Branson / Wozniak recognise NZ talent as Kiwis take home double honours

Technology and recruitment services company, Talent International, will this weekend honour two New Zealand winners of its 2014 Talent Unleashed awards program.

Technology and recruitment services company, Talent International, will this weekend honour two New Zealand winners of its 2014 Talent Unleashed awards program.

Flying both winners to the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, South Africa, the victors will be awarded with an all expenses paid entrepreneurship and networking workshop.

David Hillier, founder of LittleLot, won the People's Choice Award for his app that places branded wallpapers on users' smartphones in return for free donations to charity.

Meanwhile Frances Valintine, founder of The Mind Lab, won the Best Start Up Award for establishing The Mind Lab, which teaches teachers and students how to integrate technology and new learning practices into the classroom.

The Talent Unleashed winners’ departure for the Branson Centre comes at the same time as Talent International announces it will provide complimentary recruitment services to all 30 Talent Unleashed awards finalists, reinforcing its position as an ally and active supporter of technology entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Talent International’s global Talent Unleashed awards launched in 2013 when founder and managing director Richard Earl decided to do something about the lack of support globally for technology entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak are on a panel of high profile judges who have given their support to the program.

“I’ve spoken extensively with many entrepreneurs and start-ups across Asia Pacific, the UK and Europe and its clear that more support for this vital sector will provide greater growth opportunities for these promising companies,” Earl adds.

“The 2014 Talent Unleashed winners will travel with me to the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa for a week-long intensive entrepreneurship and networking workshop with the goal of giving them the insight, skills and connections to grow their businesses and realise their vision.”

“At the same time, Talent International will be providing complimentary recruitment services to all 30 Talent Unleashed 2014 finalists because we know that finding and placing great people can make or break a company, especially a start-up.

"The nature of start-up companies means that one bad hire can bring a business to its knees.”

At the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, the six Talent Unleashed award winners will participate in sessions including ‘Discovering and living your passion through business’, ‘Innovating your passion’ and ‘Growing your customer base by sharing your passion’ with each session led by mentors and industry experts.

The 2014 Talent Unleashed awards attracted more than 750 entries from inspiring technology entrepreneurs and start-ups around the world.

An entrepreneurial business in its own right – Earl launched Talent International from his home in Perth in 1995 – Talent is also providing the 2014 Talent Unleashed winners with mentorship, support and advice, as well as facilitating connections to the global technology community.

Since its launch 19 years ago, Talent today supplies thousands of technology professionals to businesses globally, while simultaneously supporting the start-up sector and the community.

“It’s critical that the individuals who are making a positive impact in the technology start-up sector around the globe are supported," he says.

"The Talent Unleashed awards are a significant part of the Talent International business.

"We plan to further increase our involvement and support of technology entrepreneurs and start-ups while also building our reputation as a true partner of the global tech start-up scene.

"We will do this by lifting the profile of the amazing people in the sector, working with change-makers such as Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak, and developing more partnerships with like-minded entrepreneurs and brands so that the groundswell of support is overwhelming.”