Helping startups in the regions

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// A new regional innovation hub programme has selected 27 startups from across WA

Local startups don’t just reside in Perth; they’re popping up all over Western Australia. And just like those in the bog smoke, they are gaining access to support and mentorship.

Several CONNECT Regional Innovation Hubs have been established by Agristart with support from the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

With hubs in three major regions, some of WA’s most successful business people will be mentoring and guiding regional startups from across the South West, Great Southern and the Wheatbelt.

As part of the program, startups will go through bootcamp style workshops, tackling ideation, validation, value proposition, lean business modelling, and pitch training.

Image credit: Syuzo Tsushima

Locals know best

The regional hubs come as a welcome move, allowing regional innovators to receive a level of support they’d otherwise have to make great sacrifices for, or potentially not pursue at all.

With regional support, comes regional knowledge too, with those close to the heart of farming, and other regional activities knowing the issues best.

The Australian agriculture sector is one which continues to face many challenges, not least those imposed by crippling drought. In WA alone, it is a $7B industry.

With innovators who know the core of the issues well, these regional hubs could possibly be one of many vital answers to the sector’s prosperity.

What it takes to be selected

With over 50 applications, twenty seven startups were chosen to become the first cohort of regional innovators.

The startups were scrutinised by a panel based on their readiness, validation, traction, innovation and scalability.

Those chosen as part of the CONNECT Regional Innovation Hub are tackling everything from truffle growing to crypto tax and pain management.

The startups benefit from industry expert masterclasses on topics such as IP protection, digital marketing, grant writing, investor readiness.

“This is one of the most incredible opportunities I have ever experienced. Totally inspired and now to put it all into practice. Thank you for the starting platform. We are excited to see where our journey takes us. ”

– Connect Regional Hub Participant 2019

The programme culminates in an end of year Regional Showcase, where regional startups pitch their businesses to investors at an expo style event.

Interested in knowing more about CONNECT Regional Innovation programme for 2020? Click here to find out more.

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Main image: Steven Zwerink

Check out the new ‘HUBS‘ database on Startup News for a list of 130 WA programs, spaces and events aimed at the startup sector.