James Riggall

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

In his teaching career, James worked extensively with international lecturers, including the founder of the original HITLab in Seattle, Professor Thomas Furness. James also helped facilitate many guest lectures from international speakers, including staff from Microsoft, Valve Software and Gas Powered Games, as well as numerous independent video game developers.

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 is also one of the key proponents of the Macquarie House Catalyst Project, an initiative which aims to convert an iconic historic building in Launceston into a coworking space for Tasmanian innovators. Alongside the Macquarie House Catalyst Project, James has also worked with local technology enthusiasts to establish the Innovation Circle; a collaborative hackerspace attached to the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery in Launceston.

In 2015, James was awarded the State Benson Award for Entrepreneurship (previously known as the state Pearcey Awards) for Tasmania. These awards are sponsored by CSIRO and facilitated by the Pearcey Foundation. They 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 for 8 months across late 2017-18. 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.