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9am Tues 15 November – 5pm Thurs 17 November

Innovation Nation

Innovation Nation is proud to be part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.


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Follow us on social media this Global Entrepreneurship Week as we celebrate stories of innovation and entrepreneurship from around Aotearoa New Zealand.

Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week, you’ll learn about some of the many entrepreneurs and organisations helping drive local innovation forward in 2022.

Find us on your preferred social media platform from 9am Tuesday 15 November to 5pm Thursday 17 November to like, comment, share and support your favourite innovation stories!


Brave-hearted business owners, sizzling startups, and inspiring innovators – be inspired by their stories, interviews and insights!

Global Entrepreneurship Week

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From the Editor

A welcome from Richard Liew

Richard Liew

Welcome to Innovation Nation 2022. Born out of COVID this is the third iteration of Innovation Nation, a series that has proved to be as popular as the entrepreneurs featured are remarkable.

As the world lurches from one crisis to another it is reassuring to me that right here in Aotearoa we have so many talented and purpose driven founders stepping up to make the world a better place in their own small (and not so small!) way.

The entrepreneurial stories we have lined up this year are nothing short of inspiring. And as you’ll see, collaboration amongst the many wonderful business support organisations that make up our collective startup ecosystem is playing an increasingly important role in helping our founders scope, start and scale.

From our team to yours, we hope you will enjoy these stories as much as we enjoy bringing them to you. Mā te wā!

Catch all the stories here

Check here daily for the latest Innovation Nation stories!


Southland man behind 3D platform MYX takes on Meta


A Southland based game developer is currently rocking the metaverse, with live events being streamed to guests inside his 3D platform, MYX providing a virtual experience that’s the next best thing to the real-world event. But it’s a double-edged sword as he has discovered. Funder Games founder and creative director Paul Cousins prefers to be […]

Kimer Med

Founder Q&A: Kimer Med


WHO: Kimer Med Founders: Phil Oliver and Rick Kiessig HQ: Nelson website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  In spite of the billions of dollars spent on medical research, registered antiviral drugs exist for only a handful of viral diseases that afflict humans. Most of these target a specific virus and […]

Sprout Agritech

Sprout Agritech is supporting Agtech & Foodtech startups to develop locally and send globally


As New Zealand’s leading agritech and foodtech accelerator and investment firm, Sprout Agritech is supporting agriculture and food technologies with an ecosystem that allows them to develop right here at home – but look globally for opportunities and growth. “We are unlike other companies developing in this space, and this comes down to our three […]


Teddy is delivering fast for Kiwi grocery shoppers


Having your groceries delivered to your door in 30 minutes for a few dollars – does this sound too good to be true? If you live in Queenstown or Auckland this is now a reality, thanks to a venture called Teddy. Founded by Chaz Savage, Ricki Taiaroa and Daniel Taiaroa, Teddy is very new – […]


Rewild’s F-Bomb is modernising predator control to make trapping safer and easier in the bush


It might have been 15 years in the making, and many iterations of the product later, but Nick Jones from Rewild is quietly confident that his predator trapping device is going to benefit all areas of conservation and predator eradication in New Zealand – especially when it comes to protecting our native species. From being […]


Founder Q&A: CarbonCrop


WHO: CarbonCrop Founders: Nick Butcher & Nelson Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAI) HQ: Nelson website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  CarbonCrop makes it easier for landholders to earn carbon credits in many different ways. Our artificial intelligence and remote sensing technology can remotely and precisely map, monitor and measure different tree […]


Viktual+ combines science, nature and indigenous wisdom for better health  


While there are many supplements on the market, Viktual+ is among the first to use New Zealand and Pacific native ingredients for better health. Husband and wife team Rochelle and Tana Umaga founded Viktual+ in 2021 after realising they knew too many people of their own age who had died from poor health. “When we […]

Invest South

Joint alliance in lower South Island provides a whole community approach to entrepreneurship and innovation


Raising capital for scaling startups in the lower South Island has traditionally been challenging, but with recent collaborative developments making headway in the region, the future is looking bright for entrepreneurs on their journey to growth. “Up until a few years ago, there wasn’t a cohesive ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs in Southland, Otago and […]

Scentian Bio

Scentian Bio funding to speed up disease detection via an electronic nose


Kiwi startup Scentian Bio, which is developing a ground-breaking technology that can detect human diseases, has been awarded a US $1.7m grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with a further $2.5m raise next year, this will enable a faster return on investment and staff to be hired. Scentian Bio’s founder and chief […]

Weather Radar

Founder Q&A: Weather Radar


WHO: Weather Radar Founder: Luke Sutherland-Stacey HQ: Auckland website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  We work in two main product spaces: 1) Software as a Service Knowledge of where, when and how much rain has and is falling is essential to optimise the running of New Zealand’s “Three Waters” infrastructure, […]


