Equipped to Discover Outback Queensland
Successful entrepreneur Geoff Pike is mentoring startups to grow sustainably in Outback Queensland, as well as developing apps to help startups Australia and world-wide.
Geoff’s advice comes from lessons he has learnt through experience. Between 2001 and 2015 he grew his own business, a sole trader plumbing company, into an internationally certified multi-disciplined construction company (GTI) with over 300 staff.
He created a regional business legacy by growing and managing GTI from Thargomindah in Outback Queensland, building employment and creating training opportunities in regional Australia.
He’s now helping to spread his knowledge and help other Outback Queensland startups and budding entrepreneurs thrive.
“I know how to work in remote and regional areas, basically my whole career has been based around de-centralised systems, de-centralised processes and making things work in an environment where you don’t always have connectivity,” explains Geoff.
“There are a lot of people in the world that need assistance with that,” he says.
As well as working one-on-one with startups and developing workshops, Geoff says Equipped to Discover is working on two major projects: a business health app as well as a virtual innovation hub.
“Our business health app is about business sustainability and measuring sustainability to project growth. It maps investor readiness and it can build on people’s ability to take an idea and go forward,” he explains.
“A lot of a startup business’s success is in the tenacity of the entrepreneur to actually get it through the hard times, and a lot of people give up within the first few months because they don’t realise how hard starting up can be,” he explains.
“What we are trying to do is give people a few extra tools so they can persevere,” says Geoff.
Before explaining the second project, their virtual innovation hub, Geoff introduces the existing food app Yummly.
Yummly is a program for giving you the best recipes for the food you like to eat. You input your tastes, food you don’t like, allergies, any diets you follow, cuisines, cooking techniques and more and it will generate recipes for you.
“So our virtual innovation hub uses a Yummly approach to connecting startups with the most predictable and likely solution based on who they are and what they are interested in,” says Geoff.
“It works under a seven pillar process: government, industry, entrepreneurship, mentors, innovators and technology, investors and business. Then you use that combined with Yummly and you’re bridging the gap between problems and solution,” says Geoff.
“That’s not just going to be helpful for the businesses, but also for innovation hubs, they’ll be able to monitor the businesses who work inside the hub and identify investor ready businesses to present to investors,” says Geoff.
Geoff was supported to attend Myriad, Queensland’s landmark innovation and investment summit earlier this year, using the opportunity to connect with other regional innovators.
He attended the accelerator pitch by River City Labs, where he is also involved as a business mentor.
“I watched startups pitch their ideas and what they intend to bring about as a business. Some of those businesses I’ve actually mentored through River City Labs. So it was nice to see they have the confidence and have gone through the full process of building a pitch and are telling the story of what you have got to do to attract investment,” he says.
“Some of those guys are well and truly on their way,” says Geoff.
Geoff says that Myriad is all about connections.
“I think events like Myriad open the door for all businesses, I firmly do believe that, because it connects people to ideas that they otherwise may have overlooked,” he says.
“Myriad also gives people the chance to see what’s new and what’s happening,” says Geoff.
When asked what excites him about working in Queensland Geoff exclaims opportunity.
“The state government backing in Queensland offers great opportunities for business,” he says.
“Queensland needs to have a track record of success that other countries envy. We need to keep raising the bar higher and higher upon ourselves, until we become the innovation ecosystem that the rest of the world wants to be a part of,” he says.
“And there is no reason why we can’t,” he adds.
Geoff offers one piece of advice to Queensland innovators, to speak up and bring your ideas to the surface.
“Make sure your ideas aren’t locked away for eternity,” he says.
What is next for Geoff? He will continue working towards Equipped to Discover’s apps and programs creating global impact with the first app now being beta tested.
“We want to go global and have a large impact everywhere,” says Geoff.
“We want to make a difference to every person we come in touch with, we want everyone to grow together,” he says.
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