Trailblazing business pioneers will gather at the Speakeasy Kitchen Bar on Chapel Street this evening for the first ever Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards hosted by Business News Australia.
Pitted to become the Melbourne business community's night of nights, the awards recognise the city's leading young entrepreneurs aged under 40 and serve as a meeting of minds where catalysts of change can find inspiration and ideas.
Business News Australia founder Camilla Jansen believes the 2018 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards will pave the way for a gala that will celebrate the city's brightest people and ideas for many years to come.
"Scaling up a business is no easy task. It requires the right decisions at critical moments, as well as substantial planning, dedication and passion," says Jansen.
"But for entrepreneurs it can be lonely at the top, so having a helpful cohort of like-minded people can play a big part in setting a business on its potential growth path."
"I'm so excited that tonight we will share our evening with a fantastic cross-section of business leaders who are making an impact on the economy locally, nationally and in many cases overseas."
The event will be followed by the inaugural Sydney Young Entrepreneur Awards tomorrow, and the winner of each award category in both cities 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:
David Andrew - Naked Life Sparkling, Sugar Freezies
Naked Life began as David Andrew's quest to create a delicious, sugar free tonic water to have with a glass of gin. From these humble beginnings, Andrew has gone further than he had ever imagined, and now stocks a vast array of sugar free colas, soft drinks, and (finally) the tonic water.
Madeleine Buchner - Little Dreamers Australia
Buchner founded Little Dreamers Australia when she was just 16 to fill a gap in the social services sector: support for young people caring for a parent or a sibling with a serious illness or disability.
Hamish Buckley -Coco Vodka, Bean Body, and Mr. Bright
Hamish Buckley is one of Melbourne's top serial entrepreneurs, behind some of the country's most noticeable brands Coco Vodka, Bean Body, and Mr. Bright.
Carina Ribeiro - The Label Realty Group
The Label Realty Group was created to maximise the sale value of Australian properties by bringing the world to your doorstep. Founded by Carina Ribeiro, the company advertises properties in six different contents using technology and social media tactics.
Dr May Chan & Dr Reuben Sim - Dental Boutique
For the founders of Dental Boutique, dental treatments are more than just a quick fix it's about restoring self-confidence in their patients and making the process as comfortable as possible.
Jiaheng Chan & Adelene Teh - Beulah International
Over the last four years Beulah International has focused on building luxury living towers with a significant focus on ensuring green, clean living for all residents.
Eugene Cheng & Hao Phu - The Sneaker Laundry
The Sneaker Laundry is absolutely a product of this decade one where high-end and hyped sneakers have become the new status symbol. Cheng and Phu offer a convenient and affordable drop-off sneaker and shoe cleaning service to Melburnians.
Chris Christofi - Reventon & CHC Planning Solutions
Like a fine wine, Chris Christofi's Reventon gets better as it matures. Starting off with a strong foundation in property investment, the financial services provider now offers a complete range of property investment and financial services.
Leela Cosgrove - Strategic Anarchy
Leela Cosgrove says that people are sometimes confused about what Strategic Anarchy does, but that's only because it's so different. As a business consultancy, Strategic Anarchy is interested in building up entrepreneurs into powerhouse businesses by employing a variety of tactics.
Genevieve Day - Day Management
Noticing a shift in the digital landscape, Genevieve Day jumped out of her safety net to establish her very own influencer marketing company: Day Management.
Barclay Dixon - Tango
Tango is a project management and development management firm that offers independent project management and building consultancy services across all sectors.
Travis Erridge - TM Insight
TM Insight is an Australian end-to-end supply chain, property, and project management consultancy business. The company works for both large scale ASX and global organisations including giants like Woolworths, Coles, Kmart, Bunnings, Target, and DHL.
Ludovic Grosjean - Ocean Clean X
Ludovic Grosjean is on a mission to clean up our polluted oceans, one piece of plastic at a time. His business, Ocean Clean X, is developing technology to clean up the oceans with unmanned drones.
Lee Hardham & Rajesh Yeluri - Brauz
Buying local is often the best way to support the community you're surrounded by, and Lee Hardham & Rajesh Yeluri's app is making that even easier to do. Called Brauz, the platform incentivises shoppers to find and buy from nearby stores.
