BRISBANE'S TOP ENTREPRENEURS UNDER 40 REVEALED: 1-5

Written on the 11 October 2017 by Ben Hall, Paris Faint, David Simmons, Yasmin Bonnell, Amanda Williams

BRISBANE'S TOP ENTREPRENEURS UNDER 40 REVEALED: 1-5

HERE is the top 5 in our 40 under 40 Young Entrepreneurs Brisbane who represent the Australia's most inspiring young business people from a variety of industries.

Our top 40 entrepreneurs and business leaders under the age of 40 have all built a thriving business, delivered innovation, led social change or have an idea that will change lives.

Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Mark Sowerby, the Blue Sky Alternative Investments founder who steps down from the role in October, has labelled Brisbane's startup and scaleup scene as a 'tsunami of talent' that is well prepared to take on the world.

"Each year, more and more talent keeps coming through in the River City and the quality of what's being started here is quite staggering," Sowerby says.

"In the past few years in particular, entrepreneurship has really taken off and this tsunami of talent is really about to make its mark here and overseas."

Business News Australia managing editor Camilla Jansen has congratulated this year's crop of outstanding entrepreneurs which made the top 40.

"This year was incredibly competitive and brilliantly diverse, and every one that made the list should be congratulated and proud of their achievements," she says

"The quality of the entrepreneurs gets better and better across all sectors, and this shows just how much talent is coming through in Brisbane.

"They are the young people who are the future of business, and they are the ones that will drive jobs growth and wealth creation - if you haven't heard of these entrepreneurs before, you certainly will."

The top 5 provides an insight into Brisbane's diverse startup and scaleup ecosystem and feature entrepreneurs who've changed recruitment, delivered innovative IT products and also includes a relative newcomer to the building industry.

1. Steve Scanlan, 34

Recon Solutions, Recon Technology, Reeb Fitness, Recon Executive, 2013

AS A FORMER executive at a global recruitment company, Scanlan was sick of seeing people treated like a dollar sign, so he launched Recon Solutions.

Since then, the IT entrepreneur has started two new businesses to compliment his operations including Recon Executive and Reeb Fitness 24-hour gyms.

Scanlan says the businesses have gone from strength to strength with over 348 percent year on year growth across the group.

"Recon Technology has had an exceptional start. We have signed many multi-million dollar deals, so it's well on its track to complete over $1 million in EBITDA in its first full financial year," says Scanlan.

"Recon Executive focusses on senior leadership placements over 200K per annum. We have a very strong network across CIO, CEO, and CFO, so it was natural we would utilise this, and we are open and honest about the relationships we have."

In addition to managing the group, he in the process of building a community service gambling app in an effort to support people going through gambling addictions.

2. Ben Bradshaw, 34

SponsoredLinX, 2006

HE was the 2016 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur winner in the Digital category, and 2017 has been digital marketing guru Ben Bradshaw's biggest growth year since he launched SponsoredLinx.

Underpinning that growth was the release of a new app to help people navigate online marketing and access their campaign data on the go, at any time of the day.

The LinX app provides users with an option for syncing and downloading their data and presents insights, leads and information in one place. LinX also provides clients with access to their Facebook dashboard, and the ability to contact their campaign manager with just one click.

Along with the launch of LinX, the company has released its Facebook Training Leads service, which aims to assist small to medium businesses with more targeted leads and conversions.

"Our mission is to really help small to medium business succeed online and what we've found is a lot of businesses don't know where to start and digital marketing is moving a lot faster than they can keep up with, and so we feel obliged in a way to kind of help those businesses," Bradshaw says.

"In short, we're tracking at about 30 per cent growth rate for the year, and our profit margins have increased during that time so we're reinvesting that profit back into growth and we're doing that by investing in these new markets."

3. Brett Boulton

Bold Living

LIKE father like son, Brett Boulton went into business following in his father's footsteps and he established his own residential building company in 2010.

With starting capital of just $500,000, Bold Living now builds 220 homes across south east Queensland which yields a turnover of more than $50 million.

Boulton, now 33, admits he "fell" into the industry a little bit by accident after working as a labourer for his father's building firm while he was studying for a business-marketing degree.

"I started labouring for Dad to make a bit of money while studying and after a short time we all realised I was quite good at speaking to clients and eventually I was in the business with him full time," Boulton says.

Earlier this year, Boulton opened a state of the art multi-million dollar purpose built corporate headquarters in North Lakes open to the public across seven days-a-week.

"We are now looking forward to continuing to stretch our reach across south east Queensland and are now building from the Sunshine Coast to the Tweed and west out to Plainland."

4. Karl Brown

Instyle Solar

WHEN Karl Brown decided to go out on a limb and start his own solar company he only had $2,500 to play with.

Now he runs one of Queensland's largest privately owned solar companies Instyle Solar.

How did he do it? Brown says it's all down to changing your perspective.

"Like most entrepreneurs, I've tried a few times, done some things that work, some haven't," says Brown.

Instead of focusing on Government rebates, environmentally friendly technology, or complicated and confusing descriptions of how the solar panels work, Brown is in the business of selling the final solution not the product itself.

"What makes our strategy different is we don't focus on the actual product we are selling, we focus on the solution," says Brown.

As for the future, Brown hopes to be able to replicate the success of Instyle Solar in Queensland in other Australian states.

5. Peter Ward, 38

WARDY Group, 2004

FOR the past 12 months, Peter Ward has focused on taking his tech empire into the US and this has helped him drive revenue growth of around 20 per cent for the 2016-17 financial year.

His WARDY Group is a tech and training powerhouse which consists of WARDY IT Solutions, Moc Training, Mr CRM and Brisbane Training Rooms and the move into the US has paid off as he looks to continue his overseas expansion.

"We're mainly working with resellers, and we've built this channel up, and we've also developed our core IT and launched it as a standalone IP on Microsoft Azure which is also delivering results," says Ward.

Another key development for WARDY has been the development of core IP in the health and human services sector along with aged care and community care sectors, which Ward regards as another major potential driver of growth.

"With this IP specific to the health and human services, aged care and community care sectors, we are looking at adopting a per user/per month model and our projections on this are looking very promising."

Since founding the company in 2004, Peter Ward has delivered consistent growth and has increased its headcount every year since and he says it was simply born out of finding solutions to some of the problems that businesses are facing on a day to day basis.

"In 2004 I identified an opportunity to aid businesses to find solutions for their database issues based on technical expertise and thought leadership. I built and diversified WARDY IT Solutions with likeminded colleagues who are passionate specialists that know how to have fun!

1-5     6-10     11-15     16-20     21-30     31-40

 
Author: Ben Hall, Paris Faint, David Simmons, Yasmin Bonnell, Amanda Williams Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn

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