WA offers investment for innovation

This week the Western Australian government has announced two grants for innovative businesses to set up in the state.

The state government will provide support for local businesses through the X-TEND WA program.

Six education programs for investors and innovators are part of the $516,000 pilot program.

The programs range from business scale up strategies in the agritech, fintech, and Internet of Things (IoT) fields, delivered through co-working space Spacecubed, to a founders development program for young founders, led by St Catherine’s College.

According to Minister for Innovation and ICT, Dave Kelly, these programs will provide advanced manufacturers with great potential.

“This new pilot program will give small businesses in areas such as space, fintech and agritech the skills and tools required to take their businesses to the next level,” said Kelly.

Designed to help local entrepreneurs and business owners to attract investment, the program hopes to have individuals demonstrate the benefits of being in WA.

“The program also looks to drive investor confidence by showcasing the opportunities that WA innovation and start-up companies can return on an investment, through pitch events and introducing investors to investment ready projects,” said Kelly.

For businesses-specifically in the north-west of the state, grants have been announced for $200,000 to drive innovation and economic diversification.

The first grant will go to a combined proposal the WEB Business Hub and Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce to create a “shark tank” program for emerging businesses enterprises in the Pilbara.

Capacity builder Impact Seed will receive $92,000 to incubate emerging and Aboriginal social enterprises in the West Kimberly and the Gascoyne.

These injections of funding are hoped to drive wider business diversification, according to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

“These investments will help small to medium sized enterprises overcome some of the challenges in the region to pursue opportunities that will generate flow-on benefits in their communities,” said MacTiernan.