A panel of nine judges met last week to pick 40 young leaders from the more than 230 completed applications in the fourth year of InDaily’s 40 Under 40 Awards.
The chair of the judging panel, David Rohrsheim, who also judged the awards last year, said narrowing down the list to just 40 was doubly hard in 2021 not only because of the increased number of aspirants but also because of the quality of people applying.
“I was pleased to see that in its fourth year the 40 Under 40 Awards have obviously struck a chord with young leaders in South Australia,” said Rohrsheim, who is the SA Venture Capital Fund Portfolio Manager.
“It’s one thing to get 640 referrals and 230 applications, but when the vast majority of those applications are worthy of being on the list, that begins to show the depth of talent in the state.
“When I agreed to chair the judging panel in 2020, I asked whether we’d start to run out of candidates in a few years, but this year has reassured me that we will not and I encourage all those who applied and didn’t make the final cut but are still eligible to reapply in 2022.”
Jim Plouffe, the representative for Solstice Media, the publisher of InDaily, agreed with Rohrsheim and said that many of the applicants will be even stronger with a year or two of growth under their belts.
“It was hard to narrow this year’s list to just 40, especially with so many South Australian entrepreneurs kicking goals with effective business pivots in 2020, but I am pleased to see that many of them will be even better in the coming years,” he said.
Plouffe said that now the final 40 have been determined the next stage in judging is to determine who will win the awards provided by the program sponsors.
“We have an amazing line up of sponsors from diverse industries and they have been generous with their time (each has a representative on the judging panel) and their support of the 40 Under 40 Awards,” Plouffe said.
“The program is important to South Australia and we are glad that the sponsors all help foster these young leaders to achieve even more in their careers and businesses.”
The individual awards include:
Emerging Industries Award presented by Piper Alderman
Recognises an individual contributing to or a company operating in one of the “Emerging Industries” that will contribute to the prosperous future of our state.
Creative Thinker Award presented by KWP!
Recognises the person who best demonstrates thinking creatively in relation to any aspect of their business or endeavours, and showing the use of innovation to progress.
Rural and Regional Award presented by ANZ
Recognises the individual who demonstrates influence and leadership in contributing to the prosperity of a rural or regional business and community.
Discovery Award presented by Adelaide BioMed City
Recognises a person who has led an innovative research project that has had a multi-disciplinary and business impact on the future health sector.
Entrepreneurial Award Award presented by William Buck
Recognises an outstanding lateral business thinker and risk-taker exhibiting entrepreneurial flair.
Inspiring Disruptor Award presented by OTR
Recognises the vision, thought leadership and achievement of a leader in the private or public sector.
Social Impact Award presented by Community Corporate
Recognises an individual who is challenging conventional thinking by driving social innovation in a for-profit, social enterprise, NFP or through philanthropy.
Solstice Media will also hand out its First Among Equals prize to the person who most encapsulates the spirit of the young business leaders group.
Plouffe said he was happy that the award program had diversified its scope this year in both the industries represented and the people applying.
“We started the 40 Under 40 four years ago and were able to find many of South Australia’s young entrepreneurs around the startup scene,” Plouffe said.
“Now the list has grown to include many other industries and categories important to the South Australian economy, such as creative industries and the commercialisation of science.
“We have everything from social enterprises to rural leadership to emerging industries. And we have found that diversity is found not only in the range of industries represented but in the different people who have applied.”
The 40 Under 40 will be announced at a gala night at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 10 June. Tickets are available now at Eventbrite.
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