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[Virtual] Office Hours with Enterprise Angels

Monday, August 1st, 2022


Office Hours are about creating opportunities for startups and VCs to meet, either for investment pitching or for any general startup Q&As. Startups get the opportunity to speak with top-tier investors in ANZ and other countries which they would not normally/easily have the chance to do so if they were to approach the same investors by themselves.

This is an exclusive Te Ōhaka member event. If you are someone looking for the tools and support to get your startup off the ground and running, reach out about joining our incubation programme:

Meet your VC

Jake Hoffart, Investment Associate, Enterprise Angels

Jake joined the Enterprise Angels team in late 2018 and works closely with Investee Companies from start to finish, guiding them through the screening process, preparing for pitching, securing investment and settlement.

Jake holds a BMS from Waikato University, double majoring in finance and strategic management. He previously worked for the Port of Tauranga in logistics.

Jake is a keen spear fisherman, a surf lifeguard and a surfer who is equally at home in the back country but, in the office, he is the first point of contact for companies looking to secure early-stage funding.

Pyper Vision’s airport fog-busting technology wins Govt backing

Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

Kia Ora Magazine: Kiwi Enterprise featuring OnYou

Friday, April 1st, 2022

Electrify Aotearoa, a rallying call for women startup founders

Thursday, February 17th, 2022

Update: Electrify Aotearoa is impacted by New Zealand moving to RED. Because the goal of EA – which is New Zealand’s first-ever women founders’ summit – is to found a community, we are committed to hosting a covid-safe, in-person engagement which is the only way to build true and deep relationships. We have confirmed that our new date is Thursday, 26 May 2022. We understand this postponement is disappointing however, when we finally meet up, it’s going to be absolutely awesome.

We look forward to seeing you then and thank you for the incredible support so far. For any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


Women will start, shape, and build the future of Aotearoa industry, but change needs to come faster.  

That’s the rallying call for Electrify Aotearoa, an all-day national conference taking place in Christchurch, 26 May 2022. Spearheaded by Ministry of Awesome and Blackbird Ventures, the event brings together Aotearoa’s leading founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and early-stage startups for a day of inspiration, strategy, and connection. 

“Many of our country’s most important high growth startups are woman led and we need many more women to follow suit to ensure our country’s future success and leadership on a global stage. Electrify Aotearoa is designed to send an electric shock through the startup community and get more of our inspiring wahine turning  their big ideas into world changing companies,” said Marian Johnson, CEO of Ministry of Awesome, and organiser of the Electrify Aotearoa event. 

Globally, women only represent one in every four startup founders, despite research showing women-led startups are more capital-efficient, achieve 35% higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies. 

“We’re partnering with the Ministry of Awesome to encourage more ambitious Kiwi women to take the leap into startups. By showcasing women founders and operators at different stages of their journey, we are hoping to inspire others with tales of courage and triumph,” said Samantha Wong, General Partner at Blackbird Ventures.  

Electrify Aotearoa will help establish a foundational network for women entrepreneurs, New Zealand’s top investors and venture capital companies, and the nation’s most successful women entrepreneurs.  This network will help them form a pathway for more women founders to activate and succeed with a powerful community supporting them.

The conference will involve keynotes and masterclasses led by mavens of the tech industry including Sharesies’ Brooke Roberts, Yabble’s Kathryn Topp, Outset DeepTech’s Imche Fourie, and Theresa Gattung, NZ Lead for SheEO, and Chair of Women in Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland Business School. Together they will share personal stories, showcase vulnerability during challenging times and roadmap future woman entrepreneurs’ success.

The event is being backed by some of New Zealand’s most important organisations for the startup and innovation ecosystem, including MBIE, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, and AWS.   

Electrify Aotearoa will take place on 26 May 2022, at Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch. Full details are available at

Filtration system could hold answer to clean waterways

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

The Kite Program to improve mental health through microlearning

Friday, July 16th, 2021
Hannah Hardy-Jones, CEO and Founder at The Kite Program

When was your startup established? *

June 2018

How many people on the team right now? *

2 (plus contractors)

What does your startup do? *

Microlearning wellbeing app platform, that provides bespoke and tailored content for corporates, industries and initiatives. Improving wellbeing through micro experiences.

What value does your startup bring or what problem does your startup solve? *

Allows the end user to learn, retain and implement wellbeing and development tools through a beautiful microlearning app platform. Reduces overwhelm through manageable content that is designed for the user. Clients can co-create an app solution that is simple, affordable and flexible.

