High school students and local entrepreneurs flocked to Griffith’s Logan campus for the chance to showcase their projects to Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp, as part of the Scaling our Talent in the Region — What Next! event.
The position of Chief Entrepreneur is an Australian first, aimed at supporting the development of Queensland’s startup industry. Ms Kemp was named by Forbes as one of The World’s Top 50 Women in Tech for 2018.
Local Logan startups and students from schools like John Paul College and Mable Park State High School displayed their entrepreneurial ventures in an expo format, before coming together for a Fireside chat with Ms Kemp.
She was direct, telling the audience they needed to speak up and make themselves heard in order to be successful in the entrepreneur space.
“You are absolutely too quiet, you’re not asking for enough, you’re not making enough noise, you’re not knocking on enough doors,” Ms Kemp said.
“You’re not putting your head above where you believe to be the glass ceiling.
“What’s holding Logan back is the mentality – be louder, be prouder and there is no glass ceiling, jump above it because it’s gone, it’s been taken away.”
She said it was this quietness holding Logan back, not the quality of their innovations.
“What I found, that warms my heart today, were innovators across all spectrums of life, age, true diversity, innovation that touched everything from disability services to community engagement,” Ms Kemp said.
“You have innovation, it’s in your hands, it’s been transformed from your hearts and minds and I have seen physical product out there.”
Griffith Yunus Centre innovation program manager Celeste Alcaraz said events like these were essential for regional startups, high schools and community members because they facilitate active communities of practices and collaborations, along with enhancing connectivity.
“It is so necessary in growing the entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem,” Ms Alcaraz said.
“The networking and knowledge sharing provides inspiration for all and links them with what is happening in the region in this space.”
Scaling our Talent in the Region — What Next! Event was part of the Chief Entrepreneur of Queensland’s Regional Engagement Program and was hosted by Griffith University in partnership with the Logan Redlands Advancing Regional Innovation Program.