The cream of the crop of Sydney's young entrepreneur community will converge on Doltone House in Hyde Park tonight for a gathering that promises to be a regular festive evening on the city's calendar for many years to come.
The inaugural 2018 Sydney Young Entrepreneur Awards are hosted by Business News Australia, recognising the city's most successful business founders while giving them a chance to connect.
Business News Australia founder Camilla Jansen says all finalists go through the same rigorous process, covering a wide range of sectors but ultimately coming back to core entrepreneurial principles.
"This ensures those selected are the best of the best," she says.
"The Awards are also about bringing like-minded entrepreneurs together, building relationships and friendships where they can support each other. It's a community we are helping to grow.
"Entrepreneurs often don't get the chance to go out and mingle as they are so immersed in their projects, but with these events they are meeting people who have faced similar challenges - the sleepless nights, the pain of growing a business, and there is so much to learn along the way."
Business News Australia provides a platform for these entrepreneurs' stories to be told, along with masterclasses with highly esteemed entrepreneurs for the winners.
"It gives them a leg up, and we know that's important as these are people with the potential to be running the country in the years to come," says Jansen.
"This way they not only have guidance but they can learn from other people's mistakes so they don't have to repeat them."
Similar events have also taken place in other Australian cities, and the winner of each award category in Sydney will be invited to the 2018 National Young Entrepreneur Awards on the Gold Coast on 13 December.
The following finalists, listed in alphabetical order, will be in the running tonight:
Salpi Baroudijan & Jacob Markarian - OWEST
OWEST co-founder Salpi Baroudijan came to Australia in 2010 and worked for three years as a telemarketer when he realised he could really crack into the sales business. After striking up lucrative and impressive deals with Samsung, Baroudijan and Jacob Markarian founded OWEST now one of the key dealers of Samsung photocopiers in Sydney.
Holly Boal - Get Kids Cooking
Get Kids Cooking has skyrocketed after appearing on Shark Tank and getting the stamp of approval from investor Dr Glen Richards. The business model is a food education program for primary school-aged children.
Daniel Christos - Cypha Interactive
Cypha Interactive is a multi-platform interactive studio that creates innovative marketing campaigns, engaging content and technology-led solutions. The team, led by founder Daniel Christos, produces experiences from websites to apps, games to social content using animation, video and even virtual reality (VR).
Paul Eastwood - Pollen Consulting Group
Pollen Consulting Group is the go-to business on value chain transformation, bottom-line performance and fostering collaboration for the food and beverage sector in Australia. The company, led by founder Paul Eastwood, differentiates itself from more traditional management consultancies by focusing on values, not process, in its work with family-run businesses through to ASX listed companies.
William Edwards - Archie Rose Distilling Co.
Archie Rose Distilling Co is a custom-designed boutique distillery and bar in Rosebery, Sydney.
The acclaimed Archie Rose Bar is just three meters from the distillery and was created as a place where people could gather to savour the company's award-winning spirits.
Rouad Elayoubi - Alliance Project Group
Alliance Project Group is a turnkey design construction company that delivers impressive projects spanning a wide range of sectors and needs in the NSW capital. Currently Alliance has multiple high-rise projects around Sydney, constructing an average of 500 units per year.
Travis Fernandez - Martial Arts Spirit
Travis Fernandez first started Martial Arts Spirit as a kid to try and help support his family. Now, the martial arts centre is a veritable hub with over 500 students across four different branches; a long way from 10 ten students in a community hall.
James Han and Evan Wong - Checkbox.ai
Checkbox.ai, a technology startup offering a simple platform to enable the digital transformation of regulation. By using a drag and drop interface, users can convert messy, unworkable processes into easy-to-use, results-driven applications in the cloud, all without a developer.
Dr Carla Harris - Longevity App
Dr Carla Harris' Longevity App hopes to make the worry of saving for retirement a thing of the past. Longevity App is a micro-savings app that allows you to add a little extra to your Superannuation through your everyday purchases, every time you spend.
Tara Jane - TJ SWIM
After studying fashion business at FBI Fashion College, Tara Jane started her own swimwear label. The brand has over 221,000 followers on Instagram, thanks to its stylish design and 80s inspired high-cut legs.
Martin Karafilis - Tiliter Technology
Using high-tech AI algorithms, Martin Karafilis is on the verge of a retail breakthrough with his product Tiliter Technology. Karafilis and his team have created a camera and software system that identifies fruits and vegetables at self-serve checkouts.
Ken Kencevski - Devika
Ken Kencevski's boundary-breaking tech play was inspired by a trip to Silicon Valley; the home of the world's most successful technology innovators. His team has expertise in augmented and virtual reality development, website development, mobile applications, artificial intelligence systems and the Internet of Things.
Chloe Kim and Isabelle Miller - ICY POP
Chloe Kim and Isabelle Miller's ICY POP is perfect for the Sydney summer season. Combining the refreshment of an ice block with the sophistication of a cocktail, ICY POP has quickly become the go-to refreshment at events in New South Wales.
Julia Maguire and Lelde Smits - The Capital Network
With a wealth of experience working as journalists and investor relations advisors for ASX-listed companies, going into marketing for listed giants was a no brainer for Julia and Lelde. The Capital Network's team of financial communications and corporate professionals pride themselves on bringing traditional financial communications into the new century through offering services and skills to make businesses better.
Candice Meisels - Candice Meisels PR
Candice Meisels is perhaps as passionate about seeing startups succeed as their founders are. Her PR firm, Candice Meisels PR, was built to assist startups and SMEs secure brand awareness and media coverage on a shoestring budget.
Layton Mills - CannPal Animal Therapeutics
When you think of cannabis you probably don't think of it as a drug for pets, but Layton Mills' CannPal is taking common preconceptions off the leash. The company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, is currently engaged in research following some serious injections of capital raised over the past three years.
Kopi Nadarajah & Api Yuganathan - HealthcareLink
HealthcareLink is an online platform for healthcare and medical professionals in Australia. It is a one-stop shop to build their career and find the right job opportunities, keep up-to-date with professional development courses, and a place to share relevant industry news.
Sharne Patient & Nigel Patient - Head Mark
Frustrated by what founders Sharne and Nigel Patient describe as a loss of creativity in the marketing world, the two founded Head Mark to bring a spark back into the industry. Since founding the company in 2007 the pair have worked on campaigns for both Australian and global companies.
Elanor Pendleton Gritty Pretty
Sitting pretty with more than 74,000 followers on Instagram, Eleanor Pendleton knows a thing or two about finding success online. Eleanor is more than just an Instagram influencer, she is the founder of Gritty Pretty, a magazine and online beauty boutique which has found success due to its niche formula.
Lambros Photios - Station Five
Station Five is a team of local software developers and technology consultants based in Surry Hills. They provide a number of services to develop integrated systems and clean up the clutter of automation gone awry.
Jessica Ruhfus - Collabosaurus
Lovingly dubbed as 'Tinder for brands', Collabosaurus has dramatically changed the role of marketing experts in Australia. The platform, which works by matching up complementary brands together to work on collaborative projects, allegedly can do what a marketing expert takes 33 hours to do in just an hour and 15 minutes.
Leigh Rust and Nathan Rust - SMR Designs, Safetyline Jalousie
Working with some of the most well-known Australian construction companies, Leigh and Nathan Rust's Safetyline Jalousie has become an iconic mainstay in apartments the country over. The brothers supply a high-end, hybrid European designed louvre window system to the construction sector.
Carlie Victor - Real Active
Real Active sells unique huge water bottles and a range of gym towels. 10 per cent of all proceeds made by Real Active are donated to mental health charities batyr and The Yoga Foundation to raise awareness for debilitating mental health disorders.
Taryn Williams - theright.fit
Taryn Williams founded her first company WINK Models 10 years ago, which now has more than 650 models Australia-wide with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. But Williams wasn't about to be hemmed in by the traditional business model. Launched in 2016, theright.fit connects brands, advertising agencies, and content creators with hand-picked models, influencers, photographers, and stylists.
Ben Wong - Academy Xi
Academy Xi is an education platform teaching the next generation of skills required to operate in a widely digitised world of work. The company offers skill-specific practical courses in design and emerging technology, with specialties including UX, augmented reality and virtual reality design.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Business News Australia
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support