Myriad Live 2017 with Sharon Hunneybell from City of Gold Coast

Myriad live with Sharon Hunneybell from City of Gold Coast

Posted by BeachCity on Thursday, March 30, 2017

Video Transcription:

Chris: Good day. We're back at Myrian Live, Beach City. Beach City Life on Facebook. I have with me Sharon Hunneybell from City of Gold Coast. How are going, Sharon?

Sharon: I'm going well. How are you?

Chris: Good, thanks. If you don't know Sharon from Gold Coast ... You don't know Sharon, if you're from Gold Coast and you don't know Sharon, come on, what have you been doing? Living in a cave? How many jobs do you have?

Sharon: Oh, too many. I've got a full time job where I'm working for Opmantek as a general manager. We make network management software that we exploit all over the world from the Gold Coast. On top of that, I've got all my passion projects. We run in school accelerator programmes for high school kids, I work with people through the innovation hub, and just trying to generally champion people getting started and exploring their ideas and showcasing the businesses that they're running from the Gold Coast.

Chris: Great. Being here as part of City of Gold Coast Council, you've brought how many businesses here to Myriad?

Sharon: We've brought eight with us. A wide range of businesses from virtual reality type businesses to ... We're an exhibitor as well. We've got some guys here that have got Cloud-based technologies. We've got some guys here who actually created these amazing lithium batteries and lithium-powered vehicles that are really cool. It's been really good. Some of the companies that we've brought with us, they went through an application process through Myriad and some of them I didn't even realise we had on the Gold Coast. I was really excited to be able to see even bigger and better companies that I knew were there. It's cool.

Chris: I just love that, how all of a sudden you meet somebody and you go, "Where are you from?" and they go, "Gold Coast." You go, "Hang on," how big or small idea or whatever it is, and it's just, "What are you doing?" It's so amazing. I go, "You're right here in my backyard."

Sharon: I know.

Chris: That's what I'm all about is getting their word out, getting more media attention for them, getting more public awareness from them. It's just so amazing. I've just met a couple here today from my own backyard. It's awesome, isn't it?

Sharon: It's fantastic, because if we don't know what's going on in our own backyard then how does the rest of the world know what we're doing? This whole festival, to me, has just been mind blowing and I just have loved it. Loved meeting all the companies. I'm so excited about the innovation that we've got going on in Queensland and in Australia as well.

Chris: Sharon's holding her favourite little hobby toy right here. It's a [inaudible 00:02:40]. I wish I could lift this up. Can I show it? Beautiful picture of the Gold Coast. That's sick. I want to take it home.

Sharon: We actually borrowed it from the mayor, so you never know. You might.

Chris: Sorry, tom. You're not getting it back. I'm taking it. Cool. Speaking of leisure.

Sharon: Yes.

Chris: Running eight or so gigs, whatever you're doing, you run [inaudible 00:03:06]. How do you make time for yourself and clear your mind?

Sharon: I get up early. I'm an early morning person. I try and go for a run at least three or four mornings a week. For me, that's great. Running clears my mind, and I live on the Gold Coast, so you've got beautiful beaches and mountains. As soon as you get out there into the environment it's just instantly relaxing.

Chris: Are you a beach runner? Do you run on the beach?

Sharon: I love running on the beach, but you've got to get there very early in the morning when the sand is still sort of crisp from the dew. I love it.

Chris: What time's that?

Sharon: Around about five, because then you can watch the sun rise as well. If you're going to go for a run in the morning, why not go at the most beautiful time of the day?

Chris: Yeah. Apparently if you don't take a photo of it and post it on Facebook, it doesn't count.

Sharon: That's right. There was no sunrise unless you've done that.

Chris: I'll get an update nearly every morning.

Sharon: I'm quite a creative person, so the other thing I love painting, sewing. I do dressmaking. I do all sorts of things like that as well to wind down.

Chris: Where do you find time to do that?

Sharon: On the weekends. I shut myself away from all the people that I normally deal with during the week and I just sit there and be creative. Again, another brilliant way for my mind to sort of detach from the business world for a little while and just slow slightly differently to create new things.

Chris: You probably wouldn't believe it, but Sharon's also a mum.

Sharon: Yeah. Yes, I have an 18 year old and a 15 year old.

Chris: What?

Sharon: I know. Yeah. They're awesome kids. Actually we've got a startup weekend coming up on the Gold Coast in May. I think you guys are aware of that. My son's actually going to pitch an idea for the first time. My daughter actually participated in one about three or four years ago which is what inspired me to start the high school programme. I'm very lucky that my kids are so supportive of what I do, and they love it, they learn from it, and it's cool.

Chris: I think its May 5-7.

