As WA’s tech sector continues to develop, Business News spoke to some of the people helping Perth’s entrepreneurs score wins in global markets.
Western Australia’s tech sector is more successful than many give it credit for, according to venture capitalist Larry Lopez, who moved to Perth from Silicon Valley in 2006.
“It’s come a long way in the past five or six years. I’m very excited about what’s going on, ” Mr Lopez said. “Sometimes people’s expectations are too high. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit in WA for where we are. I don’t think we punch above our weight yet but we’re on the right trajectory.”
Mr Lopez is one member of the ecosystem supporting local tech businesses, with other names including Spacecubed founder Brodie McCulloch, Yuwa Capital’s Matt MacFarlane, Unearthed Solutions’ Justin Strharsky, and Atomic Sky’s, Greg Riebe and Peter Rossdeutscher.
Not all local tech mentors are products of the US, however.
Mr Rossdeutscher is an example of a local boy who plied his trade overseas and returned to Perth, having spent six years as managing director of Gateway in Asia and a similar period at the helm of Targus in the Asia-Pacific region.
“When I came back in 2008, it was really lifestyle that drew me back to Perth,” Mr Rossdeutscher told Business News.
At that point, he said, he wanted to give back to the sector. Mr Rossdeutschers mentoring and consulting work included involvement at Start Something and Atomic Sky, and investing through Perth Angels.
“We’re very collaborative,” he said. “One of the good things in Perth (is) all the folks trying to grow the pathways for tech-enabled companies, all work closely.”
Mr Rossdeutscher told Business News he was particularly proud of the work he’d done at BLOOM, the co-working space for entrepreneurs at UWA, and with agribusiness accelerator, Agristart. He has also lead resources lead information business intierra and advised on blockchain business Power Ledger, among many others.
“We’re (Perth) in a good place,” Mr Rossdeutscher said. “(We’ve) got a few challenges too. We need to get more investment capital into the state, need to get a few more experienced mentors.”