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24 June, 2021

Somerset resident named state’s new Chief Entrepreneur

WIVENHOE POCKET resident Wayne Gerard has earned the honour of becoming Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur, with the announcement made on Wednesday June 16.


Previously a member of the Queensland Premier’s Business Advisory Council and the Advance Queensland Expert Panel, Mr Gerard was also awarded the Queensland Entrepreneur of the Year Percy Award in 2015.

Three years earlier he co-founded tech company RedEye, which now has offices in Brisbane, Wellington, Denver, Houston and Las Vegas.

RedEye began in Brisbane with just two people but has since grown to more than 80 people across the globe.

In an interview on advance.qld.gov.au, Mr Gerard said: “I’ve seen the positive impact that previous Chief Entrepreneurs have had on the startup community – each one of them has brought their own unique style and experience to the role to help build a vibrant startup ecosystem across Queensland.

“For me, this role is an opportunity to champion innovation and entrepreneurship to help create better community and economic outcomes and to cement the value of having a competitive and sustainable innovative ecosystem in Queensland.”

Later in the same interview, Mr Gerard said: “Entrepreneurs are problem solvers, connecting Queensland entrepreneurs with Queensland industry and into Queensland Government to identify and solve problems with innovation. This is a key part of what I’ll be focusing on.”

Speaking to the Sentinel News, Mr Gerard said he was also thinking about how he could help the Somerset region and Somerset Regional Council with an innovation strategy that could support local industry and greater access to online services.

“One area I’m passionate about is increasing connectivity in regional Queensland, so farms can introduce IoT and other technologies to improve in areas including production, water management, traceability and online collaboration with clients,” he said.

“One of the things I really care about in regional Queensland is that it’s a great place to live, and that it’s an easy place to run a business.”

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, said Mr Gerard’s new role recognised a success story for the Somerset region.

“It is excellent to see someone from a regional area being chosen for the role of Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“This is good news for the Somerset and our regional areas, as it acknowledges the talent here in our region and also provides an opportunity to promote our region and perspectives.

“I have followed the progress of Mr Gerard’s innovative business since it began in 2012 and I would like to congratulate him on his appointment.”


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