Startup NZ Feature Entrepreneurs

Get the facts not the fluff.

Starting a business is a big decision. During the Startup NZ programme you'll get to meet guest entrepreneurs and experts across a range of industries in our weekly interviews. 

Get the facts about entrepreneurship, along with a healthy dose of insight and inspiration, in their own words.

Meet the entrepreneurs you'll hear from below.

Ryan Sanders

Founder, Haka Tourism Group

Ryan Sanders is the founder of guided adventure, snow and mountain bike tour company Haka Tours, upmarket backpackers Haka Lodges, Haka Educational Tours and most recently Haka Hotels. With no prior experience in tourism he set up Haka Tours as an experiment in 2007 while working a full time job on OE in the UK and after 10 years of continuous expansion opened his first two hotels in Auckland.
Ryan Sanders

Florence van Dyke & Chloe van Dyke

Founders, Chia Sisters

Sisters Chloe and Florence van Dyke co-founded the healthy beverage company Chia Sisters in 2012. They have a commitment to sustainability, making their juices from New Zealand's first solar powered, zero carbon, climate positive juicery in Nelson. This year they were recognised as game changers on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, became a SheEO venture, and an EY business person of the year finalist.
Florence & Chloe van Dyke

Lee Timutimu

Founder, Arataki Cultural Trails

An interest in computers, design and story telling has seen Tauranga's Lee Timutimu go from IT engineer to analyst to film maker and most recently to founder of tech company Arataki Systems. With a proximity based phone app, users can unlock authentic historical content and stories in places of cultural significance around New Zealand, helping share and preserve the culture of Maori story telling for future generations.
Lee Timutimu

Kim Knight

Founder, MyMarketingMate.com

Kim is the founder of MyMarketingMate, a software startup which helps business owners and managers create smart and effective marketing plans, with little marketing knowledge or expertise. Kim is also the founder of social enterprise, Giver in Me, which aims to empower individuals to make informed choices about the charities they donate to.
Kim Knight

Alex McCall & Fraser McConnell

Founders, Squawk Squad & Choice

Alex McCall and Fraser McConnell are representative of the many young Kiwis today putting social entrepreneurship firmly in the spotlight. Just a few years into their entrepreneurial journeys they are already making an impact in conservation with Squawk Squad and in fintech with Choice, a blockchain card processing platform allowing purchasers to support charities with the savings on transaction processing fees.
Alex McCall & Fraser McConnell

Lisa King

Founder, Eat My Lunch

Lisa King is the founder of Eat My Lunch, one of NZ’s most successful for-profit social enterprises on a mission to ensure no child goes to school hungry. Lisa believes that business can (and should) bring about social change and that you can do well and do good at the same time. Lisa was one of three finalists for New Zealander of the Year 2019 and in March was named MYOB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
Josh Comrie

Luke Ball

Head of Incubation, Creative HQ

As head of incubation at Wellington based startup business incubator and accelerator Creative HQ, Luke Ball helps stakeholders around NZ to develop supportive and attractive local startup communities. He has worked both sides of the desk, both as a founder and startup program manager, including 5 years in Chile, where he cofounded a 1200sqm coworking space and was head of acceleration for Start-up Chile.
Luke Ball

Sandy Geyer

Founder, EnQ Practice

Originally from South Africa, Sandy Geyer is an entrepreneur, trainer and author living in NZ for over a decade. With no business experience Sandy built her successful educational publishing company from scratch and through her training company EnQ Practice has been teaching corporate, academic and student leaders her principles of entrepreneurial intelligence. Sandy is currently researching for her doctoral thesis in entrepreneurial education studies.
Sandy Geyer

Josh Comrie

Angel Investor & Co-founder, Ambit AI

Josh has founded five separate ventures reaching over seven figures of revenue, including one now at $35M p/a. He's seen a successful personal exit and continues to serve on several boards. His current focus is artificial intelligence startup Ambit which is in high growth mode and has raised over $2M in funding. Josh himself also supports other Kiwi entrepreneurs as an active angel investor and founding member of Flying Kiwi Angels.
Josh Comrie

Mat Weir

Founder, First Table

Started in Queenstown in 2014, Mat Weir's startup First Table now operates in NZ, Australia, UK, Ireland and Indonesia and is growing fast. His double-sided market business model is proving a hit for restaurant owners and diners alike and proves that innovation and building internationally successful startups is possible from anywhere in New Zealand.
Mat Weir

Anna Guenther

Co-founder, PledgeMe

Anna Guenther is the co-founder of PledgeMe New Zealand's first crowdfunding platform. Since launching 7 years ago, over 1,400 creative, community and entrepreneurial campaigns have raised over $40 million through PledgeMe. Anna has also completed her Masters in Entrepreneurship with a focus on crowdfunding and is currently based in Brisbane, launching PledgeMe in Australia.
Anna Guenther

Duncan Shand

Co-founder, YoungShand

Duncan worked for 20 years specialising in branding and marketing strategy before starting digital marketing agency YoungShand. Over the last 10 years YoungShand has pioneered a new digital first creative approach and has been internationally recognised for its work. The agency blends a brand and digital approach to help launch and grow products, brands and companies.
Duncan Shand