Startup WA launches Help Centre for WA startups

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// A flattening curve in Australia is welcome news, but the negative impact on business remains.

WA’s peak startup body, Startup WA [SWA] has launched a Help Centre, with a list of the resources you need, and updates and stories from your fellow startups.

SWA Secretary Rafael Kimberley-Bowen told Startup News that communicating is the utmost priority at the moment, not just for startups internally, but also with customers, advisers, and other professionals like accountants and lawyers.

“It’s a tough time,” said Raf, “Especially for startups trying to understand what access they have to the stimulus packages, but also the repercussions of contractual agreements breached, among other worries.”

As founders scramble to understand the impact on their businesses, and formulate strategies to respond, Raf said according to research by Innovation Bay, the number one concern startups have is cashflow and runway.

Uncertainty around VC’s, angels, and other investments are also high, with the number two national concern for startups being ability to raise capital.

The ecosystem is expecting a lot of seed investment to dry up in the immediate futures, with investors reassessing where their money goes.

There is hope though.

“At Perth Angels we’ve reached out to our members to gauge investment appetite, we’ve concluded there’s enough interest to hold a (virtual) pitch night next month’ it remains to be seen if we get any deals off the ground then.” 

Rafael Kimberley-Bowen, StartupWA

The broader ecosystem is starting to see impacts on their operations too, with most ASX-listed startups having announced job cuts and/or cuts to non-essential costs, including Nuheara and Spectur.

NFP’s in the system are also feeling the pinch, with many corporates scaling back sponsorship, some withdrawing altogether.

Raf says there is hope that state and local government may lend a helping hand, and introduce some additional funding, but that remains to be seen.

“If ever there was a time for a focused program of investment into the ecosystem, now would be it, so that we have a reasonable chance of bouncing back on the other side of this.”

Rafael Kimberley-Bowen

Quick Links

SWA’s main online resources page has the latest from WA State, and Commonwealth Governments, alongside startup offers including from Australian Business Continuity, and other advice and articles.

Alongside the main resources provided, SWA is also listing the impact on startups, with a live list on their COVID-19 Impact page, with almost 20 updates already listed.

For these updates, SWA is asking:

  1. How has Covid-19 impacted you? (eg minimal/significant impact, revenue up/down, pivot of business, created opportunity for new product/market, etc).
  2. What’s your ask? (how can the community help, eg a link to buy your product, help with hard-to-find talent, link to a crowdfunding campaign, etc).
  3. What can you offer other local startups?
  4. Any other update you care to share, whether COVID-19 related or not? (eg recent milestones, wins, etc).

In addition, StartupWA is consulting with its membership to gather input on how it best engages with federal and state government on behalf of the ecosystem.