The Gold Coast: a future in entrepreneurship and technology

In little more than 50 years, the Gold Coast has evolved from a sleepy coastal town of beachside shacks housing less than 20,000 residents to Australia’s sixth largest city.

While many have been attracted to the city because of the warm weather and promise of a better lifestyle, it’s the entrepreneurship and youthful ambition that has been bubbling away behind the scenes that have built this great Australian city into what it is today.

Today, one in five workers on the Gold Coast works for themselves. This entrepreneurial mindset combined with one of Australia’s largest education sectors (per capita) and significant investment in research is what many are predicting to be the future of the Gold Coast.

At the forefront of the Gold Coast, and Australian tech industry is Danny Maher, Chairman of Opmantek and the Gold Coast Innovation Hub.

Opmantek is Australian IT exporter of the year, exporting their intelligent network management and IT audit software to more than 130,000 organisations worldwide.

“A new client installs an Opmantek product every six minutes which is more than any other business software company in the world,” Maher says.

“Opmantek is a classic high growth, high tech, Silicon Valley-style company. We set up on the Gold Coast due to the investment attraction programs that the Gold Coast City Council was running, and we’ve never looked back.”

“The Gold Coast is a wonderful place to live. When you’re running and growing a global software company like Opmantek you need to work long hours, and it can be high stress. The Gold Coast is a great place to recharge,” he says.

The Queensland Government together with Mr Maher recently announced the launch of the Gold Coast Innovation Hub, designed for innovative businesses to connect, commercialise and grow. It reflects Mr Maher’s passion and dedication to building the Gold Coast’s reputation as a leader in the innovation space.

“This is one of the best commercially backed innovation hubs in Australia,” he says.

“What Opmantek has shown and proven is how to commercialise technology from Australia and from the Gold Coast. Australians are great innovators, and the Gold Coast Hub will grow and manufacture world-leading, innovative companies”

The Gold Coast might once have been deemed too isolated to build a global company, but Maher says technology has enabled Opmantek to thrive.

“Technology has changed our ability to work and live from anywhere, and the tech industry has naturally been one of the first ones to embrace that. The Gold Coast is an international city with two accessible international airports, and it’s a place where all our clients and partners want to visit” he says.

The Gold Coast Hub will be presenting the Shut Up and Take My Money event for Gold Coast Business Week on Monday 14 May. For more information visit the Gold Coast Business Week website – www.goldcoastwayahead.com.au/businessweek