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Sean Qian, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Honourable Mention


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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.

Sean Qian, VIC (b. 1987)

Name: Sean “Kwan” Qian
Age: 24 (Born: May 1987)
Gender: Male
State: VIC

Sean Qian describes himself as a passionate music fan and a terrible singer. “In high school I loved music but knew a career as an entertainer was unlikely for me,” he says.

Thankfully, this motivated him not to flaunt his awfulness on Australian Idol, but to jump into the realm of start-ups. In late 2010, Qian and his business partner managed their first music event at Melbourne’s Festival Hall with no more than two months to promote it. The event drew 4,000 spectators and $100,000 in revenues.

Crisp Entertainment, the duo’s ensuing business, is a niche events management and touring company. The idea behind Crisp, says Qian, is to “do things that are for niche communities but do them big.”

On the agenda for 2011: the Jump Off Music Festival, an under-18 draw for the end of the school year; and Think Inc., a science and rationalism conference that’s expected to draw some big personalities to the Melbourne Convention Centre in three weeks. Total budget for these two events: a cool $1 million.

Exclaims Qian, “Exciting scary times ahead!”

But what would entrepreneurship be without the thrill ride? He acknowledges that secured funding is never a guarantee, although he has been improving at the game of winning over investors and negotiating with artists. For someone who insists he can’t sing, he has a very commanding voice. “Apparently this is a good thing according to my older, much wiser associates in the industry,” he says, with a touch of humour.

Asked what he would consider his superpower, though, Qian shifts back to his love for what he’s doing. “I’m lucky in that even if I work for 24 hours straight it doesn’t feel like work.

“Being delusional is a power, right?”

Anthill asks: Sean Qian, what motivates you as an entrepreneur?

“My parents were Chinese immigrants and they sacrificed a lot to send me to the best school they could. I am driven to have the means to support my family, put on the greatest events I can, be recognised as a serious promoter in line with Australian icons Mcmanus, Coppel, Chugg & Gudinski, and buy a ticket to Virgin Galactic by the time I am 30.”

Jump Off Music Festival


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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.