2016’s top Western Australian entrepreneurs named

Friday, 26 August 2016

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The top Western Australian entrepreneurs have taken home honours from last night’s 2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Western Region awards ceremony in Perth. The National finalists were:

  • Grant and Sharon Grosser – SEQTA Software
  • Dr Matthew Lamont– DownUnder GeoSolutions
  • Andrew Ryan – InSite Commercial Interiors
  • Tony Smith and Andrew Young – Plum Grove Pty Ltd

Also recognised in non-competitive regional award categories were:

  • Social entrepreneur – Dr David Joske, SolarisCare Foundation
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Adrian Fini OAM, FJM Property Pty Ltd

The National finalists and the Social entrepreneur will go on to represent the state at the national awards in October, where they will compete for the title of 2016 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

The overall 2016 Australian winner will be named at a gala ceremony in Sydney in October. The national winner will then go on to represent the country and compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next June, following in the footsteps of last year’s winner former Perth resident Manny Stul, Chairman and Co-CEO of toy company Moose Enterprise who became the first Australian to win the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ earlier this year.

EY’s Perth Managing Partner, Michael Anghie congratulated the winners and said this year’s group were especially competitive which demonstrated the region’s entrepreneurial talent.

“Western Australia has a long history of cultivating some of Australia’s most successful and well known entrepreneurs,” Mr Anghie said.

“We are thrilled with the calibre of this year’s finalists because they show us what is possible
through passion and determination. Some of our finalists have been operating for decades in both local and global markets, and are strong examples of business resilience and excellence.

“We know entrepreneurs create jobs, spark innovation and grow our economy. That’s why we have a long-standing commitment to supporting the best entrepreneurs from across the state and the rest of Australia,” Mr Anghie said.

Gary McGrath, WA General Manager, Corporate Financial Services, Commonwealth Bank, added his congratulations to the Western Region winners.

“Entrepreneurs and the businesses they build are such an important catalyst for economic growth, oftentimes underpinning the wellbeing of the communities they operate in. The Western Region winners show that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the west, which is particularly important right now as our local economy transitions from the peak of the mining boom.

“The Commonwealth Bank is proud to support the growing pool of entrepreneurial talent in the Western Region though our sponsorship of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards,” said Gary.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered one of the world’s most prestigious business awards and is the only truly global program of its kind, with entrepreneurs participating in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. More than 1,400 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.

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

2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National finalists, Western Region

Grant and Sharon Grosser – SEQTA Software 
With 20 years’ experience in schools, Grant Grosser and his wife Sharon, a fellow teacher, founded SEQTA Software in 2006 out of a desire to support teachers in managing their ever-increasing workloads. Grant and Sharon saw a gap in the market for a user-friendly and interactive software application for teachers, parents, students and administrators. Today, SEQTA Software enables teachers to complete all their administration in a virtual learning environment, with automated data flow and efficient data entry. The company has 75 staff and 430 clients across Australia and Asia. It has recently opened an office in Singapore.
What the judges said: Driven by personal experience Grant and Sharon pursued their clear strategy to support teachers and improve educational outcomes for staff and students. They have worked through many challenges to achieve their goal. True entrepreneurs they recognised a need and developed solutions with wide application in an expanding sector both nationally and abroad.

Dr Matthew Lamont– DownUnder GeoSolutions
Dr Matthew Lamont founded his geophysics service company in 2003 with former PhD student, Troy Thompson. The premise was to develop ground-breaking services to prepare and analyse seismic and well log data. By 2008, they had grown to 45 people and won their first major seismic processing project. Today, DownUnder GeoSolutions provides high-tech geophysical services to explore and develop oil and gas resources. It has six offices globally with over 200 employees. The company’s Insight suite of software is now used by hundreds of geophysicists in over 35 countries. DownUnder GeoSolutions also owns and operates some of the biggest supercomputers in the world.
What the judges said: Matt personifies the entrepreneurial spirit. His innovative approach has seen DownUnder GeoSolution become a recognised global leader in data collection and analysis. Driven by some of the largest computer powers in the world, coupled with a focus on new approaches and R&D, he has positioned the company onto the world stage.

Andrew Ryan – InSite Commercial Interiors Pty Ltd
Andrew Ryan joined what is now InSite Commercial Interiors Pty Ltd (InSite) in 2005 as a project manager. He became Managing Director in 2013. InSite is a commercial design and construct fitout company, with clients across Australia and overseas, in a range of sectors. Services range from interior design and planning services to construction works and a complete turnkey fitout. InSite also partners in the property sector to refurbish and carry out base build upgrades. InSite’s innovative “total project solution” delivers projects in a shorter time-frame at a competitive cost per square meter. Andrew is planning to double staff numbers and upgrade InSite’s facilities.
What the judges said: Andrew’s strategic direction and holistic approach has seen him build InSite Commercial Interiors into a unique and diversified business that challenges conventional thinking. His clear vision saw him transform the company into a national property service provider with complementary offerings delivering both internal resilience and complete project solutions.

Tony Smith and Andrew Young – Plum Grove Pty Ltd
Andrew Young and Tony Smith both grew up on farms and have a deep understanding of the grain industry. Tony founded Plum Grove Pty Ltd (Plum Grove) in 2003, having developed an innovative wheat pool product. Within five years Plum Grove had accumulated more than one million tonnes of wheat. In 2009 Andrew became a shareholder and worked to attract capital from some of the world’s largest wheat millers. Plum Grove is a Western Australia-based grain accumulation and export business operating in all Australian grain-exporting states. Today, Plum Grove has a team of 71 people and an annual turnover of almost $600 million. Plum Grove operates a successful investment model combining local expertise with Asian food demand. Their mantra is ‘Listen Global, Act Local’.
What the judges said: Andrew and Tony’s innovative approach has seen them win strong market share in a sector with dominate providers. Their natural entrepreneurial style saw them spot an opportunity to combine their complementary skills and background to develop a business the market needed. The quick take up of their service is testament to their ability to identify and then build products where there is a demand.

2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive award recipients, Western Region

Social entrepreneur – Dr David Joske, SolarisCare Foundation
As the head of a world-class haematology department at a Perth hospital, Dr David Joske was motivated to take a more holistic approach to cancer care. He founded SolarisCare in 2001 as a community-based social enterprise to offer support, education and complementary therapies to cancer patients and their families. SolarisCare is staffed primarily by 300 volunteers across four centres. David has established rigorous accreditation for his volunteer therapists and a collaborative research group which continues to provide evidence of an improvement in quality of life following a therapy session. David’s vision is to open more centres in Western Australia and potentially the eastern states.

Champion of Entrepreneurship – Adrian Fini OAM, FJM Property Pty Ltd
Adrian has been involved in the Perth property industry for over 30 years. He is currently Managing Director of the Fini Group and a Director of FJM Property Pty Ltd, a WA based private property and investment company controlling a diverse portfolio of operations spanning hospitality, retail, manufacturing, property development and property investment. Adrian has recently led the restoration project of State Buildings and COMO The Treasury hotel to return a set of beautiful historic buildings back to public use. He is currently working on several new major projects that will add more vibrancy and drive further commerce into the city of Perth. Adrian was awarded an OAM for his contributions to the arts in 2014. He is a current Board member of the Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF), the University of Western Australia Business School Board and its New Century Campaign and is also Chair of the Art Gallery of WA Foundation and was recently awarded 2016 Western Australian of the Year.

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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 recognizes 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, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 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 honors 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 1,400 entrepreneurs who have participated in the program. Since the program’s inception more than 15,000 people have attended Entrepreneur Of The Year events and award ceremonies in Australia.

About EY

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