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The top 10 Australian entrepreneurs to watch in 2013

6. John Winning – Winning Appliances

John Winning is one of the key players in Australia’s eCommerce space. Despite all the talk no one can sell bulky goods online, Winning has turned Appliances Online into an online powerhouse turning over tens of millions of dollars a year. (The most recent estimate was in 2011 at $10 million, although Winning has said revenue has doubled since then).

Winning has also proven his hand at rejuvenating failed concepts, buying up the Big Brown Box brand and turning that into a nice earner for the Winning Appliances business.

Winning’s activity over the past year – he’s purchased online and offline businesses – suggests he’s not finished growing the business. Over the next 12 months he’s sure to give Gerry Harvey a run for his money.

7. Alec Lynch – DesignCrowd

Alec Lynch is a busy man. His crowdsourcing site DesignCrowd has been moving from strength to strength over the past two years, receiving $3 million in funding from Starfish Ventures. The business was even named by Wired as start-up of the week back in March 2012.

It’s easy to see where Lynch is heading. After acquiring a US company at the end of 2011, and moving into Asia during the end of 2012, DesignCrowd is at the forefront of global expansion.

After starting the company from his parent’s dining room, Lynch has lofty goals to make DesignCrowd a $100 million business. The next year will see him make significant advancements towards that goal.

8. Justin Dry, Leigh Morgan and Andre Eikmeier – Vinimofo

The online liquor market has been exploding in Australia. Several larger players such as Dan Murphy’s have been experiencing a boost in sales due to shoppers eager for a bargain.

Justin Dry, Leigh Morgan and Andre Eikmeier didn’t just capitalise on this trend by building a successful site – they were quickly snapped up by one of the biggest ecommerce groups in the country.

The business started as a blog, but has built 30,000 subscribers. The trio was at the right place, at the right time with the right product – and is now part of the Catch of the Day group.

But just because they’re part of a larger group doesn’t mean this business won’t be going places. The trio are very much in charge of the company, and considering Catch of the Day wants to boost its wine offering in a big way, Vinimofo is set to be a major player in the local wine market.

9. Sarah + Emily – Bellabox

Sarah and Emily Hamilton didn’t have any experience in the beauty industry when they started their subscription business, Bellabox, in late 2011. It didn’t matter. Now the company has tens of thousands of subscribers – and recently won $1.3 million in its very first round of funding.

The pair’s business comes from a concept they found in the United States. Bellabox offers boxes of beauty products – samples, mostly – to time-poor men and women who can’t spend a lot of time browsing stores for new products.

Bellabox has beaten out several competitors so far, racking up over 10,000 subscribers with barely any marketing spend. The $1.3 million in funding from a consortium is just icing on the cake.

Sarah Hamilton recently told SmartCompany that money will be used to help grow the business into a global player. Bellabox is definitely one to watch in 2013.

10. Nicole Kersh – 4cabling

There’s so much talk about “big data” these days, but few entrepreneurs are actually doing something with it. Nicole Kersh is one of those few.

Kersh started her cable selling business, 4Cabling, as an online wholesaler, but has branched out into manufacturing, designing and import as well. Turning over nearly $8 million a year, the company has carved out a nice niche for itself.

It would be enough to say Kersh has built a successful business at just 28 years old, but there’s more. Kersh recently built an entirely new site based on the sales data she recorded from her original site. She also told SmartCompany recently there’s a real chance to make even more sites based on sales data.

Big data doesn’t reveal anything unless you do something with it. Kersh is one of the successful few who can both analyse the data and create an opportunity.

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