The Emerging WA Startup Scene

Western Australia has an ever-evolving start-up and innovation ecosystem. Over the past decade, we have seen a rapid increase in tech-focused start-ups and there is boundless talent emerging from the WA startup ecosystem. We are seeing now more than ever the innovation that is making waves across the nation.


The sector supports thousands of new jobs in early-stage scalable technology businesses that are supported by a thorough network of coworking spaces. While WA has only 10% of the population, it provides 15% of Australia’s economy, not to mention Perth being the city with the most self-made millionaires in the world.


Due to the recent mining boom, an incredibly good university base, and a high standard of living, WA has highly desirable skilled workers and a broad base of talent to offer. Perth can be considered the ultimate underdog, flying under the radar for developing startups. However, this can be considered beneficial in creating a prolific testing ground for startups to launch new products before pushing them out to market on a national and global scale.


Geographically, Perth is also the ideal location for businesses looking to expand globally as it has a shared time zone with over 50% of the world’s population, making global collaboration seamless. This enables strong connections with leading global markets like Asia. Companies like Student Edge have successfully been able to utilise this advantage with the global expansion of their companies and have now managed to break through to the American market.


In August 2021, the WA government announced funding of $385,000 to innovators across the State. Following that announcement, 21 successful WA applicants received up to $20,000 each. This is part of the State Government's Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund to attract investment and promote WA’s economic diversification. ICT Minister, Don Punch stated that "Innovation is key to diversifying the State economy and the WA Government is committed to assisting growing businesses to help turn ideas into reality".


Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase of available capital to fund startups across Australia. This will only increase as the $1.4bn raised by Australian VC funds last year is deployed across the startup ecosystem of Australia. With the majority of funding coming from Australian VC funds and thriving angel investment communities, it is expected to see increased amounts of private funding to help accelerate the growth of startups across the country.


Large Corporates are also looking to collaborate more with startups to become more innovative in how they work. Our partnerships with Fortescue Metals Group, Ernest & Young and Optus have not only formed a connection between the startup companies in the TSL community but also for these corporations to have access to the innovative talent emerging from the startup scene.


We have also seen an emergence of support and funding for Indigenous Entrepreneurs with Generation One and Perth Angels joining the WA Government to fund a Masterclass program. The program was launched in early 2021 and is addressing challenges that Indigenous entrepreneurs face in areas such as accessing investment and becoming investors themselves. Generation One is part of the Minderoo Foundation focusing on Indigenous entrepreneurship and directed by Leslie Delaforce, who up until 2020 was the WA State Director for Tank Stream Labs.


There’s no denying that Perth is an incubator for innovation and talent. With unicorn companies like Canva, where the founders are from WA being the example for success stories to emerge from the state, the question is who will be next?


We are placing our bets on a few of the companies in Tank Stream Labs, already disrupting the WA startup ecosystem:




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