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VeVe Creator David Yu Announced As EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 New Zealand

Following an impressive year of entries, David Yu has been awarded the title of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 New Zealand.

Earlier this evening, at a highly anticipated awards ceremony, David Yu was revealed as the overall winner; and celebrated for not just his success in business, but also the meaningful ways VeVe is affecting the people it employs, the businesses it partners with, and the community it has created.

David Yu's app, VeVe, has revolutionized the collectibles landscape by establishing a platform that allows users to collect and trade digital items.

The business started as a comic store on Auckland’s K-road in 2018 and in less than five years has grown to become the leading platform for mobile-based digital collections globally. Through VeVe, individuals can own and showcase their favourite characters, artworks, and memorabilia from popular franchises using NFT technology. VeVe has sold more than 8 million collectibles for brands like Disney, Marvel and DC Comics.

This win means David Yu will represent New Zealand in the global competition against winners from more than fifty other countries for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year. The winner of the international competition will be announced in 2024 in Monaco.

Competing for the award were:

Jamie Beaton (Crimson Education), Young

Carmen Vicelich (Data Insight), Tech & Emerging Industries

Angus Brown (Ārepa Holdings Ltd), Product

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Chris Warren (NZS Group), Services

David Yu (VeVe), Master

Cecilia Robinson, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year New Zealand 2023 Chair of Judges, commended Yu’s entrepreneurial spirit.

“David Yu is a true kiwi entrepreneur – he is a silent achiever that is both humble and grounded in his approach. He has been running businesses from the age of sixteen and has grown as an entrepreneur alongside his company, constantly adapting and refining his approach along the way. The courage it took for David to forge ahead with a business idea in a completely new industry is admirable, and to now be sitting as the leader in that sector is truly outstanding.

I hope his success story serves as inspiration for other kiwi entrepreneurs to take the leap and see their own innovations through.”

Director of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year New Zealand, Jason Macgregor, had high praise for each of the category winners.

“EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year programme is about celebrating entrepreneurialism, and it was fantastic to be able to acknowledge all of the category winners for their contribution to the business community, and wider New Zealand, but especially David as our overall winner.

These entrepreneurs and business leaders have stuck their necks out and forged a path forward during times of uncertainty, contributing significantly to New Zealand’s economy. We applaud their courage and resilience and encourage more kiwis to follow in their footsteps."

This year’s independent judging panel is:

  • Cecilia Robinson, Chair of Judges (Co-Founder & Co-CEO at Tend, Co-Founder, My Food Bag)
  • Brianne West (Founder, Ethique)
  • Grant Straker (CEO and Co-Founder, Straker)
  • Jeremy Moon (Founder, Icebreaker)
  • Sam Hazledine (Founder and Managing Director, MedRecruit)

The EY Entrepreneur of The Year Award Gala Dinner celebrated two additional accolades, the Social Impact Award, sponsored by ASB, and the Family Business Award for Excellence. Tumu Group, with its impressive portfolio of ventures across timber processing and manufacturing, building supplies, finance, investment, transport and property, was celebrated as the Family Business Award winner; and Will&Able took out the Social Impact Award for the life changing work it’s doing to create jobs for Kiwi's with disabilities whilst making eco-friendly cleaning products.

Principal Sponsor ASB would like to extend their congratulations to all of this year’s winners.

“Each of these entrepreneurs and their companies bring something unique to New Zealand’s business community. It’s great to see the difference being made by these up and coming entrepreneurs, these are the innovators and leaders that will play a key role in driving New Zealand’s economic progress”.

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