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: Peter Fowler & Andrew McMillan

Business: VoxPop

Founded: January 2020

HQ: Hawke’s Bay

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

VoxPop is a media tech company that enhances audience/stakeholder engagement with audio-based platforms.

Its benefits include a unique speech-text engagement interface, personalised radio experiences, and playlist creation from content you produce.

VoxPop has implemented its innovative technology with top syndicated NPR radio shows in the US, such as WAMU’s 1A, On Point and Science Friday. It has built an agriculture-based digital radio platform for Federated Farmers in New Zealand.

Rupert Allman, founder of 1A, praised the app for its easy interface and how it deepened engagement.

“Whether they are hearing the show live, on-demand or on a device – folks are one tap away from leaving us a message in studio quality. It has made a huge difference to the sound of the program … we could not be happier with the app and our work with its development team,” said Allman.

VoxPop’s newest feature is a browser-based voice-text recording system, which enables audiences to record voice messages directly on client websites.

The company has also received support from the Google News Initiative GNI Innovation Challenge to create a low-cost model to transform small newspapers from newsprint to digital, with local news for the ears as well as the eyes.

The team is led by cofounder Peter Fowler and cofounder Andrew McMillan. They work with clients to push the boundaries and find solutions to strengthen their audience relationships.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

A few years ago VoxPop caught the attention of NPR’s Director Mobile, Demian Perry, with their speech-text audience engagement platform that delivered studio quality audio from audiences. He connected VoxPop with Gabe Bullard from a new startup radio show, 1A on WAMU in Washington D.C.

1A continued the call-in format, but the old way of doing things with a telephone number had major frustrations. Perry, Bullard and 1A Founder Rupert Allman all saw how VoxPop’s platform would make it easier for audiences to interact using voice, save time for staff with voice-text transcripts and improve the show’s sound quality.

VoxPop built prototype 1A VoxPop apps for iOS and Android, and the rest is history.

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

  • We received advice and support from the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub and Soda in Hamilton.
  • Peter Fowler had a previous successful business,, which he sold to NZX in 2007, and is relying mainly on this experience to develop the business.


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