We’re continuing to stagger the release of profiles of this year’s 30under30 winners via Twitter. However, as a follow-up to the wonderful 30under30 event held in Melbourne last Thursday (videos and finalists coming soon), here are the top 30 winners, including a brief bio on each.
Special thanks to Griffith Hack, Primary Sponsors of 30under30.
30under30 winners, 2009 (Top 30)
Winners are identified from youngest to oldest.
Nick Ferguson, SA (b. 1990)
Nick is owner and founder of Sustain Fitness, which he started while in Year 12.
His company provides group fitness classes, fitness advice and resource development to gyms and clients. After suffering a 75 percent cut to income in January this year, a result of client budget cuts, he re-evaluated his product/service offerings as ‘luxury’ and tailored a condensed service into a ‘do-it-yourself’ step-by-step model that removed the need for a trainer and resulted in an extra $5k revenue in its first month.
Marita Cheng, VIC (b. 1989)
Marita is still at university and already owns and runs two businesses: Robogals, a non-profit organisation whose objective is to get more girls into engineering and technology disciplines at university; and Nudge, a phone call or SMS reminder service, sold through pharmacies, for patients taking prescription medications.
She is currently planning a Robogals camp in Australia and the UK, as well as a double-fundraising event in Hyde Park, London and the Ministry of Sound. Nudge Pty Ltd won the undergraduates division of the Melbourne University Entrepreneurs Challenge, and received rave reviews from VCs, angels and mentors in Helsingborg, Sweden at Mini Seedcamp Sweden 2009.
Sophee McPhee, QLD (b. 1987)
Founding Editor of QCG (Queensland Calendar Girls) magazine, Sophee runs the title while completing her Business Advertising/Media & Communications degree at QUT.
The magazine is her second business – she also operates in the edible gift market with her company Cookie Cards. QCG magazine is already proving to be a success. It broke even with its first edition during a recession. To bring it together, Sophee enlisted 25 contributors and generated publicity in eight different media channels.
Ross Hill, VIC (b. 1987)
Ross is a leading social media entrepreneur. He works part-time in social media communications for Deloitte Digital and Deloitte Innovation and has interests in a number of very successful websites and blogs.
His album cover site CoverHunt.com receives 1.4m (100k unique) page views per month. His entrepreneurs’ network, The Hive, has reached over 2,000 members – with successful events held in Melbourne and Brisbane. He also has a series of awards to his name, including the ‘Jacques Nasser Business Startup Award’.
Jack Delosa, NSW (b. 1987)
At the age of 18, Jack bought his first marketing company and soon after acquired two of BRW’s TopTen Fastest Growing companies as clients.
Within 18 months he turned the company from being heavily in debt to profitability. He is now General Manager for Teldar Media (owned by Reuben Buchanan, Wealth Creator). He was promoted to the position within his first month and increased turnover within his first four months. An average week sees him managing joint ventures with organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deacons Law Firm, ThinkBIG magazine and Universal Events.
David Ball, QLD (b. 1987)
Askatradie.com.au is a web resource for customers seeking DIY tips and trusted, qualified tradesmen.
His first startup under his company Zebras International, Askatradie has grown large enough to poach a significant slice of the market from Telstra/Sensis. Among other achievements, David brought in over 4,000 customers in only two weeks and was shortlisted as a finalist for the UQ Business Enterprise competition in 2008.
Clint Salter, NSW (b. 1985)
Clint opened his first dance studio at 16 and in 2007 secured three bank loans to found DanceLife, a social networking site and business directory for dancers and performers.
He also works full-time as an agent for The Harry M. Miller Group. DanceLife returned 37.5 percent of initial investment within its first nine months and was a finalist in the 2009 AIMIA Awards and the POPRepublic Awards 2009.
Phillip Kingston, VIC (b. 1985)
While continuing life as a student, Phillip is the founder and Managing Director of Kingston Development, a high-growth software and web development company providing low-cost solutions to small businesses.
The company has nine staff and generates 20 percent month-on-month revenue growth. He has started more than three companies, with a recent venture providing online mathematics education to Year 11 and 12 students and another of his startups, Flogd, being listed in the BRW Top 100 Web Startups.
Samuel Yeats, VIC (b. 1984)
Samuel owns and manages Ultra Serve, a leading Australian Managed Services provider.
His company provides hosting to banks and multinationals, and at Cebit09 he launched Rejila.com, the first Australian Cloud infrastructure platform. Ultra Serve hosts thousands of domains and has seen 70-85 percent growth in the past few years.
Peter Henderson, ACT (b. 1984)
Peter is a web project manager, specialising in online retail. With his current fourth venture, he worked his worst commercial setback into his greatest ever opportunity.
With a focus on the ‘results-first’ approach, little frustrates him more than the sentiment, ‘That’s just the way it is.’
