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, 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 Startup

Temple & Webster

Best New Start-up

Living Room of Satoshi

Best Startup Idea


Sponsored by BSchool

Best Disruptor

Safe Work Laboratories

Sponsored by MEHR Global

Best Social Change Entrepreneur


Fastest Growing Startup


Best Regional Startup


Startup Hero

Enabled Employment

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


Living Room of Satoshi

ODD Games Pty Ltd



eKarma Ventures Pty Ltd

Stephen Bushell

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 Eikmeier

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.

Paul Bennetts

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 Stead

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.

Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin

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.


Stephen Bushell

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.

Laura McKenzie

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.

Bronwen Clune

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.

Rick Baker

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.

Sponsor Messages

DFK Australia New Zealand (DFK ANZ) is an association of 14 independent accounting and business advisory firms. Our members understand what it takes to start and grow a business because they built their own businesses from the bottom up.

We believe you can take any leap and face any challenge with the right support and connections.

We’ve developed a strong reputation for providing not only a complete range of accounting, taxation, audit and assurance, business advisory and consultancy services, but also for our ability to connect our clients with other key specialists to facilitate business growth. Our national and international alliances are both broad and deep, opening doors to venture capital, R&D funding and more.

Working with us means you receive the world-class accounting solutions you’d expect of the big firms, with the close and personalised service you’d expect of smaller organisations.

BSchool is a 12-month online course created to provide small business owners with all the skills they need to reach their potential & launch a successful scalable business. With guidance and networking opportunities from eight of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs, your success now has a plan B. Click here to find out how we are helping over 500 Australian business owners & leaders.

Course Code: BSB50207 a part of RTO20814

Mehr Global Pty Ltd has become one of Australia’s best companies for providing outstanding Web Development, IT Services, Graphic/Multimedia Design, Mobile App Development, Custom Software Programming, Domain and Hosting services. Mehr Global offers tools and services for businesses who are looking for high function, graphically enticing and superior in performance.

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