STEVE BAXTER ANNOUNCED AS QUEENSLAND'S NEXT CHIEF ENTREPRENEUR

STEVE BAXTER ANNOUNCED AS QUEENSLAND'S NEXT CHIEF ENTREPRENEUR

STEVE Baxter, experienced investor and judge on Shark Tank, has been announced as the new Queensland Chief Entrepreneur.

Baxter will take over from Mark Sowerby in October, placing him at the helm of the $420 million Advance Queensland initiative.

At the age of 23, in 1994, Baxter poured his life savings into creating internet service provider SE Net, which was eventually acquired by Ozemail.

Baxter is also the co-founder of PIPE Networks, a provider of wholesale telecoms infrastructure that was acquired by TPG Group in 2013 for $373 million. In 2012, he founded River City Labs to help build and support tech startups in Queensland and he now runs that business venture.  

He is also one of the judges on Channel Ten's Shark Tank, which puts would-be entrepreneurs in front of professional investors like Baxter to pitch their ideas.

Baxter, who was born in Cloncurry, raised in Emerald and schooled in Rockhampton, says he is keen to further help startup businesses in Queensland's 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," says Baxter.

"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."

The outgoing Sowerby says no one else has given back to the Queensland startup community quite like Baxter has.

"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," says Sowerby.

"He's a die-hard Queenslander and the natural choice as Chief Entrepreneur."

In April, Baxter let Business News Australia in on a few of his secrets about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur

In May, Mark Sowerby spoke exclusively about the "tsunami of talent" that was about to hit Queensland. 

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