Here are the winners of the Pause Awards

- December 7, 2023 2 MIN READ
The 2023 Pause Awards winners
The sixth annual Pause Awards were held in Melbourne, recognising Australia’s most ambitious and innovative startups and tech companies for their innovation and financial success.

There were 63 finalists across five category tracks – Growth, Excellence, Operators, Good, and Culture – and 32 winners, predominantly from Victoria and NSW in sectors ranging from health, to financial services, marketing and computer technology.

Pause founder George Hedon hosted the awards with Megan Flamer.

WeMoney led the accolades with three awards, lauded for its groundbreaking work in the Wildfire category as a Diamond winner.

Hedon said the introduction of Champion winners and the Diamond award levels marked a new chapter in the Pause Awards.

Kollektive won Small Team Culture and Brittany Garbutt received the Women in Business award. Origin Energy and InvestorHub were recognized for their environmental consciousness and adaptability, respectively.

Wevolt, AirTree Ventures, and Michelle Mannering, received the People’s Choice awards.

Hedon said those companies exemplify the spirit of the Pause Awards, valuing innovation and ambition above all.

“We are celebrating 13 years of Pause Fest and 6 years of Pause Awards,”  he said.

“Here’s to many more years of celebrating innovation, impact, and the relentless spirit of Australian entrepreneurs.”

Hedon added that looking at the entries this year, there was a 20% increase in Victorian entries, while NSW entries rose by 2% and Queensland’s fell by 40%.

The average age of founder who entered was 38 and with the average funding level at $18 million.

The 2023 awards are the last overseen by chair of the judging board Lee Tonitto, with Sonia Clarke and Ben Ford stepping up as co-chairs in 2024.

The Pause Awards were supported by VicGov and sponsorship from Blackmagic Design.

Here is the list of all winners:


GROWTH | Wildfire – WeMoney


CULTURE | Small team culture – Kollektive

EXCELLENCE | Women in business – Brittany Garbutt

GOOD | Going green – Origin Energy

GROWTH | Great pivot – InvestorHub

OPERATORS | TopCoder (new) – Mel Stubbings



Small team culture – Kollektive

Work sweet work – Quad Lock



Company of the Year – WeMoney

Defiant ones – Tixel

Defiant ones – WeMoney

Hammer – Birchal

Hammer – Macro Mike

I wish I’d done that – Macro Mike

On the rise – Tanck

Prodigy – Pretzel Australia

Women in business – Brittany Garbutt

Women in business – Chau Le

Women in business – Marcella Romero

Women in business – Melinda Farley



B-Good – Music Health

Circular Pioneer – ReSource

Going green – Origin Energy



Design first – inke packaging

Design first – Upstock

Great pivot – InvestorHub

Movement (new) – Quad Lock

New model (new) – Origin Energy

Out of the garage – Kollektive

Out of the garage – WithYouWithMe

Wildfire – WeMoney



Down under (new) – Upstock

Ecosystem star – Paz Pisarski

Future builder – Jasmine Batra

TopCoder (new) – Mel Stubbings



Angel – Michelle Mannering

Going green – Wevolt

Venture Cap – AirTree Ventures