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.

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

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Tech start-up investor Steve Baxter is a proud Queenslander, born in the remote town of Cloncurry 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 former 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, 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 its 4 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. He spent 1 year as Queensland's 2nd Chief Entrepreneur in 2018 taking the message of entrepreneurship and enterprise to all parts of Queensland.

Steve invests in early stage tech startups and has a portfolio of over 30 businesses through his family office and his syndicate, Ten13 - Australia's most professional fully aligned investor group.

Steve is married and the proud father of three daughters. He is a keen private pilot and recreational fisherman.