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Startups shine among this year’s 40under40 winners

Picture of Charlie Gunningham
Charlie Gunningham

In a sign that WA’s startup scene is developing strong businesses, 8 of last night’s 40under40 inductees heralded from the tech/startup sector.

Business News’ 40under40 awards, now in its 17th year, has recognised over 640 West Australians who have done great things by mid-career. The awards ceremony, always a glittering occasion, took place last night at the Crown Perth ballroom, with over 600 in attendance where another 40 were inducted into the exclusive club.

A record number of nominees this year spoke to the fact that the awards have become a key annual event in the business calendar for many, and that more and more of WA’s young business elite see it as a goal to shoot for before they reach the age at which, apparently, life begins.

The full list of winners can be seen on the 40under40 website. Among the latest 40 were 8 names you may recognise:

• Michael Beilby, cofounder of Minnovare who developed the Azimuth Aligner for the mining industry
• Chloe Constantinides, director of App Labs and StartupWA board member
• Kath Giles, director of Brandon Capital
• Ruth Hatherley, CEO & founder of blockchain fintech MoneyCatcha (she also won the Startup category)
• Roy Mellon, founder and MD of Definitiv software, who won for a second time
• Paula-Lee Pownall, founder of Grubs Up and member of the Harvest agtech accelerator
• Kate Raynes-Goldie, founder of PlayUp Perth, and well-known gaming expert
• Adam Yap, cofounder of Heath Engine (he also won the ICT category)

Startups shine among this year’s 40under40 winners
Kate Raynes-Goldie, Adam Yap, Chloe Constantinides & Kath Giles receiving their Awards last night

So that’s 20% of the winners. Last year I counted seven startup/tech people. The year before, six; so the sector is definitely on the rise and achieving more and more recognition.

It was also great to see that 40% of winners were female, a lift from last year’s 30% (and 2016’s 33%). Often, there are twice as many male applicants, so this year women did extremely well, and on International Women’s Day too.

The overall winner was from the mining industry, and gave a great speech applauding all the 40, and thanking his family, notably his parents, for all their support. Raleigh Finlayson has taken his Saracen gold miner from a valuation of $9M in mid 2013 when he took over as its 34-year-old MD to $1.3B today.

Startups shine among this year’s 40under40 winners

Among the audience last night were various other notable people in the local tech scene: Nate Sturcke, Marcus Tan, Derek Gerrard, Andrew Larsen, Andrew Outhwaite, Bernie Chia, Beth Caniglia and Zion Ong.

Startups shine among this year’s 40under40 winners
Yes, things got a bit blurry towards the end. Author with some well known tech peeps

So, if you’re in startupland and looking for some recognition and applause for what you’ve built, the message is that the high end of town looks favourably upon you, and next year, or some year after, you could be standing on that stage.


The Author won a 40under40 Awards way back in 2003, when he was under 40. From 2014-2017 he was Chief Judge on the program.

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Picture of Charlie Gunningham

Charlie Gunningham

Former co-founder, GM, CEO Business News and Accelerating Commercialisation adviser. Charlie has spent 20+ years in Perth's startup scene, as founder, mentor, adviser, writer and investor. There's nothing he likes more than helping early stage tech startups ... and drinking coffee, shiraz or playing in a blues band. Email Charlie here.
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