Online & Social Media Showcase

15th – 17th 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 2023.

Find us on your preferred social media platform from15th – 17th 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!

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Innovation Nation is made with help of the following organisations.

From the Editor

A welcome from Richard Liew

Welcome to Innovation Nation 2023. This is the fourth annual iteration of Innovation Nation, a series that has proved to be as popular as the entrepreneurs featured are inspiring.

With the world facing numerous crises from environmental, technological, societal and political challenges, here in Aotearoa New Zealand we have many talented and purpose driven founders stepping up to make the world a better place in their own small (and not so small!) way.

As you’ll see, collaboration amongst the many business support organisations that make up our entrepreneur ecosystem is playing an increasingly important role in helping our founders scope, start and scale.

Richard Liew, welcome to Innovation Nation 2023.

Catch all the stories here

Check here daily for the latest Innovation Nation stories!


Founder Q&A: Integrape


Business: Integrape Founder: Joris Besamusca HQ: Waihi What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  We are a software company that builds digital tools for viticulture. Our core product is Integrape a decision support platform focussing on nutrition and variability in the vineyard. We aggregate and standardise data relevant to the health and production […]


Azura to develop technology to extract energy from wave power


A New Plymouth-based startup has developed wave energy conversion technology to produce electrical power and potable water from the power of waves. Azura Wave Power has developed and refined a unique and patented wave technology system to extract energy from the power of waves. Unlike other wave energy converters, Azura’s technology system extracts power from […]


Kiwi data storage startup Nexustorage helping businesses unlock the power of their data


An intelligent Kapiti-based Kiwi data storage startup is combining the reliable functionality of traditional storage technology, with modern cloud capabilities. And this, says Glen Olsen, founder of Nexustorage and creator of Nexfs, is what makes it truly unique. Olsen knows that data isn’t the most interesting thing in the world. But he says the trick […]

Hiringa Energy

Hiringa Energy to address climate change by taking clean, green hydrogen fuel to the world


A group of energy professionals based in New Plymouth is building one of the world’s first green hydrogen refuelling networks, designed principally to refuel trucks in the heavy transport sector. Hiringa Energy was created in 2017 to enable large-scale decarbonisation in a commercially sustainable way, motivated by a desire to address climate change. It will […]

On Your Terms

On Your Terms bridging tech and personalised service to bring down business legal costs


While we ponder if AI is the way forward or the path to doomsday, Kiwi legal tech startup On Your Terms has found a way to combine the best of tech with the expertise of a personal legal service, at a fraction of the price.  AI has its limitations, and when it comes to legal […]


Founder Q&A: DietDecoder


Business: DietDecoder Team: Cynthia Northcote (Director) and Emily House (CTO) HQ: New Plymouth What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  We are what we eat and the same goes for our livestock. Developed in the lush countryside of eastern Taranaki, DietDecoder is the result of 25 years of on-farm experience in improving animal […]


Afirmo app aims to be first stop for Kiwi businesses


Afirmo, an innovative, cohesive Software as a service (SaaS) app, is making small business ownership and success more attainable for thousands of people in New Zealand, regardless of business background and skill set. The software is a one-stop-support-shop for small businesses, offering tools and assistance to give the best possible start to people venturing into […]

Kernohan Engineering

Kernohan Engineering’s bioreactors to assist NZs productive export capacity


Nelson-based Kernohan Engineering is about to produce bioreactors that will increase New Zealand’s productive export capacity by enabling large scale fermentation of proteins and novel ingredients. The company plans to have a purpose-built manufacturing plant employing 600 people to manufacture bioreactors at scale, with the goal of creating a $50m export business by 2030. Currently, […]

Cranberries Westland

Meet the only commercial cranberry farm in New Zealand


Cranberries Westland – the only commercial cranberry farm in New Zealand – is reaching new ground, having increased harvest six-fold over the last six years and is projecting to expand further into unchartered territories and markets. Cranberries are a superfruit native to North America and while the West Coast of New Zealand has a very […]




Business: COCOSHAKIM Founder: Jesse Gibson HQ: South Auckland What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  I provide video production services using a quick turnaround model I’ve developed as a micro parallel to the film industry production cycle. This model utilises mandatory physical fitness as a means of maintaining job readiness and streamlining the […]


BioOra, the Kiwi biotech leading the fight in immune cell cancer therapy


A pioneering New Zealand medical innovator, BioOra, is to embark on a capital raise to accelerate its groundbreaking automated platform that reprograms blood cells to fight cancer. The therapy is truly personalised where BioOra uses a patient’s own immune cells (T-cells) and reprograms them in the laboratory to directly identify and kill cancer cells once […]


