Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

The Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur (OQCE) is the first of its kind in Australia with a strong goal – to make Queensland the number one #startupstate in the country.

The Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur (OQCE) plays a vital role in building and promoting the importance and contribution of entrepreneurship and investment in Queensland.

  • support the development of Queensland’s start-up ecosystem by working with incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces
  • connect with regional and remote Queensland to encourage and foster state-wide entrepreneurship
  • showcase Queensland startup and entrepreneurial talent to local, national and international audiences
  • stimulate and attract local, national and international investment and venture capital to Queensland
  • support local entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses across the state by connecting them with the right opportunities, people, places, and spaces to help them grow, scale, and create jobs.

On 16 June 2021, Wayne Gerard was appointed Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur.

As the CEO and Co-Founder of global company RedEye, Wayne is a key leader in Queensland’s innovation ecosystem and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.

Wayne is passionate about cementing the value of having a competitive and sustainable innovative ecosystem in Queensland.

In 2015, he was named Queensland Entrepreneur of the Year. He has also been a serving member on several boards, including StartUp Aus and the Premier’s Business Advisory Council.

He will work alongside a newly established Innovation Advisory Council. Read our innovation story to learn more about Queensland’s newest Chief Entrepreneur.

Innovation Advisory Council

The Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Wayne Gerard will chair the Innovation Advisory Council. Together they will focus on maximising the support available to help open doors to the expertise and networks our innovation community needs to succeed in the new economy.

Council members have been appointed for up to two years and their positions on the council are unpaid. 

The first four members to the Innovation Advisory Council have been appointed. 

Professor Rowena Barrett

Professor Barrett is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor – Entrepreneurship at the Queensland University of Technology and has spent years researching entrepreneurship and small business. Her knowledge will be priceless as the council strives to accelerate innovation in Queensland. 

Mr Aaron Birkby 

Aaron Birkby is currently Entrepreneur in Residence at the Queensland University of Technology and Co-founder of Peak Persona. He brings more than  20 years of business experience, has created award-winning tech products for many industries, and led numerous startup missions to Silicon Valley, London, Berlin and Israel. 

Ms Monica Bradley

Monica Bradley is the Director of Purposeful Capital and has significant experience working in corporate organisations around the world. Her experience, global connections, and deep networks will be invaluable to the council. 

Professor Bronwyn Harch

Professor Harch brings an in-depth understanding of what it takes to commercialise research. She is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation) at The University of Queensland and is highly regarded for driving industry–research collaborations and helping to establish regional innovation hubs and accelerator programs that support farmers and agtech startups. 

Queensland's Chief Entrepreneurs 

From 2018–20, Leanne Kemp was Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur, following on from Steve Baxter who held the position 2017-18 and Mark Sowerby who held the position 2016–17.

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