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 videogame 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. More recently, the Bitlink team have also been focusing on tech education, particularly STEM/STEAM education programs for Tasmanian students and teachers. Since 2015, Bitlink has been developing and delivering a range of STEAM education programs in Tasmania, that have developed a strong reputation and loyal following in the state.
James served as a director of Startup Tasmania, a not-for-profit organisation and networking group for Tasmanian entrepreneurs, for five years from 2012 to 2017. During this time, 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. James was one of the key drivers behind the Enterprize project, as a director and founder on the initial steering committee, as well as taking responsibility for the Launceston base for Enterprize as the first Enterprize general manager in Launceston.
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. This hackerspace ran for four years and was the home of a vibrant and active community of students and tech enthusiasts. More recently, the Battery Shed has relocated to the Enterprize facility in Launceston, where its work will continue as part of this larger project.
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 was a visiting scholar at Bellevue College, where he worked with Bellevue staff to help build additional momentum around technology and business education. During his time in Seattle James developed and ran a highly successful virtual reality course (studying virtual/augmented reality and related immersive technologies from a humanities perspective), as well as running a mini-accelerator program as an internship for students at Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, WA, and guest lectures in a number of places in the US, including the University of Washington, Virginia Tech, Antioch University , as well as conference presentations, including a talk on virtual reality and education at the ImmersED conference in Los Angeles.