In 2001, Derek founded mobile marketing and media company The Hyperfactory, with his brother Geoffrey Handley. At the time of its acquisition by Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) in 2010 it was the largest independent mobile advertising and marketing agency in the world, most awarded globally and listed by Entrepreneur Magazine as a the Top 100 Brightest Idea in 2010.
In 2011, Derek was named one of 125 World Class New Zealanders and a Sir Peter Blake Trust Emerging Leader; 2010 a New Zealand Herald Business Leader of the Year; 2009 the Ernst & Young 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year' in New Zealand and one of the 40 Most Influential People in New Zealand Telecommunications in New Zealand for 2006-2007.
Derek is a founding LP of New York based mobile-seed fund Eniac and an angel investor in a number of emerging start-ups most notably Booktrack (alongside PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel) where he also serves as Chairman.
In 2011 Derek became one of 100 founding member of the Palindrome Advisors, an original member of President Obama's Startup America Partnership whose mission is to change how leaders give back by linking nonprofits with executive level leaders. Derek also sits on the Board of Directors of the Young Ambassador unit of one of the world’s largest microfinance organization: Opportunity International.
When not talking about the future or entrepreneurship, Derek spends time thinking about space (as Astronaut #611 on Virgin Galactic’s upcoming sub-orbital spaceflights), plays a lot of poker and tries to play polo.