In a city that lends itself to enterprise and creativity, it was only logical that Brisbane Business News was inundated with applications for the inaugural 2009 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. It was also no surprise that the quality of the candidates was high, but only the best could be finalists and only one company could win.
While many of the candidates came from abroad to try their luck in Brisbane's entrepreneurs playground, last years winner Bevan Slattery came from Rockhampton.
Slattery started PIPE Networks (PWK) with his mate Steve Baxter in 2002 with the goal to make enough revenue to go fishing every Friday, but his desire to bring a more competitive landscape to the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure outweighed his will to catch fish in the end.
Last year Slattery completed a $200 million undersea cable from Sydney to Guam that has the potential to double Australia’s international internet connectivity. The celebrations continued for Slattery when shortly after the award ceremony, PWK was sold to telco giant SP Telemedia for $373 million. The founder remains at the company's helm as CEO to this day.
Hot on the heels of PIPE Networks for the top award last year were a number of finalists who exhibited qualities to be celebrated. Scott Geiszler and Anthony Russo of Pizza Capers have shown the panache to take on a market with very large dominant players, but found their niche with a nutritious product and an aggressive growth strategy.
Then you have Wayne Ormond from Refund Home Loans, who succeeded in the financial sector when the world was in financial crisis.
But this is just a sample of the innovative ideas and businesses that Brisbane’s young entrepreneurs have to offer.
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