IT may be another five years before Far North start-ups can be deemed successful but Queensland’s inaugural chief entrepreneur Mark Sowerby thinks the region has everything needed to be a global standout.
Mr Sowerby and a host of other entrepreneurs, including Shark Tank’s Steve Baxter, are in Cairns this week as part of a regional Queensland tour.
Mr Sowerby is best known for his role as the founder and former managing director of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd.
He said Cairns would be the “exclamation mark” on the statewide trip.
“Larger regional centres have the scale to really get their own traction,” he said.
“Sometimes being cut off is an advantage because you have to rely on yourselves so you think outside the square in terms of how to get things done. People in Cairns are naturally entrepreneurial because they have to be.”
Mr Sowerby said making a region famous for turning out successful start-ups was simply a numbers game.
“Scale matters,” he said.
“You can get lots of entrepreneurs who can start a business and employ a few people and change their lives.
“Every now and then you can get those crazy freaks who can get something started that is huge.
“In terms of brains, sure there’s some intellect required to be an entrepreneur but mostly it’s just guts and a conviction to know you can find a way through in a few years or many years.”
He said Cairns’ proximity to Asia, its size and the fact it was “a cool place to live” gave it the qualities needed to become a unique start-up hub.
A free event is being held at theSPACE Cairns, Eureka St, tomorrow from 6.30-9pm.