In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and innovators working on our next generation of new business startups, social enterprises and small businesses.

At a glance

Founders: Hope Williams & Matt Leadbeater

Business: OtherNature

Founded: 2021

HQ: Canterbury

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

Inspired by the wonders of fungi, OtherNature is a purpose-led brand designing premium mushroom-based supplements that are naturally advanced, scientifically grounded, and sustainably crafted in New Zealand.

Sharply focused on taking a science-based approach to efficacy, they source all their clinically researched ingredients from verified ethical and sustainable partners across New Zealand and around the world. The formulations – prioritising purity and potency – are made with 99% active ingredients free from fillers, toxic additives, and preservatives.

Founders Hope Williams and Matt Leadbeater spent two years working with a team of food technologists, naturopaths, and mycologists to scientifically develop the formulas. Their first product – Focus Elementals – is a targeted nootropic supplement clinically designed for deep focus, mental clarity, and overall brain health. Made with Lion’s Mane mushroom, New Zealand Sea Kelp, L-theanine, Bacopa, and Rhodiola, this all-natural and stimulant-free blend has been crafted for daily use to deliver immediate and long-term cognitive results.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

The idea for OtherNature came to us while living in London. We found the lack of balance and disconnection from a more natural lifestyle had a tendency to take its toll on our physical and mental health. Imbalance isn’t something you notice immediately. It slowly chips away until you’re suddenly highly stressed, burnt out, and have a strange sensation of not feeling sick, yet not feeling well.

For years, we were looking for natural solutions to avoid harsher, chemical-laced pharmaceuticals. When medicinal mushrooms became part of our daily routine, we immediately noticed the effects and took note. With modern science catching up to what traditional medicine has known for thousands of years, research is not only proving the real health benefits of mushrooms but also discovering that they can be safer with fewer side effects than many modern pharmaceuticals.

What programmes, learning or mentoring have been of assistance so far?

  • We were lucky enough to be accepted into The Founder Catalyst Incubation Programme, run by the Ministry of Awesome, which is designed to support, nurture, and accelerate the growth of early-stage startups with global ambition. 
  • We were also paired with two incredible mentors at ThincLab out of the University of Canterbury, who worked with us on a fortnightly basis, which was also a great benefit. We’d recommend both incubator programmes for any startup business based out in the Canterbury region.


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