This year has not been my normal lead up to Christmas. I’ve been running around sorting out all my pre-departure requirements to leave for Thailand; I’ve been helping out at Bluesky Alternative Investments; I’ve been travelling to and from Canberra; and I’ve been finishing my final ever law assignment at QUT. The lead up to Christmas is the culmination of what has been my best year yet and I decided to get in early by taking some time yesterday to reflect on how lucky I have been.
“You have to earn the right to have an easier life.”
The former Chief Entrepreneur Mark Sowerby coined this phrase to me during a car ride to the Kenmore Rotary Club. It’s a phrase that has changed my perspective on what I now think the business founder journey is all about. For me, an easier life would involve the financial security to take care of friends and loved ones in need. The right would be the culmination of your efforts that you have earned. To earn the right, would require an infinite supply of resilience. I believe the key to founding a successful business and thus, earning the right to an easier life is resilience.
My name is Liam Greinke. Final year Business (Accounting) and Laws student here at QUT interested in all things startups and philanthropy.
I was fortunate to meet Chris Hooper at a recent Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur pop-up event in Brisbane. Chris is one of the co-founders of Accodex — a cloud-based platform empowering freelance accountants. He kindly agreed to share his story and his advice to aspiring accounting start-up founders at QUT.
Heard words like startups or innovation but not sure what the fuss is about? Got an idea but not sure what to do next? Want to make more of your degree and work on something cool which is more than a uni project? Even if you don’t have a startup idea and you are just interested in the entrepreneurial community – QUT Starters is for you.
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Google, Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, Fitbit, Netflix, Apple. If one or some of these are involved in your everyday life, then you’ve been exposed to a startup. What’s a startup you ask? And how is it different from a business? Well, in Dan Norris‘ words from his book ‘The 7 Day Startup‘, ‘A business is anything that derives a wage for its founder. By that definition, buying a lawn mowing franchise or opening a corner store is a business. But neither is a startup. A startup is a bit more exciting. It has:1) High impact potential; 2) High levels of innovation; and 3) High levels of uncertainty‘ With these traits, a startup has the ability to change the world! Read more
Mindblown. That’s probably the best word to describe our experiences in San Francisco. For the past two weeks, myself and three other QUT students traveled around Silicon Valley where we visited a number of startups, co-working spaces and headquarters of international tech giants.
We were on a youth mission called Startup Catalyst, taking young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley with the aim of learning from some of the world’s best entrepreneurs and bringing that spirit back to the Australian startup scene.
It’s the day before me and twenty other young tech entrepreneurs, including three other QUT students, get on a plane bound for San Francisco, into the heart of the tech world in Silicon Valley.
Typing that sentence gave me goosebumps.
But what is this all about, why am I going to Silicon Valley of all places? It was just over a month ago I heard about Startup Catalyst from one of my good friends. They are a company that organise missions to international hotspots for youths, startups, investors, corporates, and innovation leaders. In particular, they run a “Youth Mission” specifically for young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs and future CTO leaders. The trip involves 10 days in Silicon Valley where we get to meet and interact with global tech leaders like Google and Facebook, and visit smaller startup companies.
On the 22nd of September I was fortunate enough to be one of the lucky few students chosen to attend the 2016 Creative3 Forum at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre. This forum brought together the minds of some of the most creative start up entrepreneurs to speak and give insight into the risks and challenges but most importantly the rewards of executing what once was a small idea or spark. This forum helped inspire my fellow students and I to find our own spark and pursue it.
“I don’t have a steady personality”
This is what Chris Smith, founder of Area360, had to say about becoming an entrepreneur at 21, and now running a highly successful software development company. He was not necessarily studious, nor ambitious; rather, he enjoyed partying and socialising in his high school and college days. One day, he realised how tedious and painful the online ticketing service for his student organisation was – so he started his own software company based in Seattle. Okay, I’ve left a lot of things from his story, like the years of hard work and roadblocks. However, the one thing that really stood out from all the presenters at the Creative3 Forum was their sheer passion for the problem they were trying to solve.