40 UNDER 40: TOP YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS GOLD COAST 1-10
27 October 2016, Written by Paris Faint, Nick Nichols, James Perkins & Karen Rickert
THE team at Business News Australia has compiled a list of some of the Gold Coast's brightest young business minds, highlighting the achievements of 40 of the city's most bold and innovative business founders under the age of 40.
The next generation of leaders have demonstrated tenacity, contributed to economic prosperity and proudly call the Gold Coast home.
The top 10 provides an insight into the Gold Coast's inventive and thriving manufacturing and wholesale industry, from skateboards to super-foods. Along with advancements in the technology sector.
1. Dwayne Martens, 31
Amazonia is among the most recognisable brands on the Australian health food scene, selling more than 40 tonnes of frozen Acai product under its signature purple flag each month.
Having pushed through major setbacks in the early days including a full closure, loss of product and diminished workforce due to the 2011 Brisbane floods, today Martens is proud to sit at the helm of his exotic-fruit empire.
"The biggest issue with a lot of entrepreneurs is that they just don't get in the game at all - those weird and wonderful fruits, all they did was get me into the game," says Martens.
"I'm so grateful for the amount of support we've had; we have a strong purpose behind our brand and I love that a lot of people feel that."
Following Amazonia's recent expansion into the European market, Martens is looking forward to the year ahead with a number of significant business developments in the pipeline.
2. Bradley Carr, 31
With no starting capital to speak of, Carr's sharp eye for consumer trends alongside Patten's knowledge of the beauty industry transformed the business into a retail force.
Carr says his decision to break into the beauty industry was simply a matter of spotting the right demand and creating the supply, in defiance of the sceptics.
"In 2005 James owned a hair salon in Burleigh Heads, and at the time it was difficulty for the Australian consumer and others around the world to have direct access to professional haircare products," says Carr.
"Online shopping was booming internationally and we jumped at the chance to beat the trend in Australia by becoming the first online retailer to sell big brands GHD and Redken.
"While most companies thought people wouldn't buy their shampoo online, James and I knew that haircare and skincare were essentials that many won't live without."
Today, Ry stocks more than 9000 different products from about 400 brands.
3. Nik Mirkovic, 21, & Alex Tomic, 22
Passionate about sport, the pair see business as an unlimited playing field.
After one year developing their teeth whitening product from scratch, the pair targeted the world's top beauty influencers, who duly spoke glowingly of the product.
Soon their devoted audiences were sinking their teeth into the product and, in only 18 months, the business has grown turnover to $10 million.
"We are big on Instagram and social media and we see influencers on there as very similar to the old model, where you saw brands such as Nike and Adidas leverage the profile of the world's biggest athletes," says Mirkovic.
"This is not something that is new, as there are social media stars who are hugely influential and brands are coming around to this."
Despite their global footprint, Mirkovic and Tomic see it as a priority to hire locals and will soon expand its staff to 50 on the Gold Coast alone.