Sharon: May 5-7, yeah.

Chris: Startup weekend on the Gold Coast. Whereabouts is it being held, you know?

Sharon: We're holding it at Bond.

Chris: There you go.

Sharon: Yep. It's going to be great. Pitch any idea, whatever age you are, just come along. They're always great fun. I know there's going to be some really, really good catering this time.

Chris: All right!

Sharon: That's what I'm looking forward to.

Chris: If that's what you're into. Go and get some free food. Not free? No, not free-free. You have to pay for it.

Sharon: I believe there's some pretty awesome prizes there for a couple of student teams through Beach City as well. I don't know if I'm allowed to say that [inaudible 00:05:57].

Chris: I don't know. I don't know.

Sharon: Anyway, that's what I've heard. If you're a student team you should definitely go along.

Chris: Cool. Yeah. Lee actually mentors at Bond [inaudible 00:06:08]. I'm sure he's got something going on there that I don't even know about. That's all right. That's the challenges in business. Sometimes there's just so much going on you can't know everything. As long as stuff's going on, right.

Sharon: Yeah, yeah.

Chris: Cool. If you had to give yourself a phone call, you're not that old so maybe I'll say five years ago because that was when you were real young, what would you say to yourself?

Sharon: About what I'm doing now?

Chris: Yeah. What advice would-

Sharon: Give myself a piece of advice?

Chris: Yes.

Sharon: I'd probably tell myself everything that you're thinking about right now you can actually do, and in five years time you probably will have done a lot of it. Then I would probably tell myself to be a little bit kinder to myself because I have so many ideas and things that I want to create and things that I want to do, and so I sometimes give myself a hard time that I'm not quite getting through the workload. Then you look back and you see all the things that you've managed to achieve and you go, "You know what, that was pretty good." I would tell myself to be a little bit kinder to myself and make sure I always take that time out to go for a run and do something creative on the weekends because that's how my brain rejuvenates itself and that's what keeps me going. That would be it.

Chris: Cool. That's some awesome advice. What's City of Gold Coast doing for entrepreneurs? Is there anything they can tap into, any programmes other than Startup Weekend that you know about?

Sharon: City of Gold Coast have always been massive supporters of innovation in the Startup ecosystem. Particularly my passion has always been with the younger entrepreneurs as well. The mayor has run his technology prize for like three years in a row which has been great. They've gone out to schools and found the most innovative ideas and got the kids to put those forward. That's been great. They always engage with us in conversations about things that they can do. They do [inaudible 00:08:10] Startup Weekends. I would just say if you need support, the economic development area of the City of Gold Coast, there's so many people there ready to help you whether you are trying to run programmes, start a business, whatever it is you're trying to do. Just reach out. There's always a welcome person there to speak to.

Chris: Cool. It's safe to say that your favourite beach is?

Sharon: I love Surfer's Beach. Surfer's Paradise Beach. I love seeing all the different visitors and I love the events and things that we run around Surfer's Paradise. It's funny, to me, in the last few years Surfer's Paradise has just come alive. There's some fantastic new restaurants in there. I think it's called Surfer's Paradise Alliance. There's been some groups that have been running fantastic events and just really getting great at promoting things and putting in an array of events that are suitable for kids, adults. I think we've got Sea Fire coming up in a couple of weeks. That is phenomenal. If you haven't watched those fireworks, got to get on it.

Chris: What a space for families, singles, business people. It's really got everything [inaudible 00:09:27]. Gold Coast has come alive. The amount of cafes that are available, restaurants, it's just amazing. I'm so proud to call Gold Coast my home. It's absolutely awesome. I think you are, too.

Sharon: I love it. It's really interesting, actually. A few years ago, I used to do a lot of work in Sydney, and you go past cafes and things and you would hear people doing deals at the cafes and I used to think, "Wow, wouldn't it be amazing if you could have that same sort of culture on the Gold Coast?" The exciting thing for me is that more and more ... There's particular coffee shops sort of between, I would say, Surfer's Paradise and Burley, where you can walk in there, and you actually do see people there with their laptop doing a pitch to someone. There's just a buzz.

Chris: Even for the [inaudible 00:10:15]. Palm Beach has got some, Palm Beach Collective now. Then there's [inaudible 00:10:20] come alive with it's restaurant scene. The whole strip, the whole strip. Absolutely amazing. Thanks so much, Sharon.

Sharon: No worries.

Chris: We love what you're doing, love your passion for the industry, love your passion for people and business. Make sure you stay in touch with us and City of Gold Coast, Facebook Live, on, Beach City Life. Share it out guys and make sure you're helping spread the word that entrepreneurship is a journey to be discovered and is worth discovering. Thanks again.