27 November 2013
A business co-founded by University of the Sunshine Coast graduate Ben Starr has been placed 35th in BRW Magazine’s top 100 Australian fastest-growing companies for 2013.
Mr Starr is Managing Director of O2 Environment + Engineering, a company he helped start at Peregian Beach in 2009 to target the niche areas of soil and water management.
In 2012, the business was 82nd in the leading magazine’s top 100 fastest-growing start-up companies in Australia. It also won its category at the Sunshine Coast Business Awards in 2010 and 2011 and was a finalist in 2012.
The firm now has 19 employees and is one of five environmental consulting subsidiaries wholly or partly owned by the O2 Group, of which Mr Starr is a director.
Mr Starr, 35, of Peregian Beach, said the new listing was fantastic national recognition for his specialist team of scientists and engineers who had worked for decades in the consulting and development industry.
“The third party recognition of rapid growth in the BRW list is a great help in recruiting principals to partner with us in establishing new specialist companies within the group,” he said.
“We’re expecting one of our more recent start-ups, O2 Ecology, to outperform O2 Environment + Engineering in its debut in next year’s fast starters list.
“The highly-skilled staff employed by companies within the O2 Group are best suited to solving difficult or poorly-defined problems that present significant risk to a project.”
Mr Starr, who is a USC Science graduate and certified practitioner in erosion and sediment control, finished his Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) at USC in April 2012.
He chose the EMBA to boost his entrepreneurial success.
“The program provided a solid base in each of the aspects needed to effectively manage a business,” he said.
He has since referred other potential students to the University’s program, including employee Kyle Robson who was identified as a key candidate to take on an executive role in coming years.
— Julie Schomberg