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Baxter looking to next gen

ENCOURAGING the younger generation to pursue their goals is a top priority for IT guru Steve Baxter.

The former Central Queenslander, who features on Channel 10’s Shark Tank, said the younger generation needs to be equipped with the right skills and education to be able to chase their dreams.

Mr Baxter said when he was starting his first IT business, he went out and got the technical skills he needed to get it off the ground.

The 44-year-old said you shouldn’t “die wondering”. “If you have an idea, execute it,” he said. If all fails, he says your Plan B should be to get “a great job”.

Mr Baxter, who still has family in the Rockhampton region, said he never knows what will hit the IT world next. “Who would’ve invested in Twitter in 2007?” he joked. “I’m 44 years old and I have no idea what will work next year, and I really don’t.”

Mr Baxter has just wrapped up season 2 of the hit series Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of successful businessmen and women. “It was great and good to be back (on set), it’s actually good fun,” Mr Baxter said.

He said the Shark Tank panel were usually blown away by entrepreneurs who come to them and pitched their life dreams. “They have a lot of courage, and we recognise their courage and inspiration and they get some feedback (from us),” Mr Baxter said.

Mr Baxter, a former North Rockhampton High School student, has made a few investments over the two seasons and said it’s straight to business after the filming wraps.

“The majority (of entrepreneurs we invest in) do okay, there’s a process afterwards and we get on with it,” he said.

“I’m a professional investor and have a team that work with me (on this).”

Shark Tank may see Mr Baxter add another achievement to his belt, after securing a silver Logie nomination for Best New Talent.

Mr Baxter is in the race for votes against 31 other nominees for the 58th TV Week Logie Awards including the likes of Adam Dovile from Better Homes and Gardens, Pia Miller from Home and Away and Jonathon Brown from Friday Night Footy and On The Couch.

Mr Baxter said while his business ventures kept him busy, he tried to get out there and encourage the younger generation to do something, to be “bigger and better”. The second season of Shark Tank will air sometime next year.