On Thursday, the 17th of June, we celebrated the 3rd anniversary of our Perth Office. Over the past 3 years, we have worked hard to build a community for start-ups to collaborate, share knowledge and experiences, build networks with key stakeholders to the WA start-up ecosystem, all with the aim to successfully scale all of the businesses in our community.
The last year has been challenging for all businesses, from large corporates to small start-ups. We wanted to create an event not only to celebrate our anniversary, but to put the challenges of the past year behind us and renew networking opportunities within our community.
To mark the special occasion, we put together a panel of experts across large corporates to early-stage businesses. The aim was to share their insights on how Covid-19 has impacted their businesses and what are the key expectations for collaboration between entrepreneurs and corporations going forward. Our panel of experts included:
· Paul Faix the Founder at Fortix,
· Tina Ambrose the Co-Chair at WiTWA and Founder of Valrose,
· Imogen Bartlett the Senior Innovation Manager at Optus,
· Alice Chen the Senior Manager of People Advisory Services at EY, and
· Mark Thomas the GM of Technology and Autonomy at Fortescue Metal Group.
Moderated by our CEO, Bradley Delamare, his familiarity and knowledge concerning the start-up's sector allowed him to guide a truly dynamic and interactive discussion.
The key insights discussed during the panel we wanted to share included:
Panellists agreed that cooperation between both can increase innovation, new technologies and growth in the start-up's field, while corporate partners convey investment, support, visibility, and opportunities. This is even more important going forward as corporates are looking to accelerate their digital adoption and use of technology as a driver to improve efficiencies and save costs.
The corporates involved concluded that Tank Stream Labs has been an important part for their businesses in creating the link between start-ups and corporate partners in WA.
There was an acknowledgement from all panellists as to the difficulty at times experienced by small businesses to work with corporates. The procurement processes can often be very long which hinders a small business as cash flow is king and often they cannot be waiting for up to 6 months for a corporate to become a customer. In addition, the risk profile of small businesses with lack of trading history and financial structures can create limitations with corporates. These are challenges that corporates need to address if they want to work with innovative and dynamic small businesses.
When questioned about the cultural disparity between corporates and start-ups, Founders concluded that company values and culture should correlate for a harmonious partnership. Panellists further added that they believe in the importance of sharing alike values, even so, that they refused potential clients because of cultural incongruence.
As a proud supporter of women in business, having 3 female panellists brought a balanced discussion to the panel. The overall consensus regarding women in technology recognised the effort that has been made towards the inclusion of women. However, there was agreement that start-ups and corporates can and should better support women in technology mostly notably around education, mentorship and investment.
Tank Stream Labs are proud to be a sponsor and partner with Women In Technology WA (WitWA) and 40% of our community are female founders.
We would also like to thank everyone who came to celebrate our anniversary with us and to all of our members, alumni, corporate partners and other start-up organisations that we have worked closely with over the past 3 years.
Get in touch if you are interested in hosting an event in one of our venues. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.