A tour of 11 new categories

12 June, 2023
A tour of 11 new categories | News | Pause Awards
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Ann Nounce
12 June, 2023

Delve into the exciting world of 11 new categories introduced in the Operators and Excellence tracks. Unearth the unique opportunities they offer with specific examples, and the industries they’re shaking up.

It’s time for a breath of fresh air! The Operators and Excellence tracks are expanding with the introduction of 11 tantalising new categories. From the wellness-centric “Mind&Body” to the tech-savvy “TopCoder,” these novel additions promise to amplify the diversity and dynamism in the field. Let’s go on an exploration of these exciting categories!

Breeze Through Wellness with “Mind&Body”

The ‘Mind&Body’ category is for those excelling in the wellness industry. Be it through self-care apps, revitalising retreats or even healthy retailers, this award recognises excellence in promoting well-being. An Aussie example would be Happy Melon Studios in Melbourne, merging mind and body practices for a holistic wellness approach.

Aim for Growth with “Growth Hacker”

The “Growth Hacker” category is the digital marketer’s dream. It recognises individuals who’ve fueled rapid company growth through innovative data mining and experimentation techniques. If you’re a growth marketing expert or a data analyst, this category is your playground! Take a cue from Mitchell Harper, Co-founder of BigCommerce, who amplified company growth with smart data mining and experimentation techniques.

Scoring High with “Game Changer”

A tribute to the athletes turned entrepreneurs, “Game Changer” acknowledges the successful transition from sports to entrepreneurship. If you’re a professional athlete who has transformed a side hustle into a prosperous business, this category has your name on it. Look at Michael Klim, former Olympic swimmer turned skincare entrepreneur, who successfully transitioned his side hustle, Milk & Co, into an international business.

Exploring New Shores with “Down Under”

“Down Under” celebrates international companies that have successfully expanded into the Australian market. CEOs, market entry strategists, and business development leads should set their sights on this category if they’ve established a robust presence in Australia. A great example here is the UK-based fintech company, Revolut, that made waves by breaking into the Australian digital banking scene.

Leading the Way with “Pioneer”

For those who’ve introduced groundbreaking products and created new market categories, “Pioneer” is your recognition. CEOs, CTOs, and innovation leads who have revolutionised their industry with first-to-market products, this category is your ode. Consider Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO of Fleet Space Technologies, who’s spearheading the creation of a global network using nanosatellites.

Shaping Strategies with “New Model”

Innovative business models that are disrupting the market are the stars of the “New Model” category. If you’re a CEO, COO, or business strategist who has developed an elegant business model transforming your industry, you’ve got a shot at this category. Look no further than Vinomofo, an online wine retailer, for inspiration, with its unique business model transforming the wine industry.

Creating Waves with “Movement”

If you’ve orchestrated events, conferences, or campaigns that moved people emotionally or made a social impact, “Movement” is your category. Event organisers, conference planners, and marketing directors, it’s time to make your move! The Black Dog Institute, with its innovative ‘Exercise Your Mood‘ campaign, has created a significant impact on mental health awareness, making it an ideal example.

Influencing with Fame through “Fame for Good”

“Fame for Good” recognises companies that have used fame for positive social impact. Celebrity-founded companies and philanthropic entrepreneurs, this is your chance to shine. Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee, which channels all profits to support communities in need, stands as a testament to this.

Dictating Style with “Trendsetter”

Making a significant impact in the fashion industry by influencing consumer behaviour is rewarded in the “Trendsetter” category. Fashion brand owners, creative directors, and fashion influencers, this category is designed for your creative flair. Byron Bay based brand Spell, with its trend-setting and sustainable bohemian-luxe clothing, is paving the way in this arena.

Mastering Codes with “TopCoder”

“TopCoder” celebrates developers with excellent technical skills and team spirit. If you’re a developer or a technical lead with a knack for clean code writing, this category is yours to conquer. Take Jed Watson, co-creator of open-source JavaScript framework KeystoneJS, who’s setting standards with his clean, efficient code and team collaboration.

Innovating with “Singularity”

Finally, “Singularity” is for those who have pioneered unique technologies or solutions that could potentially change their industry. CEOs, CTOs, and technology leads, this category honours your innovation. Myriota, an Adelaide based startup, is changing the IoT game with its ground-breaking, low-cost satellite technology.

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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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