What separates the best entrepreneurs from the rest? Top investor, founder and ‘Shark’ Steve Baxter knows better than anyone.
Steve is one of Australia’s most successful tech entrepreneurs who gives back as an investor and mentor, while also starring on Channel 10’s very popular Shark Tank Australia.
In this episode we’ll look at what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur alongside Steve’s own journey, while next episode we delve into what makes a successful start up business and how you go about evaluating and investing in them.
Steve is the living epitome of the old saying that ‘Today I’ll invest in what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t!’
In 1994, at the age of just 23, Steve put his life savings of $11,000 on the line to launch his first startup, the pioneering internet service provider SE Net, from the spare room of his Adelaide home, as you’ll hear in detail during our chat.
And it was around that time that I had the pleasure of first meeting Steve, as his business partner was a mutual and longtime friend of mine Chris Foote.
Growing rapidly to service more than 35,000 customers, SE Net was eventually sold and acquired by Ozemail under the stewardship of its Founding Director and past Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
In 2001, Steve then teamed with a schoolmate to launch his second startup, PIPE Networks, a provider of wholesale telecom infrastructure that was listed on the ASX in 2005.
Eight years later they sold it to the TPG Group for the princely sum of just $373 million – a truly hard fought and lifechanging moment.
Steve then 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 an early stage investor in startups through his investment company, Transition Level Investments. This led to the founding of Brisbane tech startup hub River City Labs and the creation of Startup Catalyst and RiverPitch programs, and he’s been championing Australian startups and entrepreneurs ever since.
He’s also been on the listed boards of Vocus Telecoms, Indoor Skydive Australia Group and Other Levels as well as being on the board of Commercialisation Australia.
Steve’s also been heavily involved in the early days of founding numerous industry groups and forums such as the South Australian Internet Association, South Australian Internet Exchange, Australian Domain Name Authority, and more.
Steve now runs TEN13, an investment syndicate platform for sophisticated investors to invest alongside him and the experienced Transition Level Investments team, as unlike many venture capitalists, Steve puts his own cash on the dash to the tune of an average of 15% to 20% of every seed deal.
TEN13 understands that to get great returns you need to invest in global companies, so they’ve built a global portfolio across five continents with a value of over $2 billion in its first 18 months.
So If you’re a sophisticated investor looking to diversify your portfolio and invest in top calibre technology companies, reach out to Steve and his high calibre TEN13 investment team who undertake exhaustive due diligence before they invest.
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