2019 Pearcey Entrepreneurs

Pearcey State Awards General

The 2019 Pearcey State Entrepreneurs are all outstanding examples of mid-career individuals who have "taken a risk, made a difference and are an inspiration". Their fields of endeavour cover many areas of ICT innovation including financial, security, agritech and information management.

Below is a summary of the 2019 Pearcey State Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur Background Photo

Ashik Ahmed

Co-founder and CEO, CTO Deputy


Deputy was founded in 2008 from the software Ashik built to manage rostering & managing casual staff at people intensive service business, Aerocare, after realising the software could help many other businesses with their workforce management. The business bootstrapped it's way to $10m turnover and 28,000 clients before raising $33m in 2017, and then 2018's largest Australian raise of $111m. Deputy continues to rapidly grow and now serves 165,000 customers all over the world. In Industry, Ashik promotes innovation, equality and the great opportunities of software-based businesses.

More info: LinkedIn, Pearcey 2019 NSW Award

Ashik AhmedAshik Ahmed

Craig McDonald

Founder and CEO Mailguard


Craig founded MailGuard in 2001 after an email-borne virus caused havoc for his company. Since then, MailGuard has become an international leader in today's vast challenge of email security and real-time protection from email-based scams and phishing attacks. Mailguard is now in 27 countries with 500 channel partners including Microsoft to protect Office 365. Mailguard has proudly kept their R&D base in Melbourne with ongoing collaboration with local universities. Craig is passionate about cyber safety and a highly respected voice/champion, author and advisor to state and federal governments on cyber security.

More info: LinkedIn, Pearcey 2019 Vic Award

Craig McDonaldCraig McDonald

Matthew Wilson

Co-founder and CEO of Penten


Matthew is a serial technology entrepreneur in cyber security and communications related businesses. In 2012, his M5 Network Security company sold to US defence contractor Northrop Grumman. In 2015 his M5 Networks start-up was sold to a US business communications provider which is now part of Mitel, Inc. In 2016, Matthew co-founded Penten which has grown to 60 engineers supporting Defence and national security clients in Australia, UK, Canada and NZ in the areas of advanced cyber deception and secure mobility technologies. In industry, Matthew is on several Boards and advisories.

More info: LinkedIn, Pearcey 2019 ACT Award

Mathew WilsonMathew Wilson

Nick Molnar

Co-founder and CEO Afterpay

(NSW, carried over from last year)

Nick is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in online retail. Nick is co-founder and CEO of Afterpay Holdings Ltd, which has brought a new dimension of retail payment options to end-customers and resulted in one of Australia's fastest growing fintech companies. Afterpay listed on the ASX in 2016 and now has over 5 million customers, 35,000 retail merchants and a market capitalisation of about $6.5B. Prior to Afterpay, Nick brought the leading American online jeweller, Ice.com, into Australia under the local brand Iceonline.com.au which become Australia's largest online-only jewellery and watch retailer.

More info: LinkedIn, Pearcey 2018 NSW Award

Nick MolnarNick Molnar

Rob Nathan

Founder and CEO Australian Tenders, Co-founder and MD Vocus Upstart


Rob is iconic in WA for helping small companies. He founded Australian Tenders in 2009 to help SME's get comprehensive data and insights on upcoming tenders and finding tender opportunities that they would otherwise have not known about. In 2016, Rob founded an accelerator now known as Vocus Upstart, which has funded and mentored over 25 founders of 14 different early stage IT startups. Rob is highly active in industry, including being a mentor at the Founder Institute, an active Angel Investor and a regular presenter, judge and advisor in the WA startup community.

More info: LinkedIn, Pearcey 2019 WA Award

Rob NathanRob Nathan

Tim Neale

Co-founder and MD Data Farming


Tim co-founded DataFarming in 2017 to build a web platform for farmers and agronomists to manage their crops and pastures using real-time satellite imagery. DataFarming has grown quickly with 12,000 farms already using the system with more than 7m hectares of paddock data processed across Australia, UK, Africa, the Middle East, USA, and Canada. Tim was won several agtech awards and has presented at over 50 national and international conferences on sustainable farming and agriculture technology. Tim is also active in academia supervising PhD students and taking on work experience students.

More info: LinkedIn, Pearcey 2019 Qld Award

Tim NealeTim Neale