Online bike exchange races to win Australian Business of the Year title

Media Release, 10 September 2012

A booming online business that aggregates the products of 400 bike retailers and taps into Australia’s thirst for riding bikes has been named the 2012 Telstra Australian Business of the Year., an ecommerce site launched in 2007 by 20-something friends Jason Wyatt and Sam Salter, has given local bricks and mortar bike shops national reach and a chance to take their businesses to a new online audience.

The Victorian business, which attracts a million online hits a month, has experienced phenomenal profit and sales growth in the past year based on commissions from every transaction and banner advertising on their website. The owners have plans to go overseas with their consolidated bike exchange and to open up to five other vertical product websites., which has a valuable database of 120,000 people and contains information and videos about bike holidays, events and product reviews , was also named winner of the MYOB Small Business Award at the 20th Telstra Australian Business Awards held in Sydney tonight.

Other Awards winners, reflecting the strength of Australia’s mining and resources sectors included South Australian businesses Sitemed and John Nitschke Drilling and WA based UON as well as Tasmanian value-add agriculture pioneer Shima Wasabi.

Will Irving, Group Managing Director of Telstra Business and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said has a simple but compelling business model that provides its owners with access to the inventory of hundreds of retail outlets and manufacturers at no cost while the participating businesses make upfront payments.

“The Awards judges said the ecommerce platform they’ve created has the immediate potential to grow into other retail sectors locally and internationally, giving new opportunities for Australian bricks and mortar stores to access new online customers,” Mr Irving said.

“The business has no debt, strong intellectual property and a scalable model that can be duplicated at marginal cost, all clearly identifiable success factors. Their growth in revenue, database and traffic is impressive with profit up 900 per cent, turnover up 123 per cent and margins rising 450 per cent in the past year.”

Tim Reed, MYOB CEO, said: “The MYOB team is delighted to congratulate on such well-deserved national recognition. What a thrill to be chosen as the very best in a country that produces exceptional small business success stories.

“ is a terrific example of what can be achieved in business if your team has the passion, drive and leadership to perform at an exceptionally high standard. Our increasingly digital economy intensifies the need to be increasingly competitive,” Mr Reed said.

The winners of the 2012 Telstra Australian Business Awards are:

HTC Start-Up Award
Sitemed - Port Adelaide, SA
The mining and construction boom coupled with legislative changes to work health safety requirements paved the way for establishment of Sitemed. The company, founded by Nicole Nott, delivers its clients - ranging from major infrastructure projects to construction and mine sites - highly trained and experienced paramedics, nurses, doctors and allied health professionals capable of responding to everything from emergency situations to workforce well-being. Judges said the company was particularly impressive “with their rapid path to profitability, clear growth plans and tenacity to remove obstacles in their way” and was backed by solid business acumen and leading edge technology.

News Limited Micro-Business Award
Shima Wasabi - Perth, Tas
Following 12 years of research and development, the company developed a unique climate-controlled hydroponic system mimicking Japan’s cold mountain conditions to enable it to grow the largest wasabi crop in the southern hemisphere. Shima Wasabi, launched by Stephen and Karen Welsh, is dedicated to producing and selling the prized Japanese vegetable and condiment wasabi to leading Australian restaurants, the food service industry and selected overseas markets. Judges said the company had “the vision and commitment to create a unique and authentic product that no other producer outside Japan had managed to do” and then overcome prejudices from top chefs about the locally produced product.

MYOB Small Business Award - South Melbourne, Vic

Commonwealth Bank Medium Business Award
UON Pty Ltd - Malaga, WA
The failure of internationally designed power load testing equipment for large electrical power systems and generators in the harsh Australian climate saw the establishment of UON Pty Ltd in 1998.  In 2006, Managing Director Mark Keogh decided to expand the range of products and services on offer to include solutions for the supply, management and control of site power, air and water, particularly for the mining industry. Since then the company has experienced significant growth, with staffing expanding from 10 to 148. Judges said the company has demonstrated strong growth, backed by a “strong organisational model that positions them well for further growth.”

Telstra Regional Award
John Nitschke Drilling Pty Ltd - Hahndorf, SA
In 1962, John Nitschke borrowed $35,000 to buy a truck-mounted drilling rig to meet the high demand for drilling water wells in the Adelaide Hills. Fifty years on, his company consists of a fleet of 17 rigs used for coal exploration, coal seam gas, iron ore, mine service holes and water well drilling across Australia.  In the past year, under the guidance of his son Jonathan as CEO, John Nitschke Drilling has tripled the company’s workforce to about 180 and through R&D has developed safer and more efficient equipment.  Judges said while the business has been “an iconic outback business over the last 50 years, it had continued to grow and keep track with technology”. 

Telstra Australian Business of the Year - South Melbourne, Vic

For more information about the Award winners or to nominate for the 2013 Telstra Australian Business Awards, visit