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Taking ’that’ next step with 2019 Telstra Business Awards Victorian finalists

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

After a taste of start-up success, every business needs to think about ‘that’ next step – whether scaling up or slowing down, revisiting the business model, or exploring a new technology. The next step might be leap of faith, or a moment for consolidation.

Here, a collection of 2019 Telstra Business Awards finalists from Victoria tell us where they’ve got to, and where they’re heading – from going global to powering Australia, from artificial intelligence to environmentally friendly products. Plus, what comes after the next step – what’s in store for the next 5 years.

‘That’ next step is going global: Rachel Service, Happiness Concierge

“Happiness Concierge was founded to provide training sessions to individuals and corporations to help employees manage stress and take advantage of opportunities to excel at work.

“It started out as my blog, where I shared the tips I learned on my own road back to happiness. Now Happiness Concierge is a training business teaching thousands of people each year across Australia, New Zealand, North America and Asia. 

“Our purpose is to help people ace work and life.

“After suffering from anxiety, depression and burnout throughout my career, I decided there had to be a better way to work. I was inspired by an ‘aha’ moment at a Beyoncé concert.”

“We’ve grown to a team of 20 across Australia, working with Australia’s largest brands, delivering corporate training, online learning programmes, offering coaching and support.

“The next goal is to take Happiness Concierge abroad while ensuring we are delivering the best possible experience for our community of clients, colleagues and customers here in Australia. That quality control is really important to us as we scale.”

Rachel Service is the founder of Happiness Concierge, a training company that offers 1:1 coaching, multi-level training and online programs. Happiness Concierge is a finalist in the Small & Succeeding category.

‘That’ next step is embracing the power in sharing: David Cervilli, The Solar Power Co.

“The Solar Power Co. helps Australian families, communities and businesses save on their energy costs by switching to solar-generated and renewable energy solutions. We work with customers to provide access to government incentives and education to make more informed decisions about their energy options.

 “We started in response to rapidly rising electricity prices in Australia, and we are now focused on inspiring action through market education. We’ve become a recognised thought-leader in the sustainable energy space, in energy legislation changes, and in innovative renewable technologies of the future.

“Today, it’s about making solar simple for people and to do something positive for the environment.

“As technology improves every year, the industry is moving towards what we’re calling the ‘new energy marketplace’, where communities can directly benefit from solar-generated electricity. We are working with industry leaders in blockchain solutions around the world and exploring sustainable peer-to-peer energy models.

“In five years, it could be something different that will be even more sustainable – that’s where we’ll focus.”

David Cervilli is founder and managing director of The Solar Power Co., a business that offers solar-generated and renewable energy solutions. The Solar Power Co. a finalist in the Emerging and Energised category.    


3 Essential tips for making the most of ‘that’ moment
  • “Don't try to do everything at once. Turn challenges into small projects and deal with them one by one. You can fix everything, but not everything at once.” – Dean Saunders, CEO, eCreators
  • “Schedule time into your calendar on a regular basis to be creative – to think, review, and build a plan for execution.”– Jodie McClintock, Director, Bikram Yoga Mill Park
  • “Business isn’t for the light hearted, you have to go for it and you have to go hard but in order to succeed you need to listen to the common traps businesses experience and avoid them where possible. Learn from your mistakes and also learn from others” – James Dutton, CEO, Nutricare
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‘That’ next step is a greener future: Celeste Faltyn, Apiary Made

“Celebrating the power of the humble bee, Apiary Made is the culmination of my passion for the environment and the creation of beautiful things. With sustainability at the forefront, myself and the team handcraft a luxury range of beeswax food wraps, skincare, candles and honey derived from Australian beehives.

“We want to help our clients make changes in their day-to-day lives by choosing healthy, eco-conscious products that help humans and the planet thrive.

“We deeply believe in taking social responsibility for a greener and brighter future.”

“Today we sell these products around the world. After starting with a few hives and making goods out of shipping container in my backyard to selling thousands of wraps per year, we estimate that we have prevented approximately 1.56 million pieces of plastic wrap ending up in landfill or the ocean.

“We aim to spread our products far and wide, and educate people about how effective, practical and simple they are as a solution to reducing your plastic and food waste. 

Currently, we’re developing relationships with distribution partners around the world and our goal is to begin exporting to three new regions this calendar year.”

Celeste Faltyn is the owner of Apiary Made, an environmentally focussed business producing handcrafted luxury beeswax food wraps, skincare, candles and honey – all derived from Australian beehives. Apiary Made is a finalist in the Social Change Maker category.

‘That’ next step is artificial intelligence: Dean Cherny, Marketing Melodies

“Unleashing the power of music for brands, Marketing Melodies provides in-store music solutions and digital signage to more than 4,000 retail stores across Australia.

“Over the past three decades, Marketing Melodies has evolved from being a background music supplier to a retail technology specialist.

“In 2018 we launched storePlay, a custom-built bespoke media player that allows shoppers to purchase songs via AfterPay or Zip Pay.

“We live and breathe music. We know that music has the ability to transport us to a time and place, to affect mood and behaviour, and move us.

“Based on the premise that music effects mood and mood effects buying behaviours, we have engaged the Science Department of RMIT to help us build and integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning into storePlay to create local, optimised playlists that maximise sales.”

“And in 5 years, other than providing retail technology for over 20,000 stores we hope to be able to licence our AI globally.”

Dean Cherny is the founder and CEO of Marketing Melodies, on business that provides in-store music solutions and digital signage to retail stores across Australia. Marketing Melodies is a finalist in the Medium & Making Waves category.

‘That’ next step is reaching 1 billion people: Mohinder Jaimangal, Curve Tomorrow

“Curve Tomorrow is a digital health technology company that combines design thinking, lean startup methodologies, and agile software development to create new products for people.

"We’re at the intersection of healthcare, commercialization, and digital product development, and through our work with organisations, clinicians, and medical researchers, we aim to create life-changing health technology.

“Curve’s next step is to expand our focus and create more products. As technology evolves so rapidly, we see our impact growing exponentially, bringing us closer to our goal of positively impacting 1 billion lives."

“Maintaining our culture is our number one priority. We plan on nurturing potential future leaders to be our ‘culture champions.’ We are excited to see our team grow both professionally and personally, and the business will grow with them.”

Mohinder Jaimangal is the executive director of Curve Tomorrow, work with organisations, clinicians, and medical researchers to build products that impact healthcare technology and create change globally. Curve Tomorrow is a finalist in the Social Change Maker category.

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