The search is on for WA’s most innovative talent

The 2018 Innovator of the Year program, which showcases Western Australia’s brightest entrepreneurs, was officially launched in Perth.

Now in its 12th year, the program, which is run by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, has celebrated some of WA’s most talented innovators who have gone on to commercialise new products and services, win new markets and disrupt old ones.

The 2018 WA IOTY Program comprises two categories – The Emerging Innovation Category (pre-revenue) and the Growth Category (post-revenue). The winner of each category receives $25,000 and the Mitsubishi Corporation Overall Winner who is chosen from either category receives $75,000. In addition, there are four Encouragement awards valued at $10,000 each – the Woodside Oil & Gas Encouragement Award, the South32 Technology & Innovation in Mining Encouragement Award, the Business News Great for the State Encouragement Award and the DXC Digital Innovation Encouragement Award.

The Young Innovator of the Year Award, which was introduced last year, is a collaboration between the Innovator of the Year and the Just Start It programs. Just Start It, which has been running in WA since 2014, is a program designed to harness bright ideas and talent and coach high school students on how to create a Technology Start Up. Participants in Just Start It have the opportunity to apply for the Young Innovator of the Year Award.

The 16 semi-finalists in the program receive business capability training, pitch presentation skills, one-on-one mentoring, financial planning tools, a legal health check and a digital marketing strategy workshop. Finalists receive a video showcasing their innovation and they can use the prestigious Innovator of the Year 2018 logo recognising their achievement.

Mark Pullen, Principal, Watermark, has been involved as a member of the Advisory Group and judge since the WA Innovator of the Year program’s inception in 2006. He joins a team of influential and progressive individuals who comprise the current Advisory Group, including Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE, The Honourable Dr Ken Michael AC, Mayor of Mandurah Mr Rhys Williams and Dr Vanessa Guthrie.

“It’s a privilege to be part of such a dynamic and continually evolving program. WA Innovator of the Year continues to gather momentum and the support of major industry players has been instrumental to its success and longevity,” said Mark Pullen.

Award winners will share in $165,000 in prize money and all finalists and semi-finalists will participate in a mentoring program providing direct access to some of WA’s most savvy and commercially-minded industry leaders.

Applications for the program are now open and the application deadline is 11am WST on 5 June 2018. Watermark can provide general advice on the program as well as the benefits of entering. Please contact

Alternatively, further information about the WA Innovator of the Year Program including Award categories and the application process can be found at