July 27, 2018

Straker Translations co-founders in finals for NZ entrepreneur award

Via nzherald.co.nz

Revealed: Entrepreneur of the Year finalists

Twenty-two businesspeople from 17 businesses and industries are vying for the 2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

This year's finalists are: James Annabell (Egmont Honey), Chin Abeywickrama (Netlogix), Grant & Merryn Straker (Straker Translations), Nick Mowbray (Zuru), Breccan McLeod-Lundy (Rabid Technologies), Lisa King (Eat My Lunch), Craig Smith (Education Perfect), Danny Tomsett (FaceMe), Aaron McDonald (Centrality Investments), Anne Fulton & Jo Mills (Fuel50), Craig Piggott (Halter), Maree Glading & Jessie Stanley (I love Ltd), Sharndre Kushor & Jamie Beaton (Crimson), Elizabeth Barbalich (Antipodes), Dan Fowlie (Trineo), Scottie Chapman (Spring Sheep), Alex Magaraggia & James Calver (Ecoware).

Seaworks chairman Bill Day, who heads the judging panel and was Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000, said he was blown away by the businesses in the competition.

This year's New Zealand winner will compete in the World Entrepreneur of the Year in Monaco in 2019.

Some of the businesspeople competing to be 2018 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year:

Grant & Merryn Straker — Straker Translations

Within a few months of meeting in 1999, Grant and Merryn Straker (below right) decided to quit their jobs and start a business in an industry where they had no experience.

Initially, the business was a software development company; Grant had taught himself code after leaving the British army. He cashed in his army pension and Merryn tossed in her life savings.

After what they describe as a 10-year apprenticeship, the pair have developed a cloud-enabled, global translation service.

Key to their operation is a powerful, multi-lingual, web-based content-management platform — an invention that enables human translators to deliver not only more quickly and more accurately, but also more cheaply.

Since 1999 the Strakers have served more than 50,000 customers. They have sales offices in nine countries with production centres in Auckland and Barcelona.

Grant, of Ngāti Raukawa, is a strong advocate for Maori in technology. The company is working with the Gisborne Regional Council and mayor to set up a satellite office in the city.

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