What is a Regional Online Hero?
In partnership with Google, the Regional Australia Institute’s annual Regional Online Heroes competition is designed to recognise outstanding regional innovators, and to encourage small and medium sized businesses around the country to realise the potential of mobile and online technologies for growth.
Being a Regional Online Hero could mean anything from using online marketing to attract interstate customers, expanding a traditional bricks and mortar store to selling online, or managing a team across borders using shared documents in the cloud.
Regional Online Heroes 2016
2016 proved to be an excellent year for Regional Online Heroes. The quality of entrants was exceptionally high. This made the task of choosing the finalists a tough one for our five judges; including Minister for Small Business, the Hon Michael McCormack MP; digital entrepreneur and founder of successful regional business Birdsnest, Jane Cay; founder of Bridestowe Lavender Estate in regional Tasmania, Robert Ravens; the RAI CEO, Jack Archer; and Head of Small Business at Google Australia, John Ball.
Ten lucky finalists received the opportunity to travel to Google in Sydney to attend an exclusive masterclass, where they were able to share their stories and develop new skills in the areas of online consumer behaviour, public relations, marketing, and maximising their online presence.
The outstanding ten finalists included Blackbooks Tea, Local Farm Produce, Off The Track Training and AgData from Queensland; Corporeal Health from Western Australia; George The Farmer from South Australia; Crowd Carnivore, Penny Evans Art and Rabbit Hop Films from New South Wales; and Simply Rose Petals from Victoria.
Minister for Small Business, the Hon Michael McCormack was proud to announce leading AgTech company AgData Australia as the overall Regional Online Heroes winner for 2016. Established on a family property in the 1980’s, AgData creates digital solutions for Aussie farmers – providing tools, data and knowledge to help business owners make more informed decisions and improve productivity. They now employ 20 staff and serve 22,000 customers.
AgData have been commended for their innovative approach and use of digital platforms to boost farm production and output, helping to transform the agriculture industry in regional Australia.
Stephen Dummett from AgData found the experience to be an excellent one, “To be in the room at Google with so many talented businesses was a real plus for us. We knew they were facing similar geographic challenges that we experience, and they were just as passionate about their business, product and customers as we are ours. That said, they also enjoy the benefits of living and working in Regional Australia. We all learned something from each other and look forward to forging a strong network with the other finalists” Stephen said. “We know there are many businesses out there that are probably very entitled to the award that we have been honoured with. We would recommend they enter next year because the Regional Online Heroes event is an incredibly valuable learning experience.”
To view the 2015 finalists click here
For more information about the competition visit the Regional Online Heroes website
Could you be the 2017 Regional Online Hero? Sign up to our Regional Futures e-News to receive the latest information and updates. Watch this space in order to be in the running next year!