Little Giant ceo a finalist in Entrepreneur of the Year

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Mark Hurley, co-founder and ceo of Auckland-based digital agency Little Giant is one of 17 finalists in this year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

Little Giant is a digitally-led creative agency based in Auckland’s CBD. Little Giant partners with clients (emerging and established) to build digital products and services, design engaging brand communications and experiences, and implement cross-channel, digitally-led campaigns.

The 32-year-old entrepreneur founded his first company at age 17, and has been self-employed ever since.

While he had never worked within the advertising industry, in 2011, the creatively inclined Hurley saw an opportunity to innovate the existing advertising agency model. He believed he could build a new breed of agency that could sit at the intersection of consultancy, creativity and technology. Soon after, Little Giant was born.

Established in 2011 and now with more than 40 employees, Little Giant is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing digital agencies. The company was also named one of New Zealand’s fastest growing companies in 2015 (Deloitte Fast 50), one of Asia-Pacific’s fastest growing technology companies in 2015 and 2016 (Deloitte Asia Pacific Tech Fast 500) and continues to achieve more than 60% year-on-year revenue growth today.

Hurley’s future vision for the company includes continued growth in New Zealand, with expansion into the USA starting later in 2017.

“I feel humbled to be included as a finalist for such as prestigious award,” Hurley said. “Outside of convincing my fiancée Camille to move to New Zealand with me, building the team we have at Little Giant has been the greatest achievement of my life. I feel so lucky to work alongside such an amazing group of people, this nomination really does belong to them as much as me.”

Hurley’s vision for the company includes continued growth in NZ, with expansion into the US later in 2017.

He and the 16 other finalists will face the judging panel next month, and then five category winners will be selected to continue further in the competition. These names will be announced in Auckland on Friday 18 August.

These five will then compete for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year title, to be announced on Thursday 12 October. The New Zealand winner will represent New Zealand at EY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year event in Monaco in June 2018.

The judging panel is:

  • Anne Norman CNZM, James Pascoe Group (chair)
  • Tim Alpe, Entrepreneur of the Year 2010, founder of JUCY Group
  • Carmel Fisher, Entrepreneur of the Year services category winner 2016
  • Dan Radcliffe. Entrepreneur of the Year 2014, founder of International Volunteer HQ

About the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year New Zealand
The New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year awards programme is run over a nine-month period, during which registrations of interest are sought from across the country in five award categories. From the registrations of interest, entrepreneurs are invited to complete a formal application process and enter into the awards programme.

There are five award categories, the winners of each of these award categories is determined by an independent judging panel comprised of respected entrepreneurial business leaders. The award categories are:

  1. Products: Retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of products from all industries
  2. Services: Providers of professional services (e.g., financial, engineering, architecture, real estate, property, recreation and leisure)
  3. Technology & emerging industries: Software, hardware, telecommunications, digital media, biotechnology and health sciences
  4. Young: Entrepreneurs 35 years or younger across all industries (as at 17 June 2016)
  5. Master Entrepreneur: for leaders of well-established businesses which have a significant commitment to entrepreneurship

The five category winners then go on to compete for Entrepreneur of theYear, the overall winner being announced at the awards banquet on Thursday 12 October at the Langham Auckland.

The New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year will go on to represent New Zealand at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo.

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