In many respects the Deloitte Fast 50 is the ultimate awards night for entrepreneurs; to walk in the footsteps of Kiwi success stories like Xero and Trademe (not to mention rock-star newbies like Kiwiyo and Pita Pit) is a dream come true. Even as an observer there is something incredibly energising about standing alongside some of the top business minds in the country.
Being ranked in the Fast50 is seen as a badge of honour amongst the entrepreneurial set and in some respects is a rite of passage for those wanting to build a name in the industry. I can speak from experience that earning a spot on the Deloitte Fast50 can be a catalyst to great things; last year the experiential marketing agency I founded (now called Sublime Activation) was ranked 31st fastest growing company in New Zealand before being acquired by Australasia’s largest and most awarded PR consultancy Professional Public Relations, part of the global WPP network of communications agencies.
Last night’s event was not the actual awards ceremony rather the announcement of finalists for the Northern region and therefore the precursor to a larger event in November. There were a number of familiar companies listed as finalists including last year’s winners Pulse Utilities and Moa Beer. But it was great to see new companies like adventure booking website BookMe, home delivered juice company PHD Cleanse, I Love Ugly men’s online clothing store and search engine specialists Online Asset Partners making the list for the first time.
Finalist First In is an interesting business. They have started a global technology distribution company with offices in Auckland and Las Angeles whose business model is to use group buying power to sell tech (or other) products to people all over the world without actually having to touch or store it.
If there was a trend this year about ‘what makes a successful business’ it would be that agile, online, easily scalable businesses with strong value propositions are key. Companies that can be franchised, distributed, licensed, or sold globally seem to be most popular compared to more traditional business models.
It was a very good night and I am looking forward to the finals to see who is crowned New Zealand’s Fastest Growing Company later this year.
Robert Bruce is the founder of experiential marketing agency Sublime Activation (now part of Professional Public Relations), and a regular contributor to Idealog. Contact him at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments or opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, Robert Bruce only. The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Sublime, Professional Public Relations NZ Ltd, or its management or employees. PPR NZ is not responsible for, and disclaims any and all liability for the content of comments written by contributors to this blog.