Logan’s evolution into an innovation powerhouse was on show this week when Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Steve Baxter came for a first-hand high-tech tour of the city.

The Shark Tank judge met with Council to discuss innovation before stopping by Kingston-based social enterprise Substation33 for a tour.

Substation33 recycles electronic waste for a number of innovative projects, including award-winning flooded road warning signs Council has installed across the city.

[Transcript]

Tony Sharp, Founder, Substation33: “Substation33 is an electronic waste recycling business. It’s a social enterprise. It’s a place where people learn about work for the very first time in most cases, but it’s very quickly become an innovation hub and a makerspace and somewhere where people can get a bit more techie with their work. Instead of just pulling apart electronic waste we’re now going into the tech space.”

Steve Baxter, Chief Entrepreneur, Queensland: “This is a great example of a social enterprise, out there, helping the community and really, I suppose, delivery a lot of high-tech work experience into a certain element, into the community.”

Nick Kamols, Co-founder, PowerWells: “We are trying to address energy poverty overseas by using their local e-waste.”

Brad Clair, Co-founder, PowerWells: “They’ve got a whole team here of, you know, electrical engineers, software engineers, with a lot more experience than we have, so these guys are really really helpful in terms of getting our product over the line.

Nick Kamols: “We started at the Logan Social Enterprise Startup Weekend. The Startup Weekend only happened because Council got behind it, and they continue to be really helpful along the way.”

Tony Sharp: “You know, Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur in this building for us is a really big day. It’s a great day for Logan. It’s a great day for Substation.”

Steve Baxter: “I’ve been blown away. I’ve seen some amazing things down here today. Obviously the flooded road signs they’re doing, which is fantastic.”

Brad Clair: “Whenever the water goes over the road, the float switch rises, and then the road will flash ‘Road Flooded’. And that’s also synched into 3G as well, so the Logan City Council can push that out to Logan City. “

Tony Sharp: “I think it’s a fantastic thing to think that a social enterprise can develop a world standard product and sell into the fourth largest council. It’s pretty impressive.”

Steve Baxter: “Any area outside of a major city is tough, to be honest, for this sort of thing but it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. The prize is very worthwhile. It’s just a lot of hard work. But from what I saw today I think they’re ready for some hard work, which is great. As Queensland Chief Entrepreneur I’m really about out there cheerleading entrepreneurs, enterprises in Queensland. I don’t have any fresh ideas – all the good ideas will come out of the people who are 21 and younger so don’t get in their way, encourage them. Get out there and doing it. You never know what’s gonna work so you just have to do it. You’ll always fail if you don’t do it.”