Top entrepreneurs honoured at Sydney awards night

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Friday 8 August 2014 - Four outstanding entrepreneurs from New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory took out top honours at the 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Eastern Region awards ceremony in Sydney last night.

The winners, by category, were:

  • Emerging – Alec Lynch,
  • Industry –  Peter Freedman, RØDE Microphones
  • Services – Philip Jackson, Sportstec Limited
  • Technology –  Scott Carr, Datapod

Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award category was the 2014 Eastern Region Social entrepreneur award recipient, Margo Ward from KidsXpress.

The Eastern Region winners and the Social entrepreneur will go on to represent the two states at the national awards in November, where they will compete for the title of 2014 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

EY’s Sydney Managing Partner, Lynn Kraus congratulated the winners, saying they had each shown extraordinary vision and passion in building successful businesses that were creating jobs, driving productivity, fuelling growth and inspiring others.

“Entrepreneurs make a significant contribution to the economies and communities of New South Wales and the ACT. We had a truly impressive field of nominees in this year’s program which clearly demonstrates that the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well across our regions,” Ms Kraus said.

EY’s Canberra Managing Partner, Lucille Halloran said, “These awards celebrate the achievements of the Eastern Region’s finest entrepreneurs, recognising people with innovative ideas who have the courage to lead and determination to execute their vision. This year’s winners are a testament to the outstanding entrepreneurial talent our region has on offer.”

“On behalf of EY, I congratulate our 2014 Eastern Region winners and wish them the best of luck as they go on to represent us at the national awards in November,” Ms Halloran said.

Philip McCabe, General Manager, Corporate Finance, Commonwealth Bank, said that the Eastern Region has produced some of the nation’s most entrepreneurial business leaders.

“Commonwealth Bank has been the principal sponsor of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards for three years now and over this time the Eastern Region has proven to be an incubator for some of the best and brightest business ideas,” said Mr McCabe.

“Previous Eastern Region winners include the entrepreneurs behind some Australia’s most innovative business brands, like OzSale, UberGlobal and OzHarvest. The awards set the benchmark for entrepreneurial leadership in business and each of the 2014 winners should be proud to be recognised as one of the Eastern Region’s top entrepreneurs.”

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award and is the only truly global program of its kind, with entrepreneurs participating in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Over 1,200 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.

The overall 2014 Australian winner will be named at a gala ceremony in Melbourne on 20 November. 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 Australian winner Andrew Bassat of SEEK.

For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program go to


2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Eastern Region


Category: Emerging
Alec Lynch –
In 2007, Alec Lynch quit his job as a strategy consultant to launch online marketplace (DesignCrowd). Originally started “out of the garage”, DesignCrowd has since raised over $6 million in venture capital and is today one of the world’s largest and fastest growing design crowdsourcing sites with 30 staff, over 100,000 designers across the globe and customers in more than 50 countries. With a mission to “discover the most creative designs, ideas and designers in the world”, DesignCrowd aims to disrupt the $46 billion global design industry and will be opening new offices in San Francisco and the Philippines in 2014.
What the judges said: Alec Lynch is a talented young entrepreneur who has created a global digital business with enormous potential. With, Alec has a strong market position, a very scalable business, and a very large market opportunity.

Category: Industry
Peter Freedman – RØDE Microphones
In 1989, recording solutions were either restrictively expensive or poor quality. To address this, Peter Freedman launched RØDE Microphones, making world-class recording tools that were accessible to all. A vertically-integrated business, RØDE Microphones manufactures an extensive range of microphones and accessories in Australia. Approximately 95% of revenue comes from export, and the business employs over 150 people in offices across Sydney, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and China. RØDE Microphones has introduced a number of innovative products into the global marketplace, and is one of the worlds most recognised microphone brands. Peter sees future growth in the broadcast sector, and further expansion into Asia.
What the judges said: Peter Freedman has displayed incredible energy and drive to turn RØDE Microphones into a world leading audio products manufacturer with dominant market share. Peter is an entrepreneur with an exceptional understanding of his market and strong focus on innovation. His passion for his customers and leading the market is impressive.

Category: Services
Philip Jackson – Sportstec Limited
Philip Jackson launched Sportstec Limited in 1999 to provide innovative software solutions that help teams, organisations and individuals review and improve performance through video analysis. Sportstec is now a global leader in the sports analysis industry, servicing some of the world’s most elite teams across major sporting codes and events. Philip has also expanded Sportstec’s software into other sectors, establishing the Studiocode arm of the business in 2003 to focus on applications of their analysis software in new markets such as health, education and training. Philip aims to build Sportstec into a $100 million company within the next five years.
What the judges said: Philip Jackson has achieved global recognition with Sportsec Limited, with its innovative software now being used by some of the world’s biggest sports franchises. Philip has fostered an environment of innovation and collaboration with his clients to continue improving Sporstec’s products. Philip is an entrepreneur who has successfully seized opportunities for diversification and further market expansion.

Category: Technology
Scott Carr – Datapod
An engineer by trade, Scott Carr knew there had to be a better way of addressing the high costs and risks associated with traditional data centre construction projects. Mortgaging the family home in 2008, Scott launched Datapod – a modular data centre system. Datapod provides physical infrastructure to support advanced cloud computing environments. Datapod’s system allows for rapid deployment as it is shipped to site fully completed and ready for operation. Today, Datapod holds 65% of the Australian market with offices in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. Scott began exporting the Datapod product in 2013, securing relationships with international manufacturer representatives.
What the judges said: Scott Carr has developed an innovative approach to rethink the costs and risks involved in data centre construction projects, offering customers a new way of working. Datapod is an easily deployed modular replacement for traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ infrastructure to support cloud computing. Scott has demonstrated true grit in overcoming challenges and adversity along the way.


2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive award recipient, Eastern Region


Category: Social entrepreneur
Margo Ward – KidsXpress
After spending the majority of the first five years of her life in an oxygen tent away from her family due to chronic illness, Margo Ward has dedicated her life to supporting people who are isolated, vulnerable and in pain. After studying as a nurse and teacher, Margo was introduced to the concept of Play Therapy, which accesses the creativity of art, music, drama and play therapy with phenomenal therapeutic effect. In 2005, she launched KidsXpress, an expressive therapy program. Today, Margo is leading the expansion of KidsXpress and is looking for new opportunities to broaden the organisation’s scope.



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 recognises 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, recognising 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 honours 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 1,200 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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Rebecca Aley
Ernst & Young Australia
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