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Westpac Helps 200 Outstanding Australian Businesses Take on Tomorrow

20 July, 2018

Today two hundred Australian businesses have been named as Westpac’s 2018 Businesses of Tomorrow, recognised for their vision and drive to help shape the nation’s economic future.

 

Building on the success of the inaugural 2017 program, and joining an impressive alumni, the winning businesses exemplify adaptability, resilience, value to customers, and a readiness to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

 

David Lindberg, Chief Executive, Westpac Business Bank and 2018 program judge, said this year’s applicants demonstrated the scale of movement of the Australian economy into a digital world.

 

“The digital economy is predicted to be worth $139 billion by 2020 to the Australian economy1- as a key driver of change in the future, this year’s businesses reflect the drive that’s disrupting and shaping the industries they operate in. Almost three quarters of the top twenty businesses are directly involved in technology or software development and this year also saw an increase in micro-business applicants, including early stage tech-businesses, which increased almost three-fold from 2017.

 

“This tells me leading Australian businesses are capitalising on the opportunities for growth. They’re breaking new markets, developing technology that helps people with autism gain employment, providing better analysis for solar energy users, using technology to make prescription glasses more durable and affordable, and transforming waste into useful materials.

 

“Over half (59%) of these businesses have an ambition to expand to the global marketplace and I look forward to seeing this great Australian entrepreneurial spirit succeed – because we have great talent and ideas in this country that deserved to be backed.

 

“As Australia continues to make the transition to a services and knowledge-based economy, it’s increasingly important for businesses to broaden their skills, tap into shared-knowledge and strengthen professional networks. Burgeoning businesses are critical to our success as a nation and to continue our 25-plus years of economic growth. By bringing together the right minds, tools and support, we are backing businesses that will help deliver a stronger, more prosperous Australia,” said Lindberg.

 

Of the 200 Businesses of Tomorrow, 20 top businesses will receive a two-week study tour to Silicon Valley and a tailored $50,000 professional services package from their choice of select providers offering legal services, PR and communications, customer relationship management and management consulting.

 

The top 20 will also take part in a mentor matching program with notable Australian business leaders. Among the mentors are John Eales AM, former Wallabies Captain and culture and leadership consultant; Mia Freedman, Mamamia Women’s Network; Tim Fung, Airtasker CEO; and Jo Horgan, founder and CEO of Mecca Cosmetics.

 

One of this year’s businesses which captured the judges’ attention was Sydney-based Avoka, a technology company which offers a software platform enabling banks to increase sales and build their customer base.

 

The CEO and founder of Avoka, Philip Copeland, said: “One of our core functions is enabling seamless digital processes so banks can make it as easy as possible for customers to open accounts, apply for a loan or become business customers. Avoka accelerates customer acquisition for banks and allows them to get outstanding customer journeys to market very quickly.

 

“With the help of Westpac and the Businesses of Tomorrow program, we’re looking forward to increasing our networking capabilities and continuing to improve and expand our product offering. Having been selected for the second year in a row, this time as a top 20 finalist, we appreciate the opportunities Westpac has given our business."

                                                      

Several businesses from last year’s top 180 businesses were also recognised this year and awarded a position in the top 20 including, Araza, Metamako, and Whispli, each of which have demonstrated growth and increased potential since 2017.


Sharing his views on last year's program, 2017 Business of Tomorrow, Healthshare CEO, Rami Weiss, said, "Having Healthshare recognised in Westpac’s Businesses of Tomorrow program was priceless. By connecting a diverse pool of forward-thinking businesses, the program has helped create a strong, enduring network of leaders who continue to share their unique knowledge and experiences with one another.

"The Global Study Tour gave us the incomparable opportunity to learn directly from founders of Silicon Valley giants on the importance of building a company's culture - lessons which Healthshare has now adopted and turned into practice."

 

Putting employees and people first was a key trend for 2018 businesses, “At least 71% of the 200 businesses saw increasingly employee engagement or wellness as a significant priority, which is recognised as a key factor in creating a culture that drives productivity,” concluded Lindberg.

