Local business HeliMods has been catapulted into the national spotlight as it heads to Melbourne next week to compete for the for the title of 2018 Telstra Australian Business of the Year.

This home-grown talent has gone from strength to strength through its rapid growth, taking out Sunshine Coast Business of the Year in 2017 and Telstra Queensland Business of the Year earlier this year. Now up against some of the best businesses in the country, HeliMods is poised to take out Telstra’s highest national award as 2018 Australian Business of the Year.

“This award should really show that any business into tech, that has a global market, can do it from a regional area,” Founder and Managing Director, Mr Will Shrapnel said after receiving the State-based awards at the Telstra gala dinner earlier this year.

“It’s just incredible, to be a regional business, a tech company in the regions, and to be recognised at a significant awards ceremony like this, that’s just massive, that means so much to us.”

This sentiment could not be more relevant now with the recent announcement of the international broadband submarine cable, which will see the Sunshine Coast delivering Australia’s fastest telecommunications connection to Asia and second fastest to the United States.

This technology will provide a game-changing platform for high-tech businesses like HeliMods preparing for the next frontier of transformation to Industry 4.0, enabling further rapid innovation and growth.

“I believe the Sunshine Coast is capable of hosting the most advanced and technology-intensive industries in the world. I also believe that innovative and progressive companies that choose to invest in this region will gain an enduring and increasing competitive advantage over their city-only counterparts”, said Mr Shrapnel.

Founded in 2002 by multi-generational Sunshine Coast local Will Shrapnel, with $5,000 on a credit card and a vision for building high-tech capability in the regions, HeliMods is now at the forefront of its field globally and is rapidly becoming a multimillion dollar business.

HeliMods is recognised as a world leader in the helicopter modification and special missions’ space. It takes helicopters from factory and its specialist team converts them into hi-tech emergency medical, search and rescue, or disaster relief machines in Australian and around the world.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said HeliMods was a true Sunshine Coast success story and one that would represent the region well in the upcoming national awards.

“HeliMods is a progressive business which continues to showcase the latest technologies and innovation – and by their efforts demonstrate how leading innovative businesses can succeed on a national and global stage from operating on the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s great to see local businesses like HeliMods being recognised for their hard work.

“HeliMods’ success demonstrates the Sunshine Coast offers great opportunities to establish, grow and operate a global firm, making us Australia’s healthy, smart, creative region.

“With our recent announcement that an international broadband submarine cable will be installed and in service from the Sunshine Coast from the first half of 2020, there will be even more opportunities to expand.

“Sunshine Coast Council is the first local government in Australia to secure an investment in an international submarine cable and, in an increasingly digital world, the value of this investment in the region’s future cannot be understated.

“Without a doubt, this investment will result in a significant point of difference for the Sunshine Coast.

Mayor Mark Jamieson is also encouraging the Sunshine Coast community to get behind HeliMods and contribute in their own way to supporting the local business in the lead up to the National Awards.

“We strongly encourage our community and local business people to get behind HeliMods by voting for them in the People’s Choice Awards on the Telstra Awards Website”, Mayor Jamieson said.

All 2018 Queensland winners will join other state and territory category winners at the National 2018 Telstra Business Awards in Melbourne on 20 September.

People’s Choice voting closes at 5pm (AEST) on Wednesday, September 19. To vote for HeliMods in the People’s Choice Award visit: https://www.telstrabusinessawards.com/peoples-choice

Skye Leong
Author: Skye Leong

Creativity, Community, Culture