New clinical research organisation BioValeo has been founded to support the NZ Biotech industry


Clinical trials are an essential part of developing new treatments and medicines, but without the right expertise and knowledge to support the trial process, it is almost impossible to get a product to market. This is why BioValeo, a new clinical research organisation and consultancy, has been founded – to ensure the New Zealand Biotech […]

Switch Lighting

Founder Q&A: Switch Lighting


WHO: Switch Lighting Founders: Gerard Woods & Jon Maunsell HQ: Nelson website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  As the first lighting company to locally manufacture LED lights in New Zealand, we are extremely proud of the innovative lighting technology we have delivered to market. Our product range includes economical downlights […]

DC Equipment

Founder Q&A: DC Equipment


WHO: DC Equipment Founders: Dale Ewers & Christine Ewers HQ: TASMAN website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  We started developing a Grapple Carriage that removed people off the forestry hill in the “breaking-out” phase of logging, which is hooking strops onto trees for extraction, and where there is very high […]


ProTag’s smart technology to track and monitor animal health


Two current Massey PhD engineering students have created the world’s most advanced livestock ear tag to remotely monitor livestock, with a goal of getting them clipped on the ears of thousands of animals in 100 farms within the next four years. In December 2021, Baden Parr and Tyrel Glass founded ProTag to provide deep insights […]

Kiwi Kai

Founder Q&A: Kiwi Kai


WHO: Kiwi Kai Founder: Reni Gargiulo HQ: Nelson website: & What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  We have developed and are continually developing a range called Atutahi Natives. Taking our rongoa knowledge and combining it with our food and beverage skills we have created a beautiful range of products that […]


Founder Q&A: Dexibit


WHO: Dexibit Founders: Angie Judge & Justin Kearney HQ: Auckland website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  Dexibit provides data analytics software as a service specifically for visitor attractions. Dexibit helps venues predict and analyze visitor behavior – with forecasts, insights, dashboards and reports backed by a data automation platform. WHAT […]


A million times smaller than a dot, Nanophage Tech’s nanorods could change the future of diagnostics


As the first global company to develop multifunctional biological nanorods (a million times smaller than a dot), Nanophage Technologies’ ground-breaking biotech capabilities could mean faster and more accurate medical diagnoses and treatments. Nanophage Tech’s innovation will achieve this by changing the way immunodiagnostics and immunotherapy companies attain superior reliability at detecting diseases, all at a […]

Let’s Get Building

Let’s Get Building using GeoMaps to help more tradies get jobs


When Tamati Mcleod was studying at Manukau Institute of Technology more than a decade ago, his class of 60 tradies-to-be were gearing up for their future as building apprentices. But the reality of finding a company to take on an apprentice ended up being quite a difficult process, with word-of-mouth finally securing a position for […]

LILO Desserts

Founder Q&A: LILO Desserts


WHO: LILO Desserts Founders: Cleo Gilmour, Alex Worker & Russell Haines HQ: Queenstown website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  LILO is on a mission to open minds and open taste buds to new ways of snacking. After more than three years of research and development we launched LILO real fruit […]

Lived app

Lived providing real life strategies and support for alcohol


Sally Metelerkamp grew up in a single-parent household with a mother who was living with addiction. She also had to witness, first-hand, the stigma that came with addiction, from a society that didn’t have the knowledge or understanding of how to help people, like her mum. And even today, Metelerkamp says we still don’t have […]


Founder Q&A: IPromise


WHO: IPromise Founders: Paul Verić & Matt Peacock HQ: Ōakura website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  IPromise is a SaaS (Software as a Service) product designed to solve the broken invoice payment system. Invoice payment is where a service provider does the work and invoices the client for payment after […]


Māoriverse verifies Māori-made products with mark of authenticity and a marketplace to sell


When Donnella Phillips was trying to buy a taiaha (a long, slender hand weapon usually made from native hardwood, or in some instances whalebone) for her son’s eighteenth birthday, she was frustrated that she couldn’t seem to find any online that were authentically made in New Zealand. And it was at a whānau gathering in […]


Founder Q&A: Monkeytronics


WHO: MonkeyTronics Founder: Al Brennan HQ: Wellington website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  We have created a range of smart environmental sensors which monitor a wide range of air quality metrics within the home, classroom or office setting. This includes temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, particulate matter (PM), formaldehyde, nitrous […]

