Westpac thinks these 20 businesses will change Australia for the better

Mike Tozer, founder of Xceptional, which helps people with autism find work.

Australia’s digital economy is expected to be worth $139 billion by 2020, and its growing influence on the country’s GDP over the coming years will reshape the nature of work.

With that in mind, Westpac, as it marks two centuries in business, has turned its eye to the future to single out 200 businesses the bank thinks will have a profound influence on the country’s economic future.

The bank is also doing its bit to help the best of the best, giving the top 20 businesses a two-week study tour to Silicon Valley and a $50,000 professional services package and a mentor matching program with business leaders such as Airtasker CEO Tim Fung, and Mecca Cosmetics founder Jo Horgan.

Westpac Business Bank Chief Executive, David Lindberg, one of the judges in the 2018 Businesses of Tomorrow program, said the companies they’d selected reflect the drive that’s disrupting and reshaping industries, and 59% of the companies said they had global ambitions.

“Almost three quarters of the top 20 businesses are directly involved in technology or software development and this year also saw an increase in micro-business applicants, including early stage tech-businesses, which increased almost three-fold from 2017,” he said.

“They’re breaking new markets, developing technology that helps people with autism gain employment, providing better analysis for solar energy users, using technology to make prescription glasses more durable and affordable, and transforming waste into useful materials.”

Among the top 20 this year is Sydney-based fintech Avoka, a software platform for banks. It’s the second year Avoka has been chosen among the top 200, and CEO and founder Philip Copeland is pleased to crack to the top 10% in 2018.

“One of our core functions is enabling seamless digital processes so banks can make it as easy as possible for customers to open accounts, apply for a loan or become business customers,” he said. “Avoka accelerates customer acquisition for banks and allows them to get outstanding customer journeys to market very quickly.”

Copeland said he hopes being a top 20 finalist will give the business the chance to increase its networking capabilities and improve and expand their product offering.

Avoka is one of several companies from last year’s top 180 recognised this year and awarded a position in the top 20 including, Araza, Metamako, and Whispli, after demonstrating growth and increased potential.

Here are the top 20 in Westpac’s 2018 Businesses of Tomorrow. The full list of all 200 chosen is here.

    Araza, VIC
    Professional, scientific and technical services
    A technology consulting firm aiming to deliver the latest innovations to the largest organisations.

    Avoka, NSW
    Financial and insurance services
    A software platform enabling banks to build a strong customer acquisition journey

    BizCover, NSW
    Financial and insurance services
    Providing insurance cover options for small businesses in more than 6000 occupations

    Checkbox, NSW
    Financial and insurance services
    A platform enabling professionals to build customised digital solutions supporting compliance and regulation

    Deputy, NSW
    Information media and telecommunications
    Cloud-based employee-management app for shift workers and employers to set rosters and swap shifts

    Dresden Optics, NSW
    Healthcare and social assistance
    A simple, durable frame-and-lens system for affordable and high-quality prescription glasses

    GO1, QLD
    Education and training
    Provides tailored training content for teams and a platform to track learning and development

    Hatch, NSW
    Technology, employment and skills, social science
    Enabling everyone, starting with students, to identify and develop a career they love

    Humanitix, NSW
    Technology
    An online ticketing service that distributes all booking fee profits to 30 Australian partner charities

    Metamako, NSW
    Information media and telecommunications
    Building network hardware and software that’s simple, fast and flexible, boosting transaction speeds

    Orange Sky Australia, QLD
    Charitable and community services
    Providing free mobile laundry and shower services throughout Australia to people experiencing homelessness

    Planet Innovation, VIC
    Professional, scientific and technical services
    Partnering with companies in the health sector, helping them introduce new technology and streamline processes

    Redback Technologies, QLD
    Renewable energy
    Technology for monitoring and storing solar energy for home use or selling to the grid

    Repurpose It, VIC
    Recycling and resource recovery
    Industrial ecology process taking landfill waste and transforming it into useful material

    Shippit, NSW
    Transport, postal and warehousing
    A shipping and delivery platform allowing retailers to make efficient logistics decisions

    VendorPanel, VIC
    Information media and telecommunications
    Web-based procurement service connecting buyers and suppliers to reduce risk and boost value

    WithYouWithMe, NSW
    Professional, scientific and technical services
    Helping underemployed groups, such as former defence personnel, to find meaningful employment

    Whispli, NSW
    Software
    A platform for organisations to uncover internal issues by enabling staff to speak up safely

    Whole Kids, VIC
    Manufacturing
    Producing a range of certified organic, additive-free and allergen-friendly snacks for children

    Xceptional, NSW
    Professional, scientific and technical services
    A technology testing and services firm utilising the extraordinary skills of people with autism

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