THE AWARDS NIGHT
On Thursday April 16, the prestigeous RACV City Club played host to 200 people, who gathered together to celebrate the stunning variety of entrepreneurial talent in Australia.
Hundreds of uniquely innovative startups entered the 2015 StartupSmart Awards, proudly sponsored by DFK Australia New Zealand. With 26 finalists selected across eight individual categories – as well as our five newly launched Best State Startup categories – judges had the difficult task of determining winners for 2015.
The awards, organised by StartupSmart.com.au, Australia’s leading news and advice resource for start-ups, recognise the most innovative and fastest-growing new businesses in Australia.
Categories awarded in 2015 included Best Startup Idea, Best New Startup, Best Regional Startup, Best Social Entrepreneur, Best Disruptor, Startup Hero, Fastest Growing Startup, and Best Startup.
Below, you can read more about our category award winners.
Proudly brought to you by StartupSmart and DFK ANZ.
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The Award Winners
Best New Start-up
Best State start-up
Australia is full of innovative, interesting and creative start-ups. To celebrate this and to ensure that all start-ups get the recognition they deserve, we are introducing state based categories for the first time.
Enter based on your start-up’s location
Chairman of DFK ANZ
“Our independent firms are all SMEs too, so we understand what’s required to successfully operate and grow a business in this space. The enthusiasm, commitment and vision of the business owners involved in the awards last year was inspiring and we’re looking forward to providing support to this year’s entrants and winners too.”
We’ve gathered some of the biggest movers and shakers in the startup sphere to participate in our first ever panel discussion. Moderated by StartupSmart’s editor-at-large Bronwen Clune, the panel will examine the ‘state of the Australian startup ecosystem.’
Andre launched online wine site Vinomofo with brother in law Justin in 2011, which has grown to one of Australia’s Startup success stories, growing in 3 years from 2 people in a garage in Adelaide to a team of over 50, with 300,000 members and over $50 million in revenue.
AirTree is a $60m VC Fund that launched in 2014. Since launching, AirTree has met with approx. 250 startups and made five investments. Paul has a host of experience working with and building startups as an investor, board member and founder. Paul has also established a small but successful retail operation and co-founded an education marketplace.
Elaine is the Investment Director at Blue Sky Venture Capital and is responsible for the management of the Blue Sky venture capital fund and portfolio for Blue Sky. Elaine has worked as a venture capitalist and management consultant to the venture and industry across Australia and the United States.
Adrian van Dam
With over 14 years’ experience in commerce and public practice, Adrian works with both start-up and well established businesses in his role as Partner at DFK Gooding Partners, assisting with capital raising, business advisory, deal structuring, valuations and information memorandums for potential sale of businesses.
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and 3 time 30-under-30 winner Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin is the founder and CEO of Venture Technology BlueChilli. With a mandate to empower entrepreneurs, BlueChilli has invested in 39 startup businesses, providing technology solutions and support to entrepreneurs who have identified a commercial need but don’t know how to realise it technically.
Chairman at DFK ANZ
Stephen is a Chartered Accountant and has extensive experience advising the SME sector across a broad range of topics. As a Partner of the Perth based DFK member firm, Gooding Partners, Stephen has assisted many clients to grow from start ups through to mature, profitable businesses.
Chief Executive Officer, Scale Investors Ltd
Laura is the inaugural CEO of Scale, a female focused angel network with 60 investors. She has 15 years experience in corporate finance, microfinance and venture capital across three continents.
Editor at Large, StartupSmart
Bronwen Clune is the editor-at-large at StartupSmart. She has extensive experience in startups having run her own, worked at Australia’s leading startup incubator and as digital director at a local VC fund.
Co-founder, Blackbird Ventures
Rick is a co-founder of Blackbird Ventures, a new venture capital firm in Australia. Blackbird invests in Internet and software companies forming in Australia. It has been built around a group of Australia’s most successful tech founders, combined with close ties to Silicon Valley.