BNZ Start-up Alley!

BNZ Start-up Alley is a celebration of New Zealand start-ups and early-stage companies. This year we’re celebrating businesses in two categories:

Start-Up Accelerator – taking New Zealand to the world

This is aimed at tech businesses who have developed an innovative tech product and have their sights on potential growth and expansion beyond NZ. They will have a working concept and will be considering plans to expand internationally. Getting to the USA and in front of the right people is a tough challenge but one that will propel their business – Start-up Alley will help with this!

Social Enterprise Kick Start – making New Zealand a better place

This is aimed at start up social enterprises with a technology component – businesses that have a social purpose at the heart of what they do. The winner of this prize could be at any stage of their business but will most likely have a working concept.

Here are the 6 finalists for 2018!

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 ’18 — Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February.
  • The opportunity to promote yourself to Webstock attendees and speakers via a BNZ Start-up Alley section in the conference handbook.
  • The opportunity to have a 30min meeting with the Start-Up Alley judges on Wednesday 14th 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.
  • A small business banking package from BNZ and the opportunity to chat with BNZ about your business banking needs.

The winner of the Start-Up Accelerator category will receive:

  • $20,000 cash prize from BNZ.
  • Return trip for 2 from BNZ to the USA to further their business.
  • Access to free business mentors provided by BNZ.

The winner of the Social Enterprise Kick Start category will receive:

  • $20,000 cash prize from BNZ.
  • Access to free business mentors provided by BNZ.

The Judges

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.

Harry Ferreira

Harry Ferreira heads up the award winning Small Business team at BNZ and is responsible for the growth and development of BNZ’s Small Business proposition. Harry inspires his team to help customers run their businesses today to create a strong and sustainable tomorrow. Originally from South Africa, Harry’s been with BNZ for over 17 years now since he first migrated to New Zealand. He’s held lots of positions within the bank, and his energy and practical approach to leadership have been a huge part of his success over the years. Outside of BNZ he has started and run successful business of his own in both South Africa and New Zealand

Leah Culver

Leah Culver is a founder and CTO of Breaker, an iOS app for listening to podcasts with your friends. Breaker launched in March 2017 and was Y Combinator class of Winter 2017. Leah also previously founded Pownce, an early social networking site and Convore/Grove, a group messaging service.

Leah is also a co-author of both the OAuth and oEmbed open API specifications and is an advocate for APIs and open source.

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.