20 entrepreneurs to follow on Instagram in 2017

Holly Ransom

By Emma Koehn and Angela Castles

Instagram hit 9 million active Australian users in August. In the brand awareness stakes, that’s a lot of eyeballs. But the platform has always been about more than simply showing new product ranges or ideas.

As SmartCompany has previously revealed in its 2015 and 2016 lists of entrepreneurs to follow on the image-sharing platform, the most successful and engaging accounts take followers behind the scenes and into the actual process of balancing business and everyday life.

Instagram allows entrepreneurs to share holidays, moments with family and breakthrough moments for their business, and it can give budding company founders a beyond-the-headlines insight to life as an entrepreneur.

With that in mind, here are 20 Instagram accounts to follow in 2017.

Janine Allis

@janine_allis | 3619 followers

The Shark Tank investor and Boost Juice founder’s Instagram feed gives you a good insight into the on-the-go life of the busy entrepreneur.

From yoga shots to gorgeous beach scenes, farm life to TV sets, and the everyday of running a business, follow Allis for a taste of the everyday life of one of the country’s most prominent serial entrepreneurs.

And watch out for the odd appearance from her fellow sharks …

This shark tank business is very serious. Tue 7.30pm. @naomisimson and I will See you then. @sharktankau

A post shared by Janine Allis (@janine_allis) on

Justin Dry

@justindry | 15,500 followers

Vinomofo co-founder Justin Dry takes you behind the wine scenes on his feed, including snapshots of media commitments, team-building and office dogs.

Don’t expect wine recommendations from this account; instead it’s an insight into the social vibe of the Vinomofo business and what that looks like day to day.

Meet @griffin_sharpei. One of the team @vinomofo ❤️ #takeyourdogtowork #dog #dogsofinstgram

A post shared by Justin Dry (@justindry) on

Taline Gabriel

@talinegabriel | 508,000 followers

The founder of health and lifestyle business Hippy Lane uses Instagram to show how her recipes, and commitment to mindfulness, fits into her everyday life.

Gabriel’s eye for design and experimentation with colours has garnered her half a million followers, and she uses the platform to communicate with her audience about new treats and developments within her business.

If you feel the need for a beach escape but don’t have the time to step out of the office, hit follow on this one.

Robbie Ball

@melbournepreneur | 7616 followers

Co-founder of watch business Uncle Jack and 2017 Hot 30 Under 30 listee Robbie Ball uses Instagram to deliver inspiration and reflections on startup life.

It’s hard to believe Ball is only in his mid 20s, given his insights into topics like the power of self-trust and the productivity value of weekends. He has garnered more than 7000 followers through his posts of business advice, product shots and adorable puppies.

I could never be mad at you for interrupting our photoshoot! ????

A post shared by Robbie Ball (@melbournepreneur) on

Lucy Glade-Wright

@lucygladewright | 2,770 followers

Hunting for George co-founder Lucy Glade-Wright shares all things art, homewares and hectic photo shoots while growing her Melbourne-based retail business.

If you need style inspiration or want to lift the lid on exactly how entrepreneurs like Glade-Wright get things so chic, this one is for you.

Cyan Ta’eed

@cyan.taeed762 followers

Envato co-founder Cyan Ta’eed has a number of projects on the go, including the very visually-pleasing soon-to-launch chocolate business Hello Tiger.

Her Instagram feed includes insights into the world of Envato, as well as leadership advice. Shots of baked goods and design inspiration across Melbourne could also inspire some to want to relocate their businesses.

Megan Hess

@meganhess_offical | 334,000 followers

The Sex and the City illustrator uses her feed to keep her fans and customers updated on new designs, clients and projects.

Each week Hess shares her weekly ‘Monday Morning Coffee’ illustrations, as well as tracking her travels to all sorts of exotic locations for work.

It’s NEW YORK FASHION WEEK! Jacket, bag, top knot – ready to go! #NYFW

A post shared by Megan Hess (@meganhess_official) on

Steve Hui

@iflylflat | 1546 followers

The founder of points hacking startup iFLYflat shows you exactly how to do Yoga on a business class aeroplane seat, while also sharing plenty of other insights to startup life and luxury travel.

Steve Hui’s Instagram feed shows what some of the travel options his startup offers look like in reality. Who wouldn’t want to know what it’s like to be all by yourself in a first class cabin?

Do YOGA when you travel? Me too. When i fly flat ????️✈️????

A post shared by Steve Hui-The Points Whisperer (@iflyflat) on

Lorna Jane Clarkson

@ljclarkson | 188,200 followers

The fitness guru and sportswear mogul has a curated feed of easy-on-the-eyes pastels, peppered with inspirational quotes, yoga poses and the occasional green smoothie.

If you want to be inspired to kickstart your healthy-eating regime, read motivational quotes to perk up the daily grind, or just want to find some inner zen, Clarkson’s Instagram account is a reliable go-to for all of the above.

Weekend Vibes ????????????????????Lx #california #venicebeach #activeliving #lornajane

A post shared by Lorna Jane Clarkson (@ljclarkson) on

Jess Hatzis

@jess_hatzis | 5759 followers

Jess Hatzis is the co-creator of frank body and Willow and Blake, and she uses Instagram to track the progress of both businesses, as well as fitness and the lives of her friends, including co-founder Bree Johnson.

