Entrepreneur Of The Year

2016 National finalists: Eastern Region

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Eastern Region

EY - Richard Favero, Soprano Design Pty LtdRichard Favero
Soprano Design Pty Ltd
National Finalist, Eastern Region

Read more about Richard Favero
Richard Favero founded Soprano Design Pty Ltd (Soprano Design) in 1994 as a software consulting firm. Today, Soprano Design is an award-winning global independent software vendor of Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS), operating across 10 countries. Soprano Design software intelligently integrates mobile network and enterprise systems to secure the delivery of mobile messages between employees and customers. The software is uniquely offered through reputable and stable MNOs, providing a branded offer to the MNOs’ enterprise and government clients. Thousands of businesses and over 30 of the world’s largest brands use Soprano technology to process over two billion mobile interactions annually.

EY - Mike Ford, SiteMinderMike Ford
National Finalist, Eastern Region

Read more about Mike Ford
As an IT delivery manager with a share in a Sydney hostel, Mike saw a tremendous business opportunity to facilitate two-way information flow between hotels and online booking sites. He launched The Channel Manager in 2006. SiteMinder’s innovative cloud platform allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests globally. SiteMinder’s customers know their rooms are booked, inventory is updated, profit margins are maximised, and they are tending to guests, not to technology. SiteMinder products are used by more than 20,000 properties in over 160 countries. Mike is confident that SiteMinder’s full potential in overseas markets is yet to be achieved.

EY - Robert Kelly, SteadfastRobert Kelly
National Finalist, Eastern Region

Read more about Robert Kelly
Robert Kelly is Managing Director and CEO of Steadfast Group Limited (Steadfast) which he co-founded in 1996 to enable middle market insurance brokers to band together to achieve buying power with insurers to achieve better insurance solutions for their clients. Steadfast, an ASX200 listed company, is today one of the largest general insurance broking networks and underwriting agency groups in Australia and New Zealand. What started as a network of 43 brokers has grown to a network of 343 brokerages operating from over 1,000 offices, 22 underwriting agencies, an innovative technology company and numerous complementary businesses. Steadfast’s 2013 listing is widely regarded as one of the most complex ever undertaken in Australia. Steadfast is a dynamic company pursuing a strategy of organic growth and growth by acquisition. Its market capitalisation has increased by almost 2.5 times since listing in August 2013.

EY - David Vitek and Roby Sharon-Zipser, hipages GroupDavid Vitek and Roby Sharon-Zipser
hipages Group
National Finalist, Eastern Region

Read more about David Vitek and Roby Sharon-Zipser
In 2004, David Vitek and Roby Sharon-Zipser identified an opportunity to digitise the traditional directory method of advertising for trades. hipages.com.au (hipages) is an online home improvement marketplace. The platform connects people, on demand, with trusted and quality trades and service providers, receiving over one million visitors per month. The service is free to use for consumers and 250 staff constantly monitor and engage with tradespeople to ensure they are offered the best in the business. David and Roby foresee strong growth in the domestic market and eventual international growth, using more targeted, demographic-based advertising.

EY - Dr Andrew Walker and Glenn Keys, Aspen MedicalDr Andrew Walker and Glenn Keys
Aspen Medical
National Finalist, Eastern Region

Read more about Dr Andrew Walker and Glenn Keys
Dr Andrew Walker and Glenn Keys founded Canberra-based Aspen Medical in 2003, with the objective of providing high-quality healthcare in challenging and under-resourced environments. Aspen Medical is one of the world’s leading providers of innovative outsourced healthcare, employing more than 2,200 health professionals and support staff across Australasia, Africa, the United States, Europe and the Gulf Region. The company has clients in defence, mining and resources, oil and gas, Government and the humanitarian sector. Glenn and Andrew were awarded EY Entrepreneur of the YearTM 2006 National Services category winners. They were inducted into the EY Entrepreneur Global Hall of Fame in 2014, the first time a Canberra business had achieved this honour.

2016 Social Entrepreneur

In recognition of sustained, outstanding entrepreneurial achievement the 2016 Social Entrepreneur is:

EY - John Bale and Dr Danielle Clout, Soldier OnJohn Bale and Dr Danielle Clout
Soldier On
2016 Eastern Region Social entrepreneurs

Read more about John Bale and Dr Danielle Clout
Founded in 2012 by John Bale and Dr Danielle Clout, Soldier On’s mission is to achieve the best reintegrated generation of serving and ex-serving men and women in Australia’s history. To achieve this, Soldier On supports those who have served by focusing on their physical and mental health, their family, their community and their future.

In its first year, Soldier On assisted 200 veterans in three states, with one centre established in Adelaide. In 2015, they assisted 500 veterans a month and established two new centres in Canberra and Sydney. In 2016 Soldier On expects to help thousands more with centres established in Melbourne and Perth and in the future, to establish even more centres around Australia.