EY Entrepreneur Of The Year

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Five category winners will compete to represent New Zealand in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year™ awards in Monaco next year.

The five – chosen from a field of 18 finalists from around New Zealand – will face a judging panel on 16 October, with the winner announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on 16 October.

The winner will travel to Monte Carlo in June 2014 to compete in EY’s World Entrepreneur Of The Year event.

The category winners are:

  • Dr John Penno (Synlait Milk) – Products
  • Ian Kuperus (Tax Management NZ) – Services
  • Rod Drury (Xero) – Technology & emerging industries.
  • Cecilia Robinson (Au Pair Link/My Food Bag) – Young.
  • Murray Holdaway (Vista Entertainment Solutions) – Master

Judging panel chairman Greg Cross, from Cross Ventures and PowerbyProxi, says the quality and scale of the businesses owned and run by the 18 finalists are the highest he has seen in his four years of judging the awards.

“Overall, the size and scale of the businesses these entrepreneurs are building has gone to the next level in terms of revenue, profitability and the markets they are aspiring to, he says. “The judges had some very hard decisions to make.”

Awards director Jon Hooper says many of the finalists already have global businesses that are pursuing growth in world markets.

“There is no limitation in terms of geography for these companies. They are no longer just New Zealand firms but are focused on being dominant global players. We are seeing businesses that are pushing the limits.”

Hooper paid tribute to the judges, Cross, Diane Foreman (Emerald Group), Bill Day (Seaworks), Tim Alpe (Jucy) and Emma Hill (Michael Hill International).

“They are all keen to participate in the process. They enjoyed hearing our finalists’ stories and came away very positive about the future of NZ Inc.”

The judges’ criteria included entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and influence, financial performance, strategic direction, and national and global impact.