82 Bold Finalists Announced for the Pause Awards ‘22

10 November, 2022
82 Bold Finalists Announced for the Pause Awards ‘22 | News | Pause Awards
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Ann Nounce
10 November, 2022

Announcing the 5th annual Pause Awards Finalists, powered by VicGov, that represent the most ambitious and forward-thinking companies in Australia. 

Dubbed as ‘The Home for Champions’ that’s building better ecosystems, the Pause Awards programme in 2022 is setting high standards for business recognition. Supporting this mission are the key partners from companies such as: Blackmagic Design, AWS Startups but also Give a Grad a Go, Pappyon and PositiveHR.

The Pause Awards ‘22 entrants showed businesses have a key role to play in creating a more equitable and regenerative world. Submissions were authentic and bold in their approach to tackling some of society’s biggest challenges and delivering real and measurable change where it matters.

Lee Tonitto B. Com, MBA, GAICD and Chair at Pause Awards

There are many new things we’ve launched in 2022, one of them are 15 new categories that add to 32 categories in total, which sit under five key Category Tracks. Interesting fact to point out is that some of the new categories almost received no submissions that were aimed at VC firms, investors and Angels. 

One of the new fun categories is People’s Choice Award, which allows anybody to vote for the entries submitted, just by signing up. This epic race that took turns each week, resulted in Trendii winning with 522 votes! Trendii is changing the way you find fashion inspiration by allowing you to shop the looks of others, from their search engine, images, social media and websites.

This year we took a huge leap of faith to completely overhaul the award programme, from the branding and positioning, new website and trophy design, entry questions to building a new portal for entrants and judges.

George Hedon, CEO & Founder, Pause Awards

Let’s look at how 2022 performed in terms of the industries that entered awards.

Top 5 industries in 2022:

  1. Web/ Internet Services
  2. Financial Services
  3. Marketing & Advertising
  4. Education
  5. Health/ Consumer Goods & services/ Computer Tech

The 2022 saw the Education sector jump one spot up to fourth place, remarkably the Food & Beverage industry has completely disappeared from the entries altogether. There were some Hospitality, Travel & Leisure entries but pretty dry in the beverage department that charted at the third spot in 2021, whilst Web & Internet Services took the lead from Computer Tech. It’s refreshing to see Health breaking into the Top 5 industry chart this year. 

In terms of the most popular categories, there has definitely been some reshuffling.

Top 5 categories in 2022:

  1. Defiant Ones
  2. I Wish I’d Done That 
  3. Hammer
  4. Wildfire/ Company of the Year
  5. Women in Business

The Defiant Ones category, for new tech breakthroughs, was introduced last year and floated at fourth place, but it took the lead this year. Out of 15 new categories in 2022, we saw Wildfire, Company of the Year and Women in Business rise to the Top 5 pushing Out of the Garage for scaling globally and B-Good for a good business off the top chart.

From the macro perspective, there is no mistake that Australian businesses strived for excellence this year to combat unstable markets, hence why the Excellence Category Track was the most entered, followed by the Good and Operators.

George Hedon, CEO & Founder, Pause Awards

Our incredible judging pool of over 50 industry luminaries from across the globe have completed the First Round of judging in a record time, mostly due to our new Judge Portal system that distributes the scores.

The Final Round is done by the Judging Board, chaired by Lee Tonitto, Managing Director at Tonitto and Partners along with Ben Ford, Head of Growth at Frollo, Christina Gerakiteys; Co-CEO at SingularityU Australia; Sonia Clarke, Director, Future of Work, PwC and Tom Leyden, CIO at Longview who have debated and deliberated the winners.

The Pause Awards are highly competitive! The judges are experts in their field to ensure the highest quality of winning entries each year. The judging is based on the merit of an entry. We’d like to congratulate everyone on their brilliant efforts in navigating the 2022 turbulent and unexpected market forces!

