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Press Release - Jens and Lars Rasmussen Win 2010 NSW Entrepreneur Award and 9 Entrepreneurs Inducted into Hall of Fame

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2010 NSW ICT Entrepreneur of the Year

19th October 2010 – Sydney. The 2010 NSW ICT Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented to Lars and Jens Rasmussen, founders of Google Maps and Google Wave by the Hon Eric Roozendaal MLC, NSW Treasurer and Minister for State and Regional Development in front of over 220 industry leaders. A further 9 entrepreneurs were inducted into our Hall of Fame. The event was held at NSW Parliament this evening in conjunction with National ICT Australia’s NICTA @ NSW Parliament research showcase.

“Lars and Jens's development of Google Maps has positioned Australia as a global leader in online services. It resulted in Google establishing a significant research and development team in Sydney and the creation of many high tech jobs.” said Pearcey NSW co-chair Charles Lindop.

“Google Maps is now used by around 1/3 of all Google visitors and represents over 3% of all total global Google traffic. This values Google Maps as a multi-billion dollar enterprise.”

“It was a great entrepreneurial achievement; Lars and Jens bootstrapped their company Where 2 Technologies, attacking a major business opportunity with highly innovative technology, sold to Google, and then continued to build out the business. They then did it all again with Google Wave. What better example of entrepreneurship and innovation can you get?”

The Pearcey Foundation has once again proven Australia has innovators equal to the world’s best, and with the global reach of the internet, our innovators can fully capitalise on their capabilities and conquer the world.

“This is a peer-recognition scheme. Such is the talent pool in NSW, our judges (mainly previous winners) had a very difficult time in choosing Lars and Jens over the other nominees. A first amongst equals” said Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO of video technology firm Vquence and chair of the judges. “We wish all the nominees the very best of endeavours, thank them for their contribution to date, and are delighted to induct them into our hall of fame”.

Receiving special recognition awards for their entrepreneurial talents and industry contribution were (alphabetic sequence):

Christopher Mapp Omnilab Landmark contribution to the local digital entertainment industry over many years. Built Omnilab into Australia’s largest privately owned vertically integrated, digital entertainment business with revenues exceeding $100m and employing more than 500 people.
Geoff McQueen Hiive Systems Regional NSW technology industry pioneer (Illawarra region), Geoff founded Internetrix in 2000 and recently spun out award winning Google partner, Hiive Systems. Tireless supporter of local industry and start-up groups.
James Spenceley Vocus A significant overachiever, founding ASX-listed telecommunications firm Vocus in 2007 and also AusNOG , a collaborative community of telecommunications network operators.
Joseph Renzi OurWishingWell and SwapAce.com Founded, developed and commercialised 2 award-winning innovative businesses. Youth minister to 25 volunteer leaders, providing ministry to hundreds of children.
Leisl Capper MyCyberTwin.com Serial entrepreneur; founding ASX-listed Mooter Media in 2000 and co-founder of MyCybertwin in 2005. Motivational industry speaker.
Mick Liubinskas & Phil Morle Pollenizer Founders of peer to peer technology company Kazaa and more recently founders of startup garage, Pollenizer where they have assisted over 30 start-ups with technology and business expertise.
Rob Manson & Alex Young Mob Labs Superb mobile technology work plus HEAPS of advocacy/evangelism. Specialists in Augmented Reality. Have breathed all things web since the 1990’s

The awards included a very lively debate “making a motsa from research commercialisation”. “There is a great spirit of entrepreneurship in Australia but still much that government, academic and industry leaders can do to foster this and turn Australia into the clever country” said the debate chair Mark Jones of Filtered Media and the Australian Financial Review.

The ICT Entrepreneur of the Year award includes a cash grant, and was supported by Industry and Investment NSW and NICTA (National ICT Australia).

This evening’s winners, will be finalists in a new Pearcey National Entrepreneurs Award sponsored by CSIRO. The winner of this new award, to be presented for the first time in 2011, will be drawn from each of the 2010 Pearcey State Award winners.

About the NSW Pearcey Award

The NSW ICT Entrepreneur award is awarded annually to the most outstanding ICT and digital media individual, through an open process of peer recognition. Previous winners include Ian Gardiner, Viocorp (2009), Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian (2008), Jeff and Pia Waugh, Open Source Community (2007), and Matt Barrie, Freelancer.com (2006). 2004 winner Hugh Durrant-Whyte has just been named the new CEO of NICTA.

About the Pearcey Foundation

Founded in memory of Trevor Pearcey, who built Australia’s first and the world’s fourth programmable digital computer, CSIRAC, in Sydney in 1949, the foundation is a group of concerned individuals fostering the aims and achievements of the Australian ICT industry. Celebrating its 61st anniversary this year, CSIRAC is the oldest surviving computer in the world. The Pearcey Foundation’s objective is to reinforce the recognition, knowledge and appreciation of Australia’s ongoing contribution to the development and growth of our ICT professions, research and industry.

For more information on the NSW Pearcey Awards please visit www.pearcey.org.au or call Mr Charles Lindop on 0419 224 214.