Lani te Hennepe and Simon te Hennepe - TRAVLR
TRAVLR first emerged as a disruptive player in 2017, connecting travellers with a new way to plan, book, and discover their next travel adventure. Using advanced technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, the TRAVLR platform automatically curates and offers recommendations based on the type of traveller you are and the trip you want to take.
Valeria Ignatieva and Gemma Lloyd - WORK180
WORK180 is a jobs platform with a difference. They are Australia's only job site which pre-screens employers based on their policies and initiatives around supporting women in the workplace.
Sallie Jones - Gippsland Jersey
Founder of milk producer Gippsland Jersey, Sallie Jones, has been surrounded by the dairy industry since she was born. Gippsland Jersey taps into core Australian ideals of supporting local produce through community spirit.
Jaryd Koenigsmann - myCryptoWallet, myNewPet, Node Coworking
Jaryd Koenigsmann is an entrepreneur for the next generation. Jumping on the blockchain train, the world of crypto and co-working, Koenigsmann has quickly become a successful serial entrepreneur.
Lawrence Lam - Lumenary Investment Management
As we've seen this year with the Royal Commission, financial advisers seem to be able to get away with a whole lot of failures to their customers. Lawrence Lam started Lumenary Investment Management to change the reputation of financial management in this country.
Celina Lazarus & Tony Strickett - First Crop Coffee and Maillard Atelier
Melbourne is undeniably the coffee capital of Australia, which makes it hard to stand out in such a crowded and impressive scene. But by doing things ethically, transparently, and with a flair for innovation, the founders of First Crop Coffee have become a benchmark in the sector.
Ashleigh McInnes - Papermill Media
After graduating from university, and after cutting her teeth in a boutique PR firm, McInnes decided to do something crazy and start her own firm, Papermill Media.
Sam Mendelson - Ka-Pooch
Ka-Pooch, a doggy day care centre with a difference, has quickly grown from one person looking after four dogs in a day in 2011 to a team of 13 across two centres looking after 100 dogs per day.
Mia Plecic - Bondi Smile, Downtown Pressed Juice Co, Mia Plecic Entrepreneurs Academy
Every entrepreneur knows what it's like to suffer from a setback. Things don't always go according to plan, and sometimes it feels like nothing's going right. But Plecic has come back fighting, and has distilled the lessons learnt from her past into her Mia Plecic Entrepreneurs Academy. Plecic also runs a teeth-whitening kit business called Bondi Smile, and recently sold her pressed juice company Downtown Pressed Juice Co to New Zealand Ice Cream.
Anthony Radaza - RMW Entertainment
Anthony Radaza is behind the phenomenally popular Zombie Walks around the country which he launched in 2006. What started as a bit of fun allowing him and his mates to dress up like zombies is now a powerful movement raising money for the Brain Foundation.
Michael Ramsey - The Functional Group, Salt Lab, Surf Yoga
Michael Ramsey's entrepreneurial journey began when he opened his own F45 studio, and he hasn't looked back since. Ramsey currently has six F45 training studios, Remedy Yoga (which offers yoga and mindfulness sessions, and Surf Yoga retreats), and Salt Lab (a magnesium oil spray product used as a natural remedy for sleep and muscle recovery).
Aaron Smith - KX Pilates
Japanese for 'change for the better' the Kaizen eXperience or KX is a philosophy that focuses on small and ongoing improvement. KX offers a fast paced, high intensity, body-toning workout in just 50 minutes.
William Strange - Sports Performance Tracking
Serial entrepreneur William Strange has a knack for garments, but his latest venture sees him going hi-tech. By designing and manufacturing GPS hardware and developing software and apps, SPT provides elite level analytics to amateur and sub-elite level sports teams, high schools, and universities.
Sabri Suby - King Kong
Digital marketing is perhaps the most important thing to get right for businesses of any size, and Sabri Suby's King Kong is leading the charge from its base in Melbourne.
Rosie and Lucy Thomas - Project Rockit
Change-makers, activists and cofounders of PROJECT ROCKIT, Lucy and Rosie Thomas have dedicated their lives to making the world better for young people. Their mission is to empower young people to stand up and lead change against bullying in school, online and beyond.
Jamie Totino - RealFood Vending, Bead360
RealFood Vending is one of Australia's first fresh and healthy vending machines designed to provide healthy alternatives to workplaces all over the country.
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