A new funding group – made up of ten local investors – has been set up to invest $100,000 cash into up to 3 local startups, that attend any of the West Tech Fest events this year.
The West Tech Fest Investor Network (‘WIN‘) includes some of the organisers of the week-long series of West Tech Fest events, and are made up of a group of well-known mentors and advisers.
Led by serial startup investor and former WA Entrepreneur of the Year Rob Nathan, whose original idea it was, five people got together earlier this year, and committed to personally putting in $10K each into a fund, with the aim of inviting five more people to reach $100K.
Each of the five investors then invited one additional person, and the fund hit its target.
WIN is looking to provide equity investment of up to $100,000 in total in up to three West Tech Fest participants. So, for example, they may do a $20K investment in one company, $30K in another and $50K in another. The investment will be made with a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with a 20% discount rate.
Another founding member, Larry Lopez, says the whole group is keen to support the local startup scene, and see what interesting companies nominate.
“We are excited to provide this opportunity to further support the WA startup community through WTF 2021,” Larry told Startup News. “We hope that by sharing our diverse backgrounds and networks along with investing capital we can help WA founders achieve their dreams.”
It’s the first time such a thing has been attempted, so who knows what deals it will throw up? The backers are literally putting their money where their mouth is. They are looking for local startups where a little bit of investment, plus their experience and connections, can make a big difference.
To be eligible the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Must be incorporated
- Founders must be based in Western Australia
- Must be a participant/attendee in a WTF 2021 event as listed on the event calendar
- Total annual expenses of less than $1,000,000 (as per ESIC requirements)
- Total annual revenue of less than $200,000 (as per ESIC requirements)
- Must have (at least) an MVP (minimum viable product)
- Must be novel solution to a clearly defined problem
Judging will be based on an assessment of the applicant’s response to the following:
- Market opportunity
- Management capability
- Business and revenue model
- Route to market
- Benefit to community
- Use of proceeds
- Scalable technology
- Risk resilience
How to Apply
Online applications are open now and close on Friday 26th November. The successful applicant/s will be announced during the week of West Tech Fest, probably at the after party at the main WTF conference day, Weds 8th December.
Applications can be made here.
Who are the judges?
The judges are the investors. They are amongst WA’s most experienced entrepreneurs and investors and are all well-respected contributors to the WA innovation ecosystem.
What’s involved in applying?
All applications are conducted through the F6S platform. If you’ve not used it before then the step you will need to follow are sign-up, create a personal profile, create a profile for your startup, complete the required fields in the application form and upload a pitch deck. The aggregate time to complete these steps is 1-2 hours, if you have all the required information and a deck available.
Is this focused on particular sectors or products, like software (not hardware) or agriculture (not gaming)?
No. It’s completely open. If you meet the criteria as stated, you are eligible, regardless of your sector, product or model.
What information is required?
You can preview the questions here. There are a dozen questions. Keep your responses brief: most answer fields are limited to 300 words, or less.
If I have another question, who do I ask?
You can post questions in the ‘Discussion’ section of the F6S platform. WIN will respond to your questions within 24 hours, and make them visible if the question and answer is relevant to other applicants.
Disclosure: Startup News is a media partner of West Tech Fest, and the author is also one of the WIN investors.