THE battle of the young entrepreneurs has been fought and won, and in 2015 it was an innovative leader bucking the trend in a struggling mining recruitment sector that has won the day.
One Key Resources founder Grant Wechsel has been named Business News Australia's Brisbane Young Entrepreneur for 2015 and he was among 10 category winners recognising the best of Brisbane's emerging business talent.
The awards, presented at a special gala event for more than 200 guests at Victoria Park last week, also included a special new category for entrepreneurs with a social conscience.
Wechsel, a former director of a labour hire company, has been recognised for exceptional growth in his resource recruitment firm despite a dour outlook in the coal industry.
Wechsel says he saw the opportunity to combine staffing with productivity training and launched One Key Resources in 2010. The company is forecasting a 193 per cent lift in revenue in FY16 and its headcount expected to top 1200.
Business News Australia managing director Camilla Jansen says the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards are an important initiative to celebrate the city's talent and accomplishments.
"I want to congratulate Grant and all of the finalists on the night, who have shared their inspiring stories and innovative business ideas," says Jansen.
"It's an important process for anyone in business to be recognised for their achievements."
With a combined annual revenue of more than $150 million, the finalists' businesses have made a significant contribution to the state's economy this year.
2015 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Category Winners
In a bid to eliminate the stigma attached to offshore staffing, Aimee and Mark Engelmann launched Beepo. The outsourcing firm has recorded significant growth in less than two years by focusing purely on the Australian market.
Recognising a gap in the pharmaceutical industry, Adam Gilmore and Guy McKenzie developed software to track performance using live analytics. PharmaData has become a global tour de force, securing partnerships with pharmacy chains across Australia, France and Japan. >
Dominic Holland has an intense entrepreneurial spirit. He once challenged Qantas, but now he's hit the road with Tow.com.au, revving up the 'old-school' towing industry with first-of-its-kind technology.
Mathew Stillone has almost gone full circle, from growing up on an organic farm to working in the pharmaceutical industry, to now running a business that is about 'natural nutrition without the crap'.
After making the move from London, Bonnie Shearston and Tom Sanceau have served up a fusion of restaurants in Brisbane. From fine dining, New York street food, Italian share-plates to a British gastropub, the dynamic duo are hands-on across each venue.
Ben Bradshaw isn't only a first-mover, he's also a fast-mover. The former magician and two-time Guinness World Record Holder is about to pull off his greatest magic trick yet, taking on Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the US with his search and social business, while on a 50 per cent growth trajectory.
If you have seen a cool TV ad that brings life to the surreal, chances are it was created by Alt.vfx. Wanting to push their creative boundaries, Takeshi Takada and his business partner Colin Renshaw took a leap of faith and scored the Tooheys Nocturnal Migration campaign. The studio now boasts clients from all over the globe, backed by an office in Sydney.
Refusing to settle for subpar service in the industry, Alice and Justin Hagen decided to build their own agency. Calibre Real Estate is now one of the fastest growing businesses in Australia. Hailing from forensic biology and aircraft engineering backgrounds, the dynamic duo opened a dedicated marketing office in China last year to lure investors to Brisbane.
John Corry came across the concept behind 50-50 Foundation on his honeymoon. Tickets are sold at major sporting events, with the prize pool split between the winner and a charity. He shared the idea with his mate Ross Hayward, and the pair spent three years lobbying the government.
Read the complete winner stories in our special Brisbane Business News report this Friday 30 October. Sign up to receive updates here.
The 2015 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards would not have been possible without the support of sponsors including Telstra Business Centre Milton, Bond University, HLB Mann Judd, IT Leaders, Cullens, Queensland Cricketers' Club, Blue Shadow Group and Robina Group.
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