The WA start-ups to watch in 2020

The West Australian - - WEST BUSINESS - MEILIN CHEW

WA is home to some of the most suc­cess­ful Aus­tralian start-ups, and now with more sup­port pro­grams avail­able, ex­perts say 2020 is shap­ing up to be a break­out year.

Canva, HealthEngi­ne, App­bot and Ag­world are some of the big­gest suc­cess sto­ries to come out of WA’s start-up in­dus­try, and while Syd­ney might be bet­ter known as the na­tion’s startup cap­i­tal, Perth is quickly emerg­ing as a pre­ferred hub. Rang­ing from on­line gam­ing to wine in­ven­tory man­age­ment, the start-ups to watch in 2020 vary widely in their ser­vice of­fer­ing, but are all mak­ing waves in WA and fur­ther afield. What to watch in 2020

Headed by an ex-Mi­crosoft executive, RateIt’s real-time cus­tomer feed­back soft­ware has won over com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Adi­das,

IKEA and Pan­dora since be­ing founded four years ago.

In­ven­tory man­age­ment for hos­pi­tal­ity venues such as restau­rants, bars and ho­tels can be a time-con­sum­ing, ex­pen­sive ex­er­cise. The team be­hind start-up Cellr are work­ing on im­prov­ing the process through track­ing in­di­vid­ual bot­tles via ra­dio fre­quency iden­ti­fi­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies.

Taking out last year’s WA In­no­va­tor of the year, soft­ware startup Udrew of­fers a unique DIY ser­vice for de­sign­ing, plan­ning and en­gi­neer­ing, as well as pro­vid­ing con­struc­tion and ma­te­rial guides.

Wide Open Agri­cul­ture is a re­gen­er­a­tive food and farming com­pany based out of Wil­liams that listed on the ASX with a $5 mil­lion IPO last July. They part­ner with farm­ers com­mit­ted to re­build­ing healthy soil, en­hanc­ing bio­di­ver­sity and restor­ing water­ways.

WA also has a strong group of medtech and biotech start-ups and ones to watch, in­clude Onco Res Med­i­cal, Noisy Guts and ASXlisted Ortho­cell.

For She Codes, pre­vi­ously Perth(web)Girls, a fo­cus this year is to build on their model of help­ing women get into tech ca­reers. They have lofty goals, aim­ing to in­spire 100,000 women to en­ter tech by 2025, and so far have trained more than 3000 women in HTML, CSS, Python and Django.

“Only 29 per cent of peo­ple that work in tech­nol­ogy are fe­male and 75 per cent of the fastest grow­ing jobs re­quire tech­ni­cal skills,” Kate Kir­win, pic­tured, founder of She Codes, said. “That is be­hind our mis­sion to break down the bar­ri­ers and to get more women into those tech­ni­cal roles.

“We know that we need 200,000 peo­ple in tech across Aus­tralia by 2025 to stay glob­ally com­pet­i­tive and our goal is to see half of those po­si­tions held by women.”

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