The new Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Spacecubed has a career path that has been driven by success and variety. The underpinning theme of his journey? Make a difference. Founder of numerous businesses, an active investor in impact and technology along with a passion for social enterprise - it is no wonder that his profile is a lengthy one.
Derek is currently Director and Co-Founder of two businesses, Purpose Ventures and Go Capital Australia; both which facilitate his investment in tech and social impact. He holds several Advisory Board roles and previously headed the angel investment group Innovation Bay in Perth. That is, when he is not busy mentoring the next-gen of entrepreneurs as the EIR for RAC’s $3M Betterlabs Venture Fund. The team at Spacecubed are excited to welcome his expertise and passion as the EIR for the third year of the Plus Eight Accelerator program.
Starting his career in the corporate world with PwC and Barclays Bank, his global experience kick-started his success in developing businesses in the tech industry and on returning to Australia he led the growth of a management consulting firm prior to its trade sale. With first-hand experience in co-founding, building and exiting a profitable startup to an ASX listed business (the software company Greensense), Gerrard shares some words of wisdom for new entrepreneurs who are getting started:
“These days it really comes down to realising that business is about people. We often talk about B2B, business to consumer or business to government. But actually, to me, all business is ‘people to people’ regardless of what you are selling. So, I think if you go into any business product and service; think about what that means for the people involved. That can change your perspective for the business task in hand. If you can take the time to understand each other and create that win-win situation then that will hold you in good stead.”
Of course, with the welcoming of the new, there must be an acknowledgement of the previous EIR, Tim Brewer. Spacecubed Impact Manager Chandra Sundareswaran shares, “As the inaugural EIR, Tim has helped the Spacecubed team build and evolve Plus Eight into a truly world-class accelerator.”
During Brewer’s term as EIR, he co-founded Functionally which has gone from strength to strength,– recently closing an undisclosed angel round from investors in the USA and Australia to launch globally at www.SaaStr.com Annual conference in San Francisco Feb 19. Functionally was established to help CEO’s achieve visibility, alignment and efficiency across their organization at speed and scale. Brewer will be stepping down from his position as EIR but he will continue to have a supporting role in future Plus Eight Programs.
“My role as EIR at Plus Eight has allowed me to work with fantastic people and help them accelerate their companies. In the last two years, we have had companies raise millions in post-program funding, be invited into global accelerators such as Skydeck Berkeley and launch products nationally and globally. Ultimately time will tell the story, but I feel that we have an ever-growing group of skilled entrepreneurs based in Perth, Australia helping each other win in global markets.”
Do you think this sounds like you – a skilled entrepreneur based in Perth? If so, Plus Eight is for you. Created to help aspiring founders build great technology companies that strive toward having a global impact, Plus Eight is Western Australia's home for ground-breaking ideas and committed to mentoring the next generation of Perth startups.
Applications are now open for our Plus Eight Accelerator program. For further details and how to apply click here.