CarbonZ helping more New Zealand businesses to take meaningful climate action


Finn Ross describes himself as a passionate kiwi naturalist, climate activist and adventurer. And while his studies and work have taken him all over the world, home is where his heart is, which led him to found CarbonZ – a company that enables businesses to buy traceable and native New Zealand carbon removal credits.  Asked […]

Paparoa Environmental Services

Paparoa Environmental Services on track for sustainable public access to the great New Zealand outdoors


The great outdoors is one of New Zealand’s greatest assets. But without safe and well-established access, there are many parts of our beautiful bush and coastline that we wouldn’t be able to explore.  Which is where Mike Osborne, and his recently established business Paparoa Environmental Services, makes his mark – all in the name of […]


Jooules on a mission to produce sustainable future food, with tech that ‘eats’ carbon dioxide


With climate change taking centre stage for many new innovations over the last decade, biotech startup Jooules is focusing on where they feel they can make the most difference – the food sector. More specifically, Jooules is looking to produce animal-equivalent proteins, without the need for any animal’s involvement, resulting in the production of protein […]

Marine AI

Marine AI’s vessels set to increase aquaculture productivity


Nelson startup Marine AI is developing autonomous vessels that will be able to safely navigate New Zealand inshore and coastal waters, acting as a data collection platform for marine farm operators and for environmental monitoring purposes. Marine AI will fit the surface vessels – essentially crewless boats – with artificial intelligence (AI) – hence the […]


Founder Q&A: Everkind


Business: Everkind Founder: Amanda-Jane Healy HQ: New Plymouth What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  We create certified organic body care for people who don’t want to choose between their health and what works. At Everkind, we seek to do no harm to people or planet. So from our formulas to our packaging, […]


Former software entrepreneur turns seaweed pest into a liquid spray fertiliser


Nelson entrepreneur Alex Pressman is turning an invasive marine pest into a business. He harvests a species of native seaweed and turns it into plant nutrients and crop protection products for domestic and overseas markets in Asian, American and European farmers.     Pressman moved to New Zealand in 2002, settling in Nelson after he sold a […]

Hā Habit

Hā Habit breathwork tool alleviating stress and anxiety for thousands


The Hā Tool – a Māori-inspired stress and anxiety necklace – is a breathing tool that calms the body and mind, quickly relieving mental distress through the Hā (breath). Founder Julia Wikeepa [Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi] says Hā Habit was inspired by Māori and Western philosophies and concepts and is a solution to […]

Blackball Black Garlic

Blackball Black Garlic taste success, now levelling up their culinary offering


By day Sam Weston is a Joiner, but by night (and weekends) he, and his business partner Wayne Hanright, are producing award-winning Black Garlic. And along with a fresh batch of opportunities to grow the business, the pair are close to completing a new commercial kitchen, thanks to a grant from Development West Coast. “I […]


RiverWatch rebrands to AquaWatch, expands water monitoring


RiverWatch, a startup that provides monitoring services to improve water quality, is rebranding to AquaWatch and extending its product offer to improve the quality of all water, not just the quality of water in rivers and other recreation areas. The startup will not only monitor municipal waters and aquaculture, it will also offer users a […]

Nanobubble Agritech

Founder Q&A: Nanobubble Agritech


Business: Nanobubble Agritech Founders: Leon Power and Lauren Oehme HQ: Taranaki What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  Nanobubble technology is a method for efficiently transferring high levels of gas to liquid. We have developed a unique system that allows nanobubble technology to be applied at large scale, in agriculture and horticulture – […]


NewFish to take sustainable microalgae protein to the world


Biofoodtech startup NewFish is to accelerate the commercialisation and development of microalgae-based nutrition products with new developing technology. It is using research conducted in collaboration with the Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, to identify better forms of nutrition from microalgae, and to commercialise its nutritious properties. The startup has also teamed up […]

Development West Coast

“It is open for business” – Development West Coast CEO Heath Milne


Development West Coast [DWC] Chief Executive Heath Milne says the region is “open for business”. He says there’s been a steady increase in small businesses forming in the region over the last two to three years, but larger more established businesses are gaining traction. “You do have a friendly environment to move into if you […]


