2019 WA Award
The 2019 WA Pearcey Entrepreneur Award was presented to Rob Nathan, at the 28th WAITTA Incite Awards held on in Perth on Friday 14th June 2019. The award was presented by Greg Italiano, the Government Chief Information Officer, at the gala presentation dinner at the Crown Perth.
Rob is CEO and Founder of Australian Tenders with over 20 years experience in the IT sector. He is a qualified engineer who has spent most of his career in Product Management and Marketing focussing on development, commercialisation and sales of Australian technology in to global markets.
Over the last ten years, Rob has built his own successful software business and been highly active in growing early stage software companies out of Perth. He co-founded Vocus Upstart and helped 14 tech startups through the program.
Rob is also an active investor in early stage technology companies and a member of the Perth Angels. These investments are substantial and have been vitally important to many local software startups originating out of Western Australia.
In addition to building and investing, Rob has mentored and nurtured some of Perth's youngest entrepreneurs commencing their technology startup journey. He is a role model for launching and growing a successful software business and a highly approachable entrepreneur everyone enjoys interacting with. Rob is respected by his peers in the startup technology community and by Perth's most astute financial investors. He is a risk taker, a successful entrepreneur, a role model and mentor in the Perth ICT industry.
Rob has a Bachelor of Telecommunications Engineering from Curtin University and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Australia.
In 2009, Rob founded Australian Tenders to provide easy and affordable access to information on tender opportunities throughout Australia. The first version of the website was free to everyone. Unfortunately that wasn't paying the bills at home so Rob began charging a small amount for the service, knowing that the excellent quality of the service would ensure that people would be prepared to pay a small monthly retainer for Australia-wide access to tenders. The business has since grown to employ several staff and has operated profitably for many years whilst competing with much larger organisations.
Rob's Australian Tenders business has helped thousands of companies around Australia to successfully participate in tender opportunities that they would otherwise have not known about. This particularly benefits the small-medium businesses who do not have dedicated tender tracking capabilities by providing an affordable pathway to opportunities for a fraction of the price that similar organisations charge.
A large proportion of these opportunities are in the engineering and technology space. Increasing the awareness and participation in tender opportunities has also helped the companies and Government organisations seeking products or services by reducing costs and increasing the range of suppliers for a particular opportunity. A win-win situation for the whole market.
Commencing in 2016, Rob took on greater risk when he founded the Amcom Upstart program, a funded accelerator program for startup software companies operating in Perth. He created a structure and attracted a long list of local investors to participate in funding very early stage companies. Each company was guided through a 3 month intensive accelerator program and graduated at a demo day in front of prospective partners and investors.
In 2017 the accelerator was rebranded Vocus Upstart. The venture required a lot of courage, a huge amount of time as well as a substantial portion of the funding of the investment program.
Rob's Upstart Fund has funded and mentored over 25 founders of 14 different early stage IT startups through two accelerator programs. This had an extraordinary impact on the founders and companies participating. Upstart companies include Amcom Upstart, GeoMoby, Offpeak Games, Busybot Social.Folio, Hydralert, Rest Alert, Australian Geotomography, Yabble, Immersia, VR, Prevyou, Filtered, Everythere, Veri.vote, Jurimetrics.
Rob continues to actively invest in early stage IT companies in Perth and provides mentoring and support to each of these businesses. He gives his time willingly to present to accelerator participants and founders in Perth's growing startup community.
His profile in the industry was greatly heightened by his founding and leadership of the Upstart accelerator programs and he is always on the list of local Perth Angels that software startups want to pitch to as a high value investor.
He gives his time willingly to present his experience and knowledge to other founders and has a unique ability to bridge the divide between traditional mining and property investors and present them with technology opportunities in a positive light.
He is a regular participant in community events and always on the lookout for ways he might encourage greater engagement in IT as an industry in WA.
Our Pearcey Western Australian Entrepreneur of the Year for 2018, Robert Nathan, is passionate and committed to supporting emerging WA start-ups.
Rob has a Bachelor of Telecommunications Engineering from Curtin University and a masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Australia.
Most of his career has been spent in project management and marketing focused on development, commercialisation and sales of Australian technology into global markets.
Rob is CEO and founder of Australian Tenders which provides easy and affordable access to information on tender opportunities throughout Australia. Established 10 years ago, the company now employs five staff and has helped thousands of companies find new business at a fraction of the price of similar organisations charge.
In 2016, Rob founded the Vocus Upstart program as Perth's first professional fund accelerator. In total, the Upstart fund has enabled assistance and mentoring for founders of 14 early stage information technology startups.
Rob is an entrepreneur and mentor and is always giving back to the community.