Digital innovators lead Victorian Business Awards finalists

Media Release, 16 June 2014

Victorian businesses that have proven technology and digital innovation can make a difference, irrespective of their industry, are among the front runners in the 25 finalists of the 2014 Telstra Victorian Business Awards.

The finalists have demonstrated how tools such as social media, smart data, digital printing and search engine optimisation have moved them from the realm of IT and into businesses in fields as diverse as wine retailing, traffic management and fabric printing.

Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, Will Irving, said the breadth and calibre of the 25 Victorian Awards finalists was a positive sign for the State’s economy and reflected Victoria’s proactive adoption of technology to deliver better business outcomes.
“It’s fantastic to see finalists from across Victoria innovating in such varied industries. These brilliant Victorian businesses are at the heart of our community and the backbone of the Australian economy.

“The Telstra Business Awards recognise the brilliance of Australian businesses and help them reflect on their strategies, goals and how they can achieve a better future, but they also inspire their communities by highlighting the hard work and creative force that go into keeping a small business running, fulfilling business owners’ passions and dreams,” Mr Irving said.

ReadyTechGo founders Lisa Du and Brad Donnini saw their parents and grandparents struggling in the new digital world and so made a business helping people get connected with one-on-one technology lessons, that now provides services through Alpha Hearing and the Royal District Nursing Service.

John Vlasakakis and Nick Grinberg wanted to offer something new in the crowded search engine optimisation market and came up with the idea for a performance-based digital strategy business GMG SEO which has attracted high-profile clients including Laura Ashley, Jo Mercer and Wridgways.

SIDRA SOLUTIONS founder Dr Rahmi Akçelik’s highly regarded research into safe, environmentally-friendly and efficient traffic operations led to the creation of a traffic engineering software that has been licensed in 92 countries in North America, Australasia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

A world leader in night vision goggle manufacturing Point Trading, which services defence forces, law enforcement and emergency services; wine entrepreneurs Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier, whose business Vinomofo uses social media and smart data to source wines for its 250,000 members; and Linda Vydra, who channeled her creative nous into digital fabric printers Lydra Group, are also among the finalists.

Other finalists include a holiday retreat for adults with a disability, Chris and Julie’s Respite Farm Pty Ltd, and five:am organics which makes organic yoghurt products.
More than $800,000 in prizes is available for winners of the 2014 state, territory and national Telstra Business Awards - a program that has celebrated brilliant Australian small and medium businesses since 1992.

The finalists for the 2014 Telstra Victorian Business Awards are:

Start-Up Award

Chris & Julie's Respite Farm Pty Ltd Daisy Hill
Crisp Creative Salad Melbourne
Plan B Travel St Kilda
ReadyTechGo Richmond
Victorian Animal Cancer Care Box Hill

Micro Business Award

Evac Environmental Pty Ltd                                             North Melbourne
JWS Research Malvern
Lydra Group Pty Ltd Abbotsford
Proven Résumé Results Werribee
Urban Escape Prahran

Small Business Award

Full Circle Financial Group                                               South Melbourne
GMG SEO South Yarra
New McPherson Video Agency Fitzroy
NSR Australia Cheltenham
Point Trading South Melbourne

Medium Business Award

DCI Corporation                                                     Hawthorn
The Enchanted Adventure Garden Arthurs Seat
five:am organics Carrum Downs
Gorman Commercial Real Estate Hawthorn
Roderick Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd Geelong
Smile Solutions Melbourne
Vinomofo Richmond

Regional Award

Chris & Julie's Respite Farm Pty Ltd           Daisy Hill
The Enchanted Adventure Garden Arthurs Seat
Framing Elegance Sale
Kings Cars Hamilton
Proven Résumé Result Werribee
Roderick Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd Geelong

Winners of the Telstra Victorian Business Awards will be announced at the Crown Melbourne, 8 July 2014. They will proceed to the national Awards in Melbourne on 7 August.
Awards information and tickets for the Awards Gala Dinners can be purchased by visiting or by calling 1800AWARDS between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday.