You are Silicon Coast

Silicon Coast is the leading representative body for entrepreneurship and innovation across the Sunshine Coast. Igniting collaboration by supporting and developing the regional ecosystem;
Silicon Coast advocates for a give first value driven approach; a critical component of the “Boulder Hypothesis”, a term referenced globally by community stakeholders seeking pathways to build a region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Since 2014 this ethos has led to introductions between entrepreneurs; knowledge exchange; new collaborations and development of new community leaders.

Our Vision
To be a conduit in co-creating the most innovative and entrepreneurial region within Australia.

Our Mission
To develop, support, and steward a nationally accessible, vibrant ecosystem that maximises collaboration, creativity, innovation, and sharing. This is achieved through continuous involvement in activities with stakeholders, supporting industry associations by connecting talent with facilities and councils, and those organisations that aspire to greater success through innovation.

Our Board

Gavin Keeley

Gavin Keeley

Chairperson & Co-Founder

Gavin Keeley is an experienced technologist and business leader with a career spanning over 30 years in international consultancy and
executive corporate roles across a diverse range of industry sectors, working in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. He holds a diploma
in Company Direction from the UK Institute of Directors and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Directors.
During the 80’s and 90’s he founded and established a successful IT Consulting company, after an initial period learning his trade at a ‘big four’
consultancy. Gavin led the wave of new technologies such as Decision Support and Executive Information in the 80’s and throughout the ‘90’s
he again led the way with internet and advanced networking technologies - including a number of ‘world first’ client implementations for,
amongst others, Oracle and Microsoft
As the first CTO for one of the world’s largest insurers, Aviva, leading 6000 IT staff and $1b IT budget, and as Executive General Manager for
Business Technology Solutions at Suncorp, in Brisbane, he was responsible for leading business innovation through technology. Gavin was
also CTO at Hollard Insurance, in Sydney, where he pioneered the first Australian cloud technology strategy with APRA regulatory approval.
Gavin also spearheaded the case for a direct undersea fibre optic cable connection to the Sunshine Coast, having lobbied every layer of
government for 7 years, the project will finally complete in 2020.

Gavin is currently the CEO for Search365 an innovative Australian startup company involved in deploying mission critical search and AI
solutions aimed at Financial Services, and National Security.

Gavin is regularly invited to speak at industry conferences, and has published articles on his leading edge perspectives. He is an Adjunct
Senior Fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast, plus one of the founders, in 2007, of the Australian Government Digital Careers
Program that has had over a million Australian kids participate in their annual events.

Craig "CJ" Josic


CJ's philosophy is to inspire and be inspired. He loves all things digital, and is passionate about innovation, education, gamification, improving the way people engage online, and collaborating with business, local government, organisations and communities.
As chief digital and business development officer CJ has experience working in digital services for schools, businesses and organisations and has travelled extensively in Queensland and around Australia, speaking on a range of topics and collaborating with key partners at events and conferences.
As the co-founder and executive director of Silicon Coast; a not-for-profit organisation which ignites collaboration and is the leading representative body for entrepreneurship and innovation on the Sunshine Coast, CJ fosters the vision to become the most innovative and collaborative region in Australia.
He is a collaborator, mentor, speaker, educator, volunteer, strategic planner and business development guru and has been involved in multiple events and projects over the years, including events that bring people in the creative, entrepreneurial, business and tech space together. Supporter and advocate for the new Maroochydore City Centre, International Airport expansion and International Broadband Submarine Cable Project, CJ believes that these projects are the game-changers that will transform the region.
CJ has many years of experience in SME’s and business management, surrounded by technologists, CEOs and start-ups, working on everything from corporate strategy, digital transformation, the Lean Startup Methodology and marketing to help businesses get above the noise. His rounded knowledge allows him to proactively work with stakeholders to set up mutually beneficial partnerships.
CJ thrives within collaborative ecosystems, sharing knowledge & working with other like-mind people. His productive and collaborative relationships with local, national organisations led to CJ being recognised by Advance Queensland as the 2017 Community Digital Champion for his ongoing commitment, involvement and collaborative projects.
Renee Coman

Renee Coman

Thriving in a digital landscape, Renee has an inherent ability to identify pain points and create viable solutions. She has done this previously within various National HR roles in Australia’s telecommunications industry and locally here on the Sunshine Coast at Australia Zoo.

As an entrepreneur Renee founded Distance Assistance in 2017, delivering sustainable health & wellbeing solutions for organisations with remote workforce via Wellbeing Express, an innovative 24/7 wellness platform delivering relevant content with activity-based metrics.

Renee is also a Community Leader connecting local entrepreneurs, businesses, government stakeholders and community members. This is achieved by organising experiential learning events, such as Startup Week and Startup Weekend, delivering workshops to improve the digital literacy of Queenslanders as a 2019 Queensland Digital Champion. Finally, as the Business Development Marketing Manager of the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast. Her drive is to grow innovation and business capacity on the coast, providing a platform for others to stand up, speak up and cause a ripple effect.

Simon Kaplan

Simon Kaplan is an outstanding entrepreneur, academic, strategist and organisational leader. Highlights of his career include:

• Over $100m of research funding from sources including the Australian Research Foundation, Australian Government, National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, US Army, IBM, HP, Intel, AT&T, Texas Instruments, Fujitsu, Bull, Sun Microsystems and Digital Equipment Corporation.
• Academic positions at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, University of Queensland and University of Cape Town.
• Executive Dean, Faculty of Science & Technology at QUT.
• Head, School of ITEE at UQ.
• Principal Scientist, CRC for Distributed Systems Technology.
• Director, NICTA Queensland.

Currently, Simon is CEO of [ui!] the urban institute in Asia-Pacific, and founder of the [ui!]'s Asia-Pacific operations. His primary focus is on business development across Australia, New Zealand and into the broader Asia-Pacific region.
Simon's unique background and experience allow him to work with clients across technology and organisational issues to develop multi-faceted solutions that catalyze improved organisational vision and strategy, service provision, performance and technology delivery.

Asrar Ismail


Asrar’s role is to enable smooth implementation of the Information Security Management Systems at Quality Management Australia through project management systems, managing information and communication across the project team, and its relevant stakeholders.

Asrar has qualification in Entrepreneurship and innovation Management, Project Management and Marketing. She has worked in consulting roles in Middle East and Europe for over ten years before obtaining Lead Auditor qualification in information security. She is, also, a business mentor at Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance using her experience in marketing, training , innovation and strategy development.

Asrar has helped clients benefit from a wide range of activities such as capability building workshops, mentoring, networking and innovative programs and services to help them to scale their businesses and access new markets.

In short: Asrar works with People, Processes and Systems to help businesses secure and empower their 'treasured assets' to work for them instead of against them.

Contact: 0434 886 488

Our Volunteers

Luke Humble

Ben Walker

Louise Bertram

Jordan Josic

Alex Murray

Proudly supported by the Sunshine Coast Council’s grants program and Advance Queensland.


Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram