James Riggall

entrepreneur and educator in Launceston, Australia

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James is a Tasmanian entrepreneur who found his start as a teacher at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITLab) in Launceston, Tasmania. During his time at the HITLab, James taught courses in virtual reality, augmented reality, entrepreneurship and video game design.

In his teaching career, James worked with international professors and facilitated many guest lectures from international speakers, including staff from Microsoft, Valve Software and Gas Powered Games.

James left the HITLab in 2012 to establish Bitlink. Bitlink is a technology consultancy and software development house which is based in Launceston. As consultants, the Bitlink team help local businesses get the most out of technology and build their own success in the digital economy. As developers, the team build mixed reality and data visualisation applications for a variety of hardware platforms.

James serves as a director of Startup Tasmania, a not-for-profit organisation and networking group for Tasmanian entrepreneurs. James was also one of the key proponents of the Macquarie House Project, an initiative which aims to convert an iconic historic building in Launceston into a coworking space for Tasmanian innovators. This project has since evolved into Enterprize, a statewide not-for-profit which runs two coworking spaces in Tasmania for early stage startups. Alongside these projects, James has also worked with local technology enthusiasts to establish the Battery Shed; a collaborative hackerspace attached to the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery in Launceston.

In 2015, James was awarded the State Benson Award for Entrepreneurship for Tasmania. These awards are sponsored by CSIRO and are designed to celebrate the achievements of Australian entrepreneurs who have taken risks, made a difference and inspired others.

In 2017, James was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Seattle from September 2017 to March 2018. James will be a visiting scholar at Bellevue College, where he will be working with Bellevue staff to establish a community and momentum around a new hackerspace, the Collaboratory, which has been established on campus. Another key priority of this scholarship will be to build connections between the startup and tech communities in Seattle and those communities in Tasmania.