Top honours for Victorian entrepreneurs at EY awards night

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Friday 6 September 2013 — The best of Victoria and Tasmania’s entrepreneurial talent was in the spotlight at last night’s 2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Southern Region awards ceremony in Melbourne, with eight outstanding local entrepreneurs taking home the top honours.

The winners of the 2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Southern Region awards, by category, were:

  • Emerging – Jason Wyatt and Sam Salter, BikeExchange
  • Industry – Shane Young, PETstock
  • Services – Jason Smith, Back in Motion Health Group
  • Technology – Stuart Elliott, Planet Innovation Pty Ltd

Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award categories were:

  • Listed award – Andrew Bassat, SEEK
  • Social entrepreneur – Allan Turner, Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Gerry Ryan OAM, Jayco, GreenEdge

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader for Oceania, Bryan Zekulich congratulated the winners, saying they represented the high quality and diversity of the region’s entrepreneurial talent.

“Entrepreneurs believe in a better way of doing things. They are inspirational, passionate, calculated risk takers who find opportunities where others only see obstacles,” Zekulich said.

“Each of our EY Entrepreneur Of The Year nominees makes a significant contribution to our economy and business communities by creating new jobs, fuelling growth and driving productivity.

“On behalf of EY, I congratulate all our 2013 Southern Region award winners and nominees and commend them for their innovation, determination and entrepreneurial spirit,” Zekulich said.

Bernard Treacy, Commonwealth Bank General Manager of Corporate Financial Services Victoria and Tasmania said, "It's important that Australia's entrepreneurs are given support to grow and prosper and these awards are a positive way to recognise creativity and success. The calibre of entrepreneurs in the Southern Region award program this year is inspiring. The winners should be congratulated for being able to stand out amongst this talented field. We wish them every success in the national judging."

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award and the only truly global program of its kind, with entrepreneurs participating in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Over 1,200 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.

The 2013 Southern Region winners, Listed award recipient and Social entrepreneur will travel to Sydney in November to contend for the title of 2013 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at the national awards.

The overall Australian winner will then go on to compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next year.

For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program go to www.eoy.ey.com.au.

2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Southern Region

Category: Emerging
Jason Wyatt and Sam Salter – BikeExchange

Childhood friends Jason Wyatt and Sam Salter launched their online marketplace, BikeExchange.com.au (Bike Exchange), in 2007. From an initial investment of $16,000 each, the business has experienced rapid growth. Today, BikeExchange.com.au is Australia’s number one website for finding, buying and selling bikes, bikes parts and accessories. Since launching BikeExchange, Jason and Sam have extended their business model to develop a network of online niche marketplaces. The Exchange Group stable also includes TiniTrader.com.au (baby and children’s products and services) and RenoExchange.com.au (building and renovation products and services). Jason and Sam are now taking the business overseas, with plans underway to launch BikeExchange in New Zealand later this year.
What the judges said: Jason Wyatt and Sam Salter are passionate young entrepreneurs whose successful partnership has allowed them to develop a profitable and robust business. Jason and Sam have identified an attractive market niche and carved out a dominant position, with BikeExchange currently holding around 70% market share.

Category: Industry
Shane Young – PETstock

Shane Young wrote his business plan for PETstock in the sand at Coolangatta Beach and is pleased to have seen it become reality. With over 1,000 team members and 82 corporate and franchised stores around Australia, PETstock provides products and services for pet owners, with 60% of revenue coming from dog owners. It offers pet products, grooming, veterinary services, do-it-yourself dog wash and tag engraving. Over the next two years, Shane plans to continue rolling out big stores as well as a new small format store concept called “by PETstock”. This will be suitable for trade in Australia and off-shore.
What the judges said: Shane Young demonstrates true entrepreneurial spirit and understands the importance of embedding innovation into his business. In PETstock, Shane has created both a strong brand and a business that has shown an impressive growth history over two decades.

