The Global Entrepreneurship Network New Zealand (GEN NZ) recognised the winners of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Awards last week on Thursday 26 October in a ceremony and celebration at GridAKL.

The annual awards recognise New Zealand’s rising entrepreneurs, their ventures, and the ecosystem that supports them.

GEN NZ Chair Dave Moskovitz said that the judging was really tough, and each of the finalists deserved to win. He added, “Aotearoa New Zealand is experiencing an explosion in the diversity of our entrepreneurs, their ventures, and the supporting ecosystem. Most of our ventures have a social bent to them, trying to improve the society and the world that we live in with new products and services. In these trying times, our entrepreneurs are heroes that can give us hope that our children and grandchildren will live in a fairer, healthier, exciting, human-centric and sustainable world.”

GEN NZ’s mission is to connect entrepreneurs to the people and resources they need to thrive locally and globally. Members include entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, accelerators, academia, local and central government, NGO’s, and others. Globally, the GEN network is active in over 180 countries.

GEN NZ Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Awards
Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Awards attendees, 2023, GridAKL.

GEN NZ Entrepreneur Ecosystem Award 2023 winners and finalists were:

Academic Initiative of
the year
VelocityB.spkl, Stephen Cummings / Slush’d, Velocity
GEN NZ Connector of
the year
Pauli SosaPete Howard, Pascale Hyboud-Peron, Richard Liew, Jenny Rudd, Pauli Sosa
Entrepreneur of the
Rick Kiessig / Kimer MedChristina Houlihan / Bspkl, Natalie Jones /Seasick Sunscreen, Rick Kiessig / Kimer Med, Mrinali Kumar / Eat Kinda, Olivia Ogilvie / Opo Bio
Entrepreneur Support
Organisation of the
DosoCaffeine Daily, CreativeHQ, Doso, Sprout, Startup NZ
Investor of the yearMJ Alvarez / WNT VenturesMJ Alvarez / WNT Ventures, Sharon Bryant, Richard Coon, Suse Reynolds, Bridget Unsworth
Māori Entrepreneur of
the year
Kaye-Maree DunnKaye-Maree Dunn, Joe Harawira, Ratu Mataira, Kushla Okano
GEN NZ Member
Representative of the
Pascale Hyboud-PeronPascale Hyboud-Peron, Catriona Stewart, Dan Thurston Crowe
Public Sector Initiative
of the year
Jenny Douché / Callaghan InnovationCreativeHQ – GovTech, Jenny Douché / Callaghan Innovation, Kiwinet, Catriona Stewart / GridAKL
Social Entrepreneur of
the year
Sasha Lockley / Money
Julia Arnott-Neenee, Sasha Lockley / Money Sweetspot, Laura Nixon / Solid Oral Care, TechDisOut
Youth Programme of
the year
The Brave VentureThe Brave Venture, Flying Geese Productions, Young Enterprise

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