Finalists of Pause Awards ‘22:


Diverse Co. – Wisr
Medium Team Culture – IMC
Work Sweet Work – Honeycomb Strategy
Work Sweet Work – Megaphone
Work Sweet Work – MindArc
Work Sweet Work – Precision IT
Work Sweet Work – PwC Australia
Work Sweet Work – Wisr


Company of the Year – Aquarzon
Company of the Year – Aussie Broadband
Company of the Year – Birchal
Company of the Year – Bodd
Company of the Year – United for Care
Defiant Ones – Bare Cremation
Defiant Ones – Compass IoT
Defiant Ones – Driveschool Enterprises
Defiant Ones – Great Wrap
Defiant Ones – Hnry
Defiant Ones – Labflow by Comply Group
Defiant Ones – Matrak Enterprises
Defiant Ones – Switch4Schools
Hammer – Aquarzon
Hammer – Aussie Broadband
Hammer – Birchal
Hammer – Marketplacer
Hammer – Music Health
Hammer – Pentanet
I Wish I’d Done That – Bare Cremation
I Wish I’d Done That – Driveschool Enterprises
I Wish I’d Done That – Great Wrap
I Wish I’d Done That – Labflow by Comply Group
I Wish I’d Done That – LunchFox
I Wish I’d Done That – Squizify
I Wish I’d Done That – Switch4Schools
I Wish I’d Done That – Tern-x
I Wish I’d Done That – The Smoothie Bombs
On the rise – Aerologix
On the rise – Bare Cremation
On the rise – Linkmate
On the rise – Music Health
On the rise – The Separation Guide
Women In Business – Angela Harbinson
Women In Business – Christina Hobbs
Women In Business – Kate Pollard
Women In Business – Vanessa Doake


B-Good – Linkmate
B-Good – Neometro
Circular Pioneer – Circle In
Circular Pioneer – DiaperRecycle
Circular Pioneer – Goterra
Going Green – Great Wrap
Going Green – Verve Super
Going Green – evee
You’ve Got Ethics – Aquarzon
You’ve Got Ethics – The People Spot
You’ve Got Ethics – Verve Super


Design First – Quad Lock
Design First – Tern-x
Out of the Garage – Matrak
Out of the Garage – Quad Lock
Out of the Garage – STEM Punks
Wildfire – Aquarzon
Wildfire – Food Frontier
Wildfire – Linktree
Wildfire – Midnight Health
Wildfire – Pentanet
Wildfire – Your Stuff Made


C-Suite – Dom Pym
C-Suite – Ronen Heine
C-Suite – Yogendra Segar
Do You Know Who I am – Mark Brownlee
Future Builder – Alex Goulios
Future Builder – Cube Online
Future Builder – Jordan Shreeve
Future Builder – Slava Kozlovskii
Hottest Hub – Hub Australia
Launch Pad – INCUBATE (University of Sydney)
Launch Pad – Startupbootcamp Australia
Launch Pad – Stone & Chalk
Super Connector – Michelle Mannering
Super Connector – Paz Pisarski

The winners will be announced at the Pause Awards Night & Afterparty on 5 December at classy BOND Melbourne, and in the media the following day. Please get your team tickets via this link.

If you attend, we will send you a Free Entry ticket for a private ‘Breakfast with Champions’ – Sponsored by AWS Startups on 7th DEC as well. At the breakfast, a selected panel of winners, investors and people from the ecosystem (TBA on 6 DEC) will share their learnings from the success and failures in business. 

Huge thanks to all who entered, supportive partners and big congrats to finalists! 

See you at the Awards Night & Afterparty.

Send us an email to if you need further assistance. BOOK TICKETS TO AWARDS NIGHT & AFTERPARTY.

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Category tracks

The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.

  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.

  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.

  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.

  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.

  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.

  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.

  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.

  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.

  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.

  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.

  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.

  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.

  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.

  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.

  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.

  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.

  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.

  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.

  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.

  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.

  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.

  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.

  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.

  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.

  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.

  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.

  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.

  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.

  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.

  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.

  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.

  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.

  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.

  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.

  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

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