Pause Awards 2021 Finalists Announced

What a smashing year for the Pause Awards!

"The Pause Awards 2021 submissions were insightful, ingenious and courageous efforts and some simply extraordinary."

The awards programme has almost doubled in entries in 2021 with 167 companies and individuals entering the awards. Pause Awards also managed to attract the key industry partners such as MYOB, Blackmagic Design and OVHcloud and has signed VicGov as a major partner for the next two years until 2023.

This year, we’ve introduced the Grand Prix category for excellence in business per category. GP accolade is given only if the Judging Board decides unanimously the entry deserves it.

We have received a high standard of entries across the 22 categories and the Judging Board wanted to make sure the quality of entries backed by results gets rewarded.

‘At the intersection of technology, creativity and innovation, it is all about unknowns and exploring uncharted territories. In my experience - Award submissions allow you to sit down and reflect on what you and your team have achieved, what the benefits are and share them with the community. It was delightful and a bit magical to sit down with the 2021 esteemed judging board and review the finalist innovative ideas/submissions from the diversity of impressive domestic and international minds. The Pause Awards 2021 submissions were insightful, ingenious and courageous efforts and some simply extraordinary. Winning is not an intrinsic quality of innovation but sharing innovative ideas, lessons learned and outcomes achieved definitely is. To all submissions well done on making a difference!’ said Lee Tonitto, Chair - Judging Board at Pause Awards.

Here are some general stats about who entered Pause Awards in 2021:

Top 5 industries in 2021 are:
  1. Computer Technology - Software

  2. Financial Services

  3. Food & Beverage

  4. Consumer Goods

  5. Education

10 New categories in 2021 are: Defiant Ones, Creative Genius, Underground, Exit Planet, Circular Pioneer, You have Ethics, Work Sweet Work, Going Green Award, Inside Out and Inception Award.

Top 5 most popular categories in 2021 are:
  1. I Wish I'd Done That 

  2. Hammer

  3. Defiant Ones 

  4. Out of Garage

  5. B–Good

The average age of the founder is 37 years.
An average funding for a company entered is $17 million.

The 45 of top international industry judges have independently completed the First Round of judging last week and the Final Round, which was 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, Global Leader of IT at Woods Bagot have debated who wins.

General feedback from some of the judges are: ‘Some absolute standouts and brilliant companies’, “There were definitely some "I wish I'd done that" moments during the judging” and ‘An incredible opportunity to get a glimpse into the next gen of innovative companies and products’.

We congratulate all entrants on their current successes, especially to all Finalists who made it through two rounds of tough judging process this year, with some to be crowned as the most innovative and impactful company in Australia and New Zealand.

PA21 Finalist laurel 01

Company Awards Finalists

A Glass of
Aussie Broadband
Carers Couch
Cogniss (2)
Cyber Clinic
Digital Skills Organisation
ettitude (2)
Five Mile Radius
Future Normal
Guzman y Gomez Mexican Kitchen (2)
Heaps Normal (3)
hipages Group (2)
Home/ Upzeez
Inspiring Rare Birds
Kalinya Communications
Law On Earth
Lyre's Spirit Co. (3)
Marketplacer (2)
Memories Group Limited
Mr Yum (4)
Music Health
Open (2)
Ovira (4)
Quad Lock (3)
Removify (2)
Seeing Machines Ltd
Stone & Chalk
Swoop Aero
The Push for Better Foundation
Verve Super (2)
Young Folks


PA21 Finalist strip 04

Individual Awards Finalists

Alicia Holmquest, Co-Founder, Wellness in Real Life

Anthony Kwok, CEO, ZILIO

Chris Olufeso, Founder & CEO, Upzeez

Chrissy Symeonakis, Owner, Creative Little Soul

Emily Blanch, Head of Community & Co-Founder, XY Adviser

Emma McAllister, Head of Operations, Education Perfect

Michelle Akhidenor, Founder & CEO, The Peers Project

Gilbert Guaring, Global Head of Marketing and Communications, UAP | Urban Art Projects

Hamish Mcphee, Twitch Account Director, AUNZ, Twitch

Michelle Mannering, Developer Community Manager, GitHub

Nick Hudson, Chief of Push Ups, The Push for Better Foundation

Summer Howarth, Founder and Learning Designer, The Eventful Learning Co.

Taylor Black, Strategic Designer, Engineer & Founder, Taylor Black

PA21 Finalist strip 04

Originals Awards Finalists

Eun Woo Lee

Hewitt Lee

Max Zhang

Mehdi Hadi

PA21 Finalist strip 04

The winners will be announced at the Pause Awards Night on 1st December at Bobby McGee’s in Melbourne, and in the media the following day. Awards Night tickets are on the sale now and can be accessed via this link:

There are a limited number of tickets available for the Award Night, make sure you get yours!

New trophy design by Woods Bagot will be uncovered on the night and all winners will be able to order theirs online post the event. Full details about the entertainment at the Awards Night can be found on the ticketing page.

PA21 Awards Night cover


Big thanks to all and congrats! See you at the Awards Night to announce the winners.

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