OUR top 40 Under 40 entrepreneurs from # 31 to # 40 are topped by two businesses that have taken a new look at the food and hospitality scene in Brisbane with plans to scaleup across Queensland and around the country.
They're complemented by a pair of manufacturing entrepreneurs, a duo of e-commerce fitness gurus who are moving fast to open a new gym, a legal firm which has developed an innvoative online platform and a startup which specialises in building virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) solutions for different companies.
31. Sam Carson & Benjamin Day
No matter how big the Acai Brothers gets, founders Ben Day and Sam Carson never want to lose the look and feel of a quaint 'local café'.
What started as little more than a hole in the wall has now blossomed into a booming superfood bar and health franchise spanning 30 stores nationwide.
No matter how prominent their business becomes, the duo refuses to buy into the idea of a 'national force', and for good reason.
"Our aim is to never have the feel or the look of a big franchise, we want to create the feeling that every store we open is our first store," says Day.
It's this commitment to genuine lifestyle, coupled with cheeky grassroots marketing tactics, that has helped the Acai Brothers set an ambitious target to double their number of stores by the end of next year.
"Whenever people think of superfoods they usually just think it's an 'instagrammable' meal, but we actually use that idea to educate our customers about superfoods," says Day.
32. Dan McKennariey
A FRENCH concept adopted by a former private super-yacht chef is a credit to Danny Boys rising success in the sandwich game in Brisbane.
Danny Boys Rockstar Sandwiches use traditional bread baking techniques on site to bake their signature sugar and preservative free artisan bread every 25 minutes.
Dan McKennariey claims he was the first person in Australia to bring the revolutionary baking system here from France which allowed him to bake fresh bread from a raw state to a fully cooked product anytime of the day.
"It allows us to bake fresh bread on demand within 20 minutes which has changed the concept of bakers working bakers' hours because traditional bakeries cannot do this," says McKennariey.
From the very beginning until now, Danny Boys has seen a steady growth increase of 15 percent each year despite a large market in the area.
"Our catering services have gone through the roof and had now made us look to open a central kitchen early in 2018." he says.
"I have also set the business up to franchise. That was the plan from day one, and I have never lost that focus."
33. Lucas Schubring & Joel Geake
Ausmetal Engineering and Camp King Industries
Forget Superman, Joel Geake and Lucas Schubring are the real men of steel.
The sheet-metal fabricators hung up the high-vis and left the tradesman's life in 2013 to start their own manufacturing business Ausmetal Engineering.
It only took a year before the duo brought on their first apprentice, and now the business is one of the fastest growing suppliers of stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium in Queensland.
Off the back of their first business, Geake and Schubring launched their second business Camp King Industries in 2016 as a labour of love.
The pair are proud to stand behind their 'all Aussie made' brands and look forward to ramping up business in other markets including New South Wales.
34. Giovanna, Paul, Matt & Simon Shakhovskoy
Directors of the Extraordinary
THESE four siblings came together from varied backgrounds to set up two businesses which they hoped would completely change the entertainment space in Brisbane.
The Shakhovskoys operate Escape Hunt Brisbane, an immersive entertainment concept that 'locks' small teams in highly themed rooms and they are also behind Directors of the Extraordinary - a company which encourages people to dive into their own fantasy worlds.
Probably the best way to describe them is to call them an interactive entertainment and education company which combines story, gaming, theatre and technology to create extraordinary interactive experiences.
They initiate live action adventure games for people to play the role of their heroes. It's for corporate groups and friends to work in teams towards a key objective, while competing in a world created for you, solving puzzles and using your wits in a bid to be crowned the ultimate victor.
"Through running Escape Hunt we loved the concepts of immersive entertainment and how it applied to different markets, for example, education, corporate team building, and social activities," says Paul Shakhovskoy.
"We saw a strong potential to expand this outside of four walls - where people could be involved in their own adventures."
Giovanna adds: "Through Directors of the Extraordinary we can now draw on multiple disciplines in creative industries, incorporating theatre, technology, gaming principles, world creation and set design with an objective or element of competition for teams."
35.Georgio Batsinilas & Aaron McAllister
AFTER repaying the initial start-up costs of their e-commerce business within the first two days of trading, the founders of FitazFK are muscling their way into the Brisbane Gym market.
The latest venture for founders Georgio Batsinilas (pictured right) and Aaron McAllister (left) is a 650 square metre gym facility in Brisbane's inner city suburb of Kangaroo Point is set to become one of the most prominent gyms in Brisbane.
"Leveraging off our success with the online FitazFK market, we've been working on creating the ultimate gym experience at our new FitazFk gym," says co-founder Batsinilas.
The fit-founders, with an Instagram following of more than 700,000, are confident their latest move will pay off with 250 people piling onto the waiting list within their first two weeks of advertising.
"We've got around 300 people on a pre registration list now which we are working through, and we've signed up our first 100 founding members already," says Batsinilas.
The odds of success are in the duo's favour if previous records are anything to go by having sold more than 50,000 fitness and nutrition guides online and transforming over 38,500 bodies.
