Five years after starting a comic store on Auckland’s Karangahape Rd, David Yu of collectible company VeVe has won EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year for 2023.
Yu was able to win the award despite tough competition from finalists Jamie Beaton of Crimson Education, Carmen Vicelich of Data Insight, Angus Brown of Ārepa and Chris Warren of NZS Group.
The global data and technology organisation Ernst & Young (EY) holds an annual awards night for Entrepreneur of the Year.
Jason Macgregor, Director of EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year says the awards is “all about celebrating entrepreneurialism”.
“These entrepreneurs and business leaders have stuck their necks out and forged a path forward during times of uncertainty, contributing significantly to New Zealand’s economy. We applaud their courage and resilience and encourage more kiwis to follow in their footsteps,” adds Macgregor.
Yu won the award for his app VeVe, a platform that has changed the collectibles landscape allowing users to collect and trade digital items.
Through the app, users can own and showcase their favourite characters, artworks and memorabilia from popular franchises using NFT technology.
Since its launch they have sold more than 8 million collectibles from brands such as Disney, Marvel and DC Comics.
“David Yu is a true kiwi entrepreneur – he is a silent achiever that is both humble and grounded in his approach. He has been running businesses from the age of sixteen and has grown as an entrepreneur alongside his company, constantly adapting and refining his approach along the way,” says Cecilia Robinson, Chair of Judges at EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
“The courage it took for David to forge ahead with a business idea in a completely new industry is admirable, and to now be sitting as the leader in that sector is truly outstanding.”
She hopes that Yu’s story is seen as an inspiration for other entrepreneurs to “see their own innovations through”.