Hatzis and Johnson have spent the past couple of years transitioning frank body from a side project into a fully fledged second business, and Hatzis’ account goes behind the scenes on both brands. Her feed is also a good insight into how playfulness and humour of the everyday can cross over into the voice of a business that an entrepreneur is building.

Nath Mallon

@nathmallon | 21,300 followers

On Instagram, content producer Nath Mallon shares his photography work, much of which is shot from dizzying heights, with his more than 21,000 followers.

The Melbourne-based creator uses the platform to directly display his skill set, and is also worth checking out at that 3:30 slump when you’re thinking about places you’d rather be.

SUMMAH ☀️????????

A post shared by Nath Mallon (@nathmallon) on

Lisa Gorman

@_lisagorman | 13,600 followers

The founder of Australian cult favourite label Gorman posts all things colour and design.

Between the fan-favourite prints, however, her feed gives you a sense of the things that inspire one of the nation’s highest profile designers, both in and out of fashion. Over the past month she has included a number of posts around the importance of the brand’s free ‘Love is Love’ t-shirt project.


A post shared by Lisa Gorman (@_lisagorman) on

Kayla Itsines

@kaylaitsines | 7.4 million followers

The fitness powerhouse and young Rich Lister has amassed millions of followers (her Instagram reaches the equivalent a third of Australia’s population), and the content is a mix of testimonials, inspiration and fitness material.

Itsines’ ‘Bikini Body’ programs encourage users to share progress on social media and this feed gives you an idea of how hard the entrepreneur works, both in and out of the gym.

Jack Watts 

@jackwatts4 | 11,300 followers

Melbourne AFL footballer Jack Watts is also co-founder of shorts brand Skwosh, and his Instagram account catalogues his time across both professions.

Many of Watts’ 11,000 followers are clearly footy fans, but anyone who wants to learn more about building a story to create connections with their lifestyle brand should hit “follow”.

Shark week or Skwosh week? ????????????

A post shared by Jack Watts (@jackwatts4) on

Holly Ransom

@holly_ransom | 7632 followers

The chief executive of Emergent is only 27 but her Instagram feed includes cameos from the likes of Richard Branson and Barack Obama. A keen traveller and sports enthusiast, Ransom’s account includes everything from beautiful Sydney landscapes to news of her latest projects.

Just this week she used the platform to announce her new podcast on entrepreneurship, Coffee Pods.

Alyce Tran

@alyce_tran | 2146 followers

The Daily Edited co-founder is known for her style, and Tran uses her Instagram feed to track her life on the go, from life in the office to event stages.

Tran’s account is also a useful resource for anyone in the retail game, given it takes you behind the scenes of some of TDE’s more innovative brand strategies, like a recent pop-up monogramming cafe.

@andygchris @seedflora you’ve outdone yourselves for my birthday! Thank you!!

A post shared by Alyce Tran (@alyce_tran) on

Troy Douglas

@mrtroydouglas | 968 followers

Douglas is the co-founder of sugar-free ice tea Nexba and his self-proclaimed life mantra is, “Live well, love life, leave legacy”, which is exactly what he seems to be doing on his Instagram.

Filled with pristine beach scenes from his hometown of Sydney, jet-setting trips to Hong Kong and Bali and rugged mountain shots, his Instagram is an ode to the benefits of healthy living and embracing adventure — in life, and in business.

Lana Hopkins

@lanahopkins_monpurse | 1425 followers

Mon Purse founder and chief executive Lana Hopkins splits her time between the global hubs of Sydney, New York, and London, and her Instagram account shows her, and her monogrammed Mon Purse products, on jaunts around these cosmopolitan cities.

Her range of monogrammed purses are available online, in Myers, Selfridge’s and Bloomingdales, and the entrepreneur has just opened a standalone store in the United States.

If you like your entrepreneurial inspiration with a side of fashion inspiration and glamour, Hopkins’ feed is the perfect place to escape and imagine you’re taking on the big city — all from the comfort of your living room.

Danielle Price

@shewillshinebiz | 2860 followers

If you’re a female founder looking for advice, tips and support from the startup ecosystem, Danielle Price’s Instagram account is a valuable resource.

As the founder of She Will Shine, a community organisation run for female founders, Price posts images of entrepreneurial events, meetups and workshops, as well as profiles of the She Will Shine community members. There’s also a healthy dose of inspirational quotes for fellow business operators.

Dale Beaumont

@dalejbeaumont | 3590 followers

Beaumont is co-founder of BRiN, a voice-controlled app that uses artificial intelligence to provide business advice to its users. While this sounds like a pretty full-on commitment, the founder still has time to take three months of the year off to travel the world with his family, and documents his adventures on his Instagram account, which is also a great source of inspirational entrepreneurial quotes.

When he’s not posting happy snaps in Paris, New York, or some far-flung exotic island, the founder takes to his Instagram to keep his followers updated on BRiN announcements.

Our final pool party was one for the ages #handsacrossthewater #businessblueprint

A post shared by Dale Beaumont (@dalejbeaumont) on

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4 years ago

Humbled to be included with group, great success stories and brave entrepreneurs.