Campbell King, VIC (b. 1984)
Campbell co-founded his first business, Kegs on Legs, while he was still at university. After winning the 2006 RMIT Business Plan Competition, he and his business partner grew the company to $250,000 turnover before selling it.
He currently works with the entrepreneurial organisation, KordaMentha, specialising in corporate recovery and turnaround. His stable of achievements include winning over $35,000 in prizes and grants, inspiring three other ‘copycat’ businesses, winning seven awards over four years, appearing on TV twice and selling approximately 2,000 kegs of beer!
Glen Riverstone, QLD (b. 1983)
After sustaining a ‘sharps’ injury at work, Glen invented and commercialised the Snapit Ampoule Opener, a medical safety device that has been exported to 13 countries, won three national awards (including fourth place in Anthill’s 2009 Smart 100) and an international honourable mention.
He has also successfully established a nurse equipment retail business that is on target to turn over between $500,000 and $1m in its first year. In addition to this, he has developed a second medical device, a gym fitness IT concept and a real estate domain listing.
Mark Saba, VIC (b. 1983)
Mark’s company, Connect Language Services, provides multicultural communication solutions to major Australian corporations and government organisations.
Starting out as a university student with only $5,000, Mark has built the company to the point where it has experienced 150 percent growth in the past six months. He works with 4,000 international interpreters and translators, has a client retention rate of 95 percent and in 2008 had two M&A offers. He has also successfully opened four other businesses.
Daniel Houden, NSW (b. 1983)
Daniel is a software architect, system designer, team leader, business developer, client manager and concept marketer.
Using Cloud technology and Microsoft software, he has developed Xchangexec, a retail point-of-sale system that can be accessed globally and gained the interest and partnership of Dell, NCR, Cisco and Pacnet. Xchangexec was launched in 2006 and now employs 15 staff across three offices.
The company has over 400 customers and last year won the Dell Small Business Award. When he’s not developing new products, Daniel can be found in meetings with Michael Dell, or speaking at Microsoft conferences.
Dr Sam Prince, ACT (b. 1983)
With a string of awards to his name, including the ‘Best Young Gun in Business 2008’ from My Business magazine, Sam is an entrepreneur with a diverse portfolio of enterprises. In addition to launching Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill, a national chain of Mexican restaurants, he has also founded the Emagine Foundation to provide IT infrastructure to developing countries.
All this while working as a medical doctor at the Canberra John James Hospital. He currently has 34 employees and generates a combined turnover of more than $1m.
Adrian Bold, TAS (b. 1982)
Owner and founder of digital, visual communications solutions provider Bold Impressions, Adrian has been listed as one of the top 12 entrepreneurs in the world by the University of St Louis, Chicago.
He is also the only Australian to have been invited to give a keynote speech to Oxford University’s MBA program. From $50 in his pocket, he has grown Bold Impressions as a profitable company from day one, enjoyed exponential revenue almost each year and serves a growing list of start-up, corporate & government clients across Australia & NZ. Adrian has recently established another company to vertically integrate/diversify his current solution offerings.
Skye Blackburn, NSW (b. 1983)
Skye has developed her love of entomology into a business breeding butterflies for weddings and special events. As the winter months are too cold for butterflies, she expanded her business to provide school presentations all about insects and sells educational insect life-cycle kits. In conjunction with her partner, she also sells salt water to aquariums.
In 2008, she won ‘Best New Product’ in the Suncorp Business Awards, sold more than 1,000 butterflies and has increased her presentation bookings to 100.
Leon Hayes, QLD (b. 1981)
Leon began his web startup, Switchselect.com, in the energy market and developed Australia’s first free comparison website, providing a one-stop-shop for the retail sector. His company has since been endorsed by three industry bodies and awarded ‘Best Small Business Website’ by Netguide, as well as Leon himself being listed in Anthill’s Smart 100.
Switchselect.com now boasts more than 10 clients. Leon also co-founded Shopfitcentral.com and is currently launching an entrepreneur/investor matching service.
Matthew Bourke, VIC (b. 1981)
Matthew is a Director of Bourke Accounting, a fast-growing accounting and financial services firm. He uses this company as a base from which to leverage his other diverse business ventures in offshoring, sustainable agriculture, IT and new media.
He is currently working on outsourcing business to India. His firm has increased revenue from $550k in revenue in 2006 to $2.7m in 2009, while his outsourcing venture has secured $10m worth of accounting work since its launch in March this year.
Zoe Warne, VIC (b. 1981)
A previous winner of the Anthill 30Under30 accolade (2008), Zoe is founder and director of August, an integrated marketing and communications agency. She has doubled the number of staff in the past 12 months and grown the business at a steady 200 percent.
Starting out with only a small list of predominantly SME clients, she has developed August’s client portfolio to include high profile companies such as Fosters Group, Snowgum, La Trobe University and Origin Energy.