Inaugural ocean economy cluster, Moananui, takes off in Nelson


Moananui, a pioneering cluster in the blue economy sector, has officially launched in Nelson, with a vision to maximise New Zealand’s marine industry through innovative collaboration. Chief Executive Jodie Kuntzsch says Moananui’s aim is to harness the collective strength of its partners to fast-track economic growth in marine activities, foster connections among stakeholders, positively contribute […]


Founder Q&A: SymbionIQ


Business: SymbionIQ Founder: Jean-Philippe Diel HQ: Auckland What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  Our product empowers health and fitness professionals with advanced tools like motion capture and a 3D mixed reality app that serves as a lesson builder and delivery platform and runs on your phone. 3D is a much better way […]


Sapro-Tech plans to disrupt textile industry by using fungi to make leather


Biotechnology scientist and avid conservationist Dr. Keith Hudson has founded an environmental startup with a goal of being a major player and disruptor of the conventional textiles industry. His Auckland-based startup, Sapro-Tech, grows and harvests fungi and uses it to make leather. Sapro-Tech weaves the fungi’s food harvesting fibres – cellular tissue called mycelium – […]

Tahi Skincare

Tahi Skincare embraces nature’s simplicity


Tahi, a 100% natural oil blends skincare brand, is boldly embarking on a mission to reconnect skin with the earth, embracing simplicity and oneness with nature. “As people, we are strong. We grow, develop, and achieve greatness. But along the way, useful traditions have been lost. What was once simple has become complicated,” says Jackie […]

Aimer Farming

Aimer Vision optimising farm pasture management with artificial intelligence


A Hamilton farmer who created the first artificial intelligence-enabled digital assistant, AIMER, to optimise pasture management, has just launched a further tool that estimates how much pasture is in a paddock, improving environmental performance, saving farmers time measuring pasture themselves. Jeremy Bryant founded Aimer Farming to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) – hence the startup name […]

Shortjaw Brewing

Award-winning Shortjaw Brewing digs deep to keep it local in Westport


A beer writer and a graphic designer have teamed up to keep a century old brewing tradition alive in small town New Zealand, ensuring locals can be proud to have a locally owned award-winning business to support. Luke Robertson was raised in Westport, but spent 17 years in Melbourne, 12 of them working in the […]

Blackfern Botanical

Blackfern Botanical unearthing real potential in aromatic Mānuka essential oil


Mānuka honey has long been celebrated for its health benefits. But now, its cousin – Mānuka essential oil – is entering the scene, offering healing properties and a captivating aroma unlike other essential oils on the market. A passionate Mānuka oil producer Rory Hill – founder of Blackfern Botanical – was astounded by his own […]


Forty years of green innovation and a bold new beginning for Azwood


Azwood began in the 1970s with a vision in mind: To create a genuine low-emission circular economy, through the utilisation of forestry residues and the diversion of wood residues from landfill. Forty years on, that vision still guides this family owned and operated business, solving today’s big challenges in new innovative ways. Managing director Brook […]


H2Ortigator revolutionising horticulture with innovative irrigation and protection solutions


H2Ortigator [Horti-gator] – a horticultural irrigation system – is changing the game for growers with its precision irrigation, nutrition, and protection. Brendan Hamilton, the founder, is on a mission to solve a long-standing problem that has plagued orchardists and vineyard growers for years. H2Ortigator is designed to assist commercial orchard and vineyard growers in managing […]


Geobind to present their eco-friendly building product at Global Hemp Summit, Melbourne


Kiwi entrepreneurs, Doug Sturrock and Alice Hosted, were invited to speak at an international conference in Melbourne, and will present their enviro-tech construction innovation at the Global Hemp Summit, on September 27. From their home in Kerikeri, Sturrock and Hosted are the cofounders of Rockstead Geobind, which enables new opportunities for building materials made from […]

The Food Factory

The Food Factory serves up a recipe for success in the food industry


The Food Factory Charitable Trust has been nurturing culinary dreams since its launch in September 2020, with a vision to bridge the gap for aspiring food innovators. This not-for-profit startup based in Stoke, Nelson, is providing the essential ingredients for success. “We’re here to help food businesses to get up and running, and to ease […]

Greenlight Escrow

Escrow service gets the green light


Watch the video interview now GreenLight Escrow is revolutionising the way tradespeople and homeowners conduct business transactions, providing a secure and innovative platform. Cofounder Max Semmons-Russell’s determination and industry expertise led to the platform’s successful launch in May 2023. In just three months, the platform has already appealed to 70 users, 40 of which are […]


