Steve Baxter (entrepreneur)

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Steve Baxter
Born 1971 (age 46–47)
Cloncurry, Queensland
Residence Brisbane, Queensland
Nationality Australian
Occupation Investor, entrepreneur, television personality
Known for Shark Tank
Spouse(s) Emily Baxter
Children 3

Steve Baxter is an Australian investor, entrepreneur and television personality. He is one of the 'sharks' on the Australian television series Shark Tank.

Early life[edit]

Steve Baxter was born in the remote town of Cloncurry, Australia, and raised in Emerald in Queensland's Central Highlands Region.[1] He moved to Rockhampton and attended North Rockhampton State High School.[2][3] He left school at 15 and joined the army,[4] enlisting in its apprenticeship program. There, he became an engineer working in the field of electronics, telecoms and guided weapon systems.

Career[edit]

In 1994, at the age of 23, Baxter put his life savings of $11,000 on the line to launch his first start-up, an internet service provider, SE Net, from the spare room of his Adelaide home.[4][3] Servicing more than 35,000 customers, SE Net was eventually acquired by Ozemail/UUNet under the stewardship of its founding Director and former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.[5]

In 2001, Baxter teamed with schoolmate and Australian technology entrepreneur Bevan Slattery to launch his second start-up, PIPE Networks. On 30 June 2008, Baxter resigned as Chief Technology Officer of PIPE Networks and moved to California to work with Google as a Technical Program Manager[6] leading a project to deliver high-speed telecommunications systems across North America. Baxter remained a non-executive director of PIPE Networks until it was later sold to TPG in April 2010.[7]

In March 2012, Baxter launched River City Labs in Brisbane, a leading co-working community to encourage entrepreneurs in Queensland.[8] In 2013, he co-founded Right Pedal Studios, a mobile gaming accelerator, and StartupAUS an advocacy group for Australian tech startups.[9]

In October 2014, Baxter become a major early-stage investor in Australian start-ups, helping to launch a host of companies which together boast a valuation of more than $100 million.[10]

In 2014 and 2015, Baxter funded the Startup Catalyst program,[11] in which 20 young Queenslanders with potential to be the next globally successful tech entrepreneurs, are sent to San Francisco to be immersed in the startup and entrepreneurial culture. Says Baxter of the program, "I love the term 'startup ebola.' It speaks to the contagious nature of what we are trying to do. We want the 20 young people we took this year to infect another 20 each on their return."[12]

In November 2014, Baxter was announced as one of the "sharks" on Network Ten's Shark Tank.[13] The series premiered in February 2015.[14]

In October 2017, Baxter became Queensland's chief entrepreneur, replacing Mark Sowerby.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Baxter has three daughters with his wife Emily.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conway-Dodd, Zhanae (19 October 2017). "Shark Tank star set to head back to his CQ roots". The Morning Bulletin. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  2. ^ Gately, Michelle (8 March 2017). "Rocky's top business export shares secrets to success". The Morning Bulletin. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "Swimming with sharks: Steve Baxter, Tech Entrepreneur, Founder of River City Labs & Shark on Shark Tank". The CEO Magazine. May 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Waters, Cara (14 September 2017). "It's not about the idea for Steve Baxter as he looks to award one business $50,000". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  5. ^ Bustos, Luisa (7 January 1999). "Ozemail buys SA ISP". Computerworld. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  6. ^ "PIPE Networks 2009 Annual Report" (PDF). PIPE Networks. 30 September 2009. 
  7. ^ "PIPE Networks ASX Release RE:Acquisition Timeline" (PDF). 17 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Jabour, Bridie (14 July 2012). "A testing ground for entrepreneurs". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  9. ^ "Right Pedal Studios – home to current and future game developers". Right Pedal Studios. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  10. ^ "Novices bitten by start-up bug". Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "Steve Baxter". Steve Baxter. 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2016. 
  12. ^ D'Arcy, Francesca (29 October 2015). "'I want to spread startup ebola': Steve Baxter and 20 coding kids from Queensland share what they learnt in Silicon Valley". BRW. BRW. Retrieved 23 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Shark Tank 'Sharks' and Host Announced". Tenplay. 13 November 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  14. ^ Cooper, Amy (5 February 2015). "Shark Tank judge and start-up millionaire Steve Baxter says get the skills and give it a go, Australia". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  15. ^ "Palaszczuk Government announces Queensland's new Chief Entrepreneur". Queensland Government. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  16. ^ "Shark Tank's Steve Baxter gets two for the price of one this Father's Day with baby twin girls". Herald Sun. 2 September 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2018.