Calling Aussie start-up heroes

Twenty years ago I met this gangly young bloke in old jeans who had started up this travel business. It was tiny then and he was struggling. Suppliers didn’t take him seriously and banks would not lend him money. His marketing department put him forward for a business award that I was running at the time.

He came along to the awards night and slouched in the corner, quite dismissive of the awards night. Then weeks later he rang to say what an extraordinary affect the awards had had. The banks were talking to him, suppliers contacted him, it lifted the company’s profile and he has entered awards ever since. Darrel Wades Intrepid Travel is now a large global business that is planning to list on the ASX.

There is little that excites the crew at SmartCompany more than identifying a hot start-up and following its progress.

As part of SmartCompany’s inaugural Business Start-up Awards for 2009, we are looking for Australia’s start-up heroes – people who have used their passion, creativity and energy to build a great start-up business that is on its way to world domination!

This award is open to the owner or founder of any business under four years of age. Our expert judging panel will be looking at the idea behind your business, how you’ve targetted your niche, your revenue and the story behind your personal start-up journey.

To help the overall winner on their way, we’ll profile them in SmartCompany and give them an advertising package valued at $5,000 to help them take their business to the next level.

You can nominate yourself or nominate an entrepreneur you know. To enter, simply fill out our short Start-up Awards questionnaire. If your revenue is over $500,000, you’ll also be in the running for the Crown Lager – Start Something Special Award, which recognises Australia’s fastest-growing start-up. The winner of this award also receives a $5,000 SmartCompany advertising package.

Entries close on 20 October, so get moving!

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