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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.
Don McKenzie, QLD (b. 1983)
Name: Don McKenzie
Age: 27 (Born: February 1983)
Extensive experience in construction and the insurance industry, along with a keen entrepreneurial spirit, has served Don McKenzie well. In 2007, he and some partners launched Stream Group, an online-based company that handles multiple aspects of insurance claims.
Stream Group is one of the biggest employers on this year’s 30under30 list, with a staff of about 110. McKenzie estimates the company will manage 25,000 home insurance claims this year, up from 2,000 in 2008, and total revenue is likely to exceed $80 million. “We video every claim and provide an independent scope of work for providers to come into our platform and tender online, generally within 24 hours,” he says.
McKenzie says his company’s personality is “like a duck: Calm on top but paddling like hell underneath.”
Before Stream Group, McKenzie ran the insurance-based construction business noted above. In 2004, he founded Insurtech, which managed IT development and maintenance for McKenzie’s various businesses, which included currency trading.
Stream Group earned a cover story for McKenzie in the trade magazine Insurance & Risk Professional. It nabbed an Innovation of the Year award from the New Zealand Industry of Insurance and Finance.
McKenzie says the company doesn’t have a large marketing budget. “We have had to leverage off the value that our systems provide, and get the industry to do our marketing for us.”
As for the future, “we are talking to numerous global players who want to buy us,” McKenzie says. “However, it’s too early to exit yet. We are still out in front, and plan to keep it that way.”
Don McKenzie’s words to live by:
“Bite off more than you can chew, and chew like hell!”
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.
Image courtesy of Insurance & Risk Professional