Tauranga-based legal tech start-up LawVu has won the coveted Business of the Year Award at the Tauranga Business Awards 2021.
The Tauranga Business Awards are held annually by Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, with a view to recognise and celebrate local businesses of all sizes and stages.
This year the awards night was held as a hybrid digital-physical event, which saw entrants celebrating in their ‘bubbles' and a VIP gathering of 100 guests congregate at Farmer Autovillage.
It was here that LawVu was announced as the winner by VIP guest Hon Jan Tinetti, while one of the judges delivered the award to the LawVu team in an Audi R8, donated by Farmer Autovillage for the occasion.
LawVu received the top honour for spearheading digital innovative through their unique, Cloud-based online platform. They also won the Digital, Business and Technology Innovation category.
The judges noted that LawVu has huge potential for further growth, and credited them for choosing to base their global operations out of Tauranga and create new opportunities to attract a highly skilled workforce.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Cowley says the Chamber is delighted to see a high calibre of entrants, who all rose to the occasion and took the opportunity to enter their businesses – despite the ongoing challenges of Covid-19.
'This year, we had a high number of entrants, all with very high standards, which made the selection process a very robust and challenging discussion for the judges,” says Matt.
'Every year, through the awards process, we continue to see local businesses change the way they do business, seeking new ways of working, overcoming new challenges and responding with a ‘can-do' attitude that makes them thrive.
'For the Chamber, this is the reason why we felt strongly that the awards needed to continue this year. It's important celebrate the resilience and adaption to change that we see in our community.”
Head facilitator Jamie Lunam, speaking on behalf of the judges, says, 'The calibre of entrants was not only diverse, but incredibly humbling. We have some epic Covid-19 pivots, brave businesses facing up to significant structural challenges, hair-brained ideas that turned into businesses, incredible tech start-ups and everything in between.
'They entered the awards for validation and feedback, but the reality is that these entrants could teach the Tauranga business ecosystem a thing or two. We wish all applicants and finalists a successful 2021.”
Another top honour of note was the award for Corporate Leadership, which this year went to Trevelyan's. The Corporate Leadership award is selected by Tauranga Chamber of Commerce and recognises a large-scale business that is making a significant and positive impact to the region's economy.
Event organiser Anne Pankhurst says Trevelyan's is leading the charge with their response to Covid-19 and how they are managing to keep their people safe in a challenging environment.
'As well as being a hugely successful packhouse, Trevelyan's has a considerable focus on community support across all facets of their business,” says Anne.
'This is particularly evident with their people and the importance of creating an environment that is safe and welcoming for their diverse workforce.”
This year also saw every Tauranga Business Awards entrant put forward for the only publicly voted award, the NZME People's Choice Award. More than 3500 people voted through the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce's website and emerging business Girls Get Off was crowned the category winner.