West Tech Investor Network makes its first 3 investments

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WTF Investors 2021
8 of the WTF Investors with the three startups that landed an investment from them. Photo - Lewis Williamson.

At a packed sundowner event last night to round off the annual day-long West Tech Fest conference, the inaugural West Tech Fest Investor Network announced its first three investments, of $50K and two lots of $25K, in three WA startups.

Behind the network are 10 local investors, each with extensive experience in the local startup scene, and fronted by Larry Lopez, Rob Nathan, Tash Teakle and Andrew Outhwaite.

Overall, 26 entries were received (plus some from overseas, which were ignored, as the rules stated it was for WA-based startups only), and the group got together last week to decide on which ones they would support.

“Apart from using the judging criteria as a way of sorting out which businesses were the best investments, it also came down to which three companies we felt we could collectively help,” said Rob Nathan.

“Some companies were well on their way, and we wish them well, but $25K or $50K was not going to make much difference. In some cases, we also thought we could not add much value.

“So we decided on the three, where we thought the money could go the furthest, and where also we could chip in and help with advice and our own networks, over time.

“We can’t help them all, but we look forward to working with the three selected companies now and into the future,” he said.

“We’re glad to have got started, selected our first investments, and hopefully we will be back next year, even bigger.”

So, watch out for these three, and congrats to…

Grow Impact

Grow Impact founders Nick Saunders and Tobias Schoep with Rob Nathan

Nick Saunders and Tobias Schoep accepted the $50K SAFE note investment from the investor group. They are commercialising a SaaS platform that allows funders of research to see the outcomes of their investments.

Since graduating from last year’s Plus Eight tech accelerator in Perth, they have brought on various paying clients, and have raised some capital.

The medical research market in Australia alone is worth A$7.5 billion per year. The company is looking to expand its service to the UK.

Anticipate Life

Anticipate Life founders Paul Kamarudin and Leanne Russell with Andrew Outhwaite

Husband and wife team Paul Kamarudin and Leanne Russell are looking to solve the problem of sorting out all the issues and loose ends of someone’s finances, logins and funeral arrangements when they pass away. Rather than have all this to organise at the very moment someone has died, the service allows the user to have it all arranged beforehand.

Their MVP is already live, and the $25K will be used to make some changes to the platform, plus some digital marketing.

There has been some interesting VC activity in this area with some US players recently, so the market looks to be hotting up.

Tactest

Tash Teakle with Chris Field, founder of Tactest

Mandurah-based auto electrician Chris Field has built his own machine for the automotive industry, that can identify faults in car or trailer lights with one handy testing tool.

The investment ($25K) will be put towards developing the first 100 units for trial and sale.

The investor group aims to be back next year, investing in more local startups that connect with the West Tech Fest. Plans are afoot to grow the group if possible, so they can help more companies, perhaps with larger cheques.

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Disclosure: the author is also one of the investors of the group.

All photos – Lewis Williamson.