Awards celebrate a decade of unearthing young business talent

The Young Entrepreneur Awards will celebrate a milestone occasion next month as it kickstarts the 2018 Young Entrepreneur Awards – marking a decade for what has become one of Australia’s most prestigious business accolades.

Officially launched in 2008 in Queensland with a mission to find and recognise young business talent in Australia, the Young Entrepreneur Awards has since gained a strong foothold within the industry.

Nominations are now open nationwide for the 2018 Awards across all 14 categories including Digital Disruptor, Influencer, Startup and the coveted Trailblazer and Young Entrepreneur of the Year titles.

Tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery took out the top gong at the very first Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2009 after he founded and publicly listed Pipe Networks alongside serial entrepreneur Steve Baxter.

The pair grew PIPE Networks into an Internet exchange and telecommunications powerhouse before selling it to TPG Telecom in 2010 for $430 million. Slattery has since gone on to found prominent ASX-listed companies NextDC, Superloop, Megaport, and Asia Pacific Data Centre.

People who have followed in Slattery’s footsteps as winners of Young Entrepreneur of the Year award include Amazonia founder Dwayne Martens, Grace Loves Lace founder Megan Ziems, Fonebox founder Jordan Grives and Good Price Pharmacy Group founders Anthony Yap and Hahn Lu.

Tammy Hembrow took out the first ever Influencer award in 2017 after launching her businesses Tammy Hembrow Fitness and Saski Collection on Instagram.

The newly added Influencer category reflects the emerging entrepreneurs who are reinventing retail on social media and transforming old industries.

Jack Corbett and Ryan Tuckwood, founders of ISR Training, took home accolades at the 2017 Young Entrepreneur Awards.

The duo says that the awards were a singular experience and a launch point for their business which, less than a year later, went on to secure a historic deal with Steve Baxter, Andrew Banks and Glen Richards on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank.

“Winning the social innovation award in 2017 was not only an extremely humbling and proud moment, but also gave us an amazing platform of credibility moving forward,” Tuckwood said.

“Our clients often comment on the fact we won the award and we saw an instant surge in enquiries for our services following the event. We were fortunate to be on Shark Tank in June 2018 and Glen Richards even commented on the award.”

Founder of the Young Entrepreneur Awards Camilla Jansen says the Awards’ ongoing success year-on-year is its ability to find and reveal the industry’s top players and create an environment where entrepreneurship can thrive.

“We have been able to give our entrepreneurs a leg up with publicity, recognition and a series of master classes to learn from the likes of River City Labs founder Steve Baxter and Greencross founder Dr Glen Richards, who are both well-known ‘sharks’ on Shark Tank,” Ms Jansen said.

“Not only do the awards culminate in a fantastic celebration, the initiative provides a little black book of the most important contacts in the city, as each of our finalists and nominees are also considered for inclusion in the exclusive Top 40 under 40 lists.

“For those who win the coveted titles, they will become part of an influential cohort of peers who will have opportunities and access to some of biggest stakeholders in each city, including local government and business leaders.”

To be part of this year’s awards, all nominees must have founded their own business with, the company’s head office based in Australia.

Nominations are now open for each of the categories across the four regions and close on 31 July 2018.

Finalists will be announced ahead of the 2018 BNA Young Entrepreneur Award ceremonies, which commence next month, with Melbourne and Sydney events held in August, the Brisbane event in September and the Gold Coast awards in October. The National Young Entrepreneur Awards will be held in late October.

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