Asdren Xërxa has been working as COHORT’s Community Manager since July and his knowledge of business and entrepreneurship development has already been of great benefit to the team at COHORT.

Asdren is from Kosovo in South-eastern Europe, and has recently moved to the Gold Coast for a change of pace while he studies his MBA.

He says, ‘the change of environment is much more relaxed, more friendly, I believe it’s quite different.’

And wanted to join COHORT upon coming to the Gold Coast because he was ‘looking for something that would allow him to support entrepreneurs.’

Asdren comes to COHORT with a wealth of knowledge from his 10 years of experience at the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED).

Having led the office in Kosovo, while additionally helping the companies headquarters in the US, the experience has seen him work in a variety of international environments, which has given him a unique perspective in the area of startups and entrepreneur development.

For entrepreneurs and small businesses to succeed it is important that they learn through collaboration and networking with stakeholders inside and outside the industry.

Asdren likes to draw a parallel to the entrepreneur community in Chicago where he worked extensively to assist with project and entrepreneur development in the city.

Chicago has seen great success, particularly in the technology sector, the city currently has six tech unicorns; unicorns are privately held tech startups valued at $1billion or more.

One thing he noticed was Chicago’s capacity for collaboration.

‘It’s crucial to bring the collaboration approach I have seen in Chicago to the Gold Coast and support the entrepreneurs’ he said.

Supporting entrepreneurs within the Health & Knowledge Precinct through peer learning, is crucial to seeing accelerated growth.

Peer learning is essentially connecting the knowledge and expertise of people with experience in the same area to new entrepreneurs.

In addition to networking within industry, Asdren also knows that it is imperative to connect and network with stakeholders across industries and cities.

‘‘Bring the tech people to the health sector, bring tourism to the health sector, if you combine these people it’s amazing what you can achieve’ he said.

On an individual level it’s crucial to connect complimentary minds to get businesses and ideas off the ground.

‘Gold Coast should aim for those entrepreneurs or individuals that are good at something, who have developed something, and encourage them to share that with others’ he said.

The Gold Coast has all the necessary resources and knowledge to succeed.

Asdren has seen many countries struggle just for funding, ‘they have the right ideas and knowledge, but they have to find funding through investors and its very difficult’ he said.

The Gold Coast has a great advantage in this; our government is making a significant number of valuable resources, and funding available for innovators who have the right ideas and business plans to grow and develop industries on the Gold Coast.

Cohort General Manager, Ariana Margetts, supports this notion.

“The state and federal government have demonstrated that they are dedicated to accelerating the growth of startups and small business in Queensland. We’ve seen huge funding opportunities come through this year, with specific aims to assist businesses adopt new technologies, improve efficiencies, and create more jobs.”

There is a significant potential for development within the health sector and small businesses are taking advantage of this.

‘Using the advantage of the industry, and developing the technology for it, there is a huge potential for international scale’ Asdren said.

In an entrepreneurial city where the lifestyle is second to none, with knowledge and resources at the disposal of aspiring industry contenders.

It is important to leverage the funding, knowledge, and human capital that is widely available in the city and beyond, for Gold Coast entrepreneurs to succeed.