Top honours for Victorian entrepreneurs at EY awards night

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The best Victorian entrepreneurs took the honours at last night’s 2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Southern Region awards ceremony in Melbourne. The winners, by category, were:

  • Emerging – Daniel Flynn, Thankyou
  • Industry – Manny Stul, Moose Enterprise Holdings & Controlled Entities
  • Services – Cyan Ta’eed and Collis Ta’eed, Envato
  • Technology – Josiah Humphrey and Mark McDonald, Appster

Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award categories were:

  • Listed award – Andrew Sudholz, Japara Healthcare Limited
  • Social entrepreneur – Ian Carson, SecondBite
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Richard Smith, PFD Food Services

The Southern Region winners, Social entrepreneur and Listed award recipient will go on to represent the state at the national awards in October, where they will compete for the title of 2015 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

EY’s Melbourne Managing Partner, Gerard Dalbosco congratulated the winners, saying the quality of this year’s field demonstrated the strength of the region’s entrepreneurial talent.

“Victoria has a strong history of entrepreneurs who look for a better way of doing things. They take calculated risks and identify opportunities where others only see obstacles. Our 2015 award winners are excellent examples of that.

“EY is committed to building a better working world and we demonstrate this by passionately supporting emerging and growing businesses through our Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.

“This year we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the awards in Australia. Entrepreneurs drive job creation, spark innovation and grow our economy. It’s for these reasons that we have a long-term commitment to recognising and supporting the best entrepreneurs from across the region, the nation and the world,” Mr Dalbosco said.

Bernard Treacy, Commonwealth Bank General Manager of Corporate Financial Services Victoria and Tasmania, said that the Southern Region continues to produce outstanding entrepreneurs who are an inspiration to the broader business community in the region.

“The entrepreneurial talent and leadership amongst this year’s Southern Region nominees and winners is impressive, with each demonstrating innovation and excellence in business.

“Commonwealth Bank has been the principal sponsor of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards for four years now, and we are proud to be a part of acknowledging the talent and determination of these business leaders and their contribution to the economic development of the Southern Region. I would like to wish all winners the best in their pursuit of the upcoming national awards.”

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 1,400 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.

The overall 2015 Australian winner will be named at a gala ceremony in Sydney on 15 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 Australian winners Joe Davenport and Owen Kerr of Pepperstone.

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

2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Southern Region

Category: Emerging
Daniel Flynn – Thankyou
Daniel Flynn created Thankyou Water (now Thankyou) in 2008 as a way of using the bottled water industry for a greater good. Thankyou funds projects in 16 countries, through the sale of their food, water and body care products in major supermarkets and convenience stores. After all the costs involved in getting the products to market are taken care of, every cent left funds these projects. Thankyou has so far funded safe water access for 150,939 people, hygiene and sanitation training for 190,957 people, and 12.1 million days of food aid plus long-term food solutions. Daniel spreads the message by speaking at corporate conferences, universities, primary and high schools.
What the judges said: Daniel Flynn has an astute awareness of what his customers want and has used this knowledge to build Thankyou Group into a dynamic business. Given the ever-shifting retail landscape, he has successfully engaged a business model that can change direction based on consumer desires. Thankyou Group’s mission to use its profits to help the less fortunate is truly inspiring.

Category: Industry
Manny Stul – Moose Enterprises Holdings & Controlled Entities
Manny Stul took control of Moose Enterprise Holdings & Controlled Entities (Moose) in 2000. It has since grown from 10 people to more than 200. Moose designs toy products in Australia and develops, manufactures and distributes from its factories in China and Hong Kong to over 80 countries. It is the fourth largest toy brand in Australia and eighth in the US. Toys are aimed at children aged 4-10 years. Moose is renowned for its innovation. The company has received more than 40 consumer and industry awards worldwide. Manny’s primary focus is to consolidate US operations and get them running smoothly. He sees huge opportunity in China and Russia.
What the judges said: Manny Stul is a quintessential entrepreneur – overcoming significant setbacks and leveraging the creative might of his team to turn Moose Enterprises into a winner in the global toy industry. He has achieved impressive growth and scale, and created an outstanding, dynamic business in the process.

