The X-TEND WA program makes a Profound investment


// The state government’s new support program (X-TEND WA) announced its grantees recently, and among them was a unique incubator looking to nurture entrepreneurs of neurodiversity…

ProFound, an initiative of Apps People Pty Ltd is a very different kind of incubator which is about to launch in Perth.

Nurturing entrepreneurial individuals of ‘neurodiversity’, the program will offer a pathway for participants to develop, launch, and commercialise a digital product in the market. The incubator will take a yearly cohort of budding entrepreneurs kick-starting their journey as tech founders.

Apps People was a recipient of the WA Government’s new X-TEND WA program. It aims to boost innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation, being funded through the $16.7 million New Industries Fund. Other successful recipients include Atomic Sky, Telethon Kids Institute, Spacecubed, St Catherine’s College (UWA), and Impact Seed.

Apps People running a coding workshop (Supplied.)

By working with sponsors, educators and mentors, the education program will seek to ensure participants learn core industry skills.

Beyond this, participants will also have the opportunity to grow their networks with key stakeholders through VIP events, product concept showcases, and roadshows.

Stuart Kidd (Managing Director) and Johnny Doan (ProFound Manager) will oversee the project and collaborate with researchers through the Autism Talent Hub.

The hub is led by Dr. Tele Tan, Co-founder and Director of The Autism Academy of Software Quality.

It also brings in the work of Dr. Theresa Kidd – a specialist clinical psychologist who co-developed the Curtin Specialist Mentoring Program, forming part of the hub.

“While 250,000 Australians are diagnosed with autism, less than half have ever worked, and of those that have, many have either not maintained their employment or the work has not been related to their education/skill or interest,” Dr Theresa Kidd said.

“An innovative initiative, ProFound is likely to change these statistics by providing talented neurodiverse adults with the guidance and mentoring they require to start-up their own business ventures.”


MAIN IMAGE: Stuart Kidd (left) with Johnny Doan (Photo by Felipe de Souza.)