Van Dyck Fine Foods

Passion for pancake production escalates growth of Van Dyck Fine Foods


An award-winning premium bakery manufacturer that started from a chance meeting at a trade fair in Germany now churns out thousands of pancakes an hour in its fully automated plant in New Plymouth after an extensive period of growth. Last year Van Dyck Fine Foods, whose employees are primarily local New Plymouth residents, changed its […]

Tokaora Diagnostics

Founder Q&A: Tokaora Diagnostics


WHO: Tokaora Diagnostics Founders: Frey Livingston & Pam Livingston HQ: New Plymouth website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  Tokaora Diagnostics is developing a commercial product (similar to a RAT test) which will enable facial eczema (liver disease) in sheep and cattle to be detected at low-cost and onsite by the […]


MACSO Technologies harnessing Artificial Intelligence to detect animal illnesses and improve welfare


An Auckland based startup is developing a platform that replicates the sensory part of a human brain to enable a variety of environmental monitoring solutions. Their first solution is using Artificial Intelligence-enabled audio sensors to aid early detection of illnesses in animals by “listening” for signs of respiratory disease. It is new ground for the […]


Founder Q&A: Eight360


WHO: Eight360 Founder: Terry Miller HQ: Wellington website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  Eight360 is a Virtual Reality hardware company based in Wellington, NZ. Over the last 7 years we have developed a world-unique motion experience platform called the NOVA. NOVA is a “virtual vehicle”, able to put you inside […]

Mister K

Founder Q&A: Mister K


WHO: Mister K Founders: Lisa Ratahi & Rachel Bernhardi HQ: Hāwera website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  At Mister K, we have passionately developed a selection of tasty consumable crackers; Marlborough Sea salt, Rosemary & Garlic and Chilli & Cheese (with a new flavour soon to be launched!) Driven from […]


Founder Q&A: Noologica


WHO: Noologica FounderS: FABIAN LABRA SPRÖHNLE, ISIDORA LABRA ODDE, MYRIAM ODDE CATTAN HQ: NELSON website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  Noologica is an open source and open science biotech startup developing a digital solution for the precise screening, triaging, diagnosis, and monitoring of neurodivergent and mental health conditions. Solutions we […]


Mindfulness is the core subject for online mental health programme TAIORA


Brady Polkinghorne was about half way through his ten year career in advertising when he realised it wasn’t the right industry for him. But it wasn’t till he met the team at Headspace that he began building a picture of what he thought his future might look like.  “They were a client at my agency […]


BioViros to fill gap in market and support cell therapies


Dr Marina Rajič is excited about commercialising scientific research. She has found a gap in the biotech market and founded a startup to attempt to fill it. She worked for a biotech company in Germany as a business development manager and returned to New Zealand earlier this year. Now based in Wellington, Dr Rajič wants […]

Bo Studio

Bo Studio assists agricultural sector with digital products


A UX designer has created the country’s first agritech UX design studio to assist the agricultural sector with digital products, making them more usable, enjoyable, and accessible for users and customers. The term user experience (UX) refers to all aspects of this interaction. After eight years working in the field as a product and UX […]


High school’s new tech programme targets innovation and entrepreneurship


In just a few months a Christchurch school’s new innovation and entrepreneurship programme has seen students create an educational Māori culture social media lens with over 150,000 global engagements, pilot a wāhine in tech programme for Deloitte and assist a health tech startup company’s virtual reality therapy app. Rangi Ruru Girls’ School has this year […]

Precision Chroma

Precision Chroma to cut steps in pharmaceutical manufacturing


A former Canterbury University student has extended his doctoral thesis to start a business with a team of world-class scientists who are developing a unique method of chromatography that eliminates key issues faced by industry. In January fresh out of university, Sean Feast founded Precision Chromatography – trading as Precision Chroma – to pioneer 3D […]

Seasick Sunscreen

Seasick Sunscreen protecting skin and the environment from damage


Natalie Jones has always had a love of nature and the outdoors. Her parents often reminisce of how, as a child, she would go off on an adventure and come home covered from head to toe in sand or mud. And they might even be quick to quip that nothing much has changed.  Naturally that […]


Don’t know what to cook for dinner tonight? MenuAid AI makes the decision easy


Like so many great ideas, MenuAid was born out of the need to solve a personal problem. Toby Skilton and Elise Hilliam – the founders and CEOs of MenuAid, as well as life partners – both love to cook, but were too busy to put much effort into making dinner and found themselves making the […]


Founder Q&A: EnergyBank


WHO: EnergyBank Founder: Tim Hawkey HQ: Auckland website: WHAT PRODUCTS, SERVICES, SOLUTIONS OR TECHNOLOGY HAVE YOU DEVELOPED?  We are developing technology that will store 30-100 hours of energy by lifting and lowering large masses in ocean depths of 1-5kms. The mechanics of this in some ways resemble a cuckoo clock. EnergyBank’s deep ocean gravitational […]


