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The Talent Unleashed Awards aim to applaud innovators, recognise the game-changers and bring together people at the cutting edge of technology. The awards are about ideas that leverage technology in new ways and it’s why Cliff Rosenberg, LinkedIn Director for South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand has been on the team of judges for the past three years.

Since 2013, Talent has been awarding those at the forefront of technological innovation and who are driving positive change in the community and the workplace. For Rosenberg, the passion behind the entries is always impressive whether they come from a startup or a bigger company, and he learns something from each one.

“To see their passion and read their entries is massively beneficial. I get as much out of it as they get from the awards,” he says.

Rosenberg says there were some sophisticated entries in contention this year, including some that involve cutting edge developments like virtual reality. But underneath the plethora of ideas, themes and technology, the capacity to improve lives is still at the heart of every entry.

For the LinkedIn MD, the ideas that stand out most are the ones that aim to improve the lives of those living in second and third world countries.

“Whether it’s in the health space or the financial space or whatever else, what good businesses do is solve real problems to help people,” Rosenberg said. “If that’s true then the business will ultimately succeed.”

The Talent Unleashed Awards aren’t just helping to recognise the positive social impact that innovators are creating, they’re also helping bring a large community of innovators together and introducing entrants to a network of influential, successful individuals.

Rosenberg says the ability to meet, engage with, and get feedback from influential and successful entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson, Steve Wozniak, and Yat Siu is an opportunity not to be missed.

The entrepreneur says that relationships are important to business success and it’s a key part of the mission he spearheads at LinkedIn. In the seven years he’s been at the company, Rosenberg has increased Australian membership on the site from one to eight million.

He says it’s an exciting time for the company, which just last week was acquired by Microsoft. Now he says the company’s focus is on driving innovation, firstly by working on LinkedIn’s mobile platform and then by making it a hub for business-related content. The professional networking site is also looking at expanding into education and learning, demonstrated by its recent acquisition of

The awards help foster mentoring relationships and Rosenberg says that some finalists have even gone on to receive funding for their business.

“There’s so much upside for entrants, and it’s not an easy thing to win these awards so one should not underestimate the recognition that goes with them,” he said.

Melbourne startup CareMonkey has seen growth accelerate rapidly since it won the 2015 Talent Unleashed Grand Prize. The company’s cofounders won a trip to Richard Branson’s Necker Island, and the business has since grown from eight to 20 people as it looks to expand into overseas markets. This year’s winners will get to spend one-on-one time with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Is entering the 2016 Talent Unleashed Awards part of your journey? Check out the categories and enter here.

Startup Daily