In these strange plague times, B&T is more determined than ever to unite the industry and revel in the glory of our industry’s best and brightest overachievers.
That’s why over the next few weeks we’ll be celebrating adland’s youngest and most talented individuals; that’s right, B&T‘s 30 Under 30 finalists.
There are 10 finalists in each category, and 10 categories overall. So, if you’re keen to see who made the ultimate list this year, now’s your chance. Let these individuals inspire you, make you seethe with jealousy and ultimately motivate you to do the best work you can, and enter the Awards in 2021.
Without further ado, here are the 10 Entrepreneur finalists.
Angus Mullane, Jack Nimble
Angus graduated from the International Film School (Sydney) at 19. He kicked off his entrepreneurial career at 20 when he founded ‘Knocked App’. It quickly became the #1 Entertainment iPhone App in five countries, featuring in the media across the Morning Show, The Sun, Stuff.co.nz and The Australian to name a few.
In the same year, Angus co-founded the production company ‘Mullane Bros’ with his four brothers. At 22, Angus was recruited by DDB to lead content creation for the social team, working on brands like Telstra, McDonalds and Volkswagen. He then joined One Green Bean (OGB) to lead social creative / content production. At 24, he co-founded his own social media company ‘Jack Nimble’ with former OGB colleague Adam Wise. Jack Nimble is now a team of seven, and Angus has his eyes set on global expansion and opening an arm focused on original content.
Christie Ding, Brand Catalyser
Christie didn’t grow up in a family of business owners so it was a real surprise to not only them, but herself, when she started Brand Catalyser (BC) in 2017 – a niche cross-border and cross-cultural advertising agency focused on customer experience and acquisition across the Australian and Chinese landscape. After many years working with premium Australian advertising agencies, she noticed a glaring gap. A number of top-tier Australian clients wanted to launch into the Chinese market, but agencies felt the risk wouldn’t pay off, preferring to focus locally instead. So, she started BC.
Some of Christie’s key achievements include: Launched AusRecent in 2014 with fellow university student; oversaw the Australian Trade Commission’s ‘Win Your Future Unlimited’ global digital campaign; worked with three of Australia’s premium advertising agencies; guest lecturer and tutor for RMIT University’s Advertising Media undergraduate subject and guest speaker at Google & MYOB’s 2019 Startup Grind.
Fergus Creese, My Careers
Fergus studied a Bachelor of Commerce, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where he won the Swinburne Venture Cup twice, leading to immersing himself in the start-up scene. He founded City Streat, which resourced semi-homeless to gain sustainable employment, Find My Future, a digitally gamified career exploration tool and career management system, and Buzzlocker Securities, to name a few.
He also started My Careers by reimagining and reinventing the way students interact with the diverse range of educational resources in Australia. My Careers is a smart online tool for students, educators and parents to guide students towards rewarding futures.
Fergus holds a Directors position for Go Girls Foundation, a social enterprise who protect, honour and celebrate Women at risk of issues including domestic violence, long-term unemployment and semi-homelessness. His position extends to assisting the organisation to effectively plan for scale and structure itself to create the most significant impact from its resource
Harry Sanders, StudioHawk
When Harry was a kid, he watched his dad struggle to grow his boat licensing business, so he signed up with an SEO agency for help. They locked him into a 12-month contract, promising to “triple the amount of people coming through”, but they failed to deliver on that promise. So Harry spent his free time after school learning, performing tests, and practising. All of a sudden he was ranking for “boat licenses Melbourne”, a popular search term that multiple agencies were competing for.
He was approached by multiple agencies who offered to take him on as a junior employee. At age 14, he accepted an offer and began his career in SEO. Within 6 months he became a team leader, then at 16, managed the entire search division. Harry started Studiohawk in 2016 from nothing. In just 3 short years he was recognised by Forbes as one of the most successful millionaire SEO entrepreneurs (millionaire SEO entrepreneurs). And at 22, he is the sole director of Australia’s largest dedicated SEO agency with a team of 18 full-time SEO Specialists in our Prahran office in Melbourne.
Jonathan Henshaw, JBZ Digital
Jonathan’s career started in 2014 when he was offered the opportunity to intern at Haystac Communications within the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN). As part of the internship, he worked with the Digital team to develop his skills in organic social media by crafting strategies and content calendars. He was then offered a second internship within DAN at DentsuMitchell (now DentsuX) and it’s here where he developed his passion for all things digital.
After an internal promotion to another DAN agency, Columbus, Jonathan set about expanding his digital capabilities into paid search and display advertising, broadening his digital skills and laying the foundations for a future leadership role. In 2018, he took a leap of faith and co-founded a new digital agency, JBZ Digital. JBZ Digital was created to provide a ‘Job Well Done’ for clients with a laser focus on transparency, honesty and results.
