Media Release
Emerging leaders: Next gen founders selling gig tickets to change the world
12 September, 2022

Media contact

Matt Levinson

Joshua Ross and Adam McCurdie, co-founders of Australia’s fastest growing ticketing site Humanitix, have been awarded the 2022 Emerging Leader Award.

Just two years ago, the small Humanitix team was working around their parents’ kitchen table. Now they have offices in NZ and the USA, as well as Australia, with traffic on the site doubling every six months.

Adam McCurdie, co-founder and co-CEO of Humanitix: “There’s a penny drop moment happening across the entire tech and events industry right now, we’re so proud to be demonstrating that tech, SAAS and social enterprise can operate and win at scale.

“What this offers is the potential to solve massive social challenges by distributing millions of dollars to funding where it’s needed, while still operating highly profitable operations.

“Humanitix can only scale and grow if we offer a super competitive product. The ethical stuff we do is phenomenal and a massive game changer, but we can’t rely on that alone as the sole reason why event hosts should switch to us.

“We want Humanitix to be the bigest events ticketing platform in the world. Globally, there are over $3 billion in events booking fees just from tickets alone, our aim is to transform every cent of that into giving a fair go to disadvantaged children here and around the world.

“Covid and the lockdowns made it very challenging for our business because of the impact on events, but we’re now seeing an unbelievable resurgence in Australia, in NZ and the United States.”

Humanitix is a first of its kind social enterprise, disrupting the highly profitable global events ticketing industry – as part of the model they give 100% of profits from booking fees to children’s charities in Australia and around the world, as well as solving accessibility issues for patrons with disabilities. They are now ticketing everything from small gigs, conferences and yoga classes to Mardi Gras and the Seven Bridges Walk.

The Committee for Sydney’s Emerging Leader Award, supported by KPMG, is designed to celebrate an up-and-coming Sydney leader, someone to watch.

Doug Ferguson, NSW Chair and Head of Asia & International Markets at KPMG: “Given our 4,500 people across Sydney and NSW are young, diverse, entrepreneurial and purposefully engaged across the many issues shaping our state, KPMG is thrilled to sponsor the 2022 Emerging Leader Award and we congratulate Adam McCurdie and Joshua Ross for their achievements so far.”    

Professor Eric Knight, Executive Dean of Macquarie Business School, and a Sydney Awards judge: “What’s exciting here is the brave decision to build a profitable business that gives away all its profits for good. That is really exciting for next generation founders, for people who are looking to do something different in the world and something good for the world.

“Humanitix takes a part of our life that is very transactional – buying tickets – and turns it into something that’s transformational, making a difference in the world.

“They realised people want to be transformational even when they do really mundane activities like buying tickets to a concert.

“In doing so, they’ve found a way to inspire a generation of business leaders to think about business for good. I think if they can do that, it could be Humanitix’s great legacy.”

Designed to celebrate people whose efforts make Sydney the greatest city in the world, there are six categories: Global Sydney, Western Sydney Champion, City Visionary, Emerging Leader, and Unsung Hero.

The eminent judging panel for the inaugural awards include:

  • Ann Sherry AO – Chair Unicef Australia and Enero Australia
  • Usman Iftikhar – CEO of Catalysr, and winner of the 2021 Western Sydney Champion Award
  • Sara Mansour – Founder Bankstown Poetry Slam, Lawyer at Settlement Services International
  • Eric Knight – Executive Dean at Macquarie Business School, and Professor of Strategic Management
  • Tanya Hosch – Executive General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy, AFL
  • Mike Baird AO – CEO HammondCare, and former Premier of NSW.

The Sydney Awards are supported by major partner Macquarie Business School, and award sponsors Aurecon, Coles, ISPT Super Property, KPMG and Mirvac Design.