Category: Services
Jason Smith – Back in Motion Health Group

Since 2003, Jason Smith has been refining and testing his franchise physiotherapy model, and has grown from being a sole practitioner to having 350 staff and 40 franchises across more than 60 locations. Back in Motion franchises are progressive physiotherapy practices which provide services for the overall well-being of clients including physiotherapy, massage, Pilates and personal training. The scale of the business enables Jason to invest in the latest clinical and technological advances for his franchisees including Gait scan Analysis and Whole Body Vibration Therapy. It also provides leadership and team development for health practitioners and support staff.
What the judges said: Jason Smith is an inspirational entrepreneur, focused on keeping people well and spreading awareness of the benefits of preventative physiotherapy. With the Back in Motion Health Group, Jason challenged industry paradigms to create a strong franchise business.

Category: Technology
Stuart Elliott – Planet Innovation Pty Ltd

Since founding Planet Innovation Pty Ltd (Planet Innovation) with three others in 2009, Stuart Elliott has challenged the way technology services businesses think about innovation. Planet Innovation helps customers take a product idea from conception to commercialisation and sale. It also has an internal product team which commercialises Planet Innovation’s own products, which include biomedical, cleantech or high-tech devices to help make the world a better place. Today, the business has 80 staff with offices in Kew, Victoria, and Chicago in the United States. Long-term, Stuart plans to create a business seen as Australia’s premier technology development and commercialisation engine.
What the judges said: With abundant entrepreneurial spirit, Stuart Elliott has created an innovative business while maintaining a strong focus on core values. Planet Innovation has achieved rapid financial growth, with Stuart establishing sales across Australia and within the United States.

2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive award recipients, Southern Region

Category: Listed award
Andrew Bassat – SEEK

Andrew co-founded and leads SEEK Limited (SEEK), now the largest global online employment marketplace by revenue, earnings and market capitalisation. Andrew has led the strategy and growth of the business since inception. Alongside market leaders in Australia and NZ, SEEK now owns the number one or number two online marketplaces (by job seeker visits) across Asia (including China), Brazil and Mexico. These businesses provide SEEK with exposure to 2.2 billion people, displaying one million job ads and attracting around 275 million visits in any given month. SEEK also owns and operates several leading education businesses. Collectively they enrol 50,000 students and provide education to 20,000 students per annum.

Category: Social entrepreneur
Allan Turner – Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation

Allan Turner established Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation in 2004 to promote organ and tissue donation and transplant awareness. Since then, Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation has contributed to a 55% increase in the number of donors recorded in Australia. The Foundation sells Zaidee’s Rainbow Shoelaces and other merchandise to supplement income. The Foundation also raises funds through gala balls, partnership and sponsorships, including high-profile sport events. Last year, Allan launched Zaidee’s National Schools Educational Program to promote awareness in schools. Long-term, Allan would like to see Australia move up into the top 15 countries for organ donation. It currently sits at number 22.

Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship
Gerry Ryan OAM – Jayco, GreenEdge

The Champion of Entrepreneurship award is a lifetime achievement award that recognises individuals who: have a long-term record of outstanding entrepreneurial achievement; have driven the growth of an Australian company, or companies, over a sustained period of time; and have made a significant contribution to their community.
Gerry Ryan founded Jayco Australia Ltd in 1975. In his nearly four decades at the helm of Jayco, Gerry has seen it grow into the largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles in the southern hemisphere. Gerry is Chairman and major shareholder of the Global Creatures Company, producer of the internationally-acclaimed show Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, How to Train Your Dragon, King Kong and Strictly Ballroom to premier in April 2014. Gerry and the Jayco Corporation are long-time supporters of community initiatives and programs, and prominent sponsors of various sports including cycling, basketball and multiple football codes. His Australian pro cycling team GreenEDGE won four yellow jerseys and two stage wins at the 2013 Tour de France. Gerry was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1999 for his significant and extensive contribution to Australia’s manufacturing, leisure and tourism industries and the Australian community.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognising them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries.

The Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program, launched in 2001, is conducted in five regions culminating in the national awards. The program honours entrepreneurs whose ingenuity and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures. Entrepreneur Of The Year’s primary objective is to identify, acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contribution entrepreneurs make to the Australian business community and economy.

The Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year program now has alumni of over 1,200 entrepreneurs who have participated in the program, including alumni judges, and 15,000 people who have attended Entrepreneur Of The Year events and award ceremonies.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young Australia, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.

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Contact details:

Rebecca Aley
Ernst & Young Australia
Tel: +61 2 9276 9305 or 0418 835 849