1 / September / 2017

Steve Baxter named Queensland’s new Chief Entrepreneur


Posted 1 September 2017

Well-known investor, tech founder and Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter will take over from Mark Sowerby as Queensland’s next Chief Entrepreneur in October, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch announced on Thursday 31st September.

Ms Enoch said Mr Baxter will maintain the momentum the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur is playing in facilitating and promoting entrepreneurship and investment in Queensland.

“I’m delighted to have someone of Steve Baxter’s calibre on board,” Ms Enoch said.

“Mr Baxter will bring that extra something to our $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative, and Queensland’s growing startup ecosystem will really benefit from his insights and experiences.”

Ms Enoch paid tribute to the service of Mark Sowerby – “our very first Chief Entrepreneur and a wonderful ambassador promoting Queensland business to Australia and the world”.

“Mr Sowerby has been sharing his insights and experiences to help local businesses across the state get results and he is a guiding light for our Hot DesQ entrepreneurs as they relocate their startups to Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.

“Hot DesQ is this government’s Australian-first initiative attracting international and interstate startups to mentor Queensland entrepreneurs and create the jobs of the future.

“Mr Sowerby has been an extraordinary asset to us as Chief Entrepreneur. Having another Chief Entrepreneur from the private sector of the same calibre is good news for Queensland as we cement our position as a centre for innovation.”

Mr Baxter, the founder of internet service provider SE Net and co-founder of PIPE Networks, was born in Cloncurry, raised in Emerald, and schooled in Rockhampton.

He said he is keen to boost the prospects for startup businesses in the regions.

“This is a very important role and I see it as an opportunity to connect our entrepreneurs to markets, investors and each other, and promote business opportunities – all key ingredients to building a successful ecosystem,” Mr Baxter said.

“Mark Sowerby has done an amazing job profiling Queensland entrepreneurs on the world stage and I’m looking forward to building on the great work he and his team has done.”

Mr Sowerby said no other person has given back to the Queensland startup community and personally invested in building local talent like Steve Baxter.

“Steve has leveraged his success to give back and set up River City Labs in 2012 to help build more tech startups in his home state. He’s a die-hard Queenslander and the natural choice as Chief Entrepreneur,” Mr Sowerby said.

Mark Sowerby was recently guest speaker at the Business Moreton Bay Region Conference Series event held on 11th August at Norths Leagues and Services Club, Kallangur where he spoke of his lessons learned throughout his journey of entrepreneur

Sowerby was guest speaker at the Moreton Bay Region Business Conference Series event on 11th August 2017.

The Queensland Chief Entrepreneur’s office aims to inspire, connect and support entrepreneurs throughout Queensland. Mr Baxter will serve in the position in a part-time capacity for the next 12 months.

More information on programs and resources available through the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur can be found at www.chiefentrepreneur.qld.gov.au