‘Shark Tank’ initiative to aid Pilbara start-ups

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
PDC chairman Terry Hill, Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president Adrian Hatwell.
Camera IconPDC chairman Terry Hill, Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president Adrian Hatwell. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Port Hedland is set to play host to its own type of “Shark Tank” event to foster innovation and develop new businesses, after $100,000 was pumped into the region.

Named after the television show, the initiative will give new businesses the opportunity to learn the skills needed to pitch their ideas, get capital and organise their company.

The funding was injected into the Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce by the State Government and will be developed in partnership with Pilbara innovation hubs, as well as the Karratha, Newman and Onslow chambers.

PHCC president Peter Carter said the program would help grow start-up companies.

“It’s to get people involved in business and the good thing with Shark Tank is that it gives them the opportunity for experts to show them where they might be going wrong,” he said.

“It’s a good program for people who want to start a business and want to learn about business, and for people who want to grow their business.”

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the goal was to provide skills for people to go out and sell their business ideas.

“It’s really about skilling up, on the business side, those people that have got an innovative project that they want to put forward,” she said.

“It’s not focused so much on the technical side of their project, but on how you develop your business case and business pitch so that you are more likely to attract funds.”

Ms MacTiernan said supporting start-up companies was an important aspect of diversifying the economy.

“You also have to be doing that fine-grain work with lots of these smaller businesses to give people a start. If you want diversification you’ve got to stimulate the small business activity as well,” she said.

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