Who are your target audience? *

1) Corporate clients who care about the wellbeing of their people. Generally 250+ staff
2) For our industry apps- clients who are leaders in the industry in terms of care of their staff
3) Individuals with a mental health struggle (eg Eating Disorders)

What is the ambition of your startup? *

To have clients across the world- in every country that Kite is on the app stores (144)
To have Kite clients in countries where English isn’t the primary language
To have specific mental health app solutions around the globe
To support over 1 million people each year with their wellbeing by using Kite

Why did you decide to embark on your startup journey? *

After being diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder after the birth of my first child (8 years ago), I became acutely aware of the lack of support and tools available for individuals and their families. Focused specifically on mums to start with, Kite has grown to cover a wide range of people- because everyone deserves the chance to learn new skills for better wellbeing.

What is the most enjoyable part of your startup journey so far? Why? *

Hearing from users about the positive impact Kite is having. Seeing the passion that people (consultants and contractors) have for Kite and the potential for change. From a client perspective seeing the innovative ways clients use the platform.

What is the most challenging part of your startup journey so far? Why? *

Development issues- offshore and feel I have little control but haven’t been in a position to invest in alternatives. Because I don’t have a tech background this can be frustrating.

What are your biggest lessons you have learned in your startup journey so far? *

Take a break and look after your mental health.
Being the founder of a startup can be addictive and all consuming and it can be hard to switch off.
It takes a conscious effort.
Challenge your thinking.
Ask people who don’t know much about your startup and take on board feedback- it can be easy to have tunnel vision.
Get good advice from accountants and lawyers- it pays to pay a bit more for good advice.

What would you have done differently if you are given the chance to start over your startup journey? *

I wouldn’t have started with the Mum app- B2C is a challenge off the bat.

Find out more about The Kite Program

Ministry of Awesome joins the Hillfarrance Scout troop

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

Marian Johnson, chief awesome officer at the Ministry of Awesome (MOA), has been invited to be a Hillfarrance Scout on behalf of MoA. This means that high growth startups coming through the MoA and Te Ōhaka pipelines could have access to highly focused small seed investments from the Hillfarrance Scout Fund. In the event of any of these investments becoming successful, any investment gain will be re-invested into a seed capital fund tied directly to the Te Ōhaka and Ministry of Awesome startup pipeline.

Ministry of Awesome, one of New Zealand’s leading startup hubs, is a force for the NZ startup and innovation community. Their focus is on identifying promising high growth startups at the earliest part of their journey when they are at their most vulnerable and providing the support, capability training, profile, and network they need to succeed. MOA is headquartered at their Christchurch startup hub Te Ōhaka which is a partnership with Ara Institute of Canterbury and ChristchurchNZ, the local economic development agency.

“We are delighted to have been selected by Hillfarrance as part of their Scout programme.  There are a number of talented startup founders working through our incubation programme at Te Ōhaka and having the ability to strategically fund where required will help some of these founders focus – at least for a short time – on building their ventures,” says Ms. Johnson.

Rob Vickery, founder and managing partner of Hillfarrance Ventures, says, “Hillfarrance thrives on the people that we invest in and the people we partner with.  Marian is one of the most driven and passionate tech ecosystem architects that I have met and I am really glad and excited that she has joined our Scout community.”

While scout programmes are common in the California venture capital market, Hillfarrance’s scout programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Scout programmes give exceptional individuals money to invest on behalf of the scout programme.

Marian also notes that the Scout relationship with Hillfarrance does not preclude activity from other investors. “We’ve been a pipeline for all investors in the startup ecosystem and will continue to connect talented startups with any investor offering them value and opportunity for growth.”

To find out more about the fund, contact Ministry of Awesome at [email protected]

All female startup, Bayuble, are revolutionising standard fruit stickers

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

Sarah Wixon, Zoe Rookes and Maggie Peacock were three high school students who were taking an NCEA Business Studies together in high school. And In 2018, Bayuble was born out of the Young Enterprise Scheme. In that year alone, Bayuble has gone to win the Fourneau Trophy for Regional Winners 2018, Farmers Market Award Winners 2018, and National Finalists and Personally awarded Runner-Up for Entrepreneur of the year 2018.

Since then, these 3 co-founders have headed off to university while holding onto Bayuble. They are now more dedicated than ever to see their idea take flight.

Bayuble produces packaging. From existing fruit waste, these young founders have created an environmentally friendly alternative to the 2.4 billion stickers applied to Hawkes Bay apples each year alone.

In the future, Bayuble aims to move to various other labels and plastic packaging forms. Wixon, Rookes and Peacock wants to take an active role in mitigating the negative impacts of the current plastic packaging and label use. Their dream is to have Bayuble used and recognized globally for its effectiveness in decreasing waste, while still being a functional and viable alternative corresponding to existing packaging and labelling technologies used today.


