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Welcome to the Perth Startup Scene

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Marcus Holmes

Almost exactly three years ago, I wrote a guide to the Perth Startup Scene for people new to it. It was one of our most read and linked posts. Time for an update. This is the 2017 version

Firstly, welcome! The Perth startup community is very friendly to strangers. You will find other people that you meet are knowledgeable, willing to listen, and easy to talk to (for the most part). We have a strong common interest in making things work and exploring how modern technology and marketing techniques can combine to make great businesses with global reach.

First, though, there’s a few things you should know:

  • Don’t worry about people stealing your idea. I know your idea is the best ever, and you need to protect it because other people will immediately steal it as soon as you tell them. But this just doesn’t happen. I’m not saying this because I want to lull you into a false sense of security and steal your idea. It genuinely never happens. The most common reaction to telling someone your precious idea is that they point out all the problems they can see with it (or politely tell you it’s an amazing idea and you should totally do that while secretly thinking you’re an idiot).
  • On the same subject: no NDAs. People will immediately assume you’re an idiot if you try and make them sign an NDA before talking to them about your idea.
  • Generally speaking, Lean Startup is the approach everyone takes. You will need to have read it and understood at least the basics before being able to get far into a conversation with most startup folks. No-one is going to make much sense otherwise.
  • Your idea is not enough by itself. Everyone in the community has about a hundred ideas. All of them need work and validation before they have any value. Pitching someone to build your idea for 10% of the equity will get you nowhere. You need customers before your idea is worth anything. Getting customers before you build the product is an art that you will need to learn. Yes, it’s possible.
  • Know your skill set and value. People who can fund a startup are gold. People who have solid skills in software development, web design, marketing, company administration, etc are silver. People who have solid domain expertise in an industry are bronze. If you don’t have any of those skills, look to learn one.
  • Everyone has an idea they’re working on. The easiest and best way of getting into a conversation with a stranger is “what are you working on?”.
  • Failure doesn’t matter. You will often hear people talk about their failures. In other company this might be embarrassing and/or reason to think they’re incompetent. In the startup community, failures are a badge of honour. You will probably fail. That’s OK.

Where to find us:

  • Morning Startup Meetup – every other Wednesday morning at 7:30am in Spacecubed.
  • Silicon Beach Meetup – every other Friday evening at 5:30pm at Health Engine
  • Various tech meetups – Rails, Django, Localhost, Fenders, Fintech, blockchain, appreneurs and many more
  • Startup Weekend – absolute must-do event for everyone twice a year
  • Other hackathons  – Unearthed, GovHack, HBF Activate, Mindhack, regularly from about February to about October every year
  • Accelerator pitch and demo nights – again, starting in Feb and running to about October each year the various accelerator programs hold events where you will find us gathered
  • OZApps and the WTF (West Tech Fest) – one week each November where the whole community struts our stuff
  • Perthcolator workshops and graduation events – I help run these so I’m  sort of dreaming here 😉
  • Random community events – there’s all sorts of other events where startup folk gather to drink beer and talk metrics. Check the coworking space event calendars for details

Places we hang out:

  • Spacecubed. The “Town Hall” of the startup community.
  • Flux. Spacecubed’s big brother. Where the startup community meets corporate innovators.
  • TechHub. Some meetups meet here, and there’s co-working available.
  • Sync Labs. Still hanging on as a startup coworking space
  • Claisebrook  Community. Known as “CBDC” and a great venue funded by a local VC.
  • Bloom. The student co-working space, hosted by St Catherine’s College on the UWA campus.
  • F-Space. Freo’s co-working space, and exactly what you’d expect a Freo co-working space to be.

There are also small co-working spaces scattered around the place, and regular community events that you’ll hear about from us.

Information sources

As well as signing up for our weekly newsletter (over there on the right where it says “subscribe”), you should also check out:

  • Techboard, who list all the startups in WA (and nationally) and post interesting stuff about them
  • Business News, who have a regular section on the startup community
  • Startup.Perth twitter account that retweets anything and everything related to startups in Perth
  • Perth Startup slack channel, where we all swap gossip and tips while bored
  • Niche Interview, a Perth-based startup/entrepreneur video channel, who cover a lot of Perth startup events

See you at one of them!

P.S. Matt Macfarlane created this cool Google Doc with similar info in it: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/13aGYiW6bFtVBUVWIRfs9mOj-wfa0wdJySGNrWsej5wQ/edit#slide=id.g199eb79ef5_0_195

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Picture of Marcus Holmes

Marcus Holmes

Gentleman Technologist and co-founder of Startup News. His vision has made //SN a sustainable media cheerleader for the startup community. Former CEO of Phnom Penh Post, he can be found somewhere in S.E. Asia coding away...
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