Vanessa Cullen, NSW (b. 1981)
Vanessa is owner and principal Interior and Graphic Designer of Forward Thinking Design, and provides interior and graphic design solutions for restaurants, retail, commercial and public applications.
She has won two business awards within the last year and continued to increase her company’s gross turnover and profit. She has also mentored eight professional women under the age of 30 in the past three years and supported more than 10 not-for-profit entities with reduced rate/pro bono design services.
Karly Chan, VIC (b. 1981)
Karly is co-owner and co-founder of Cursions, an online advertising resource for teachers seeking experiences for students, such as excursions, accommodation facilities or even classroom facilities.
The company’s website received an impressive 2.5m hits within its first year and currently has a clientele (advertiser) base of 600 service providers. Now operating in its third year, Cursions caters to 3,300,000 students and 10,000 schools. Karly is now in the process of replicating this model across the globe.
Clint Walker, SA (b. 1980)
Clint was instrumental in building, running and selling the enormously successful Rising Sun Research (RSR), which was named the Coolest of the Cool at Anthill’s 2007 Cool Company Awards.
He is now working on his second startup company, Run with Robots. During his time as CEO of RSR he helped the company achieve over 100 percent annual revenue growth, attract high profile Hollywood clients (Disney, CNN and Pixar) and earn numerous awards.
Since selling RSR to a US corporation last year, he managed to raise sufficient capital for his new venture during the leanest ‘post-crash’ four months of 2008.
Robert Castaneda, NSW (b. 1979)
Since starting CustomWare – a business integration and collaboration service – while still studying in 2001, Robert has grown his company into an international firm with over 250 clients in more than 20 countries.
He is currently based in the USA setting up the US office. In the past year, the company grew 49.9 percent, had a 30 percent revenue increase and a 10 percent reduction in overheads. He is also a member of eonetwork.org and runs the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards for NSW and ACT.
Yaro Starak, QLD (b. 1979)
Yaro is one of just a handful of people who make good money from professional blogging. His blog, entrepreneurs-journey.com, and online teaching earn him more than $500,000 annually, with a 70 percent profit margin. His business has doubled each year for the last three years and he currently has 70,000 subscribers and customers.
In his lifelong pursuit to avoid the ‘9 to 5’, Yaro’s previous entrepreneurial endeavours have included an English school, proof reading business, trading card website and other blogs.
Jeremy Levitt, NSW (b. 1979)
Both businesses are privately owned and Jeremy has negotiated partnerships with high-level alliances: Podproperty with CBA and Mortgage Choice and Serviceseeking.com.au with NRMA, eBay and Truelocal.
Kane Black, QLD (b. 1979)
The company, which was born out of a failed construction startup venture, is now one of the UAE’s leading crane rental firms, with a fleet of 17 cranes, and revenues of $3.8m in 2008. Kane is also leading an expansion into the Indian market with more than 30 cranes.
Kirsten Black, NSW (b. 1979)
Kirsten started her entrepreneurial career developing her innovative Halo Headphones, which feature specially designed high fidelity speakers that can be inserted into a comfortable headband.
They can be used anywhere, whether you are walking, running or training at the gym. After turning down an initial $200k offer for a 50 percent share in her product, Kirsten managed to attract enough capital for the production of 5,000 units and has subsequently sold 2,000 of them, generating $75,000 of revenue in five months. Halo is now sold in 34 stores throughout Australia.
Fleur Madden-Topley, QLD (b. 1980)
Fleur launched Red PR when she was only 23 and has developed the agency into an industry leader, with a portfolio of 65 clients, 11 staff and an array of business award nominations and wins. Red PR is the only Australian PR agency to become a Public Relations Organisation International (PROI) partner.
Fleur’s company has seen 200 percent growth for 2007-2008 and she also regularly speaks at industry conferences, such as the Australian Marketing Institute, Westpac Women in Business and Network Marketers events.
Tenille Bentley, WA (b. 1980)
Tenille is the founder of The Global Good Foundation (GGF), an internationally recognised charity for women and children affected by domestic violence. The charity provides support and opportunities through education centres and entrepreneur training facilities.
It has 50 participants and 2,000 supporters. Tenille runs and manages the GGF in addition to working full time at Liberty Resources. She has built and run three businesses, the first of which turned over $400k in its first six months.
30under30, 2009 (The Finalists)
These are the 30 young entrepreneurs who didn’t quite make it into the Top 30 but impressed our judges immensely with their chutzpah, business savvy, ability to roll with the punches and commercial or personal achievements.
Winners are identified from youngest to oldest.
Griffith Hack is a leading Australian firm of Patent and Trade Mark attorneys and Intellectual Property lawyers with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, and offers integrated intellectual property solutions, including:
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