Fresh from being named ‘Most Progressive Workplace Leader’ at the 2017 Talent Unleashed Awards, startup ecosystem builder Annie Parker (CEO, Fishburners & Co-founder, muru-D) spoke to Dynamic Business about the significance of being recognised by the global technology awards program.
“I’ve never been particularly motivated by financial rewards,” she said. “The only thing I’ve ever really wanted in life is to make a difference, to help as many people I can and to encourage others to do the same.
“Whether it’s in my day job of leading tech startup community Fishburners – or in my other projects such as Code Club or Techfugees – all I want to do is make an impact and leave things better than when I found them. I’d like to think that this award is recognition of this ethos, so I’m hugely grateful for it.”
This year, three Australian startups – Life Whisperer, CancerAid and BrickX –won Talent Unleashed awards in categories that pitted them against entrants from APAC and EMEA regions as well as the United States. In this context, Parker said the awards program is “a really good barometer” of the impact Australian startups are having, “especially when they’re judged by Steve Wozniak, Richard Branson and other global leaders”.
She continued, “This sort of external validation is wonderful proof that a startup is on the right path and that it’s worth the hard slog and all the painful moments that are part and parcel with building a company. Awards like this are great for forcing you to stop, take a breath and celebrate the wins – whatever their size.”
Asked to detail her agenda for the tech startups space, across her various endeavours, Parker said it has overwhelmingly been to generate value for founders, their startups and the wider ecosystem.
“I’m 100% focused on them, and adding as much value to their education and their growth as possible,” she said. I’m also conscious that as a leader in the startup ecosystem space, it’s my responsibility to make sure that, at a wider level, we make conditions better for all founders coming behind us.
“Whether that’s championing diversity and inclusion, lobbying government for the sort change we want to see in Australia, or making sure founders take time to remind themselves that taking care of their emotional wellbeing is just as important as running their business. It’s all about paying it forward and leaving things better than you find them.”
About Talent Unleashed
Launched in 2013, the Talent Unleashed Awards program is an initiative of Australian technology and IT services recruitment business Talent that recognises tech startups and innovators from across the APAC and EMEA regions and the United States.