Startup NZ Feature Entrepreneurs

Get the facts not the fluff.

Starting a business is a big decision. During the Startup NZ programme you'll also get to learn from in depth interviews with guest entrepreneurs and experts from a range of industries. 

Get the down-to-earth facts and insights about starting a business, along with a healthy dose inspiration - direct from fellow Kiwi business founders.

Meet the entrepreneurs you'll hear from below.

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

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. The Chia Sisters have been recognised as game changers on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, become a SheEO venture, and an EY business persons 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 With a proximity based phone app, users can unlock authentic historical content and stories in places of cultural significance around New Zealand, helping share and preserve the culture of Maori story telling for future generations.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

Nuwanthie Samarakone

Founder, ICE Consulting & Talent Development

Nuwanthie is the founder of ICE, a talent development agency that helps organisations nurture, develop and attract young employees. Fresh from a degree and promising career in the health sector, Nuwanthie took a risk to help solve a problem she observed as a young graduate, and founded a company now operating in six countries and assisting the career development of thousands of young people each year.
Nuwanthie Samarakone

Chris Bennett

Founder, BOBUX footwear

From the first handmade pairs of infants shoes sold in what used to be Auckland’s Victoria Park Market, in this interview Chris Bennett reflects on the BOBUX footwear journey. Starting with no business experience and just a $500 overdraft, Bennett and co-founder wife Colleen, have invested 30 years growing BOBUX into an NZ export success story - a global brand now selling in over 40 countries.
Chris Bennett

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 2020 was named MYOB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
Josh Comrie

Josh and Nicola Taylor

Founders, Tax Traders

Auckland based Josh and Nicola Taylor are the husband and wife team behind the fintech company Tax Traders. Despite having no software development or previous startup experience, this dynamic duo risked it all after Josh was made redundant, to start their own company. Theirs is a classic and inspiring entrepreneur story with many insights around the startup process, the challenge of building software for non-technical founders, and what it's like to build a startup with your significant other.
Josh and Nicola Taylor

Dave Moskovitz

Chair, Global Entrepreneurship Network NZ

Dave Moskovitz is an experienced entrepreneur, professional director and active startup investor. With deep roots in software development and Internet technologies Dave was one of New Zealand’s Internet pioneers in the mid 1990’s. He is Chairperson of the NZ branch of the Global Entrepreneurship Network and in 2018 he was named NZ's top angel investor, receiving the NZ Angel Association's annual "Arch Angel" award.
Dave Moskovitz

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

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

Grace Glass & James Mount

Founders, Natural Paint Co.

Based in Christchurch, Grace Glass and James Mount started the Natural Paint Co. in their early 20's in 2015 with the vision of bringing a healthier and more sustainable paint to the NZ market. Despite having no prior entrepreneurial experience, no money, and no idea if their venture would pay off, the two purpose driven millennials were able to embark on a journey that is already as instructional as it is inspiring. Grace has recently been named as a finalist in the 2021 EY entrepreneur of the year awards.
Grace Glass & James Mount