Formed in July 2022 as part of Spacecubed's Innovative Society Initiative, supported by Lotterywest, Meshpoints is the next evolution of the maturity of WA’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The network now boasts over 100 Partners across industry, Government, universities and not-for-profits from all corners of the ecosystem, working together to develop collaborative partnerships and new initiatives to better support entrepreneurs and innovators in our State.
On September 1, Meshpoints hosted its annual Congress designed for those leading the development of WA's innovation ecosystem. After funding over $1 million in projects in the first 12 months of the Innovative Society Fund, this event has quickly become the key driver for collaboration, connection and defining priorities for the ecosystem.
With over 120 attendees at The Hub, Bentley Technology Park, Congress began with a welcome from Meshpoints Chair, Nicole Lockwood and an introduction from Innovation Minister Stephen Dawson. Amongst the introductions, was the announcement of the 2023 WA Innovation & Ecosystem Report, a snapshot in time of our ecosystem, designed using the 15,000 data points mapped within the Innovative Society Index.
Throughout the day, under the MIT REAP framework, collaborative groups formed around key stakeholder groups including Education Providers; Hubs, Networks, Program Managers or Facilitators; Funders, Foundations, Grant Providers or Venture Capital; Government; NFPs or Social Enterprises; and Startups, SMEs, Business Owners & Corporates to lead discussions around enabling impactful ecosystem-wide collaboration and priorities for the next 12-months.
Rohan Silva, former Senior Policy Adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron, joined before lunch to share insights from international innovation ecosystems and inspire attendees to broaden their thinking beyond WA. The day concluded with closing remarks from Marcus Tan, Spacecubed Chair, reflecting on the last 12 months, and how it is just the beginning.
Key outcomes of the day focussed on the power of coming together, for physical congregation, to work ‘on the ecosystem’ and spark new connections and ideas. It also highlighted a "strong bias to action", suggesting that the community is interested in tangible results, not just discussion.
As Congress, and Meshpoints more broadly, demonstrate there has been a rapid expansion of activity in the Western Australian innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem over the last 10 years and the ecosystem now represents a diverse array of empowering mechanisms for innovations, entrepreneurs and change-makers.
There is an opportunity to continue this multi-stakeholder level of collaboration and increase the resilience of our ecosystem by joining a sub-constellation, accessing funding, or using the available data within The Index to inform priority areas and decision-making.
Meshpoints, supported by Spacecubed and Lotterywest, is part of the Innovative Society Initiative, designed to build a community of high-impact innovators in Western Australia.