Western Australian Venture Support (WAVES) 2022-2025 pilot program

Recipients of WAVES funding announced.
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WAVES 2022-2025 pilot program

The successful recipients have been announced by the Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Innovation and ICT.

Purpose Ventures Fund, Fund WA and Quokka Capital will each receive $100,000 in matched annual funding from the WA Government for three years, to assist with operational expenditure.

Headed by some of the State’s most notable venture capital leaders, the three new funds are expected to become operational in the coming months and will be enabled to support more local startups and scale-ups.

The WAVES pilot program was established to support new venture capital funds that are set up in Western Australia, with the prime purpose of addressing the early stage funding gap.

About this grant

The WAVES grant program will provide $900,000 to attract investment in WA-owned and run early stage ventures.

The competitive co-investment grant program will provide up to 3 selected venture funds with a maximum of $100,000 each, every year for 3 years. 

WAVES is designed to support:

  • venture funds established in WA for the first time, and/or
  • existing funds in other Australian states that physically locate an employee in WA for the first time.

Managed Investment Schemes and other funding forms may also apply. Find out out more about eligibility and how to apply below. For full details, see the WAVES program guidelines.

WAVES grants are being provided through the New Industries Fund.

Who is eligible?

The WAVES pilot program supports venture funds established in WA for the first time and/or existing funds in other Australian states that physically locate an employee in WA for the first time.

Preference will be given to new venture funds that set up and operate in WA and invest most of their funds into WA-based early stage, innovative companies and scalable small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

Applicants must also meet all the following eligibility criteria. To be eligible, you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and/or Australian Company Number (ACN)
  • be a registered Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership or similar entity, such as a Managed Investment Scheme, set up for the first time and headquartered in WA, with the intent of investing in WA’s early stage startups and scalable SMEs

       - or, have the intent to set up such a venture fund, or be in the process of doing so, with the expectation of being operational during the 2022/23 financial year and beyond

        - or, be an established venture fund located in Australia, but will place an employee in WA for the first time

  • be a valid legal entity that can enter into a funding agreement with the Western Australian Government
  • be a solvent Australian-based non-government fund.

Employees of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI), and/or their immediate families, are not eligible to apply.

For full details, see the WAVES program guidelines.

Evaluation criteria

Applications must address the evaluation criteria, keeping within the word count for each section. 

There are five evaluation criteria.

  1. Team: The quality, experience and track record of the applicant fund’s managers, general partners and team behind the fund.
  2. Commitment: The commitment, preparedness and readiness of the fund’s manager/s to invest in WA-based early stage innovative companies and scalable SMEs, over the cited 3 years and beyond.
  3. Size: The size of the total fund, availability of funds committed, with expected timelines; any specialisations (e.g. in medtech, or fintech) or whether industry-agnostic.
  4. WA funding: The proposed proportion (percentage) and quantum (in millions of dollars) of the fund that will be specific to WA deals only, over the 3 years; whether the fund is established in WA for the first time (preferable) or an Australian fund from other states putting someone on the ground in WA for the first time.
  5. Viability: The commercial viability of the fund including organisational structure, business plan, cash position, ability to at least match with co-funding, the funds allocated through WAVES. 


Why we need WAVES

It has become apparent that WA does not have an established early stage venture industry.

The WA economy is 17 per cent of the Australian economy (GDP), but the early stage venture industry in WA is just 1.5 per cent of the total in Australia.

While there is investment capital in WA, there is a clear funding gap in WA for early stage innovation.

While not every startup business or innovator is looking for funding, the level of total available private sector funding and funders in WA lies well below levels required to sustain a flourishing early stage innovative sector.

WAVES has been launched to address the funding gap. It is designed to be catalyst to attract tens or hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment.

For facts and figures about early stage venture investment in WA, see the WAVES program guidelines.