Eighteen of New Zealand’s most successful entrepreneurs have been named as finalists in the country’s leading business award, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.
The 18, from a diverse range of Kiwi businesses and geographical locations, are scheduled to meet the judging panel next month, and five category winners will be announced on Friday 23 August.
These five will face the judges again in October, with the winner – who will represent New Zealand in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year contest in Monaco – being named at a gala dinner in Auckland on October 17
The finalists are:
- Sean Armstrong (Loaf Handcraft Breads)
- Dr Hartley Atkinson (AFT Pharmaceuticals)
- Lester Binns (MyTax.co.nz)
- Jennifer Boggiss (Heilala Vanilla)
- Mark Bryan (VetSouth)
- Rod Drury (Xero)
- Georgie Falloon (Willow Shoes)
- John Fiso (New Zealand Institute of Sport)
- Steve Gianoutsos (Mojo Coffee)
- Murray Holdaway (Vista Entertainment Solutions)
- Guy Horrocks (Carnival Labs)
- Ian Kuperus (Tax Management New Zealand)
- Sam Minnée (SilverStripe)
- Dr John Penno (Synlait Milk)
- Phil Pietersen (ClearPoint)
- John Plato (Plato Design Agency)
- Cecilia Robinson (My Food Bag/Au Pair Link)
- Ryan Sanders (Haka Tourism Group)
Awards director Jon Hooper says this year’s finalists represent a diverse section of New Zealand industries, from the primary sector, pharmaceuticals, and service industries through to some well-know high-tech success stories.
“Despite the diverse industries they operate in, nearly all have achieved double-digit growth during the past four years, proving that entrepreneurs have a natural ability to identify and monetise opportunities in the market,” he says.
“Equally important in the current market is the growth of employee numbers that each of this year’s finalists has achieved. This makes it vital that the contribution entrepreneurs make to our nation’s economic and financial viability is acknowledged by giving them a seat at the table with policy makers.”
The finalist will compete for the top slot in one of five categories: products; services; technology and emerging industries; young and master.