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Leanne Kemp

Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

Fast Five is our quickfire interview series where we hit up some legendary movers, shakers, innovators and changemakers with, you’ve guessed it, five big questions. This week, we talk to the legend that is Leanne Kemp.

Leanne Kemp Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

As if founding one of Australia’s most innovative tech-for-good Blockchain companies wasn’t enough (that’s Everledger, in case you’re wondering), Leanne is also Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur and an all round, epic startup champion.

Q1: What three words describe your life as an entrepreneur?

Exploring life consciously

Q2: Most entrepreneurs have an origin story – a moment in time or an experience that was the catalyst for their entrepreneurial journey. What is your origin story

I started my journey with no capital, no funding and little formal education or experience, yet despite the odds, I was still able to build successes.  

The trigger for me was never a lighting bolt moment, rather simply living a curious life. 

Entrepreneurs can come from humble beginnings, so long as they’re willing to work hard, commit to their ideas and take the risks necessary to see those ideas become reality. Take inspiration from the massive successes who have come before you, and don’t let a lack of money or experience dissuade you from following your dreams.

Q3: Tell us about a massive flearning (failing + learning) moment for you.

Julia Smith once wrote: “Young people often face difficulties when it comes to putting what they have learned into practice; therefore all this knowledge becomes useless when it should be the fuel that propels their careers”.  

No matter how much we think we know about some topics, it’s only after we have put that knowledge into use that we get confirmation of the actual level of understanding that we possess. 

Sure, we could read about painting, learn all the techniques and brush types, colour palettes, and more, but only when we get in front of a canvas and start painting do we put our knowledge to the test.  

Having formal education in accounting or commerce is all very well, but it isn’t until you are facing the actual moment of insolvency do you realise and understand what caused the problems in the first place. 

Q4: What do you wish you’d learned at school about starting or running a business?

Even when we’re feeling most prepared, there is a chance we fail in accomplishing our goal.

Being an athlete allows you to run the race before it even starts. 

An athlete could lead the entire race only to fall just in front of the finish line and lose. 

This doesn’t mean the athlete should stop competing; on the contrary, it means they should work even harder for the next competition. 

The results will come. Eventually.

Q5: What’s one book, website or podcast you’d recommend to aspiring young entrepreneurs, and why? 

Well, my own podcast, of course – it’s raw, it’s real, it’s unKEMPt! 

It’s my podcast for founders, investors and entrepreneurs where I talk all things starting, scaling and failing with interesting founders and leaders. 

I even do a bit of #leannesplaining where I tackle topics including ‘growth vs scale’, the importance of intergenerational entrepreneurship and exit strategies in three minutes!

Check out unKEMPt on Apple Podcasts here. 


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More about this week’s Fast Fiver, Leanne Kemp.

Leanne Kemp is Founder and CEO of Everledger and Queensland Chief Entrepreneur. She is a prominent figure in the technology sector and recognised internationally as an innovator and leader. Her company Everledger uses Blockchain technology to track high-value assets such as diamonds, art and wine with the aim of increasing transparency and trust with technology. 

In 2018, her entrepreneurial success saw her appointed as the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur in Australia, to develop the state’s startup ecosystem, attract investment and support job creation. She is the first woman entrepreneur to hold this position. In 2019 her tenure as Chief Entrepreneur was extended for another year, the first time the role has been extended since its creation. 

Leanne works on a global scale to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation and is an advocate of sustainability in business. Leanne’s roles include:

Leanne is a two times Patent Inventor as well as holding the following prominent awards include:

  • Advancing Identification Matter (AIM) Global Allan Gilligan Award 2019
  • Advance Technology Innovation Award 2018 
  • Innovator of the Year 2018 (Women in IT Awards, London)
  • Innovator of the Year 2016 (Women in IT Awards, London)
  • Top 26 Coolest Women in UK Tech, 2016 (Business Insider)
  • Top 30 Female Innovators (Brummell Magazine)

Like this? If you enjoyed this interview, be sure to subscribe to Future Anything’s regular e-newsletter for more just like this. You can sign up here!

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