DWAYNE Martens, founder of Amazonia, was named the 2016 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur at Jupiters Gold Coast on Friday night, in front of more than 230 people.
Amazonia is among the most recognisable brands on the Australian health food scene, selling more than 40 tonnes of frozen Acai product under its signature purple flag each month.
Having pushed through major setbacks in the early days of the business, including the liquidation of a customer that owed around $200,000, and the 2011 Brisbane floods, today Martens (pictured) is proud to sit at the helm of his exotic fruit empire.
"The biggest issue with a lot of entrepreneurs is that they just don't get in the game at all - those weird and wonderful fruits, all they did was get me into the game," says Martens.
"I'm so grateful for the amount of support we've had, we have a strong purpose behind our brand and I love that a lot of people feel that."
Martens was among 11 category winners, recognising the best of the Gold Coast's young business talent. In addition, the incredible growth at HiSmile earned its founders Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic the coveted Trailblazer award.
Business News Australia managing director Camilla Jansen says the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur awards are an important initiative to celebrate the city's talent and accomplishments.
"I want to congratulate Dwayne 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."
Business News Australia will reveal the full 2016 Top Gold Coast Young Entrepreneurs list featuring all the finalists on Wednesday 26 October.
The Brisbane 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at a gala event at Victoria Park on November 11. You can get your tickets here.
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR:
Dwayne Martens, Amazonia.
TRAILBLAZER OF THE YEAR:
Nik Mirkovic & Alex Tomic, HiSmile.
Damien Stone, water3.
DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY:
Shannon Overs, onPlatinum ICT.
HEALTH & FITNESS:
Scott Hunt, Fitness Enhancement.
HOSPITALITY & TOURISM:
Cameron Bray, Bray Management.
MANUFACTURING, WHOLESALE & DISTRIBUTION:
Dwayne Martens, Amazonia.
MARKETING, PR & EVENTS:
Fady Hanna, Flagship Digital.
Kris Simmons, Simmons Livingstone & Associates.
PROPERTY & CONSTRUCTION:
Mark Deacon & Jake Robinson, Superdraft.
RETAIL & SERVICES:
Bradley Carr, RY.com.au.
Anthony Simon, ApprovalBuddy.
YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR:
Meghann Ruscoe, Magic Millions Sales.
The 2016 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards would not have been possible without the support of corporate partners Bond Business School, City of Gold Coast, Telstra Business Centre Gold Coast, Jupiters Gold Coast, MGI, Robina Group, Cullens, Advance Queensland, Young Professionals Gold Coast and Blue Shadow Group.
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