Entrepreneur Of The Year

2017 National finalists: Central Region

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Central Region

EY - Leko and Milenko NovakovicLeko and Milenko Novakovic
Novatech Creative Event Technology
National finalist

Read more about Leko and Milenko Novakovic

Brothers Leko and Milenko Novakovic are leading providers of entertainment and event technologies. The pair founded Novatech Production Services in 2001 as an equipment hire and live performance production provider.

The company experienced tremendous growth in the live concert and festival market and with an ever-increasing demand for high calibre Technical Management services, Novatech Productions changed its name to Novatech Creative Event Technology. This reflected a move toward providing total presentation solutions rather than just equipment hire, and answered the demand for a new standard of professionalism to the industry.

Now in its seventeenth year of business, Novatech celebrates landmark accomplishments such as integrating Australia’s first d3 video production suite and developing a proprietary, scalable, network driven conferencing solution, OneSystem.


EY - Andrew NunnAndrew Nunn
Andrew Nunn, JBS&G Australia
National finalist

Read more about Andrew Nunn

JBS&G was started by Andrew Nunn in 2002, and is a national provider of environmental management services with over 120 staff. Andrew was appointed as the youngest ever Victorian EPA environmental auditor and he has subsequently been appointed auditor in SA, WA and Queensland.

After being transferred to South Australia in 1999, Andrew realised there was a significant business opportunity in environmental works in the State, and in 2002, sold his only asset, hired two local engineers and started Soil and Groundwater Consulting (S&G).

Over the next 10 years he built a business which redefined environmental consulting. In 2014, S&G merged with JBS to form JBS&G, which is now one of Australia's largest contaminated land consulting firms.


EY - Ben Trussell and Graeme RutterBen Trussell and Graeme Rutter
Floral Image Pty Ltd
National finalist

Read more about Ben Trussell and Graeme Rutter

Floral Image revolutionised the corporate flower market by developing and globalising the concept of renting life-like artificial flower arrangements.

Floral Image designs and manufactures the flowers, and distributes through a global franchise network to over 30,000 businesses across 77 locations in 20 countries, adding São Paulo, Munich, Dublin and Paris this year.

There are now more than 30,000 global customers. The goal by 2020 is 150,000 customers worldwide. To achieve this, the plan is to consolidate the US and European side of the business.


EY - Paul VasileffPaul Vasileff
Paolo Sebastian
National finalist

Read more about Paul Vasileff

Paul Vasileff started Paolo Sebastian ten years ago in Adelaide and has become one of Australia’s leading high fashion designers, selling his couture gowns throughout the world.

Paul is among only a handful of Australian fashion designers to have had his creations revealed in Paris during Paris Fashion Week and he is the only South Australian to have ever showed there.

Paul was named Young Australian of the Year for 2017 and aims to create Australia’s first haute couture fashion brand, equivalent to Valentino or Chanel. He believes the market is changing, with big demand now coming from the Middle East and Asia.


2017 Social entrepreneur

In recognition of sustained, outstanding entrepreneurial achievement the 2017 Social entrepreneur is:

EY - Peter MarshmanPeter Marshman
Youth Opportunities
2017 Central Region Social entrepreneur

Read more about Peter Marshman

Peter Marshman, a former merchant banker and direct marketer, came up with the idea for Youth Opportunities in order to concentrate on what he thought he could do best: motivating young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

He formed Adelaide’s Youth Opportunities in 1997, which has since evolved into a viable business, giving students the life tools and motivation they may not receive at school.

The company is now moving into the online space to reach students in other states and to make programs more flexible for schools. It now also offers a scholarship to around 20% of its program graduates who are financially disadvantaged and in need of additional support.


Champion of Entrepreneurship

In recognition of sustained, outstanding entrepreneurial achievement the 2017 Champion of Entrepreneurship is:

EY - Raymond SpencerRaymond Spencer
RSVP Ventures
2017 Central Region Champion of Entrepreneurship

Read more about Raymond Spencer

Raymond is currently Chairman of the South Australian Economic Development Board, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Founding Partner of venture capital company RSVP Ventures, in which he is Chairman or Director of a number of its portfolio companies. Raymond was also the co-founder and Chairman of Kanbay International, Inc. In 2007, he led Kanbay through its acquisition by Capgemini. At that time, Kanbay had over 7,500 associates in 14 cities across eight nations, including three major development centres in India. Kanbay became one of the top five performing IPOs on the NASDAQ in 2004, and was ranked #9 on BusinessWeek’s Annual “Hot Growth Companies” List in 2005.

Raymond has more than 45 years of leadership in international business, management planning, technology, finance, organisational culture and mergers and acquisitions.

In 2006, he was named a Laureate in the Computerworld Honors Program, which distinguishes innovators around the world whose visionary use of information technology produces and promotes positive social change. He was also awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Arizona in recognition of his work on Ethical Leadership and Organisational Culture.