MICHAEL Trusler was just 24 years old when he launched PlantMiner.com.au the first online platform for the $4 billion Australian plant and equipment hire industry.
Initially, the idea for the online portal was to solve a frustrating issue that continued to present itself to Trusler while he was working as an engineer for a civil construction company on Queenslands coalmines.
One of his roles was to source equipment for job sites which he says was a tedious task that involved countless hours of calling suppliers, flicking through yellow pages and research on the internet.
Since its inception in early 2013, the company has seen 889 per cent revenue growth and has boosted staff from two to a team of 55.
The online portal has also grown from listing 35,000 pieces of equipment when it was first launched to include more than 340,000 listings from more than 2500 hire suppliers Australia wide.
This success has put Trusler in the running for tonights prestigious Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year award with the top gong presented at an exclusive event at Customs House.
Trusler attributes the success of his business to a lot of people in Australian construction and mining companies having the same problem that he did in terms of the hiring of plant equipment. He says the uptake has been overwhelming.
It has organically grown but it has organically grown very quickly because the product is one that is solving a big issue, he says.
It is also giving our plant and equipment hire suppliers a great chance to market their gear online in a way that is cheap and affordable.
Trusler says it is an honour to be nominated as a finalist in the 2014 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards, an initiative of Business News Australia.
Brisbane has a voluminous talent pool of innovative business leaders so to be named as a finalist is a privilege, he says.
I am excited to rub shoulders with other leading entrepreneurs and celebrate Brisbanes business talent.
Generating close to $300 million in combined annual revenue, the finalists have made a significant mark on the Brisbane economy and showcase determination and enthusiasm in their respective fields.
Hosted by Great South East presenter Chris Parsons, the event will highlight Brisbanes most influential under 40-year-olds and it is expected more than 200 business-minded men and women will converge at Customs House to see who will take out the title.
Among the list of finalists are Phillip Di Bella (Di Bella Coffee), Ben Shipley (Comscentre), Nic Blair (Search Factory and Brus Media), Sarah Timmerman (Beginning Boutique), Clarissa Rayward (Brisbane Family Law Centre), Alice and Justin Hagen (Calibre Real Estate) and Llew Jury (Reload Media).
The night would not be possible without the support of sponsors, including Telstra Business Centre Milton, Bond University, HLB Mann Judd, Blue Shadow Group, Piper Alderman, Department of Business and Good Price Pharmacy.
Last years winners were Good Price Pharmacy founders Anthony Yap and Hahn Lu.
The event starts at 6:30pm and features live music from Gas Grooves.
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