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WA Gov WAVES its support for more early stage VC

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WAVES program
// // The 'WAVES' program has been designed to support the establishment of new early-stage venture funds in WA

The state government has announced a new 3-year pilot program to help bolster venture capital funding for local startups.

Called ‘WA Venture Support’ (WAVES), the $900,000 initiative has been designed to encourage new early-stage venture funds to become established in the State, as long as the majority of those funds are directly invested in WA-based startups, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson said WAVES has been designed to attract funds that will facilitate the commercialisation of the promising ideas generated by WA’s growing early-stage innovation ecosystem.

“While there is already capital investment taking place in Western Australia, we have a significant opportunity to attract more venture capital to support early-stage startups,” he said.

“The new WAVES grant program is another opportunity for the Government to explore the level of interest and appetite for businesses to invest in startups.

WA Gov WAVES its support for more early stage VC
Stephen Dawson. Image – Government of WA.

“Our aim is to use this pilot program to assess how we can improve and attract the availability of capital to support our most promising early-stage startups. This will create more opportunities for their success.

Not only will this initiative help local early stage startups to compete on the international stage, the program will be a catalyst to strengthen the WA startup ecosystem.

Stephen Dawson, Innovation Minister

As part of the program, up to three new funds can each receive $100,000 in matched annual funding for their first three years. The chosen recipients will be able to use these funds to contribute towards their operational costs.

WAVES is funded through the state government’s $16.7 million New Industries Fund, which is designed to support new and emerging businesses that diversify the economy.

Chair of Startup WA Jason Balchand welcomed the announcement.

“WAVES is an exciting initiative and is an important step towards building the availability of early-stage investment capital in the WA market,” Jason Balchand told Startup News.

“It’s also a strong signal to east-coast investors and VCs that WA is serious about becoming one of Australia’s top startup hubs. StartupWA is in full support of initiatives such as this one and know it will be an important catalyst in growing our startup ecosystem.”

Applications for the program opened today and will close at 11am AWST on 9 November. Various terms and conditions apply, and for more information, visit the JTSI WAVES site for more information.

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Startup News has been the home of West Australian startup news and events since 2013. We publish several news stories, interviews, tips and events relating to WA startups every week, with over 1,900 articles in our archives. We also produce the 'Startup West' podcast, and host the 'Hubs (Ecosystem)' database of WA startup programs, places and events.
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