Being a successful entrepreneur today isn’t about making money hand over fist. It’s not about rapid expansion, conversion rates, list size or social media follower counts.

It’s about what those metrics reflect: the fact that you’re sharing your passion with more people.

The drive to bring joy to customers while sharing something they care deeply about is what sets apart this year’s finalists for our MODERN ONTRAPRENEUR Awards. The awards, hosted by ONTRAPORT, recognize entrepreneurs who have creatively employed the latest strategies to grow their audience and impress their customers, all in service of their mission to make life better for everyone who crosses their path.

“ONTRAPORT’s mission is centered around supporting entrepreneurs, and the MODERN ONTRAPRENEUR awards are one way we celebrate their journeys and honor their important role in the business community,” said ONTRAPORT President Lena Requist. “We created the MODERN ONTRAPRENEUR awards to celebrate the innovative ways in which entrepreneurs are meeting the needs of their customers in today’s competitive landscape.”

With at least six times as many applicants as we had last year, our team had no shortage of impressive candidates to choose from. Here are our five winners for 2017.

Joan T. Randall

Founder, Victorious You

Joan Randall is an international speaker, author and personal development coach. She is president of Joan T. Randall Enterprises and the founder of Victorious You. As a domestic violence survivor who is thriving, Joan is a transformation catalyst who empowers women to go from stuck to success. Through her personal experiences, she has developed a guaranteed five-step strategy called “Finding a Way Out,” proven to support women as they transform from broken to brave, victim to victor, and survivor to thriver.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Joan’s career began in sales at Macy’s, where she advanced to become a vice president. Joan has written two bestselling books and has made appearances on Fox, CNN, NBC and ABC.

Alanna Kaivalya

The Yoga Doctor

Often referred to as the “Yoga Doctor,” Alanna Kaivalya has made it her mission to help yoga teachers embody their knowledge, take their skills to the next level and create more impact in the world. Alanna holds a Ph.D. in Mythology and has authored three books and numerous guides on yoga, spirituality and mythology.

Since becoming the host of the first-ever yoga podcast in 2005, Alanna has continued finding ways to provide access to yoga education for  yoga instructors hoping to make a career out of their spiritual practice. She offers multiple courses on, including the world’s first 500-hour online teacher training with YogaDownload and The Modern Mystery school. Alanna and her work have been featured by The Huffington Post, Yoga International, The History Channel, Well + Good, and more.

Scott Hawksworth

Founder, AudioSkills

Scott Hawksworth launched AudioSkills in February of this year to give musicians and aspiring music producers an easier way to record, mix, master and produce their own music. Scott, a lifelong musician and audiophile, realized his passion for “DIY music” was shared by many millions of people all over the world. He works with expert audio professionals (including Grammy Award winners) to regularly release new premium courses to the AudioSkills community. Scott also hosts the popular AudioSkills Podcast and consistently produces content for the AudioSkills blog and YouTube Channel.

The AudioSkills team believes we’re currently in a golden age for DIY music production and is on a mission to help self-produced artists bring out the best of their musical ideas so they can share their music with the world.

Caz and Craig Makepeace


Caz and Craig Makepeace are the founders of, one of the world’s most influential travel blogs. Since the blog launched in 2010, its monthly readership has grown to over 350,000 visitors who come for the in-depth tips about how to travel with kids and a tight budget.

The couple has worked with some of the biggest brands and travel destinations in the world and regularly speak at travel events and blogging conferences. They have been featured as travel experts on The Today Show, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, Forbes and CNN online and were invited to attend the White House as top digital travel influencers.

Kate Northrup

Founder, Origin Collective

As an entrepreneur, bestselling author, mother and activist, Kate Northrup supports ambitious, motivated and successful women in lighting up the world without burning themselves out in the process. Committed to empowering women entrepreneurs to create their most successful businesses while navigating motherhood, Kate is the founder and CEO of Origin Collective, a monthly membership site where women all over the world gather to achieve more while doing less.

Her first book, Money: A Love Story, has been published in five languages. Kate’s work has been featured by The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, Women’s Health, Glamour, and The Huffington Post, and she’s spoken to audiences of thousands with Hay House, Wanderlust, USANA Health Sciences and more.

Honorable Mentions

There were many more deserving entrepreneurs than we had space to recognize this year. We’d like to mention several more inspiring applicants, including:

Malorie Tadimi, Founder of

With over $100 million in consulting contracts under her belt, Malorie helps her Fortune 100 clients close about $800 billion in sales each year.

Matthew Kostanecki, Founder of Owners Academy

Owners Academy is a membership site powered by ONTRAPORT that helps people create physical product brands. Matthew shows members exactly what he’s doing with his own physical brands that have achieved over $1 million in sales.

Hamish Coulter, Founder of Ready to Eat Ltd.

Hamish is the creator of a signature brand of ready-to-eat meals, Muscle Fuel, available for delivery in New Zealand. Before launching Muscle Fuel, Hamish was well-known as a wrestling champion with both regional and national titles.

Ben and Benieke Treverton, Co-founders of Wanderloud

Who doesn’t love being in the moment on holiday? This shared passion led Ben and Benieke to create Wanderloud, a global network of photographers who provide destination photoshoots, allowing travelers to enjoy no-selfie holidays.

Ryan Gromfin, Founder of The Restaurant Boss

After years running a restaurant, Ryan discovered that restaurateurs like himself needed more resources to succeed in a competitive industry. He is the creator of The Restaurant Boss, a membership site that helps restaurant owners increase profits and freedom, and, a software that helps owners operate highly profitable restaurants.

Brian Wallace, Director of Marketing at Kiefer Consulting

As the Director of Marketing at Kiefer Consulting, Brian and his team build online solutions that people actually use. They stay focused on solving their clients’ business challenges while leveraging technology, rather than leading with it.

Brigit Esselmont, Founder of Biddy Tarot

Biddy Tarot provides a safe, modern learning environment to inspire individuals to live an intuitive, conscious life with Tarot as a guide. Brigit has grown the business by 77% in the past year, building the company to seven figures with 14 team members.

Molly Keyser, Founder of Boudie Shorts

After starting her own successful boudoir photography business, Molly decided to help others do the same. Boudie Shorts offers tools and courses to help photographers book more boudoir sessions and, in turn, empower more women around the world.

Helen James, Founder of Nutriri

As the founder of a nonprofit whose mission is to disrupt diet culture, Helen focuses on speaking out for a more positive approach toward food and dieting to promote better mental health and a more positive self image. Nutriri provides group workshops, online content and one-on-one coaching.

Cathy Margolin, Founder of Pacific Herbs

Cathy focuses on helping people be healthy and stay healthy by promoting non-addictive herbal alternatives for pain relief. Pacific Herbs focuses on providing the highest quality, tested botanicals as well as resources and consultations.

We’re now accepting applications for 2018 awards. Enter to win $5,000, a free year of ONTRAPORT, and more amazing prizes by filling out our short application here by August 24, 2018.

About Megan Monroe

Associate Editor Megan Monroe is a graduate of Santa Barbara’s Westmont College where she studied Philosophy and Communications. After working for several local small businesses (where she gained firsthand experience with the frustration of manual segmentation and follow-up), Megan joined the Ontraport Growth Team. When she isn’t writing marketing copy, social media posts or educational guides for entrepreneurs, she enjoys taking advantage of the Central Coast's amazing wineries and cooking without following a recipe.