Sam Wood, Alpha Digital
At 23, Sam took over the running of Alpha Digital as General Manager, and now at 29, he is progressing to the role of CEO and Director. Over this time, he has overseen the transformation of the business from a small, barely profitable (yet promising) digital marketing agency, running on a shoestring budget, to one of the premier independent agencies in the country.
He started his journey as Alpha Digital’s first employee in 2012, and was offered an SEO role with one year’s experience at another independent agency ‘Decoder’ under his belt. When he completed his studies in Marketing and Law in 2014, he turned down big opportunities in FMCG and Consulting because he could see a bright path ahead right where he was.
After taking the GM role, he immediately set out to overhaul our systems, service offering, and procedures. By raising Alpha Digital’s profit margins, he envisioned that it could comfortably invest in its people, and raise the quality of output in the industry.
Sean Melis, bot•hello
After finishing degrees in Finance and IT, Sean went straight into full-time work as an IT Consultant at Deloitte. Within 12 months, he hustled his way onto his dream project—working for an Investment Bank across Singapore and China, on an Artificial Intelligence implementation.
After a very hard three months in China, Sean decided that life wasn’t for him. For the first month of unemployment, he traded cryptocurrency. Making six-figures in a short period of time and then subsequently losing it—he teamed up with a friend to try and win it back but eventually moved into dropshipping. After struggling with the customer service workload across three e-commerce stores, they decided to automate it and built a chatbot.
After realising the opportunity was in chatbots, they put their remaining cash together ($720) to register a business and went full-time into chatbot development. Within 12 months, they were working with the Brisbane Lions, Youfoodz and Anytime Fitness—and also won grants from H&R Block and the Brisbane City Council.
Stephanie Taylor, Steph Taylor
Stephanie’s rollercoaster ride began when she started her corporate finance job, and realised she need a creative outlet, so began managing social media for local businesses. She saw the results she was getting for her clients and believed she could replicate this in a business of her own. Passionate about nutrition, she decided to launch a health food eCommerce business. But, after months of pulling 16-hour days, she ended up in hospital. She knew she had to resign.
She then started working as a digital marketing coordinator for a start up. Her new boss quickly became a mentor and encouraged her to start another business – this time as a marketing consultant.
She soon noticed a gap in the market: small business owners needed marketing support but didn’t have the budget to hire a consultant. So, she started launching online courses teaching them how to DIY. In 2018, she started a bite-sized marketing podcast, Socialette. It launched at #1, and has amassed over 475,000 downloads and 250 5-star reviews to date. These days, she helps brands launch and relaunch their offerings so they can achieve more impact, create more profit and foster more freedom in their business.
Tarla Lambert, Agenda Media
After completing a Bachelor of Arts, Global Studies degree at the University of Sydney, Tarla started her career in media sales at large B2B publisher, Cirrus Media. She then moved to independent publisher, Private Media to take up the role of Commercial Director of Women’s Agenda. During her time at PM, she oversaw all commercial prospects for the site, and put together strategies for future opportunities.
In 2016, Women’s Agenda was acquired by its founding editor, Angela Priestley, who approached Tarla about partnering together. A year after partnering on the business, they launched Agenda Media as a parent company that works with employers on their internal communications strategies. 12 months thereafter, a successful grant pitch led to Agenda Media receiving federal government funding to launch 5 bespoke digital newsletters for women in core industries- business, health, agriculture, STEM and sport. These have all moved ahead and boast unique subscriber bases of more than 1500 each.
Zyran Erasmus, App Boxer
Zyran is the founder and CEO of App Boxer, a Sydney development agency with 30+ staff. He started his journey out of passion and curiosity without the intention to make it a career at the age of 12. He started building games and apps as a hobby which transitioned into a junior freelancer career at 14 years old. At 18, he registered his first business called Zybox gaming. That business then evolved into App Boxer a year later as we identified gaps in the market.
Some of Zyran’s key achievements include: Western Sydney Awards For Business Excellence – Outstanding Young Entrepreneur 2019; FoundX 2019 pitch winner; EO Accelerator of the Year 2019; Clutch – Leading Australia Agency 2018; Clutch – Top Australian development company 2019
and NSW State Business Awards Finalist 2019.
p.s There’s no big in-person party like usual this year and we’re going to have to content ourselves with virtual drinking games and remote flirting. We’re rapidly figuring out just how the fuck we’re actually going to do that so stay tuned, but don’t buy any bloody tickets just yet.
Thanks to all of our sponsors!
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