The Alumni Award for Professional Excellence
Four prominent University of Wollongong (UOW) alumni and four distinguished members of the University community have been recognised for their excellence, leadership, service and impact at the 2017 Fellowship and Alumni Awards, held last night (Thursday 19 October).
The formal award presentation ceremony was the centrepiece of a gala dinner held at the University’s Innovation Campus attended by more than 200 guests.
UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, congratulated the 2017 Alumni Award and University Fellowship recipients.
“So many alumni and members of the UOW community have a positive and lasting impact on the world, I am especially proud though of those being formally recognised in 2017. “They’ve all, in their own unique way, contributed to UOW’s continuing success,” Professor Wellings said.
The Award for Professional Excellence was awarded to Matt Bullock. An innovator in the world of e-commerce, Matt Bullock’s foresight and entrepreneurialism has seen him achieve profound international success, which he has used to establish the Spinify Foundation, a registered charity in Australia which supports such non-profit organisations as OzHarvest, Ronald McDonald House, and the Kiln Incubator in Canberra.
Matt Bullock’s Citation for the Award
After graduating from the University of Wollongong, with determination and entrepreneurial skill, Matt Bullock turned an idea into a thriving business at the forefront of online commerce. Matt was prescient in recognising the potential of the internet for e-commerce, founding online payment gateway eWAY in 1998 – long before buying online became standard consumer behaviour. He established the business in his spare time while working in the public service, starting out with servers in his own home and launching with a single bank as a partner.
He relocated to commercial premises and set to rapid expansion, building interfaces to hundreds of shopping carts and cultivating the developer community to embed his payment gateway in an ever-expanding list of online retailers globally. Through Matt’s gift for building innovative partnerships, eWAY has transformed the provision of integrated payment services. The company was named Xero Add-on Partner of the Year in 2013 for its work in developing the ‘pay now’ add-on for online invoices, and has developed payment streamlining solutions for other market leaders including NetSuite, Magento and Shopify. It was the first Australian payment gateway to offer mobile integration with Apple Pay, and launched the SmartPOS mobile card reader and apps for physical payments.
In his 18 years at eWAY’s helm, Matt steered it to phenomenal growth. When he sold the company to American payment technology services giant Global Payments in 2016 for US$50 million, it was processing around 5.8 billion online purchases, around a quarter of all internet-based transactions in Australia. Leading brands including Catch of the Day, Brands Exclusive, Kogan and Qantas were among his more than 25,000 customers.
The multi-award winning entrepreneur then established Spinify, helping organisations engage and motivate staff and close Australia’s $70 billion lost productivity gap. He also created the Spinify Foundation – a registered charity supporting non-profit organisations such as OzHarvest, Ronald McDonald House and start-up incubators. Passionate about the role of higher education in building tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, he fosters collaboration between universities, government and the start-up community to drive Australia’s global competitiveness. He freely shares his experience and expertise and provides training opportunities for young people.
Matt Bullock is a remarkable alumnus who embodies the determination, future-focus and sense of purpose we aim to embed in all of our graduates. His entrepreneurial success is an inspiration to our students and alumni, as is his commitment to leveraging this success for societal benefit.
Matt and UoW iAccelerate
Matt is passionate about encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit in Australia. He regularly gives time and sponsorship to CBRIN in Canberra and while in Wollongong Matt spent time at iAccelerate, talking with residents and staff. His journey and success with eWAY and now with Spinify are often inspirational opportunities for those just beginning on their entrepreneurial journey.
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