The nominations faced steep competition, and the judging panel had the difficult task of selecting those who they believed possessed passion, drive, skill and most importantly a business that the founder was proud of. At Dynamic Business we are always on the search for small business that is disrupting and changing the game in their industry.
We were pleased to invite James Spenceley, Jeremy Liddle, Kerry Chikarovski, Liz Kaelin and Nick Bell on to our 2019 judging panel, and want to thank them for their time in deciding our winners below.
For now, we’ll leave you with our announcement, but you’ll be hearing much more from these entrepreneurs in the coming weeks as we delve into interviews to share their journeys and entrepreneurial tips with you.
1. Errol McClelland, founder, TumeriX
“About 7 years ago I almost wasn’t able to walk due to a bad ankle injury and botched surgery. There was a lot of pain with that because of the swelling on the nerves and I’d put on a lot of weight. I was told that I would need to have my ankle surgically fused ending up with a ‘club foot’.
“I was desperate so I started researching natural inflammatories and came across turmeric. I contacted a spice factory and asked them to make me up a formula which they did. I was taking it for two weeks and started to notice some improvement.
“I gave the formula I had made up to a few friends with arthritis and IBS and it seemed to be working for them so I thought, all right, well, let’s give this a crack and see if we can turn it into a product I can sell.
“I started selling at the Daylesford markets in Victoria. I sold about $3,000 worth with the first market and my journey has progressed from there.”
2. Ryan Cummings, founder, Whale Logistics Australia
“I founded Whale Logistics four years ago, following a nearly 20 year career in freight forwarding. At the time, I couldn’t understand why the industry wasn’t investing more in people and technology to provide better customer experiences and a more personalised approach. I saw an opportunity. At Whale Logistics we set out to disrupt the industry and fill that gap.
“With an increase in the import and export of cargo all over the world, we recognised that the best way for us to meet the customer’s fast evolving needs and gain an edge on competitors would be for us to be at the forefront of technological innovation in our sector.
“We launched our own supply chain software to provide better visibility, enhanced tracking, the ability to better anticipate delays and greater certainty. We are also investing in automation to enable us to manage the shipping of a container from factory to customer without requiring any contact with the customer, provided there are no issues or exceptions. This is an industry first, delivering greater efficiencies and allowing us to operate on smaller margins, while freeing up our team to focus on strategic communications.”
3. Tom Paton, co-founder, Metro Food Co
“I noticed that there was prolific “health-washing” going on in the food industry. Large multinational corporations were developing supposedly “healthy” products to ride a trend, but generally they weren’t actually healthy – if you looked at the ingredients, the products might be gluten-free, but they were full of sugar or salt.
“I had ten years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, and saw an opportunity to do better.
“The whole focus of the company is to create genuinely healthy products that deliver both nutrition and value, and sadly this is something quite unusual in the health food category.”
4. David Fazio, co-founder, MATE
“I, along with my co-founders, started MATE to take advantage of the NBN roll out in Australia. We recognised that other internet service providers were looking at why it was a problem instead of how it was an opportunity. We understood that the telco space is a market that is rapidly evolving and knew the potential for growth was (and is) vast.
“We also wanted to simplify the whole telecommunications service offering to consumers and break the stigma associated with other giant, faceless telco companies. We do this by making switching over to the NBN as simple and low-cost as possible. There are no contracts or setup fees because we don’t believe in contracts or fees between ‘mates’.”
5. Nicole Lamond, co-founder, Eloments Tea
“I wanted to create an enjoyable way to get your daily nutrients without having to pop pills (which people often forget to do in the mornings anyway!). We spent two years creating the world’s first natural vitamin tea. Unlike most other supplements, we wanted to keep Eloments 100% natural, so we sourced plant-based vitamins that come from organic fruits, herbs and botanicals.
“When we set out to make a 100% natural vitamin tea, no one had ever been able to create one before. We had to create a totally new process for blending plant-based vitamins and minerals with Fairtrade teas in a way that wouldn’t harm the nutrients. After two years of research and development, we created an innovative manufacturing process that is now patent-pending.”
6. Tim West, Director and co-founder, 12 Round Fitness Pty Ltd
“Looking at the existing markets, I created solutions for what I had identified as barriers to growth in the fitness industry. I could see that the 12RND concept had highly differentiated value propositions through conversations with friends, family and associates. Upon opening the concept store, it was immediately successful, reaching capacity within the first 6 months despite zero brand awareness. It was very well supported as filling a gap in the market.”
7. Adam McCurdie, co-founder, Humanitix
Adam McCurdie was an engineer who’d seen the power of education to transform communities in Tanzania. Josh Ross was a hedge fund analyst who’d been moved by his experiences in Sri Lanka after the civil war.
“We started analytically, looking for the optimal model for impact. I mean, an engineer and a hedge fund manager? It’s just how we are.
We decided to transform the billions of dollars in ticket booking fees into education programs for the world’s most disadvantaged children.”
In just 12 months, the organisation went from working in a garage, to being funded by the Atlassian Foundation and NSW Government. In 2018, Humanitix won the Google Impact Challenge.
8. Myles Redward & Piers Redward, Co-founders and Co-CEOs, Payright
“We saw a gap in the market and found that a large number of merchants and retailers with higher price point products and services being underserviced. We both come from finance backgrounds, collectively we have over 25 years’ experience in the financial market. Putting our heads together and drawing on our industry knowledge, we developed Payright for merchants to accelerate return-on-effort by offering a buy now, pay later flexible payment option to their customers.”
9. Aaron Smith, founder, KX Pilates
“At the age of 22 I decided to go travelling the world. At the time I was a personal trainer, specialising in strength and conditioning so I gravitated towards jobs in gyms and fitness training spaces to support my travels. I could see the space in Australia was quite saturated and repetitive and while I was travelling I was constantly keeping an eye out for new training techniques, which led me to spend 2 years travelling back and forth from Colorado, USA.
“From here I travelled to London, UK, where I discovered Dynamic Pilates and saw an opportunity for uptake and expansion to bring this form of fitness back to Australia. I fell in love with this style of pilates and with my own spin, I created the dynamic KX Pilates workout and brand in a boutique fitness setting.”
10. Yanir Yakutiel, founder, Lumi
“I’ve always had a passion for helping other people and businesses. I realised that Australia has a real gap in the market for a service that helped small businesses gain access to extra funds quickly; whether it be to purchase new equipment, renovate their business or managing cash flow during a busy period. With the big four banks tentative to lendi SMBs cash when they need it most, and often glacially slow in providing funds when they do decide to lend I knew there was something that had to be done.”