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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year saw more outstanding entries than ever before. So we thought we would highlight some of the bright and innovative nominees who just missed Top 30 by a wink. Behold, our 2011 30under30 Honourable Mentions! More.
Chris Baxter, NSW (b. 1981)
Name: Chris Baxter
There’s something liberating about being a self-described nerd. Chris Baxter is comfortable with the label, especially since it falls easily alongside his bigger, more powerful moniker — international patent law attorney.
Baxter says he started his patent-law firm, Baxter IP, because he wanted SMEs and entrepreneurs to have the same access to protection of intellectual property that big R&D companies do. Founded in 2007 with his own savings, Baxter IP has a staff of 15 and a turnover of about $1.2 million.
Baxter has been relentless in marketing his firm, using resources online and elsewhere to let small businesses know he is there to help, trying things his competitors wouldn’t. Example: Baxter IP offered pre-filing patent searches at no charge, while others charged a fee (and understandably so, Baxter says, because the search isn’t cost-effective and carries liability issues).
Why buck the trend? “From surveying clients, we found out that’s exactly what they wanted. While profit lagged for a time, we grew the business exponentially.”
Other innovations: Baxter says his was the first patent attorney firm to offer a full suite of commercialisation services; to provide all services to local clients at a fixed cost; to adopt a fully electronic filing system; and to be certified as carbon-neutral.
“The sales pitch becomes much easier when clients are pre-sold by your marketing,” he says.
Baxter also is a serial entrepreneur — he is a partner in Biometic, a medical product company. Busy guy.
“Truthfully, going to work each day is exciting,” he says. “There is always something new happening here — new technologies, new businesses, new clients, new systems and procedures, new marketing strategies. I wouldn’t really want to be doing anything else.”
Anthill asks: Chris Baxter, what motivates you as an entrepreneur?
“Frankly, it’s fun. When I was young I loved board games and computer games (don’t get much time for them these days). It’s amazing the analogies between real-time strategy computer games — where you need to manage resources and offensive and defensive strategies — and a young business competing with the big boys.”
Baxter IP: How to secure a license
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.