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Finding recognition at the 40 Under 40 Awards

With nominations now open for this year’s 40 Under 40 Awards for young business leaders, chair of judges Joel Abraham shares what it takes to make the cut.

Feb 28, 2024, updated Mar 07, 2024
2023 Alumnus Kristina Scutella, co-founder mumamoo

2023 Alumnus Kristina Scutella, co-founder mumamoo

Joel Abraham will again lead the judges for the InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards and is eager to see who will be added to this year’s alumni group and award winners.

The investor and growth specialist said, from his perspective, Adelaide has come into its own of late.

“Generally, it feels like the level of talent, innovation and entrepreneurship has increased in Adelaide in recent years,” Abraham said.

“I’m across a lot of the innovation in Adelaide, and last year as chair of the judging panel I was both impressed and, at times, surprised by the quality of the award winners.”

Now in its seventh year, the InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards celebrate local leadership and entrepreneurial thinking.

Nominations for the awards are now open, with candidates asked to answer why they should be in the cohort, evidence of their successes and setbacks and what they do for the community.

Abraham said the judging considered tangible measures of success, such as revenue growth, together with qualitative aspects like passion and innovation.

As an investor in high growth SMEs, his emphasis while judging is on the potential of the nominee’s business to impact South Australia, the likelihood of success, traction to date and the capability of the founder.

“Vision is also really important, but performance to date and a plan to turn that vision into reality is equally, or more, important,” Abraham said.

“The great thing about 40 Under 40 – and innovation in South Australia generally – is that cuts across all industries and sectors.

“In saying that, last year we saw a lot of high-quality applications in sustainability, health and technology… this year I am expecting to see some strong applicants operating in the AI space.”

He suggests that many of the state’s innovative and successful young entrepreneurs and business leaders tend to fly under the radar.

“That is why 40 Under 40 in SA is such a critical initiative – it provides a platform for high potential and highly innovative businesses to be seen and heard,” he said.

The judging panel will meet after nominations close on 24 March to determine the top 40 and individual awards before the ceremony on 27 June at Adelaide Oval.

For nominees – and young entrepreneurs in general – Abraham has a simple piece of advice.

“Be really clear on why you are doing what you are doing” he said.

“Without a precise and genuine purpose, it is really hard to push through the hard work involved in planning and execution to turn your vision into a reality.”

Nominate someone or self-nominate for 40 Under 40 here.

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