Category: Services
Cyan Ta’eed and Collis Ta’eed – Envato
In 2006, graphic designers Cyan Ta’eed and Collis Ta’eed started Envato as a way to work online while they travelled. Today, Envato operates one of the largest online creative platforms of its kind. It helps businesses represent themselves through websites, video, branding, print and other media. Thousands of independent designers, developers and creatives provide freelance services on Envato Studio, digital content on Envato Market and educational courses on Envato Tuts+. Envato now has 1.75 million active buyers all over the world. Cyan and Collis see substantial potential for taking Envato to new broader markets.
What the judges said: Envato is an industry leader in the design services industry with over 1.75 million active buyers around the world, an enviable business model and strong financial returns. Cyan and Collis Ta’eed are quiet achievers in internet commerce. With strong financial management they, bootstrapped during the startup phase and have taken care with margins to ensure the continued success of their business.

Category: Technology
Josiah Humphrey and Mark McDonald – Appster
Josiah Humphrey and Mark McDonald started Appster in 2011 with $3,000, aged just 19 and 18. Appster is a technical co¬founder and start¬up accelerator for entrepreneurs. It helps build great apps and make them successful. Using a “no equity, flat fee” business model, Appster provides value for the entire lifecycle of an idea. There are 220 staff in the US, India and Australia. Through Appster X, the two selectively fund and work with entrepreneurs to develop potentially game changing products. By 2018, Josiah and Mark expect Appster to have revenue of $100 million, 1,000 employees and offer a range of products and services across mobile, web, hardware and robotics.
What the judges said: Josiah Humphrey and Mark McDonald are two impressive and energetic entrepreneurs. With Appster, they have carved out a profitable niche in the competitive app development industry. Under their leadership, Appster is a profitable business which has achieved strong revenue growth year on year.

2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive award recipients, Southern Region

Category: Listed award
Andrew Sudholz – Japara Healthcare Limited
With a long history in real estate, healthcare and professional services, Andrew Sudholz started Japara Healthcare Limited (Japara) in 2004. Within ten years, he had built it into a top 200 ASX-listed company. Japara is one of the largest residential aged care operators of healthcare services in Australia. It has over 3,500 places nationally across 39 facilities. It provides accommodation and care for elderly people who can no longer live independently and operates 139 independent living units across four retirement villages. Ultimately, Andrew plans to build Japara to an excess of over 5,000 beds across Japara facilities, providing a better quality of life for Australia’s elderly population.

Category: Social entrepreneur
Ian Carson – SecondBite
Ian Carson started collecting soup in Melbourne restaurants in 2005. Today, SecondBite rescues enough food for 14 million meals per annum. SecondBite is a not-for-profit organisation which redistributes high-quality surplus fresh food to community programs around Australia. For every million kilograms of food that SecondBite rescues, it saves 74 million litres of water and six million kilojoules of energy. It also prevents six million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions (more than 900 flights from Melbourne to Perth). SecondBite is only rescuing 2% of the $8 billion of food thrown away in Australia each year, says Ian. There are unlimited opportunities for growth.

Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship
Richard Smith – PFD Food Services
The Champion of Entrepreneurship award is a lifetime achievement award that recognises individuals who: have a long-term record of outstanding entrepreneurial achievement; have driven the growth of an Australian company, or companies, over a sustained period of time; and have made a significant contribution to their community.
Richard (Rick) Smith arrived in Australia from Scotland in 1959 aged 19. In 1960, he started work with PFD as a salesman and driver. Rick quickly worked his way up and in 1970 he was appointed General Manager. In 1976, PFD was sold to a consortium owned by the Liberman family and Rick acquired 20% of the company. In 1988, Rick seized an opportunity to buy the remaining 80% of PFD. At the same time, Glacier Foods Group Pty Ltd was purchased, bringing with it a string of strategically located distribution centres throughout regional Victoria. Over the years, the company’s growth, acquisitions and national expansion continued. Today, PFD Food Services, a 100% Australian owned family business, is the largest privately owned foodservice provider in Australia with more than 65 branches, over 2,000 staff and a turnover in excess of $1.5 billion.


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 1,400 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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