What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Andrew McKnight, NSW (b. 1982)
Name: Andrew McKnight
Age: 28 (Born: March 1982)
Andrew McKnight describes his current company, MIA International, as the highest point of an entrepreneurial journey that started at age 16, when he built websites for businesses and schools.
MIA International offers an extensive suites of technology and solutions for the mobile-device market. McKnight say MIA is Australia's leader in this niche.
MIA is an evolution from two previous McKnight ventures -- Limeworks, a website content developer and manager, and Shazam, an app that recognises the song playing on a mobile device and tells the user how to share it and buy it. The businesses put mobile technology squarely in McKnight's sights.
MIA has long outgrown some humble beginnings.
"It started in a spare room on the northern beaches of Sydney. We now have more than 60 staff and services internationally," McKnight said. "You can learn a lot from past failures and use them to succeed in the future."
Early on, marketing was not a priority for MIA. McKnight says the company flew under the radar, using aggressive sales pitches to outmaneuver competitors. When MIA finally did "emerge," it was the continent's leader in the mobile tech niche, he says, generating more than $15 million in annual revenue.
MIA has a strong beachhead in Europe, and recently picked up its first U.S. contracts.
McKnight's description of what motivates him as an entrepreneur is a model of maturation.
"What inspired me originally was slaving away in the kitchen at Maccas for $4.97 an hour when I was 14 years and 9 months. I remember thinking, 'There has to be a better way than this.'
"Since then, my motivations have changed. I am driven by a desire to be the best in market, at the cutting edge of technologies. I am extremely competitive and passionate about success."
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To check out the full list of Anthill's 30under30 winners, click here.