Founder Q&A: ANEW


WHO: ANEW Founder: Jayden Klinac HQ: Auckland website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  I started my career by launching the first compostable coffee capsules in the world, into the NZ and Australian market. Since then I have worked on trying to shift the entire packaging industry to move away from […]


Founder Q&A: Thred


WHO: Thred Founder/s: Keiran Stokes, Hamish Scott, Bob van de Kuilen HQ: Auckland website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  We’ve developed technology that makes it really easy for businesses to turn hard-to-get data into information and insights. We start by connecting to and extracting data from all the weird and […]

Hybrid Bikes

Founder Q&A: Hybrid Bikes


WHO: Hybrid Bikes Founder: Frank Witowski HQ: Nelson website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  Hybrid Bikes Ltd is a carbon fibre e-bike innovation company based in Nelson. We design our own frame moulds to manufacture the carbon fibre frames and have designed the overall look of the bikes to stand […]

Ao Cacao

Inspired by Willy Wonka, Ao Cacao is more than just a chocolate factory


Tom Hilton has probably achieved almost everything one could hope to in the culinary world. In fact, he had done most of it by the age of 23. But after a journey that took him to the highest of highs, and lowest of lows, Hilton has gone back to his roots – literally and figuratively […]


Founder Q&A: HazEL


WHO: HazEL Founder/s: Kate Bromfield & Richard Coomber HQ: Rothesay Bay, Auckland website: What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  HazEL is a SaaS (Software as a Service) based hazard evaluation tool that enables direct chemical comparisons using select human health (toxicity) and environmental (ecotoxicity) parameters. It allows users to narrow down […]


Community and family a key success factor for those in Māori-led accelerator


With fewer than one percent of participants in New Zealand’s Government funded startup and accelerator programmes in 2017 identifying as Māori, the team at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa along with a long list of supporters knew more had to be done to support aspiring Māori entrepreneurs.  So in 2018, the first Māori-led startup programme, Kōkiri, […]

Green Light Escrow

Green Light Escrow protecting the back pocket of tradies 


When plumber and business owner Maxwell Semmons-Russell got burned by a client who didn’t pay, he got mad. But instead of getting even, he decided to do something practical about it – not just for himself, but for his fellow tradies and contractors in the building industry.  “After having the experience of not being paid, […]


Startup Watch: HuntingHQ


WHO: huntinghq Founder: Marc Featherstone HQ: Christchurch website: What products, services, solutions, or technology have you developed? HuntingHQ is a unique SaaS marketplace that solves a variety of pain points for landowners, hunters, and other recreational users. HuntingHQ puts landowners in control with access to our powerful hunter management and booking system, insured and […]

Focus App

New app helps entrepreneurs achieve more by staying focused


Southern Software, a venture agency based in Queenstown-Lakes, wants to help entrepreneurs achieve more with the newest addition to their portfolio – an attention management SaaS (software as a service) platform named Focus. As the founder of Southern Software, Duncan Faulkner knows intimately the unique challenges presented to entrepreneurs every day. Not only are they […]


Startup Spring 2022

Scholarships are now available for the online Startup NZ Entrepreneurs Programme!

Take your idea to the next level and join fellow Kiwis working on our next generation of startups, small businesses and social enterprises.

If you’re working on an innovative new startup, small business or social enterprise idea click here to join our Spring 2022 Startup NZ Scholarship intake and get 12 months free access to the online Startup NZ Entrepreneurs Programme (worth $345!)

Take your idea to the next level and join fellow Kiwis working on our next generation of startups, small businesses and social enterprises.


Innovation Nation is an NZ Entrepreneur Magazine and Startup NZ initiative.

Editorial Team

Richard Liew, Editor
Erin Harrison, Journalist
Dave Crampton, Journalist
Anne-Marie Emerson, Journalist
Sarah Day, Journalist
Michaela Liew, Digital Manager

Contact details

Richard Liew, Editor, NZ Entrepreneur Magazine Ltd

Key Partners

Global Entrepreneurship Network NZ
Bridgewest Ventures
Startup Queenstown Lakes
Invest South
Coin South
Nelson Regional Development Agency
Creative HQ
Venture Taranaki

The Editor would like to acknowledge the following individuals

Emma McMulkin, Hannah Short, Luke Henshall, Catriona Stewart, Saara Tawha, Chelsea Millar, John Robson, Prue Halstead, Nikki Dermody, Sophie Kelly, Natacha Dunn, Charlotte Lang, Madeleine Melin, Ciara Craig, So-Young Cho, Suse Reynolds, Dave Moskovitz, Bridget Unsworth, Katherine Blaney.