Avasa to advance microvascular surgery with arterial coupler


An Auckland clinician who has created a prototype that connects microvascular arteries effectively is preparing to enter the United States market. Clinician and bioengineer Dr Nandoun Abeysekera is the founder and CEO of Avasa. The company has produced an arterial coupler, a small device that simplifies microvascular surgery, providing a better standard of clinical care. […]

Nanophage Technologies

Biotech startup Nanophage Technologies is getting prepped for their next breakthrough – going to market


When Sean Bisset left New Zealand in 2019, he didn’t expect to return a few years later to a transformed biotech industry. He had headed offshore to Europe to find greener pastures following his PhD but, in the end, Palmerston North was able to offer Bisset what he’d been looking for all along. “Aside from […]

Precision Chroma

Biotech startup Precision Chroma to access global markets after latest raise


Biotech startup Precision Chroma is looking to raise $1.5 million this year to finalise and market its first product before going global. The startup will be based in Christchurch for the next 12 months while it does further research and development (R&D) before its market launch. University of Canterbury PhD graduate Sean Feast founded Precision […]


BioValeo ready to take New Zealand’s clinical research to the world


New Zealand may be small, but Julie Jones, CEO and founder of clinical research organisation BioValeo, thinks it has the potential to be mighty on the world’s biotech stage. While our neighbour across the ditch has size and scale on its side, there’s plenty of home-grown elements we can be proud of. “We have a […]

Pacific Kids’ Learning

Pasifika Digital Showcase celebrates community magic on the big screen


Pacific Kids’ Learning is excited to announce their highly anticipated third annual showcase, “The Pasifika Digital Showcase,” taking place at Hoyts Cinemas in Sylvia Park today. The special event serves as the official launch of 35 specially curated animations, demonstrating the immense potential of the digital space and screen industry in preserving and promoting rich […]

Double Yolk

Double Yolk scaled from $100,000 to $5 million in four years and their secret is simple


Double Yolk is an Auckland/Sydney-based company that helps SaaS organisations tap into offshore software talent. While offshoring has been around for a long time and there’s a number of providers in the market, not many in this space have been able to scale like Double Yolk. So how did the company achieve this in such […]


Relab’s property data platform empowers real estate agents, increases sales


A modern and easy to use interface for property searchers such as real estate agents, created by Auckland property data company Relab has captured 25 percent of the nationwide real estate agent market in two years. Last year, real estate agents accessing the centrally accessible property data through Relab’s platform, the first of its kind […]


EC8’s technology automating the measuring and cutting of plasterboard is a world first


A Hamilton startup, EC8, has created a world first in the building industry by developing automation technology to measure and cut plasterboard. It is now making its technology available to builders, so they can cut down building times, have accurate plasterboard cuts, and decrease waste. “It’s a world first – nobody has used automation for […]


Founder Q&A: Amy Stevens, Slice


WHO: Slice Founder: Amy Stevens HQ: Auckland What products, services, solutions or technology have you developed?  Slice is an innovative, end-to-end tech platform built to reduce barriers to home ownership through education, step-by-step guidance and automated software. The automated software enables customers to: WHAT KEY CUSTOMER PROBLEMS OR CUSTOMER “WANTS” DOES YOUR SOLUTION SOLVE? By […]


EnergyBank’s wind energy storage solution aims to decarbonise the world’s largest economies


A startup, with roots in New Plymouth, is working on an energy storage solution that has the potential to decarbonise large economies the world over. And it’s banking on the energy sector to grab onto the innovation with both hands. EnergyBank founder Tim Hawkey was destined for a career in the energy industry, even though […]


Startup NZ
Scholarships are now available to New Zealand startup founders for the Startup NZ Entrepreneurs Programme 2023 intake.

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 apply to our 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, FoundrPR and Startup NZ initiative.

Editorial Team

Richard Liew, Editor
Erin Harrison, Journalist
Dave Crampton, Journalist
Anne-Marie Emerson, Subeditor
Mina Amso, Journalist
Michaela Liew, Publishing Manager

Contact details

Richard Liew, Editor, NZ Entrepreneur Magazine

Ecosystem Partners

Global Entrepreneurship Network NZ
Development West Coast
Nelson Regional Development Agency
Venture Taranaki
Angel Association New Zealand

The Editor would like to acknowledge the following individuals

Catriona Stewart, Chelsea Millar, Anna Bailey, Melissa Munro, Sophie Kelly, Natacha Dunn, Fiona Hill, Ian Johnson, Heath Milne, Aaron Rees, Dave Moskovitz, Bridget Unsworth