Assignment name: Review of entrepreneur (Steve Baxter)
An entrepreneur refers to an individual who seeks to take risks and initiative in managing an enterprise with a view of making profits. Entrepreneurs possess the ability to implement ideas using their set of skills and through taking extreme risks to ensure that they bring a product to the market using the idea. The factors that lead to success in entrepreneurship include embracing innovation, effective money management practices, flexibility in adapting market changes, embracing teamwork, hard work, entrepreneurial knowledge and intelligence, and effective planning among others. However, entrepreneurs often fail in their businesses due to factors such as the fear of failure, lack of sufficient knowledge in their chosen business venture, lack of focus in implementing business ideas, and poor money management practices among others (Manjunath, 2010, p.148). This paper explores the success, failures, and the challenges that entrepreneurs face, and the key lessons that we can learn from renowned entrepreneurs, specifically focusing on Steve Baxter, who is a tech entrepreneur, an investor, and a mentor to start-ups.
Summary of the Entrepreneur
Steve Baxter, a tech start-up investor, is among the leading tech entrepreneurs in Australia, who has also gained success as an investor and a mentor to start-ups in the region. Steve has successfully mentored several start-ups in Australia through a group that he is a founding board member, StartpAUS. Steve also leads the start-up catalyst program mission, and he founded the Brisbane technology start-up hub, River City Labs. Steve was born in Queensland, and he worked in the army since the age of 15 years, where he worked as a technician in the field of technology, including electronics and guided weapon systems among others. Steve launched his first start-up using his savings, which were a total of $11,000 in his home Adelaide when he was 23 years old. The start-up was known as the Pioneering Internet Service Provider SE Net (Baxter, 2016, p.1).
In 2001, Steve launched Pipe Networks, the second start-up, in partnership with a classmate and later sold the start-up at $373 million to the TPG Group. In 2008, Steve worked with Google in California, whereby he led a project that focused on delivering high-speed telecommunications systems throughout North America. Currently, Steve concentrates on investing in Australian start-ups in their initial stages. As a result, Steve has helped in launching several companies, which boast of a total valuation of more than $100 million. Moreover, Steve continues to mentor start-ups in Australia through the television series, ‘Shark Tank,’ whereby he is one of the sharks who help viable start-ups to realize their missions by investing in the start-ups.
Steve Baxter’s Characteristics as a Successful Entrepreneur
Steve is a successful entrepreneur since he demonstrates the majority of the features that make a good entrepreneur. First, Steve embraces teamwork. For example, he demonstrates his value for teamwork when launching his second start-up, whereby he ventured into the business in partnership with his classmate. Further, Steve is specialized in team building and leadership, which demonstrates his value for teamwork in achieving business goals. Moreover, he invests in people, whereby he believes in the people’s ability to generate new ideas to achieve business-related goals. Secondly, Steve is creative and innovative, which are the factors that have majorly contributed to his success in entrepreneurship (Duening, Hisrich & Lechter, 2009, p.434). Steve’s ability to create new products using technology, and offering the products to the market demonstrates his ability to apply creativity and innovation as an entrepreneur.
Moreover, Steve’s risk taking abilities are demonstrated through his ability to invest in start-ups, whereby it is difficult to determine if the products of the start-up will be accepted in the market or not. For instance, in launching his first start-up, SE Net, he used his life savings meant for a home deposit, whereby although he believed that the start-up would be accepted by the market, it was not obvious that the start-up would be successful. Moreover, the start-up was a great risk for Steve since he had not used a web browser before despite investing so much money into the business. Steve was inspired to create an Internet service provider by watching someone else use a browser, which demonstrates great risk taking skills. Further, I consider Steve ethically responsible as an entrepreneur since he invests in giving back to the society. Steve gives back to the Australian society in a variety of ways, including mentoring and investing in start-ups and launching of start-ups that focus on meeting the unmet needs of the society. Furthermore, Steve helps patients in need of medical attention by providing them with free air transport to distant hospitals, which is a way of giving back to the society through charitable programs (Tutty, 2015, p.1).
Moreover, Steve demonstrates other characteristics that make him a successful entrepreneur, including effective money management practices, hard work, effective planning techniques, flexibility, focus, and entrepreneurial knowledge and intelligence. Steve’s money management skills are demonstrated through his ability to accumulate savings to venture into the start-ups as it is in the case of his first start-up, SE Net. Moreover, the successive investment in start-ups requires accumulating the profits from the existing ventures to provide the entrepreneur with sufficient capital for further investments. For instance, the entrepreneur used the money that he gained from selling his first investment to launch his second investment. Additionally, Steve is a good planner, whereby he takes his time to accumulate sufficient capital to facilitate venturing into a new business. For instance, he worked long enough in the military to be able to accumulate enough funds for his first start-up.
Moreover, Steve maintains focus in his entrepreneurship activities, a factor that plays a great role in ensuring his success. For instance, he has specialized in tech entrepreneurship rather than concentrating in a variety of fields, a factor that helps him to increase his knowledge in the area, which leads to his ability to solve problems in the field with much ease. However, although he is focused in his area of expertise, he is also flexible in that he also supports start-ups that are not in his area of expertise through mentoring and investing. Further, Steve is good in planning, and he is hard-working, which are the factors that have led to his success.
For instance, Steve sold some sizeable property portfolio and consolidated the remaining investments under three investment managers to promote efficiency in the management of his property as well as to lower the cost of managing the properties (Hoban, 2015, p.1). Furthermore, Steve demonstrates sufficient entrepreneurial knowledge and intelligence, which is a key factor in successful entrepreneurship. Steve is specialized in tech entrepreneurship since he has sufficient knowledge and experience in technology based on the duties that he performed in the military. The technological knowledge, skills, and experience that he possesses allow him to manage problems in his area of specialization effectively and with ease.
Steve Baxter’s Vision
Steve Baxter’s vision involves making Brisbane the epicenter of the future businesses (Tutty, 2015, p.1). The entrepreneur lives to this vision, whereby he is utilizing his projects to mentor and help in the launching of start-ups in the region. For instance, the Transition Level Investments, which are one of his major interests, supports start-ups in the region by providing management services to high net worth individuals during the early years of the start-ups in the areas of the Internet, mobile, and the web among other related fields. Moreover, the entrepreneur utilizes the Brisbane City Labs, which he founded as a not-for-profit business incubator in 2012, to help start-ups in the regions to flourish in the market with a hope of creating a business culture that is similar to that found in Silicon Valley.
Sources of the Entrepreneur’s Start-up Capital
Steve used his life time savings amounting to $11,000, which he had accumulated when working in the military to finance his first-start up. Later, Steve sold the start-up and teamed up with a classmate to launch his second start-up using the money that he acquired from selling the first start-up. He sold the start-up later at $373 million, which formed his capital for making investments in other start-ups (Baxter, 2016, p.1).
Steve once encountered failure in managing his business portfolios, whereby he experienced much inefficiency in managing some properties as compared to the rest of the portfolios despite the fact the properties generated great returns. To overcome the failure, Steve considered selling the properties, and he consolidated the remaining investments under the three investment managers who are responsible for managing his properties (Hoban, 2015, p.1). Furthermore, Steve invests in people as a way of generating new ideas. Moreover, he believes in the skills and ideas of the people who introduce the ideas since it is vital for the entrepreneur to enjoy the business.
Steve Baxter has realized many successes in his entrepreneurial journey. For instance, his first two start-ups were successful to the point of selling them at a reasonable profit. The entrepreneur celebrates his success by mentoring other entrepreneurs through his projects, such as the Transition Level Investments, River City Labs, the Start-Up Catalyst, and River Pitch. The Start-up Catalyst project aims at empowering young entrepreneurs by exposing them to world-class business practices (Thomas, 2015, p.2). Moreover, the entrepreneur celebrates his success by giving back to the Australian society by helping patients to get quick medical attention from distant hospitals by offering them free air transport.
Steve Baxter’s Future
I believe Steve Baxter’s future holds greater successes in transforming entrepreneurship both in Australia and the world over. Steve has spent over a decade in mentoring start-ups and investing in the start-ups, which has seen him realize start-ups flourishing in the highly competitive markets. Moreover, Steve has realized growth in his investments, whereby he currently possesses investments worth over $100 million in the fields of medical software, mobile marketing tech, and indoor skydiving among others (Hoban, 2015, p.1). Further, the entrepreneur has a great vision of transforming Brisbane into a business epicenter in the future, which he hopes to achieve through his mentorship programs and making investments in the start-ups in the region.
The entrepreneur’s vision, focus, and experience with start-ups is likely to yield numerous cracking businesses in Australia in the coming years. Further, his contribution towards growing the start-ups will contribute to the creation of employment, whereby the entrepreneur argues that he expects to see more businesses with well-paid workers in the future. Furthermore, Steve’s passion for entrepreneurship and his support for startups has begun influencing entrepreneurs globally through his participation in the television program ‘Shark Tank’. Hence, in the future, Steve Baxter will inspire many businesses in the form of start-ups globally.
Lessons from Steve Baxter
The main lesson that a budding entrepreneur can learn from Steve Baxter is the importance of practicing effective planning, effective money management, specialization, and focusing on re-investments. Every entrepreneur aims at creating an acceptable product in the market to enable the entrepreneur to earn a profit. To achieve the goals of an entrepreneur, therefore, one should be in a position to make effective plans regarding the business he or she is to start, manage the revenues from the business effectively, and use the revenues in making further investments for wealth maximization (Casson & Buckley, 2010, p.3-6). Further, Steve provides insight into the importance of specialization for entrepreneurs. Steve has specialized in technology helping him to gain sufficient expertise and business intelligence in the area, a factor that has enabled him to make successive investments in the field. Maintaining focus in one line of business allows an entrepreneur to learn more about the challenges of the business and establish effective approaches to overcoming the challenges for the purposes of profit maximization. Moreover, investing in people is vital in ensuring that an entrepreneur acquires new ideas for business continuity (Blundel & Lockett, 2011, p.162). For instance, Steve has managed to grow his wealth by a significant amount by investing in the ideas that people generate in the form of start-ups.
Entrepreneurs possess given characteristics that make them successful, including hard work, maintaining focus, effective planning and money management, creativity and innovation, embracing teamwork, and investing in people among others. Steve demonstrates a significant number of characteristics that make him a successful entrepreneur, which have made him to gain success in the field of entrepreneurship. For instance, Steve’s focus on technology has helped him to grow and to mentor young businesses gain success in the field. Moreover, his effective money management skills and creativity have played a vital role in helping the entrepreneur to reinvest the profits gained from existing projects in new projects.