Steve Baxter

Entrepreneur, investor, and ‘Shark' on Shark Tank Australia

Steve Baxter is one of Australia's most successful tech entrepreneurs. He is also an active investor, a mentor to startups and the 'Shark' on Network Ten's competitive reality show, Shark Tank Australia.

A founding board member of the advocacy group StartupAUS, Steve Baxter is the founder of Brisbane co-working community River City Labs and the mission leader for Startup Catalyst.

An engaging speaker, Steve injects his stories of business challenges and success with insightful wisdom and practical take-home messages.

Steve Baxter was born in the remote town of Cloncurry in Queensland and raised in Emerald in the State's central highlands.

He 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. Eight years later they sold it to the TPG Group for $373 million.

Steve Baxter spent a year working with Google in California in 2008, leading a project to deliver high-speed telecommunications systems across North America.

In recent years Steve Baxter has 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.

He launched River City Labs in Brisbane, a leading co-working community and startup hub to encourage and grow the entrepreneurial scene in Queensland. In 2014, Steve underwrote the Startup Catalyst program, a mission to send 20 tech-savvy future entrepreneurs to the Silicon Valley.

Steve Baxter is married and the proud father of three-year old daughter. He is a keen private pilot and recreational fisherman.