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Sean Richards, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Honourable Mention


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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year saw more outstanding entries than ever before. So we thought we would highlight some of the bright and innovative nominees who just missed Top 30 by a wink. Behold, our 2011 30under30 Honourable Mentions! More.

Sean Richards, VIC (b. 1982)

Name: Sean Richards
Age: 29 (Born: 1982)
Gender: Male
State: VIC

Even at age 29, Sean Richards is an old hand at computers. His family got got its first when he was only four. “The Internet was a my teenage playground,” he says.

Fast-forward a couple of decades. Richards is doing his own web development business and collaborating with a couple of friends and their entrepreneurial, online endeavours. He decides it’s time to put everyone under one roof, so he convinces James Leckie and Matthew Sambell to join him as directors of a single, multiservice digital agency.

The result is Alaress, founded in 2009 and dedicated to providing web design and services in e-commerce, digital strategy, intergrated marketing and project managment. Alaress also offers an online collaboration and learning system for education called Schoolbox, and has been appointed by the Victorian government to provide e-services.

After start with just the three founders, Alaress today has 13 staffers. It has posted 200% revenue growth year on year, is debt-free and supports a diverse client base of more than 200.

“Alaress is hot on the trail of the top digital agencies,” Richards says, “and they better watch out.”

Richards says Alaress keeps people posted with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; their actions and results seem to speak loudly enough. “Our industry is terribly diluted; even a 5-year-old can build a website. We’ve created so much buzz there has been no need yet to advertise,” he says.

“We created a digital niche delivering high quality solutions at reasonable prices and our staff and directors write educational articles for our blog. We’re on our way to going viral.”

Securing the contract with the Victorian government this summer was a big step forward. Alaress is one of 188 companies on the government’s eService Panel. The agreement runs through 2014. “This is a big step forward for Alaress and a great win for our dedicated team,” Richards said at the time.

Richards says he’s driven both by a desire to succeed and a fear of not achieving all to which he aspires. It’s a powerful concoction. “Through business I can create power to make a real difference to the world,” he says. “Providing our staff stable careers and futures gives me a taste of this and I am determined to make change on a global level.”

Anthill asks: NAME, what’s your superpower?

“I inspire possibilities and vision in people, possess the gift of the gab, have a fierce passion and can sometimes be extremely intense. I see things for what they really are and seek to know what I don’t know. I think big and play hard! This package makes me a great leader.”


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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.