Ben Bradshaw is shaking up the very meaning of digital marketing as we know it, and with a solid track record promising bright prospects at home and abroad he has now received Brisbane's top prize for young entrepreneurs.
In a hotly contested competition between the city's enterprising elites, Bradshaw was crowned Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year at a lavish gala that took place at Riverlife, Kangaroo Point.
The founder of Fortitude Valley-based Disrupt Digital edged ahead of winners across the 17 categories celebrated at this annual event, which was supported by HLB Mann Judd, Spruson & Ferguson, Advance Queensland, the University of Queensland, Alex Correa Executive, Capital B and Master Eventist.
The word 'disrupt' is one that gets bandied about frequently nowadays for even the most trifling of innovations, but when it comes to Bradshaw's business the term carries the weight it's due with apps that streamline marketing campaign data and insights in real-time.
Through several businesses under the Disrupt Digital umbrella including SponsoredLinX, Bradshaw's innovations are removing laborious and time-intensive functions from marketing campaigns, leading to improved leads for a growing customer base.
Apps like LinX are helping to make SponsoredLinX a go-to company for the digital marketing needs of SMEs, and by next year Bradshaw expects to increase the group's market share from its current 14 per cent up to 30 per cent.
Furthermore, by 2020 he plans for SponsoredLinX to be managing $1 billion in ad spend. This is expected to be bolstered by expansion in New Zealand and the United States.
"As we continue to expand into America, we are presented with the opportunity to reach thousands of businesses who need assistance transitioning into the digital marketing world and generating more leads," says Bradshaw.
"Networking and seeking out new partnerships is a crucial and vital part of growing our business.
"We have recently partnered with two well-known Australian corporations which will present SponsoredLinx with thousands of potential new clients. This is very exciting."
Over the next 18 months Bradshaw expects to double current staff numbers, and for those employees he seeks to offer the most "cutting-edge" workplaces possible.
"This includes includes features such as challenging traditional workspaces and offices, working hours and environments in order to create the best working space achievable," he says.
He forecasts this will be in parallel with a 150 per cent growth in revenue over the next three years, encompassed by an aspiration to be the "biggest and best advanced online marketing agency".
The judges acknowledged Bradshaw's strong position in the world of digital marketing, with his company housing some of the most cutting-edge and disruptive technologies on the market.
"Ben is an impressive entrepreneur and continues to lead the marketing world in the digital and marketing space," says Dr Glen Richards, from Channel 10's Shark Tank and founder of Greencross.
"Disrupt Digital is going global, with business interests in Australia, USA, and Asia. This is a business with unprecedented growth!"
Founder of the Young Entrepreneur Awards, Camilla Jansen congratulated Ben on the achievement and said this year's line-up of talent was the most impressive to date.
"Ben is the definition of a disruptive and innovative entrepreneur; a truly deserving winner of the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award," said Jansen.
"This year was incredibly competitive and showcased a diverse range of talent, every finalist should be congratulated and proud of their achievements."
Bradshaw was joined by Thuy Lam, founder of technology startup Blackbook.ai, who took out the coveted Trailblazer award recognising an entrepreneur that has achieved exponential growth and is destined for major success.
Other winners included Karl Brown, founder of Instyle Solar and Rokkit Performance Marketing, who once again took home the Retail and Services award on the back of his win last year.
Brett Boulton, a well-recognised entrepreneur in the Brisbane building industry, who is building over 300 homes a year, secured the Property and Construction Award.
Collectively, the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur finalists boasted a combined turnover of $240 million in the last financial year alone, and have created more than 1000 jobs.
All winners at the 2018 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Ben Bradshaw (Disrupt Digital)
- Trailblazer of the Year - Thuy Lam (Blackbook.ai)
- Startup - Thuy Lam (Blackbook.ai)
- Professional Services - Daniel Wessels (Jacaranda Finance)
- Marketing & PR - Hugh Rees (Expose Media and Inturo)
- Health & Fitness - Tim Butters & Jeremy Hassell (City Cave)
- Technology - Peter Ward (Wardy Group)
- Digital Disruptor - Ben Bradshaw (Disrupt Digital)
- Retail and Services - Karl Brown (Instyle Solar and Rokkit Performance Marketing)
- Specialist Services - Peter Matthews (Solar Service Guys)
- Fashion Design - Alex Hainstock and Doug Hainstock (DVNT)
- Legal - Katie Richards (Virtual Legal)
- Hospitality and Tourism - Trent Meade and Matt Blyth (Celissa)
- Arts & Culture - Nikias Leigh (Real Property Photography)
- Influencer - Georgio Batsinilas and Aaron McAllister (FitazFK)
- Manufacturing, Wholesale and Distribution - Hamish Ellingham and Sam Hardy (Peak Marketing)
- Property and Construction - Brett Boulton (Bold Living)
Business News Australia