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Kiwi finalists make the cut in 2017 Talent Unleashed Awards

26 Oct 2017

Talent has announced the APAC finalists for the 2017 Talent Unleashed Awards, and two Kiwi leaders and an innovative startup business make the cut.

The Awards celebrate the Asia-Pacific region’s ground-breaking startups, innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Talent Unleashed Awards, now in their fifth year, identify companies and business leaders using technology to transform the world, creating bold and inventive solutions to business challenges or social issues.

A finalist in the Best Startup – Social or Community Impact category is Banqer, a financial education platform for primary schools.

Through simulated learning, Banqer transforms the classroom into a mini-economy where students interact with their teacher and one another using a classroom currency. 

The brainchild of an ex-accountant turned software developer, Kendall Flutey, Banqer is on a mission to ensure all children are prepared for the financial world ahead.

Amie McKinlay, Lotto NZ people and culture general manager, is a finalist across APAC in the Most Progressive Workplace Leader.

This category recognises excellence in leaders who inspire others to create environments that champion fairness, compassion, equality and individuality.

As a finalist in the Most Disruptive Technology or Digital Leader category chief digital officer at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Nick Whitehouse, has a unique history leading businesses through disruption and technology firsts.

He currently leads the company’s digital transformation, implementing wholesale technology change and is at the helm of a world-leading Legal AI joint venture.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder and Global Talent Unleashed Awards judge commented, “What we are seeing in the Unleashed Awards is part of a broader movement which sees where people are more inclined to confidently stand up and say ‘there’s a better way to do this!’ – I certainly relate to this.”

Joining the judging panel alongside Sir Richard were entrepreneur and Talent Unleashed Awards Global judge Steve Wozniak, and Kiwi judges Frances Valintine (Founder and Chair of The Mind Lab), and Daniel Radcliffe (International Volunteer HQ).

Valintine says, “It was a pleasure to be a judge and I found the experience both interesting and inspirational. There were many businesses and people who I was in awe of. So much sensational talent.”

Richard Earl, Talent chairman and founder, commented that he was blown away by the calibre of this year’s APAC entrants.

“Each year we search for the new frontrunners in tech, and each year that search yields more spectacular results. I love having the opportunity to identify and celebrate the people and companies leading the way in innovation in our region.”

“These are the trailblazers of today, and the technology titans of tomorrow.”

All APAC and US finalists are invited to attend the APAC Grand Final Awards event in Melbourne on 7 December 2017.

Wozniak will help host the event, where finalists will receive live feedback and advice from him and a panel of judges.

The Global Grand Prize Winners will be provided with an all-expense paid trip to Silicon Valley to visit the homes of global technology companies and meet with leaders in the sector.

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