Google Maps creators win NSW ICT Entrepreneur award

Lars and Jens Rasmussen, founders of Google Maps and Google Wave, have taken out the 2010 NSW ICT Entrepreneur of the Year award in Sydney.

Presented by the Pearcey Foundation, the couple received a cash grant for their work developing the map service which was sold to search company Google.

“Lars and Jens's development of Google Maps has positioned Australia as a global leader in online services. It resulted in Google establishing a significant research and development team in Sydney and the creation of many high tech jobs," Pearcey NSW co-chair, Charles Lindop, said in a statement.

“Google Maps is now used by around one third of all Google visitors and represents over three per cent of all global Google traffic. This values Google Maps as a multi-billion dollar enterprise.”

Lindop said the Rasmussens took on a major business opportunity with their company Where 2 Technologies.

“They sold to Google, and then continued to build out the business. They then did it all again with Google Wave. What better example of entrepreneurship and innovation can you get?”

While Google Maps has been a runaway success for the search giant, the Rasmussens' other pet project - Google Wave - was ultimately canned, with elements of the application to be folded into other Google projects.

Other companies receiving special recognition awards included Omnilab, Vocus and My Cyber Twin.

The winners will be finalists in a new Pearcey National Entrepreneurs Award sponsored by CSIRO. The winner of this award will be drawn from each of the 2010 Pearcey State Award winners.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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