There is a tangible buzz in the Queensland capital at the moment and it's not just for finals footy this weekend. Tonight a very different contest will be taking place as the city's brightest young business minds convene on the W Brisbane to celebrate entrepreneurship and revel in the achievements of a blossoming founder community.
From VC darlings to self-funded scale-ups, the 2023 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards has a long track record of unveiling high achievers. Now in its 15th year, the event's line-up tonight is no different with a veritable smorgasbord of talent ranging from fintech falcons to doyens of dining, health heroes to fabulous fashionistas, sustainability sensations and more.
Amidst the very real pressures in society around the cost of living, this year's finalists bucked the challenges to net a combined $520 million in revenue in FY23 and directly employee more than 1,300 full-time staff alongside more than 2,200 part-timers, casuals and contractors.
This represents a major contribution to the economy, all stemming from the generative ideas of resourceful humans and the professionals who have joined them to deliver on their missions. And it's not all about the money - many of these entrepreneurs are helping to resolve problems both global and local.
Even amongst the pre-revenue or very low-revenue contenders playing the long game of R&D and meticulous market development, there has been remarkable progress to date including a robot to assist surgeons, a high-tech snow beanie that is actually a helmet, and a job swiping app that takes its cues from Tinder.
It is also worth noting that in a business environment where women are underrepresented on so many levels - whether it be leadership, ownership or investment funding attraction - there are 35 female founders as finalists this year.
The overall winner of the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award will become part of a legacy that includes serial tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery, Good Price Pharmacy founders Anthony Yap and Hahn Luu, NOJA Power founder Quynh Anh Le, Go1 founders Andrew Barnes, Vu Tran, Chris Eigeland and Chris Hood, and Swyftx founders Angus Goldman and Alex Harper, among others.
Young Entrepreneur Awards founder Camilla Jansen highlights the outstanding calibre of nominations in 2023, and is thrilled to be launching this year's series of events in Brisbane to celebrate the achievements of the city's forward-thinking founders.
"What I love most about these events is the community that it builds, bringing together founders from so many different industries and stages of their journeys. Over the years entrepreneurs have been giving invaluable support to one another, and close friendships have been formed.
"What also makes us proud is the way it normalises entrepreneurship as a life vocation, inspiring others to do the same, encouraging people to believe in their own ideas and capabilities to act on them. Congratulations to all the finalists and a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate," she says.
"We aim to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Brisbane that will help to attract more talented founders and professionals, and create a more vibrant business ecosystem."
"We wouldn't be able to do this without their help," she adds.
Aside from the two major awards of Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Trailblazer, the gala will span a range of sectors with 17 different award categories including:
- Digital Disruptor
- Fashion & Design
- Food & Beverage
- Health & Medicine
- Hospitality & Tourism
- PR, Media & Events
- Professional Services
- Property & Construction
- Retail & Services
- Specialist Services
- Sustainability & Social Responsibility
Meet the 2023 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards finalists (in alphabetical order)
Mikhailla Fitzgerald - 26 Talent Agency
Peter Watkinson - AERL
Alex Hamze & Nof Hamze - Alamour The Label
jessie mclachlan - Altru
Rob Joseph - Anti Ordinary
Lucinda Bayly - BAYLY PR
Nicholas Clarke & Dean Wattrus - Black Label Blending
Sarina Eggers - Business Kitz
Alborz Fallah & Paul Maric - CarExpert.com.au
Nicholas Chapman - Chapcon DC, Newstart Homes Australia, Alpha Investments Company
Ash Reddy - Chess Mates
Corey Stone - CHS Building
Christian Sutton - Conquer Health Alliance
Chris Jeffery - Convergence Medical
Chris Allen & Kim Allen - CRA Construction
Morgan Wilson - creditte
Mariana Fataccioli - Elysian Cartel
Tim Whybourne & Ryan Loehr - Emanuel Whybourne & Loehr
Matthew Wall & Lia Wall - Emerald Developments, Mwall Construction, Emerald Properties
Alex Ewart - Explorate
April Booij - FAME Event Design
Georgio Batsinilas - FitazFK
James Foley - FOLAR Studio
Sam McNamara - Getahead
Cian Dawson & Courtney Brown - GYM BOD, Rocket Creations
Jacklyn Bright - Harlow Hot Yoga and Hot Pilates
Jez Hedger & Caitlin Shannon - Hedger Enterprises, Rivercity House & Home Co, Bedzy
Katie Macinante - Hello Peachiee
Ashawani Soni - Holistic Home Care
Chris Baptista - HOMES by CMA, No Limit Developments
Daniel Wessels - Jacaranda Finance
James Bennett & Kirri- Lee Jacobson - James Bennett Grooming Academy, La Casa de Pooch, Australian Dog Grooming School, Academy of Grooming Arts India, Crackin Dog Grooming Salon
Jason Le - JRNY Digital Australia
Lachlan Feeney - Labrys
Courtney Lockett - Lockett McCullough Lawyers
Jesse Stowers - Lula Rum
Kyle Macmillan - Macmillan Lawyers and Advisors
Nic Blair & Matt Anderson - Midnight Health
Maria Braun - Mirabele Beauty
Carene Carroll - Modern Mamas
Jae Martin & Bec Martin - Mondaze Burgers & Shakes, Mondaze Media
Thomas Fu & Thomas Mcpherson - Motor Culture Australia
James Mutton - Motorcycle Trading, DMS Innovations
Ben Pullen - Outposter
Josh Fritz - Patch Agency, eSpace, PatchPets
Khush Balia - Penguin Podiatry
Daniel Lee, Dylan Simpson & Jess Wagner - Plum Partners
Daniel Lee & Dylan Simpson - Plum Property
Ross Ledingham - Potentia Solutions Leisure: Lina Rooftop, Soko Rooftop, Carmen Tequileria, Claw, Mina Italian, Soul Green Cafe
Candice Thompson & Luke Thompson - Preferred Care
Alastair Blenkin, Jesse Dymond, Nathan Dench, Thomas Newby & Timothy Rogers - ProcurePro
Grant Joy - Protegas Australia
Razia Ansari - RAIS Industries
Rebekah Strachan - RBB Fitness Studio
Katie Burton & Jessica McWatt Forbes - Red Stockholm
Katie Boulter - Rose Soiree
Nathan Schokker & Sandy Lokas - SafeCo, SafeVisit, SafeTicket, Luca, Wave CRM, LuckyDoor
Peter Dodeja - SAI Security Group, SAI Investments Group
Claire Lane - Save Our Supplies
Ella Doyle - Social Cut, Unthink
Samira Patel - Social Studio
Anni Jansen - Studio Figura
Beau Carter & Lucy Searle - Studio Untitled
Rebecca Petroff - Sunstate Conveyancing
Nora Fraser - The Multicultural Professional Network Inc
Nicholas Mitrossilis - The Yiros Shop, Midas Mediterranean
Joshua Spurway & Myrrah Balasabas - Vision Made Co
Tory Ogden - Voltora Industries, Kompliance
Tony Chan - Wagepay
Lana Hill - Walker Hill Digital
Nicholas Hill, Lana Hill, Josh Pickering, & Andrew Walker - Walker Hill Group
Declan Kluver & Blake Thompson - XRecruiter
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