Startup News & Analysis

Thrill-seeking adventures aren’t just for Richard Branson: Queensland entrepreneurs invited to Bear Grylls-inspired startup quest

Dinushi Dias /

Ben Southall Adventurer-in-residence - Chief Entrepreneur Venturer program 2

Queensland adventurer in residence Ben Southall

Queensland’s globetrotting “Adventurer in Residence” Ben Southall is calling on entrepreneurs across the state to join him in a Bear Grylls-inspired startup quest near the Great Barrier Reef this July.

The mission will be the state’s first Venturer program aimed at taking entrepreneurs and innovators out of their daily grind and into the great outdoors where they’ll be pushed to new limits.

Over the course of seven days, 20 participants will have to “rely on their instincts” as they camp, kayak and trek through the Whitsundays, according to Southall.

Applications for the program, which costs $5000 per person and is being led under the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, close on June 2, 2017. Shark Tank’s Steve Baxter, Blue Sky’s Dr Elaine Stead and Queensland chief entrepreneur Mark Sowerby are among the judges who will assess applicants.

“This first mission will be a mix of activities and challenges designed to push entrepreneurs to their limits, improve their mental stamina and physical resilience and help them develop the emotional and mental grit needed to succeed,” Southall said in a statement.

Southall, who has spent the past decade travelling the globe, believes tackling problems in physically challenging environments outside a home or work office can have a profound impact on “innovation and startups”.

“It’s taking their work environment to a different space,” Southall previously told StartupSmart.

Southall is not alone in this sentiment.

One of the world’s most renowned entrepreneurs Richard Branson is known for his thrill-seeking and death-defying adventures, which have even left him hospitalised, according to Australian entrepreneur Holly Ransom.

Branson recently named Ransom a future star of the world and she told StartupSmart the Virgin founder is always throwing himself outside his comfort zone to “facilitate the creativity that’s the juice behind his success”.

“He has a near death experience for every year of his life [and] he wears it like a badge of honour,” Ransom said.

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.

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