Exclusive look inside the future of business and innovation
  • Monday 19 August 2019

Serial entrepreneur and investor of Shark Tank fame Glen Richards joins former Microsoft executive Kathryn Foster, UpRamp founder Scott Brown from Boulder Colorado, entrepreneur Ron Hill and Sunshine Coast Deputy Mayor Cr Tim Dwyer for an exclusive inside look at the future of business and innovation on the Sunshine Coast.

Bringing together more than 150 entrepreneurs, technologists, innovators and business professionals, the half-day business conference Community, Leadership, Give First will delve into the core ingredients for business prosperity on the Sunshine Coast.

Industry leaders and Deputy Mayor Cr Tim Dwyer will discuss attracting big business, retaining and attracting talent while sustaining a healthy smart lifestyle and business mix, including how we can foster the existing talent on the Sunshine Coast while also attracting other big players from across Australia and abroad.

Cr Dwyer was part of a Sunshine Coast Business Mission earlier this year to Denver and Boulder in the US, and said this conference is now using Boulder, Colorado as a case study to explore how this region can attract and grow talented entrepreneurs and stay the course of becoming the premier destination for both lifestyle and business opportunities.

“The Business Mission and this conference support the Sunshine Coast region’s healthy smart and creative objective to establish our region as the Southern Hemisphere’s leading region for innovation,” Cr Dwyer said.

“These events help ensure that the Sunshine Coast is future-proofing its status for existing residents as well as for new businesses and organisations looking to move to the region through open dialogue and a learning environment.”

“We identified Denver and Boulder as ideal case studies because of their international reputation for innovation lifestyle as well as at the same time offering a highly desirable work-life balance. Colorado offers a robust economy, supportive environment for entrepreneurs, a young, highly-educated labour force and a broad offering of outdoor recreational activities.

“Through these events we are establishing and continuing communication and collaboration between business, investors and government to deploy innovation and create industries of the future for Sunshine Coast businesses. I’m excited to be able to share with our local business community these great insights and learnings.”

Speaking for the first time in Australia, Scott Brown from Boulder, Colorado will candidly discuss how the Sunshine Coast’s vision aligns with Boulder’s growth over the past 20 years. Ron Hill from SunRamp recently moved to the Sunshine Coast after spending 25 years in Colorado and said the two regions are excitingly similar.

“The Sunshine Coast is on the cusp of emulating the very successful blueprint that Boulder, Colorado created – a blueprint that was the basis for turning Boulder, which was primarily a holiday ski town destination, into the startup and innovation capital of the US,” Mr Hill said.

“Being able to attract these speakers, all with very disparate backgrounds, to the Sunshine Coast is quite a coup. From the local success of Glen Richards to the international corporate success of Katheryn Foster with Microsoft, along with Scott Brown, a sought after international speaker with over eight successful start-ups.”

Throughout the conference, participants will listen to eight speakers across three perspectives – Community, Leadership and GiveFirst, while having the opportunity to network with other like-minded business people.

“This event is to highlight how an aggressive and united community can grow a thriving business community while maintaining a wonderful and attractive lifestyle. Let’s keep building the models to ensure the Sunshine Coast is and remains the start-up and innovation capital of Australia,” Mr Hill said.

Event details:
What: Community, Leadership, Give First
When: 27 August from 11am to 4pm
Where: Maroochy RSL
Tickets: $75 per person or $525 for a table of 8 (includes lunch and refreshments), plus booking fees. Buy tickets direct from Eventbrite

Key speakers:
Scott Brown
Vice President of Ventures & Outreach, CableLabs and founder of UpRamp
Scott Brown has been a long-time technologist and eight-time entrepreneur with a strong history of building companies from inception to profitability. Currently, he is the Vice President of Ventures & Outreach for the global connectivity industry as part of CableLabs. In addition, Scott is the Executive Director of UpRamp, an industry-wide platform that connects radical entrepreneurs to the most powerful network in the world.   

Kathryn Foster 
Former Executive Senior Director of Microsoft Store

Kathryn Foster has a strong background in technology, sales and early stage startup companies. She has more than two decades of experience designing, building and running large internet-based businesses. Prior to becoming a professional non-exec director, she was Executive Senior Director of Xbox Games Marketplace as well as Microsoft Store online where she managed the profit and loss and global expansion in over 200 geographies with annual revenue budgets in the low billions of dollars. She has extensive technical and commercial experience in software and hardware solutions and advises companies on strategy and technology.   

Glen Richards 
Serial entrepreneur and investor, founding Managing Director of Greencross, co-founder and Director of Mammoth Pet Holdings

Glen Richards is a veterinary surgeon and the founding Managing Director of Greencross as well as a co-founder and Director of Mammoth Pet Holdings (Petbarn) before it merged with Greencross. Greencross is Australasia’s leading specialty pet care retailer, with more than 200 veterinary businesses including general practices, specialty hospitals and animal emergency centres as well as over 300 pet stores operating under the brand names Petbarn and City Farmers in Australia and Animates in New Zealand. The company employs over 6000 employees including veterinarians, nurses, retail team members and managers.  

Ron Hill 
Executive Director SunRamp

Ron Hill has a very deep background in technology and the startup community particularly in adtech, having co-founded and led Trueffect for 13 years. Trueffect was a Red Herring 2014 Top 100 North American Companies and one of Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies. As a four-time founder, Ron also has a proven track record of taking companies from inception to profitability. After 25 years in Colorado, he recently returned home to the Sunshine Coast to launch SunRamp; a new accelerator program partnering with UpRamp.