Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 9.34.20 am

Last night, BRW revealed their annual Top 50 Best Places to Work list for the year. Call it a coincidence or call it the stars aligning, but there happens to be a little bit of crossover with our own list of emerging Australian leaders and some of the companies that were chosen by Fairfax. The message it sends is clear: there are a particular group of people breaking down barriers and building sustainable businesses and organisations. These people will no doubt serve as inspiration for the next generation of dreamers, creators and business builders, and that is something to be truly proud of.

In putting together this list, Startup Daily looked at many metrics. Leadership is not just about financial turnover or capital raised for a business, it is not even necessarily about whether you have founded a business. The metrics our teamed looked at when putting this list together include: an individual’s social and industry influence; traction of the company the individual leads or their influence within the organisation they are part of; as well as the size of team they are part of. Only people that operate within a team of five or more employees were eligible to make the list.

It is also important to note that this list was about emerging leaders, so everyone in the list has been leading or working within their organisation for less than 10 years.

Unlike other lists that Startup Daily produces, this list is not biased towards technology businesses.

Companies that have an affiliation with Startup Daily by way of sitting on our advisory board were not eligible for the list. This also means our major sponsor for this list, We Love Numbers, and people associated with its current campaign were also not eligible to make the list.

Congratulations to our Top 50 Emerging Leaders for 2015.

1 Genevieve George One Shift
 2 Melanie Perkins Canva
 3 Richard Bell The Entourage

Our top three spots this year have been taken out by the founders of two high-growth technology companies (One Shift and Canva) and the CEO of an entrepreneurial education company (The Entourage). George, Perkins and Bell all lead teams of 50+ people on a daily basis and are well regarded within their organisations and their industries as effective leaders. Unlike George and Perkins, Bell is not the founder of The Entourage; he is the CEO and has done an outstanding job this year of working alongside Founder and Director of the company Jack Delosa to expand the company’s reach across the Australian market.

Melanie Perkins with her fellow Canva Cofounders Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams
Melanie Perkins with her fellow Canva Cofounders Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams
4 Wyatt Roy The Liberal Party
5 Tim Fung Airtasker
6 David Hickey Meltwater (Australia)
7 Charlie Wood Dropbox (Australia)
8 Julie Stevanja Stylerunner
9 Mick Spencer OnTheGo
10 Tara-Jay Rimmer The Van That Can
11 Vuki Vujasinovic Sling & Stone
12 Peter Moriarty IT Genius
13 Murray Hurps Fishburners
14 Alex Scandurra Stone and Chalk
15 Nat Taubman Barney Cools

One person that would be less known to Startup Daily readers would be the founder of menswear label Barney Cools, Nat Taubman. While Barney Cools is a relatively new brand, most people would already be familiar with its ‘older-brother’ brand Zanerobe, of which Taubman is also Creative Director. In such a short time, not only has he built a huge following for the brands, but he has formed massive partnerships with retail brands across the world including Glue, Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom, all while leading two expanding teams of high-growth fashion brands.

Nat Taubman, founder of Barney Cools | Source: Surf and Stitch
Nat Taubman, founder of Barney Cools | Source: Surf and Stitch
16 Jane Cay Birdsnest
17 Simone Eyles 365 Cups
18 Daniel Flynn Thankyou.
19 Jane Lu Showpo
20 Angelo Giuffrida VentraIP
21 Priyanka Rao LuxMy Furniture
22 David Rohrsheim Uber (Australia)
23 Matt Bullock eWay
24 Jonathan Barouch Local Measure
25 Tom Dawkins Start Some Good
26 Alan Downie Macropod
27 Kurt Juson Redback Conferencing

What has been particularly interesting about putting this list together is that Startup Daily was able to look beyond companies’ founders and identify individuals within organisations that may be effectively leading teams or departments with great success. For example, Angelo Giuffrida has been one of the youngest CEOs of a company for around two years in Australia and leads a large national team, yet outside his immediate industry, does not usually garner a lot of recognition for his achievements. Another example is Kurt Juson who leads the sales team at Redback Conferencing, a BRW Fast Starter List company.

28 Jason Sew Hoy 99designs
29 Ari Kopoulos Employment Innovations
30 Peta Ellis River City Labs
31 Agata Celmerowski Databox
32 Chris Ridd Xero (Australia)
33 Jodie Fox Shoes of Prey
34 Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin Bluechilli
35 Nicola Farrell Pollenizer
36 James Martin OneFlare
37 Paul Friend Grindr (Australia)
38 Ned Moorefield GoCatch
39 Heath Ducker Youth Insearch Foundation


Cofounder of Shoes of Prey, Jodie Fox.
Cofounder of Shoes of Prey, Jodie Fox.
40 Phillip Kingston Trimantium Capital
41 Zoe Pointon Open Agent
42 Rui Rodrigues Tank Stream Ventures
43 Peter Bradd StartupAUS
44 Sally-ann Williams Google (Australia)
45 Ned Dwyer GoDaddy
46 Georgia Beattie Lupé Wines
47 Rachel Bui muru-D
48 Alec Lynch Design Crowd
49 Stacey Jacobs TidyMe
50 Daniel Filmer Hungry Apps
51 Zach Kitschke Canva

This list is bought to you by our partners at We Love Numbers, Australia’s number one community for successful entrepreneurs who want to keep on top of their cashflow and business growth.

Visit for more information.

Startup Daily