Shark tank judge Steve Baxter is leaving River City Labs, and looking for someone to pass the baton.
According to a LinkedIn post by the shark himself, RCL has reached a tipping point, and it was time to make a change for himself.
“Firstly, like any startup, RCL has taken a lot of my time over the past seven years. Since we launched, I’ve had three beautiful kids, joined the cast of a national TV show, and invested in over 20 startups. After seven years, I’ve realised I need to make a change.”
He also mentioned that this is a not a commercially-driven decision, and the progress of the Queensland startup community should not stop with just him.
“It’s about what’s best for the QLD startup community, for RCL, our members, and our team.”
Baxter assured that RCL would remain business as usual, while the process to find someone is going on. He will keep the process as transparent as possible, and we can look forward to the expression of interest document on RCL website soon.
“The criteria we are looking for in a new RCL owner is the vision, the capability and the passion to take River City Labs to the next level,” he said.
“Whether it’s a corporation, an individual, or an international startup organisation – the key question is: can they continue to move the bar for Queensland’s startup ecosystem.”
The next owner will have quite the reputation to handle, RCL plays a big role in Queensland’s startup community. It had propelled Queensland into one of Australia’s leading startup ecosystems, and it is becoming a player for innovation.
RCL has a partnership with the Queensland government as well, moving to The Precinct recently. They’ve had partnerships with major companies like Bank of Queensland.
And very soon, they will be launching the next cohort for their accelerator program and the next River Pitch is happening in a few days.
With more than 700 startup founders have set up office at RCL and just under 29,000 people have passed through our doors attending more than 1000 startup and community events, RCL is pretty much a key player in the Queensland startup ecosystem.
All this was birthed from Baxter’s nagging crazy idea seven years ago where startups was not a buzzword just yet, and there was pretty much no support for Queensland’s startup community.
And now, they are closing on being the startup hub of Australia.
Baxter left a touching farewell at the end of his post stating that establishing RCL was one of the most fulfilling things he’s done and giving a shout out to all the people that contributed to this reality. He’s telling to watch this space as RCL has always been there to support and empower the startup community.
Before you tear up a little, Baxter ain’t going nowhere.
“I’ll continue to be Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur, actively invest in and mentor startups, and attend RCL events whenever I can.”