AIIA QLD Luncheon – Startups Past, Present and Future
Join tech leaders Steve Baxter, John Grant and Faith Rees as they dissect the startup environment and explore how the opportunities and challenges for startups have changed.
With new technologies and lower entry-barriers to business, the capital-intensive software and hardware projects of the nineties have been replaced by the lean startup. Bricks and mortar have been swapped for the cloud, and small local businesses are quickly gaining global reach through easier access to the resources they need.
Technology has opened new avenues for unimagined small businesses and more rewarding careers, as our panellists will attest. Join us as we discuss the hot issues for startups today, including:
- The importance of the startup ecosystem
- Bricks and mortar versus the cloud
- The need for speed and agility
- The role of government, accelerators and venture capitalists
Moderated by Monica Bradley, an extended panel discussion will provide an opportunity for guests to pose questions to the speakers.
- John Grant
- Faith Rees
- Steve Baxter
This event will be a popular and tickets are strictly limited, so don’t miss out.
For AIIA Members, please log in (top right) to access your member price.
For WIT Members, please use the discount code provided (when logged into the WIT website), to access AIIA Member ticket prices.
Queensland Chief Entrepreneur
Tech start-up investor and proud Queenslander Steve Baxter left school at 15 and joined the Army, enlisting in its apprenticeship program. There, he became a technician working in the field of electronics, telecoms and guided weapon systems. In 1994, at the age of 23, Steve put his life savings of $11,000 on the line to launch his first start-up, the pioneering internet service provider SE Net, from the spare room of his Adelaide home. Servicing more than 35,000 customers, SE Net was eventually acquired by Ozemail/UUNet under the stewardship of its founding Director and now Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
In 2001, Steve teamed with a schoolmate to launch his second start-up, PIPE Networks, a provider of wholesale telecoms infrastructure that was listed on the ASX in 2005. Eight years later they sold it to the TPG Group for $373 million. Steve spent a year working with Google in California in 2008, leading a project to deliver high-speed telecommunications systems across North America.
Since 2010 he has become a major early stage investor in startups leading to the founding of Brisbane tech startup co-working space River City Labs. He foundered and underwrote the Startup Catalyst and River Pitch programs; he has been on the listed boards of Vocus Telecoms, Indoor Skydive Australia Group and OtherLevels as well as being on the board of Commercialisation Australia.
He has been heavily involved in the early days or founding of numerous industry groups and forums such as the South Australian Internet Association, South Australian Internet Exchange, Australian Domain Name Authority, AuDA, INTIAA, IIA, AusBone and AusNOG.
He has been a Shark on Channel 10’s Shark Tank Australia for the past three seasons. In 2006 Steve received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Northern Region. In 2016, Steve received the Pearcey Medal for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the Information and Communications Technology Industry.
Late this year he was appointed as the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, building and promoting the importance and contribution of entrepreneurship and investment in Queensland.
CEO and Co-founder, SixPivot & Cloud Ctrl
Faith Rees is the co-founder and CEO of SixPivot and Cloud Ctrl. Since founding her startup Faith has won both the WIT Startup Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the ARN Female Startup Entrepreneur of the Year Award. SixPivot and Cloud Ctrl have likewise won a host of awards since the companies’ inception just over two years ago.
Faith has worked in the Australian IT industry for the past 18 years across a variety of roles from sales to general management, to director and chief operating officer roles. Throughout her career Faith has worked for both small and large Microsoft Gold Partners (including Microsoft) providing services to SMEs, government and global organisations. Much of the last 10 years has been involved in software development.
Faith is a strong believer in giving back to the community and volunteers her time across various IT associations. As an advocate for the IT industry, Faith serves on a number of government and industry committees. She is also an advocate for diversity and in particular supporting women in their careers. She is a member of Women on Boards, a mentor for the WIT Board Readiness Program and is on the Advisory Committee for Diverse City Careers (DCC). Faith previously held board director roles at Readify and Dilignet.
Faith graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in 1995 with BA Social Science majoring in Psychology and went on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Communication in 1999. She is currently a Fellow member of the Australian Institute of Management and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Former MD/CEO Data#3 &
Chair, Australian Rugby League Commission
John Grant is an Australian businessman, Chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission which controls rugby league in Australia, and retired CEO and Managing Director of Australian Public IT company Data#3 Limited. During his time with Data#3 he also held the position of Chairman of the Australian Information Industry Association.
John, along with his colleagues Terry Powell and Graham Clark, was instrumental in taking the start up Powell and Associates from a home garage based IT provider in the late 70s and turning it into one of Australia’s leading publicly listed and Queensland HQ’ed systems integrator of today.
A former Rugby League player of the 1970s, John was a Queensland interstate representative three-quarter back and a member of the Australian team in the 1972 World Cup against Great Britain in France. John’s club football was with Brisbane Rugby League’s Souths under Wayne Bennett.
John holds an engineering degree from University of Queensland and at completion, took up a scholarship with Brisbane City Council which marked the beginning of his extensive career that would eventually see John hold a number of leadership roles in both the corporate and public sectors.
Director, Purposeful Capital
Monica is an investor, director and founder of start ups in the media, digital and services sector. She builds value by using innovative foresight to solve complex problems that deliver sustainable results. Monica has delivered significant corporate transformation in government, private sector and regulated industries. She is focused on industrial innovation that will deliver game changing products, services and systems in aging, productivity, personal empowerment, nutrition and social impact sectors.
Monica has held leadership and advisory roles in New York, Abu Dhabi, Sydney and Brisbane across global sourcing, utilities, ICT, resources, public sector reform, SMB sector growth and consulting services. She is an advisor on the Advance Queensland Expert Panel and director of Purposeful Capital.
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