth, WAITTA, the Perth Symphony Orchestra, and the full board of Rise Network.

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2 Responses
  1. Great post, I think the start up weekend will be a great weather gauge for the start up scene in Perth. What I think you will see is that due to our distance from everything that perth entrepreneurs will solve problems and execute in a way that is not the statue quo in the valley etc.


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