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. 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 and in 2010 he has become an early stage investor in startups through his investment company, Transition Level Investments. This lead to the founding of Brisbane tech startup hub River City Labs and the creation of Startup Catalyst and RiverPitch programs. He has been a Shark on Channel 10’s Shark Tank Australia for the past four seasons and was appointed ‘Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur’ in 2018, a volunteer role which gave him unique insight in to the Queensland business landscape.