Award Categories

Embracing Innovation.

Many of Australia’s most influential businesses began as small businesses. By using their innate agility to their advantage, they innovated, pivoted and scaled at pace to become businesses moving Australia forward on the world’s stage. This category is for small and medium-sized businesses innovating with technology to develop solutions for challenges faced by modern Australia.

Who is it for?

If you’re achieving one or more of the following Category examples, consider nominating and entering your business for this Award.

Problem solving

For businesses using technology to help solve problems at customer, social or environmental levels.

Technology advancement

For businesses actively creating or developing technological advancements that will benefit every Australian.

Increasing accessibility

For businesses helping to make technology more accessible by creating more affordable, scalable products and services.

Enhancing efficiency

For businesses providing technology solutions that enhance the efficiency of business critical tasks or essential services.

The 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Embracing Innovation Award National Winner SEA FOREST

Sea Forest cultivates a natural solution to climate change. The eco-tech company is among the first to commercially grow Asparagopsis, a native red seaweed with the ability to significantly reduce livestock methane emissions.

Featured 2022 entrants.

Progressing Australia

NT Winner

Digitally Buzzed

Founded by digital pioneer Bel Cook, Digitally Buzzed is an agency of digital ninjas that introduces emerging technologies to the Northern Territory, including drone light shows and virtual and augmented reality.

Progressing Australia

QLD Winner

Australian Innovative Systems

When it comes to swimming pools, Australian Innovative Systems thinks taking a dip should be safe and environmentally friendly. It designs and manufactures world-first, award-winning water disinfection technology for commercial and residential swimming pools.

Progressing Australia

SA Winner

Container Deposit Systems

Container Deposit Systems design, develop, manufacture, install and service a revolutionary, semi-automated system that helps 75K Australians return 20M containers for recycling per week to avoid ending up in landfill.

Eligibility criteria.

To enter, the following set of eligibility criteria that must be met. Each category also has specific criteria requirements too. If you have any questions about these conditions or eligibility please contact us.

The business must:

  • Reside in Australia
  • Have a registered Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Have been operating in Australia for at least 12 months at the time you submit your Stage 1 entry
  • Be more than 60% Australian-owned, with the owner(s)/founder(s) responsible for making the key management decisions
  • Be a small-to-medium business that’s a sole trader, partnership, incorporated, NFP, social enterprise or franchise whose franchisor is 60% Australian owned and not a listed company
  • Earn more than $50,000 in annual revenue
  • Have under 200 full-time equivalent staff at the time you submit your Stage 1 entry
  • Operate in an ethical manner with suppliers, distributors and contractors

The business must not:

  • Be a listed company, franchisor, a club, co-operative, or a Telstra licensee
  • Be affiliated with Telstra through investments, donation or reselling
  • Be more than 50% owned by another business
  • Be a government agency
  • Have filed for bankruptcy in the prior 5 years or been subject to court proceedings in the prior 12 months – including in the business owner or founder’s personal capacity – at the time you submit your Stage 1 entry
  • Be a recipient of significant ongoing government funding (excluding temporary government relief or support packages, such as Jobkeeper or disaster recovery)
  • Have been a contracted commercial supplier of Telstra in the last 3 years
  • Enter the same category where the business has previously won at State or National level at the Telstra Best of the Business Awards in the past 3 years
  • Have a staff member that has been a State or National Judge in the Telstra Best of Business Awards for any category in the past 3 years

Conditions of Entry:

  • A business may not enter the awards if a staff member or owner has applied to be a Judge in the same awards program year.
  • When requested, business financials must be supplied. All financials will remain confidential and will not be shared or used outside the purposes of judging the business’ performance, success and viability.

Key Dates for the 2023 Program.


Nominations open

Nominations for the 2023 program have now closed, but don't worry - we accept nominations all year round, so you can always nominate for the next program. 

Stage 2 entries

13 July - 3 August

Click below for details on category information, selection criteria and eligibility.

Stage 3 entries

6 September – 26 September

If your Stage 2 entry is successful, you will be able to participate in Stage 3. Click below for details on category information, selection criteria and eligibility.


Have a question?

Try our FAQs or speak with our Award Team. Call 1800 AWARDS Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm (AEST)

Nominate an exceptional business - even your own!