2020 Vic Award
The 2020 Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award was presented to Grant Petty, founder and CEO of Blackmagic Design. The award, in its 22nd year, was presented by 2011 award recipient and Deputy Chair of Pearcey Victoria, Dr Elaine Saunders.
Grant has become one of the world's leading innovators of creative technologies drawing on the inspiration and experience of growing up in a Victorian country town where creativity was undervalued and an interest in computers was considered weird. His love of software programming and computers transported him out of that country town and onto the global stage. His passion for technology and the empowerment of creativity transformed his life and the lives of the 1,200 people who now work for him.
Grant took it upon himself to change the world from the experience he first encountered into something entirely new, different and better. He has been at the global forefront of video technologies for well over thirty years as a designer, engineer, technologist, businessman and creative artisan.
He built Blackmagic Design to become an international company that is leading digital cinema camera development, live streaming, broadcasting, editing, special effects and sound engineering. His products are used by millions and the explosion of high quality film and videos on Netflix through to YouTube, owes a great debt to Grant's vision and passion.
Based right here in Port Melbourne Blackmagic Design has operations in the USA, Europe, the UK, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia. In the last twenty years Grant has built a very large company which now represents a high water mark in the Australian technology sector.
His vision for this company has made it one of the best advanced technology businesses anywhere in the world. An advanced manufacturing company, including software, apps, Operating Systems and hardware development all under the same roof with some of the smartest engineers in the world.
In his industry, Grant has become a legend for single-handedly democratising video for everyone. Whether you are a 15 year old learning to edit for the first time, or a Hollywood director of photography shooting Avengers, your go-to products and workflows all come from this Melbourne company.
Along the way Grant was not afraid to take risks. In 2009 an iconic brand of the video production industry globally, based in the USA, was failing. That company couldn't deliver what the market needed, despite already being a globally dominant supplier in its niche. So this Melbourne-based company stepped up, acquired the technology assets and engineering team of that American company, re-engineered the technology, redesigned the user experience. That delivered a tectonic shift in the capability and accessibility of the technology in the world wide video community.
Grant has been forthright and outspoken in his engagement with industry, government and with the broader community to voice his perspective and make a difference to how our community views both its opportunities and its pathways to international success. Always able to rely on the example of his achievements and the trail he has blazed to validate and substantiate his calls to action.
"Grant is a worthy recipient of this year's Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award. He has made brave decisions all along the way, sticking to his values and his independence to forge an individual path; a model for success that should inspire many other Australian entrepreneurs, "
said Jordan Green, Victorian Chair, Pearcey Foundation.
Choosing the recipient for this award is guided by three principles. Has the individual taken a risk, is this individual making a difference and is this individual an inspiration to others. Grant has certainly taken more than one risk in starting and growing an advanced technology and manufacturing venture. He has made brave decisions all along the way, sticking to his values and his independence to forge an individual path, a model for success that should inspire many other Australian entrepreneurs.
His impact and influence at the very top of his global industry; the expansion of his drive to empower creative professionals to deliver both in-studio systems and professional retail products affordable for everyone; his persistent belief in the power of good engineering and respect for his team and for his customers; and his recent announcement of an ASX listing for his $600m a year company - all of these and more mean that Grant has very definitely taken a risk, made a difference and is an inspiration!
"Grant's vision and his passion for technology has made Blackmagic Design one of the best advanced technology businesses anywhere in the world - based right here in Port Melbourne. Grant's commitment to his team and a drive for ethical success has enabled him to build a loyal and dedicated global workforce. This award recognises outstanding individuals for who they are and how they have lived their lives to make a difference to others. Grant epitomises the values of the Pearcey Award," said Wayne Fitzsimmons, Chair, Pearcey Foundation.
The Award presentation is available on YouTube.
The Pearcey Foundation is most appreciative of the generous support given by the Victorian Government through the Digital Innovation