Gemma Manning told Business News the company had existing operations in Sydney and Singapore, and had been operating for five years.
“(Five years ago) the funding environment was a little bit different to what it is now, so we saw a bit of brain drain,” Ms Manning said.
A second driver was that few Australian startups were tapping into opportunities in South-East Asia, she said.
“So that’s why I founded Gem- star, to (encourage) Australian tech companies, innovators, fast-growth businesses, to say we should be looking at our regional neighbours in our business growth strategies,” Ms Manning said.
“Gemstar was formed to be the market access partner (for expanding business) to do that.”WA’s innovation agenda was very aligned with what investors in the South-East Asian region were looking for, she said.
“The talent coming out of WA and the innovations are very robust, and really does lend itself to a global stage,” Ms Manning said. Gemstar’s offering will be led by marketing and strategy, rather than technology.
Ms Manning said Gemstar had previously taken equity stakes in some businesses that had gone through its program.
Further offerings include an ASEAN immersion program, and mentoring or residency options at the innovation centre.“We’ll be running a women in focus Asian acceleration program later this year as well, we want to encourage WA business women to go north,” Ms Manning said.
Fast-growing companies from Asia will also come for expanding business to the Perth centre as a landing pad, she said.
First Published in Business News, Small Business Special Report.