Time and time again in my old corporate gig, it used to be joked about that WA stood for “wait awhile”. I strongly disagree with this sentiment and would probably relocate to Perth if I hadn’t become such a Sydney-sider, aside from the fact that it is one of the most gorgeous, chilled cities in Australia – what is happening in the tech space there is quite phenomenal.
When you take into account that Perth are between 2 or 3 hours behind the east coast depending on the weather, and are closer in time zone and proximity to Asia than Sydney, it has been amazing to watch from the sidelines and see an ecosystem that has been able to produce some globally competitive companies in an environment that has a smaller pool of investors, early stage angels and funds.
If I had to make a prediction about the Perth startup space over the next 10 years, I see it developing into a formidable competitor to our eastern startup cities. As mining jobs start to fade, young entrepreneurial minds with significant cash savings behind them will start to build towards their dreams and the state in general will come to realise the massive opportunities they have when it comes to selling to a very untapped Asian market place.
As with previous posts in this series, we have chosen to feature 10 individuals or duos that you should definitely get to know.
You should also note that, in this series, we have also left out all official mentors to our own company to negate bias. We have also focused specifically on the tech space.
Here are some mentors you should get to know from the Perth startup ecosystem:
Sam Birmingham is perhaps one of the most nationally recognised faces of Perth’s startup ecosystem due to his heavy involvement with Pollenizer and Startup Weekend. Birmingham lives and breathes the startup space and loves getting involved with innovative companies that challenge the status quo.
As a mentor Birmingham’s specialties are Specialties:Creative Problem Solving, Strategic Planning, Digital Disruption and Innovation.
Brodie McCulloch is the Managing Director of Social Innovation in Western Australia, he is also the founder of Perth based coworking space Spacecubed. McCulloch is big on Co-Working, Collaboration and Innovation.
In addition to being a facilitator of sorts via his organisations for the startup community, he is also a valuable mentor, especially when it comes to social innovation.
Dash Dhakshinamoorthy and Claire Robertson are both co-directors of The Founder Institute’s Perth chapter. Both have very strong track records in the startup sector with Dhakshinamoorthy being the founder of StartupMalaysia.org and Robertson being a key mentor and organiser of Perth Startup Weekends.
A fun fact about Robertson is that she is a qualified Vet Surgeon, so if you are doing something ground-breaking around animals and well-being, having a mentor with that type of background is pretty invaluable.