Anna Rooke

CEO - QUT Creative Enterprise Australia

As CEO of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) since 2007, Anna’s goal is to build a vibrant and scalable creative industries sector in Australia.

Anna has over 20 years’ experience in leading commercialisation, incubation and business development initiatives in the UK and Australia. She is passionate about nurturing startups and boosting early stage investment, establishing the CEA Startup Fund, the first early stage fund for creative ventures in Australia in 2013. In 2014, Anna also co-designed $1M Arts Business Investment Fund in Queensland with consortium partners to boost art organisations’ business resilience. Under Anna’s leadership, CEA established the Creative³ forum in response to the lack of connectivity between investment and creative industries communities, to identify and connect innovative creative ventures and to highlight the importance of the sector to the Australian economy.

Prior to her relocation to Australia in 2006, she was the Director of the UK’s first National Science City and created the first $1m proof of principle fund in Yorkshire to enable entrepreneurs to exploit their commercial potential. Anna is a Director of Metaverse Group Pty Ltd and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She was the Chairman of Fame & Partners Pty Ltd until February 2016 supporting the company from startup through to closing a Series A investment. She is a member of Brisbane’s Creative Economy Board, Queensland Startup Committee and Advance Queensland Expert Panel.

Q&A

What’s been your career highlight?  

I’ve been fortunate to work with many talented founders and entrepreneurs who have been so dedicated and driven, it’s been amazing to see their success (and learnings) unfold.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given, and by whom?   

“Follow your own star in life and believe that you will chart the right course.” Wise words from my Dad who instilled in me at a very young age to be passionate, authentic and have the courage to back yourself. All the qualities you need also as an entrepreneur.

In one sentence, where do you see the future of your industry in the next 5–10 years?

Mainstream. The importance of creative industries in Australia will be the largest driver of our economy in the next decade.

Anna’s Creative3 Talk: