Home don't insert thumbnail 2011 Anthill 30under30 winners revealed! (kinda)

2011 Anthill 30under30 winners revealed! (kinda)


It’s often said that there has never been a better time to be a young entrepreneur in Australia.

We have the economic stability, a soaring Australian dollar, access to technologies undreamt of only a decade ago, plus a growing army of baby-boomer mentors who would like nothing more than to see the next generation of Australian business builders succeed locally and beyond the borders of our small but increasingly outward-looking nation.

And, it seems, that young entrepreneurial Australians have also figured this out… en masse.

While the claim is made every year, Anthill’s 2011 30under30 proved to be our biggest, attracting hundreds of nominations and applications from entrepreneurs right across Australia.

For our judges, it also proved to be our toughest.

That’s why, this year, in addition to our top 30, we’ll be putting the spotlight on a small army of Honourable Mentions and young guns to keep an eye on.

And we intend to stretch out the ant-icipation.

Rather than release every winner in one massive hit, we’ve decided to stagger the names of this prestigious set, three to six per day, for the next… well… until we’re done.

We’ll be starting from youngest to oldest, while also turning our attention to those who didn’t make the top 30 but impressed our socks off nonetheless.

And if you didn’t make it into the top 30, don’t dismay.

As fellow entrepreneurs, we encourage you to simply extend your middle finger, point it purposefully at your computer monitor and exclaim loudly, “F*#k you, Anthill. What the hell do you know? You are wrong and I’m going to show you.”

And, then, we’ll see you next year.

The Top 30 Revealed! (kinda)

The Top 30 are listed by age.

Brandon Cowan 1994 NSW M Crazy Dog Apps
Zoe Condliffe 1990 VIC F Mayibuye
Mick Spencer 1990 ACT M OnTheGo
Chanel Costabir 1987 VIC F The Lingerie Boutique
Cameron Rambert 1987 VIC M Geniaus
David Zanker 1987 SA M Off the Chain Marketing
Rowan Kunz 1987 NSW M Art of Smart Education
Jack Delosa 1987 NSW M The Entourage
Madeline Veenstra 1986 QLD F Wikifashion
Michael Woods 1986 VIC M Media Saints
Adam Pope 1986 VIC M Fabulous Catering
Nicole McIver 1985 QLD F Wholesale Baby
Joshua Kami 1985 VIC M Ready Steady Print
Peter Salakas 1985 NSW M The Party People
Phillip Kingston 1985 VIC M Kingston Development
Chantelle Baxter 1984 VIC F Do It in a Dress
Nicole Kersh 1984 NSW F 4Cabling
Andrew Branson 1984 VIC M IF Telecom
Michael Cohen 1984 VIC M Executive Security Solutions (ESS)
Owen Kerr 1984 VIC M Pepperstone
Ben Johnston 1983 QLD M Josephmark.com.au.
Don McKenzie 1983 QLD M Stream Group
Dean Ramler 1982 VIC M Milan Direct
Jan Vydra 1982 VIC M Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs
Sergei Sergienko 1982 NSW M Edway Training
Ruslan Kogan 1982 VIC M Kogan, Milan Direct
Seb Eckersley-Maslin 1982 NSW M Blue Chilli
Laurence Escalante 1981 WA M Virtual Gaming Worlds
Ahmed Haider/Tia Saunders 1986




Sheng Yeo
Alex Sharp
NSW M Orion Virtualisation Solutions
Jonathon Green
Elliot Green

Why do some columns have two? Well, many an outstanding business has more than one ‘driver’ behind the wheel. This year’s competition saw a few such cases of young entrepreneurs on the same team. Rather than single out one talent, we felt a double profile — i.e. Dual Drivers — would be a more appropriate way to highlight their combined and singular entrepreneurial talents. (It also helped us squeeze more deserving entrepreneurs into the list!)


Honourable Mentions

They may have missed the Top 30 by a wink but we couldn’t let this posse of young, uber-achievers slip by without giving them the good ol’ Anthillian stamp of endorsement. Congratulations to this year’s runners up, our Honourable Mentions!

Marita Cheng 1989 VIC F Robogals
James Spittal 1989 VIC M Merspi
Jamie Xuereb 1988 VIC M Mediapoint
Kavita Singh 1987 QLD F IG’ZIST
Sean Qian 1987 VIC M Crisp Entertainment
Carl Taylor 1986 NSW M Bold Solutions
Ehon Chan 1989 VIC M Soften the Fck Up
Marcus Lim 1985 NSW M Pick A Quote
Kate Stewart 1984 VIC F Bright Young Things
Ben Carroll 1984 NSW M Velflex
James Griffin 1984 NSW M SR7 Social Media Intelligence
Brent Quill 1984 VIC M Training for Work
Kym Huynh 1984 VIC M WeTeachMe
Steve McLeod 1984 VIC M Fire and Safety Australia
Lachlan Blackhall 1984 ACT M 17Dynamics
Dave Cupples 1983 NSW M Apeshop
James Greig 1983 QLD M Bloomtools
Matt Leeburn 1983 VIC M Interaction Dynamics
Hugh Whalan 1983 ACT M Impact Energies
Michael Baker 1983 NSW M GNC LiveWell
Skye Blackburn 1983 NSW F Butterfly Skye’s Bug Shop
Leigh Williams 1982 VIC M eStore Logistics
Marcela Christy 1982 QLD F One Stylish Bride
Melissa Loughnan 1982 VIC F Utopian Slumps
Jordan Birchall 1982 QLD M Tuckeria Fresh Mexican
Chris Baxter 1981 NSW M Baxter IP
Onur Kece 1981 NSW M Found Organic Juices

Anthill ‘Up-and-Comers’, 2011

Many applications in this year’s batch genuinely knocked our socks off — for the sheer ingenuity of the business behind the entrepreneur or the entrepreneurs themselves. However, some of their ventures were still nascent, or the entrepreneur was making significant progress but hadn’t quite yet ‘hit the big time’ relative to his or her age bracket.

We’re calling this set our Anthill ‘Up-and-Comers’. While they genuinely impressed us this year (enough to make us want to share their achievements), we suspect their best is yet to come. (Yes, folks. You tapped our Anthill antennae and we’ll be watching your progress with interest.) Congratilations to this year’s Up-and-Comers!

David Eden 1993 VIC M Quodel
Eric Chau 1988 NSW M Echaudesign
Nikias Leigh 1988 VIC M Boutique Bride
Owen McCrink 1988 VIC M ReGadget
Marianne Sea 1987 NSW F Young Republic
Erick Armando 1987 VIC M DealsGuide
Mike Boyd 1987 QLD M Cupstart
Ryan Wardell 1987 NSW M Project PowerUp
Monique Jeremiah 1986 QLD F Exceptional Group
David O’Donoghue 1986 SA M ODD Games
Renee Wade 1985 VIC F The Feminine Woman
Alistair McKendrick 1985 VIC M Exhibit Furniture
Ben Hall 1985 QLD M Love Law
Mathew Beeche 1985 NSW M Shoe String Launch
Flic Manning 1984 VIC F Evixa dance studios
Peter Bradd 1984 NSW M Scribble Pics
Finn Kelly 1984 VIC M Wealth Enhancers
Owen Bowling 1984 QLD M CrankIt
Ei Sabai Nyo 1983 NSW F Online Shopping USA
Josh Rimmington 1983 QLD M BuyAShed.com
Brodie McCulloch 1983 WA M Social innovation in Western Australia
Chad Yesilova 1983 VIC M Innovative Beverage Co.
Michael Mironowicz 1983 NSW M The Storehouse

How were these young guns picked?

The 30under30 awards begins with nominations, followed by a process of self-application. Why? Because we believe that one of the most important traits any entrepreneur should have is the ability to win friends and influence people. The self-application process gave our judges a direct line to the personality of each applicant entrepreneur.

Commercial success is not everything…

The 30under30 program rewards traits beyond pure successful venture creation. While some applicants wowed us with their, sometimes instant, commercial successes, others demonstrated their ability to learn from the school of ‘hard-knocks’, embrace unexpected opportunities, harness the skills of others and build buzz beyond their sometimes meagre budgets. All these factors, were considered ‘in the mix’.

Benchmarking success by age…

We’re often asked, ‘How do you measure the achievements and entrepreneurial traits of a 19 year-old against those of a 29 year-old?’ The simple answer? We don’t. Rather, during the judging process, the successes, the skills, the attributes of each applicant are measured against other entrepreneurs their age. So, if you’re a 28 year-old entrepreneur wondering why someone else made the cut while you didn’t, perhaps stop comparing yourself to the 18 year-old and look to your age bracket. As the older you get, the higher the bar.

“Why didn’t I get a spot!?”

The entrepreneurial stereotype is rarely a wall-flower. In other words, each year, we receive a number of enquiries (polite and otherwise) from applicants who didn’t make the list seeking feedback. These enquiries usually begin with, “How can Ellie Entrepreneur be on the list when I am not? I’ve achieved so much more!”

If this sounds like you, please read the section above (again) and then check the age. Often, your ‘Ellie Entrepreneur’ will be far younger than you. You have been judged against your age bracket.

If this doesn’t apply (or ‘assuage your consternation’), perhaps revisit your application. Have you endured multiple hardships and obstacles? This is another factor that our judges consider. Few people find success the first time around, and we accord special attention to those who have been knocked down and found the resilience to get back up.

Lastly, did your application embody the brash tone of self-entitlement that your desire for feedback has also elicited? We love tall-poppies and we love ‘unreasonable’ people. You make progress happen. But we also appreciate that successful entrepreneurs know how to ‘win friends and influence people’. A bullish personality without balance will not succeed in the longer term.

Still not satisfied?

Finally, let us just say, we too have entered Anthill into awards and seen companies that we have thought less deserving take home the coveted gong.  And we know the amount of time and effort that you put into your application.

For that, we sincerely thank you.

We appreciate your passion and we hope that you don’t let our views make you feel discouraged. Great entrepreneurs don’t get put off by hurdles or rejections.

As fellow entrepreneurs, we encourage you to simply extend your middle finger, point it purposefully at your computer monitor and exclaim loudly, “F*#k you, Anthill. What the hell do you know? You are wrong and I’m going to show you.”

And, then, we’ll see you next year.

Jamie Xuereb 1986 VIC M Mediapoint