From The Oodie to COVID-19 self-testing kits: Six finalists in running to be EY Entrepreneur of the Year

EY Entrepreneur of the Year

David Fogarty, chief executive of The Davie Group, is in the running win the People’s Choice award. Source: EY.

The finalists for the 2022 EY Entrepreneur of the Year award are making millions from selling wearable blankets, breaking new ground in at-home testing for COVID-19 and changing how Australians think about the energy they use. 

The entrepreneurs shortlisted for the prestigious award this year were revealed on Monday, having been selected from five different geographical regions.

And for the first time ever, members of the public will be able to vote for their favourite entrepreneur to win the People’s Choice award. 

David Fogarty, chief executive of The Davie Group, is in the running for his e-commerce group that now includes 10 brands, from the internet sensation The Oodie to calming beds for dogs. 

Ellume chief executive and managing director Dr Sean Parsons is also among the finalists, capping off a busy few years for the Queensland based startup that specialises in at-home COVID-19 testing kits

Linda Brown, president and chief executive of B Corp certified Torrens University Australia is also a finalist, along with Izhar Basha, founder and chief executive of EHPlabs; Doug Fitch, global chief executive of software firm Agworld; and Anson Zhang and Jeff Yu, co-founders of One Stop Warehouse and Discover Energy. 

Brown is only one woman on this year’s shortlist, which reflects a trend of the awards been dominated by men. Only one woman has won the Australian award in the past — Mecca founder Jo Horgan, who received the award in 2018.

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Linda Brown, president and chief executive of Torrens University Australia. Source: EY.

In a statement, EY described the six finalists as “trailblazers” who are “leading us into a better future”. 

A panel of high-profile judges — made up of Lucy Turnbull, Jack Cowin, Glen Richards and Ronni Khan — is now assessing the finalists and the winner will be announced in April. 

The EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards have been running for 21 years and seek to recognise “ambitious leaders who build and sustain successful, dynamic businesses and reframe the future”. 

Finalists are judged on a number of key criteria, including: demonstration of entrepreneurial spirit, value creation, strategic direction, innovation, personal integrity, and national and global impact.

In June, this year’s Australian winner will go on to compete against entrepreneurs on the global stage to be named World Entrepreneur of the Year, and potentially follow in the footsteps of Moose Toys chairman Manny Stul, who became the first Australian to win the global title in 2016. 

Other previous winners of the Australian awards include Seek co-founder Andrew Bassett, Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar and iiNet founder Michael Malone.

To vote for this year’s People Choice award winner, click here

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