BNZ Start-up Alley


BNZ Start-up Alley!

BNZ Start-up Alley is a celebration of New Zealand start-ups. We want to celebrate businesses doing social enterprise and technology work who are seeking to scale rapidly and establish themselves as a long-term, sustainable businesses.

This competition is an opportunity to take your start-up to the next level. It might just be the helping hand you need and it’s certainly a promotional opportunity you won’t get anywhere else.

Here are the six BNZ Start-up Alley finalists for 2017!

The prizes

Each of the 6 finalists will receive:

  • A $1,000 cash prize, courtesy of BNZ (excluding winner and runner up).
  • BNZ and Webstock will also give you two free tickets to Webstock ’17 — Thursday 16th and Friday 17th February.
  • The opportunity to promote yourself to Webstock attendees and speakers via a specially produced BNZ Start-up Alley section in the conference handbook.
  • The opportunity to have a 30min meeting with the Start-Up Alley judges on Wednesday 15th February.
  • The opportunity to be part of the BNZ Start-up Alley event on Thursday night at Webstock. Three minutes to pitch yourself to judges. Ten minutes to answer their questions. All in front of a live audience.
  • BNZ “health check” – a chat about your business with one of our Banking Specialists to see how BNZ can help your business get ready for future growth.
  • A free legal consultation (up to one hour, in person or via video conference) with Buddle Findlay’s Early Stage and High Growth Company advisors.

The runner-up will receive:

  • $7,500 cash prize from BNZ.
  • Return trip for 2 from BNZ to the USA to further their business.
  • Up to $2000 worth of legal advice from Buddle Findlay’s Early Stage and High Growth Company advisors.

The winner will receive:

  • $15,000 cash prize from BNZ.
  • Return trip for 2 from BNZ to the USA to further their business.
  • Up to $5000 worth of legal advice from Buddle Findlay’s Early Stage and High Growth Company advisors.

Check out 2015 winner Banqer and their experience at Start-up Alley.

The Judges

Melissa Clark-Reynolds ONZM

Melissa became a Professional Director after 25 years experience as an entrepreneur and CEO of a number of Technology companies. She is a Governor of Radio NZ, sits on the Boards of ACCURO Jasmax, and Softed.

Melissa is a Member of MPI’s Primary Growth Partnership Investment Advisory Panel and Chairs the LINZ Risk & Audit Committee. Last year she has took courses at Stanford, Harvard and became certified as a Foresight Practitioner with the Institute for the Future in SiliconValley. Melissa works with companies to execute transformational strategies, through She tweets as @HoneyBeeGeek.

Derek Sivers

Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek Sivers created CD Baby in 1998.

It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100M in sales for 150,000 musicians.

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22M, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.

Anna Guenther

Anna Guenther is the co-founder and Chief Bubble Blower of PledgeMe, New Zealand’s first crowdfunding platform. Since launching 5 years ago, over 1,000 creative, community and entrepreneurial campaigns have raised almost $14million through PledgeMe.

Anna has also worked for the New Zealand Government, MIT and Harvard, and completed her Masters in Entrepreneurship with a focus on crowdfunding.

David Bullock

David Bullock was appointed Director of Products and Technology in October 2014. In this role, he is responsible for a portfolio which includes BNZ’s product and customer solutions functions as well as its technology, digital, and enterprise security teams. Prior to holding this role, David was acting as the director of the bank’s Retail business, which encompasses its store network, direct channels and sales centres, online, BNZ Insurances and Small Business Bank.

David joined BNZ in 2005 as a Planning Manager in Finance, and since then he has held many senior roles within the bank, including Senior Finance Partner, Divisional Chief Financial Officer for Retail, Head of Retail Innovation, and Head of Business Strategy and Operations for Retail Banking. Before joining BNZ, David was part of the New Zealand Post team during the creation of Kiwibank. He also worked abroad in organisations including Thomson Reuters and Yahoo!

And your MC for the evening

Nat Torkington

Nat ran the first web server in New Zealand, wrote a bestselling programming book, chaired the biggest open source programming conference in North America, and was a trend spotter for O’Reilly Media. He returned to New Zealand in 2005 and started Kiwi Foo Camp, a gathering of influential New Zealanders. He is Chief Banjo Officer in the
bluegrass band The Pipi Pickers.

Entry criteria

  • Be a New Zealand start-up business.
  • Be in the web/technology industry and must have an idea, working concept or product for their start-up business relevant to this industry.
  • Social enterprises will also be considered.
  • Companies slightly past the start-up phase will also be considered.
  • Be able to demonstrate they have a clear direction and purpose.

The Fine Print

Please read the Terms and Conditions [PDF] that apply to the event and competition. By entering into this competition it is deemed you have read the Terms & Conditions. You agree to be used for promotional purposes by Webstock and the BNZ. You agree to interviews as required.