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Sunny Coast Hosts Leadership First


Serial entrepreneur and investor of Shark Tank fame, Glen Richards joins former Microsoft executive Kathryn Foster, Scott Brown, Ron Hill and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson for an exclusive inside look at the future of business and innovation on the Sunshine Coast.

Community, Leadership, Give First is a half-day conference on 27 August at the Maroochy RSL, that will bring together more than 125 entrepreneurs, technologists, innovators and small business professionals to delve into the future key projects for the Sunshine Coast, including the international airport and undersea cable, and what is needed to move into this next phase of growth.

The event will also look at how we can foster the existing talent on the Sunshine Coast, while also attracting other big players from across Australia and abroad.

Using Boulder, Colorado as a case study, Community, Leadership, Give First will specifically look at how it became the next Silicon Valley and the premier destination for both lifestyle and business opportunities in the United States.

“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,” event organiser and key speaker Ron Hill says.

Speaking for the first time in Australia, Scott Brown will candidly discuss how the Sunshine Coast’s vision aligns with Boulder’s growth over the past 20 years, by attracting big business, and retaining and attracting talent, while sustaining a healthy and smart lifestyle and business mix.


“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 startups.”

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.

“Find out how a united community, where the people, business and government come together to grow a city and maintain the quality lifestyle that everyone so desperately wants – see how #GiveFirst works, where all boats can rise on the same tide to benefit all,” Ron says.

“And gain insight into the Upramp/Cablelabs community and how the SunRamp program will tie into the most powerful internet and connectivity network in the world.

“It is not enough to build out the core infrastructure and our vision, and just expect things to just happen. 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 start building the models for the Sunshine Coast to become the startup and innovation capital of Australia.”

Community, Leadership, Give First will be held on 27 August from 11am to 4pm at the Maroochy RSL. Tickets cost $75 per person or $525 for a table of 8, all tickets include lunch and refreshments. Buy your tickets here.

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). 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 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.

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