WA Gov commits $500K to West Tech Fest

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Minister Punch opening the West Tech Fest
Minister Punch opening the West Tech Fest yesterday. Photo - Twitter @Daniel_Johnsen

Opening yesterday’s main West Tech Fest conference event, in front of a packed house of 400, at Beaumonde on the Point, Minister of Innovation Don Punch announced a major increase of cash support for the tech festival for 2022.

Welcoming attendees to the 10th year of the conference, Minister Punch said an investment of $500,000 will be used to support the inclusion of a public ‘Innovation Showcase’ that will promote the State’s home-grown, world-class innovation talent, and “increase awareness of the world-class innovation talent who call Western Australia home,” he said.

“The McGowan Government is a proud supporter of West Tech Fest, which provides our local startup and tech community with the opportunity to grow and showcase their capabilities, attract investment and reach new global markets.

Minister Punch announcing the increased support for West Tech Fest. Photo – Twitter @alanbradley666

During the week-long festival, WA’s startups and emerging businesses will have numerous opportunities to engage with investors from home and abroad, including the United States and Asia.

Innovation is key to diversifying our economy and creating local jobs. We are committed to making sure local entrepreneurs have access to the support they need to stay and expand in Western Australia.

Minister Don Punch

Various keynote speakers and others on stage yesterday applauded the announcement, which is a big lift for the Festival, now in its 10th year.

Originally called WAPPs, and then incorporating the OzApp Awards, West Tech Fest has grown to become a week-long festival of tech with 13 separate events over the five days.

Most events sold out this week, and the injection of this support should see the festival rise to a new level in 2022 and cater for even more people.

The festival is hosted by Curtin University and supported by a wide range of partners from across universities, government and industry.

The State Government is a gold partner for West Tech Fest 2021 and has contributed $20,000 through its $16.7 million New Industries Fund to fund the flagship event.

Established in 2017, the New Industries Fund enables initiatives such as West Tech Fest, which support and accelerate Western Australia’s innovative startups, emerging businesses and small to medium enterprises, to diversify local and regional economies and create jobs.

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Disclosure: the New Industries Fund is also a supporter of Startup News.