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Perth hosts Australia’s biggest tech and innovation festival

West Tech Fest returns for its 12th year

Perth is once again the epicentre of the Australian tech and innovation scene, as the city hosts the West Tech Fest (WTF) from Monday 4 December to Friday 8 December. The five-day festival, which is supported by the Cook Government through its New Industries Fund, brings together startup founders, business owners, investors, and experts from across the country and beyond, to inspire the next generation of startup superstars.

WTF is Australia’s longest running tech and innovation festival, and has been instrumental in fostering a vibrant and diverse startup ecosystem in Western Australia. The festival was initiated by Curtin University, and is co-founded by its Executive Director of Commercialisation Rohan McDougall. McDougall said WTF 2023 is a celebration of the spirit of innovation.

“WTF showcases the best of Western Australian innovation and creativity, as well as attracting some of the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders to our state. We are proud to partner with the Cook Government, who share our vision of supporting and growing our local talent and industry,” McDougall said.

Perth hosts Australia’s biggest tech and innovation festival

WTF features headline speakers from Silicon Valley and beyond

The festival’s program is packed with events, workshops, pitch competitions, networking opportunities, and keynote presentations from some of the most influential figures in the global tech scene. Among them are Aaron Gershenberg, co-founder of SVB Capital, one of the largest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley; Luke Anear, founder of SafetyCulture, Australia’s newest unicorn startup; Maxine Minter, general partner of Co Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on female-led startups; and Olympia Yarger, founder of Goterra, a biotech company that uses insects to transform food waste into animal feed.

Gershenberg said he was excited to return to Perth for WTF, where he met Canva co-founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht 10 years ago. “I loved the energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and potential, all while being surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of Perth. I’ve seen it, I’ve watched it, and I’m so excited to be coming back,” he said.

Anear said he was looking forward to sharing his journey of building SafetyCulture from a garage in Townsville to a global company valued at over $2 billion. “WTF is a great platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from others who have been there and done that. I hope to inspire and empower more people to pursue their dreams and solve big problems with technology,” he said.

WTF introduces new events to explore emerging trends and opportunities

In addition to the festival’s favourites such as West Tech Women, West Tech Main, and Freo Startup Fest, WTF 2023 introduces two new events to cater to different audiences and interests. West Tech Coast is an immersive beachside conference at Port Beach that showcases how corporates and startups can leverage technology to achieve sustainable development goals. West Tech Youth is a free, publicly accessible dedicated youth program that features the Young Entrepreneurs Showcase to inspire the next generation of startup founders.

Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Stephen Dawson said WTF presents a unique opportunity to showcase Western Australian innovation and innovators as the state looks to further diversify its local economy. “WTF is a fantastic platform for Western Australia’s rapidly growing start-up scene to shine and make ideas happen. If you’re interested in innovation – get along to WTF and hear from an exciting array of speakers from the 4-8 December, right here in Perth,” he said.

For more information about WTF 2023 and its program of events, visit the official website.

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