Australian Young Entrepreneur Awards 2018 to Acclaim the Risk-Takers and Game-Changers

Not content to rest on their laurels as the world changes around them, entrepreneurs are a forward-thinking breed for whom determination is de rigueur and risk is a reality.


As the culmination of a decade hosting Young Entrepreneur Awards and following the journeys of its participants through reportage, Business News Australia will be taking the event national this week through a gala on the Gold Coast.


The excitement is palpable amongst finalists for the Australian Young Entrepreneur Awards 2018, which is due to take place on Thursday, 13 December.


Not only does the finalist pool draw from winners of various categories from the Young Entrepreneur Awards in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, but it also comprises candidates from regional Australia as well as Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart.


Officially launched in 2008 in Queensland with a mission to find and recognise young business talent in Australia, the Young Entrepreneur Awards has since gained a strong foothold within the business community.


The award has 21 categories including Digital Disruptor, Influencer, Startup and the coveted Trailblazer and Young Entrepreneur of the Year titles.


Camilla Jansen, who founded this publication and the awards, anticipates the event will be history in the making.


“These are people who are never happy with the status quo. They are re-inventing business and lifting the bar, taking risks as they go and believing so wholeheartedly in what they are doing,” she says.


“To embrace change you need a lot of courage. This takes determination and is not for the faint-hearted.


“It is enriching for us to share the stories of Australia’s leading business founders aged under 40, and to celebrate their achievements while providing a platform for them to connect and grow together is perhaps the greatest reward.”


Jansen says many of the entrepreneurs involved founded their first businesses in their early 20s, and only now that they’re in their 30s are they seeing the fruits of their labour.


“Successful companies aren’t just built overnight, and this next generation of business leaders is helping develop the industries of the future as a lifeblood for the economy,” she says.


Bond University has been a sponsor of the awards since the beginning, and its Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Baden U’Ren has been involved since the early days as well.


“We know that entrepreneurs by nature are networking individuals. They use the power of their networks to advance their businesses, and to advance the businesses of their network as well,” says U’Ren.


“It’s a real community approach to driving business; hyper-competitive no question, but also collaboratively competitive.”


He says longstanding Young Entrepreneur Awards on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane have been testament to the cross-pollination that can occur between entrepreneurs.


“Time and time again there are examples of Gold Coast entrepreneurial businesses that have been in those awards for multiple years starting to connect and network and grow together, and extending that to the entire nation can only benefit everybody,” he says.


“We’re really excited to see what comes out of the competition going national. People always say Melbourne and Sydney are the commercial centres of Australia, but I think what we will see with the entrepreneurial businesses from regional areas is a lot of similarities.


“I’m looking forward to seeing the calibre of the businesses that are being put forward by people under 40 who are having a go at driving the next version of whatever their industry may be. Now is an opportunity for that to be showcased to the entire nation.”


Steve Scanlan, founder of Recon Solutions and Recon Technology, won Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017, an accolade that has led to Shark Tank’s Dr Glen Richards becoming his mentor and buying 50 per cent of his business.


“I’ve had a very good experience. Everyone there’s been wonderful and funnily enough I sold 50 per cent of my business to Glen Richards who I won my mentorship with through the Young Entrepreneur process,” says Scanlan.


As a long-time supporter of the Young Entrepreneur Awards, and a judge of the awards itself, Dr Glen Richards knows firsthand the quality of the nominations that the initiative receives every year.


“This initiative gives nominees an exceptional chance to be seen by potential investors and potential customers,” says Richards.


“This year Steve Baxter, Andrew Banks and I came onboard as investors in ISR Training, when founders and Young Entrepreneur award winners Jack Corbett and Ryan Tuckwood pitched on Shark Tank.”


Social media megastar Tammy Hembrow of Saski Collection took out the Influencer award for the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards in 2018, and will be just one of a wide range of entrepreneurs competing in the national event this week.


“If you want to start a business, don’t wait for more money, don’t wait for the right time, just go for it because nothing’s going to happen until you start,” she says.


The following burgeoning finalists will be in the running on Thursday: 



Holly Boal – Get Kids Cooking

Ben Wong – Academy Xi

Tara Jane – TJ Swim

Julia Maguire and Lelde Smits – The Capital Network

Layton Mills – CannPal Animal Therapeutics

Taryn Williams –

Leigh Rust & Nathan Rust – Safetyline Jalousie, SMR Designs

William Edwards – Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Sharne Patient & Nigel Patient – Head Mark

Elanor Pendleton – Gritty Pretty

Paul Eastwood – Pollen Consulting Group

Rouad Elayoubi – Alliance Project Group

Madeleine Buchner – Little Dreamers Australia

Carlie Victor – Real Active

Sapli Baroudijian & Jacob Markarian – OWEST



Anthony Radaza – RMW Entertainment

Lee Hardham & Rajesh Yeluri – Brauz

Chris Christofi – Reventon & CHC Planning Solutions


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