"Initially, FitazFK repaid its capital investment within two days and the growth since then has allowed us to not only invest in the gym but also into Ryan Greasley Fitness which paid for itself in just 10 hours of going live," says Batsinilas.
A major factor in the Brisbane boys success story has come from the unique username @FitazFk which grew to 50,000 followers in just four months and a savvy social media marketing strategy.
36. Sam Hussey
SAM Hussey (pictured) has always had a passion for storytelling and film production, buying his first camera at age 13 using spare cash from a side-job selling ice cream.
Now, 17 years down the track, Hussey still has the same passion although he takes it to the next level.
Hussey launched his own experiential agency Lightweave in 2016, a company which specialises in building virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) solutions for different companies.
Lightweave creates unique licensable VR and AR products for quick release consumer engagement and was an idea that came to Hussey after he experienced the full power of VR for the first time.
"The 'ah-huh' moment was when I put on one of the VR headsets and realised the full capabilities of what this thing could actually do and where it would be going in the future," he says.
37. Katie Richards
KATIE Richards is taking her virtual legal firm to new heights with plans afoot for global domination.
Virtual legal is an online law firm which provides affordable legal advice for the majority of the population who cannot afford specialised representation or advice.
Richards' online law hub Virtual Legal growth has been steady at around 40 percent over the past 12 months as the company focuses on launching a worldwide service platform.
"We've taken what we do best to the next level with the Law on Earth Portal (LOE) which we hope to launch by the end of the year so the public have one source of truth for their legal queries without cost," says Richards.
"This will mean everybody has access to legal education, assistance and can save thousands on legal advice.
"The Law on Earth portal is the future for us," she said.
The platform is going to be rolled out in Australia and New Zealand by the end of the year with an agenda to then expand into the UK and Ireland.
38. Nathan & Tessa Hartnett
3servants Pty Ltd / Allhart Australian Enterprises Pty Ltd
NATHAN Hartnett, like many Australians, began his entrepreneurial career on eBay.
After doing some research and observing that jewellery was a big category he jumped right on the bandwagon.
Now his empire has grown so large he and his wife Tessa Hartnett are having to completely upgrade their warehouse capabilities.
Despite their success with 3servants, an umbrella company for a group of online retail sites which sell an assortment of bespoke products, Hartnett is still shocked that he can claim the title of 'entrepreneur'.
"Somewhere along the line we actually did become entrepreneurs," says Nathan.
"I hadn't even thought about being an entrepreneur until I met Nathan," says Tessa.
"But it all worked out well. I just followed the journey through Nathan."
Under 3servants the Hartnetts have multiple ecommerce businesses, all centered around finding products that people are searching for that have a very high profit margin and low competition.
One of their sites, mensringsonline.com.au, is successful because, according to Nathan, it "does what it says on the tin".
"It sells men's rings online, and we now sell around 5 to 10 per cent of Australia's men's wedding rings through our website," says Nathan.
"For our 'little' website to be selling such a significant percentage of a jewellery store staple is a testament to the power of digital shopping."
39. Jeremy Hassell & Tim Butters
HASSELL and Butters were both in the building industry before they ventured into the wellness industry with City Cave and their business was born out of what they saw as a common trend with people in the modern world.
Stress, fatigue, over stimulation, no 'me-time' were the common traits and they realised that a lot of people suffer an array of health problems looking and are looking for alternative therapies.
City Cave Float Centre was created to help people cope with the physical and emotional demands of modernlife and achieve wellness, in the true sense of the word.
"Living by the motto 'prevention is better than the cure', we wanted to make a space that was not a stark medical environment but was nurturing and warm," says Hassell.
City Cave now has two locations that have between them eight float pools, two infrared saunas, a nutritionist/naturopath, a dietician, two psychologists, a GP, sports physiotherapist, musculoskeletal therapist, massage, exercise physiology and an infrared yoga/pilates studio.
"Our vision is to create an algorithm specific to our services that calculates years given back to our client," Butters says.
"The goal is to create a life clock that counts what City Cave has given back in years to the planet and our goal is to put one million years back on the earth through preventative measures.
"This idea has grown bigger than our business and goes beyond any financial gain it has become City Caves' mission."
40. Nathan Schokker
BEFORE Talio was founded, Nathan Schokker worked his way up the commercial cleaning industry for 13 years.
Eventually, Schokker became the National Operations Manager of the services company he worked for.
A change in business strategy and direction resulted in Nathan quitting his job and starting up Talio less than a month later.
Now the company is one of the leading services providers in Brisbane, off the back of Schokker's own blood, sweat and tears.
Since its founding, Talio has surprised its clients, suppliers, and those who have come to know Nathan with the fact that they've never held an office anywhere. Schokker has run the entire business from an iPad mini and an iPhone only.
"We're there to solve problems for people and at the core of it I love solving problems and putting smiles on faces," says Schokker.
"Knowing that we can make someone happy at the end of the day and put a smile on their face and take a bit of hassle out of their lives is always a great thing for us."
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.