IT WAS a mixture of luck and doggedness that saw James Riggall work his way up from stacking chairs to teaching at the University of Tasmania's HITLab.
The director of Bitlink and Startup Tasmania studied at the HITLab then persistently volunteered until he was offered a permanent position on the staff.
"I was keeping an eye out for opportunities and jumping in and working to put in a lot of time and effort," the 30-year-old said.
"It was a really exciting time for me."
Mr Riggall taught at the HITLab for four years before deciding to pursue interests of his own.
Far from moving internationally, as people in his field often do, he decided to create opportunities in his beloved hometown of Launceston.
Mr Riggall listed Bitlink, a software development and tech consulting company, and start-up Macquarie House as ways he was trying to create employment locally.
He said Tasmania boasted many business advantages, including a small market perfect for testing new ideas, a statewide university and an airport at each end of the state.
"It can be quite hard to [create opportunities] in Launceston," Mr Riggall conceded.
"This is really aimed at making it a little bit easier to create opportunities locally."
Mr Riggall advised young up-and-comers to not only think about their own strengths but those of the people around them.
"It's very easy to get blind to your local advantages," he said.
"Keep an eye out for those opportunities and recognise those opportunities for what they are."