 

For the full list of this year’s 200 Businesses of Tomorrow please visit BusinessesofTomorrow.com.au.

 

Media enquiries:

Sarah Scott                      
sarah.scott@westpac.com.au
M: 0499 727 242

 

Westpac’s Businesses of Tomorrow 2018:

Top 20

Araza
VIC, Professional, scientific and technical services
A technology consulting firm aiming to deliver the latest innovations to the largest

organisations

 

Avoka
NSW, Financial and insurance services
A software platform enabling banks to build a strong customer acquisition journey

 

BizCover
NSW, Financial and insurance services
Providing insurance cover options for small businesses in more than 6000 occupations

 

Checkbox
NSW, Financial and insurance services
A platform enabling professionals to build customised digital solutions supporting compliance and regulation

 

Deputy
NSW, Information media and telecommunications
Cloud-based employee-management app for shift workers and employers to set rosters and swap shifts

 

Dresden Optics
NSW, Healthcare and social assistance
A simple, durable frame-and-lens system for affordable and high-quality prescription glasses

 

GO1
QLD, Education and training
Provides tailored training content for teams and a platform to track learning and development

 

Hatch
NSW, Technology, employment and skills, social science
Enabling everyone, starting with students, to identify and develop a career they love

 

Humanitix
NSW, Technology
An online ticketing service that distributes all booking fee profits to 30 Australian partner charities

 

Metamako
NSW, Information media and telecommunications
Building network hardware and software that’s simple, fast and flexible, boosting transaction speeds

Orange Sky Australia
QLD, Charitable and community services
Providing free mobile laundry and shower services throughout Australia to people experiencing homelessness

 

Planet Innovation
VIC, Professional, scientific and technical services
Partnering with companies in the health sector, helping them introduce new technology and streamline processes

 

Redback Technologies
QLD, Renewable energy
Technology for monitoring and storing solar energy for home use or selling to the grid

 

Repurpose It
VIC, Recycling and resource recovery
Industrial ecology process taking landfill waste and transforming it into useful material

 

Shippit
NSW, Transport, postal and warehousing
A shipping and delivery platform allowing retailers to make efficient logistics decisions

 

VendorPanel
VIC, Information media and telecommunications
Web-based procurement service connecting buyers and suppliers to reduce risk and boost value

 

WithYouWithMe
NSW, Professional, scientific and technical services
Helping underemployed groups, such as former defence personnel, to find meaningful employment

 

Whispli
NSW, Software
A platform for organisations to uncover internal issues by enabling staff to speak up safely

 

Whole Kids
VIC, Manufacturing
Producing a range of certified organic, additive-free and allergen-friendly snacks for children

 

Xceptional
NSW, Professional, scientific and technical services
A technology testing and services firm utilising the extraordinary skills of people with autism

 



About Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow
 

The Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow program recognises and supports great Australian businesses today, with a clear vision for tomorrow. The annual program was announced in April 2016 to help businesses, big and small, transition and grow in a changing economy.

 

Now in its second year, the Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow program received an incredible response from the Australian business community, receiving more than 1,000 applications in early 2018.

 

The top 20 Businesses of Tomorrow, which have demonstrated exceptional potential, will each receive a tailored $50,000 professional services package, one-on-one mentoring with some of Australia’s most influential mentors, and an exclusive two-week study tour to Silicon Valley. All 200 businesses will attend a three-day intensive workshop with the Melbourne Business School in late 2018, designed to build the knowledge and skills required to respond to disruption, map future business plans and create a growing alumni of businesses who are shaping Australia’s future.

 

The Businesses of Tomorrow were independently assessed by Deloitte and chosen by a high profile judging panel including: Alison Deans, Board Director: Westpac, Cochlear, IAG, kikki K Holdings; David Lindberg, CEO, Westpac Business Bank; Sian Chadwick, Head of Business Marketing, Westpac Group; Prof. Ian Harper, Dean (incoming) of Melbourne Business School and Simon Cant, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Reinventure Group.

 

[1] ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse, Driving Australia’s International ICT Competitiveness and Digital Growth