Introducing Sarah Wixon

Co-founders of Bayuble: Maggie Peacock (left), Sarah Wixon (middle) and Zoe Rookes (right).

Why did you decide to embark on your startup journey?
Each of us are incredibly passionate about our idea, and mostly, about what our business stands for. We want to be an advocate for change, and believe that our idea, coupled with our aspirational intent is something worth fighting, working, and striving for.

What is the most enjoyable part of your startup journey so far? Why?
Personally, I’ve enjoyed seeing how Bayuble has grown and adapted as we have as individuals. We begun Bayuble as 17 year old high-school students, and now as 20 year old university students, it has been rewarding to see how much we have learnt in these past few years. Whether this be from content we have physically learnt in our studies that we can apply to the business, or personal growth where our maturity has enabled us to share our personal values and allow Bayuble to be an extension of who we all are as individuals.

What is the most challenging part of your startup journey so far? Why?
In 2019, we all went off to university, where Maggie and Zoe attend the University of Canterbury and I attend Victoria University of Wellington. The distance between us was the biggest challenge, having gone from spending almost everyday together in person, at school. This challenge meant we had to adapt quickly and re-design the way in which Bayuble functioned as a business. Messenger, Zoom, and Google Docs quickly became our best friend, and it continues to be the main way we operate and communicate as a business.

What are your biggest lessons you have learned in your startup journey so far?
One major lesson has been discovering the beauty of delegation and in turn, accountability. Through a growth stage we now effectively delegate tasks out, which has significantly improved efficiency and the quality of our outputs. Also, assigning individuals to be specifically responsible for the success and completion of tasks has put on the necessary pressures that drive us to move forward towards our growth goals as a business.

What would you have done differently if you are given the chance to start over your startup journey?
I think we would have created a more organised and specific timetable and schedule regarding our work and pathways, as well as prioritising business models, strategies, and timelines at an earlier stage.


Thought about but for catering? Caterway does just that

Friday, March 26th, 2021

When it comes to catering, it’s fair to associate lots of emails, paperwork and at least a few phone calls back and forth just to organise simple drinks and nibbles for your upcoming event. The task of contacting multiple catering companies and comparing quotes, plus organising invoices can be overwhelming for event organisers.

Realising that this was a common problem for event organisers, Olexiy Meshechko and Mizuki Azai founded Caterway – a marketplace that connects local catering companies with corporate customers. It provides clarity, convenience and reassurance for both parties through minimising admin and paperwork, thus creating a more streamlined ordering process. The idea is by standardising the ordering process, this platform can encourage consumers to try new dishes.


Homepage of Caterway (


Catering supplied via Caterway


Caterway was initially developed for corporate businesses who were looking for an elevated catering service experience. However, the website can be great for anyone looking to get food for birthdays, ceremonies and/or celebrations.

The co-founders’ vision is to become the number one, go-to place for catering services in NZ and APAC.


Meet the Caterway team


Mizuki Azai (left) and Olexiy Meshechko (right), co-founders of Caterway


Why did you decide to embark on your startup journey?
It was a daily struggle for me to find a variety of catering options for my team and guests based on their requests and preferences, and lacked a platform that allowed me and other colleagues to manage catering orders collaboratively. By contrast, Olexiy had no idea where to start and he was one of the many people who assumed a catering platform like Caterway already existed.

What is the most enjoyable part of your startup journey so far? Why?
It is rewarding to hear from individual customers as well as large corporates how Caterway benefits and helps them to manage catering.

What is the most challenging part of your startup journey so far? Why?
As a startup founder, it can be overwhelming to juggle lots of tasks and wear multiple hats especially in the beginning of the journey. It’s so great to have support from Ministry of Awesome/Te Ōhaka, they can provide valuable advice when you need and connect with the right people.

What are your biggest lessons you have learned in your startup journey so far?
When you run a startup you learn something new every single day. For us the biggest lesson we have learned is the importance of understanding and applying data for making decisions.

What would you have done differently if you are given the chance to start over your startup journey?
We know a lot of things that we have done are not in the best or the ideal ways, however, we have been doing our best. If we would have done differently we wouldn’t have learned what we’ve learned from our mistakes or we wouldn’t have met people who support us now.


Buzz Club turns NZ honey into alcoholic beverage

Friday, March 19th, 2021

Wilbur Morris and Edward Eaton knew for a fact that New Zealand produces a range of native honeys that were worthy of recognition, including (but not limited to) Kamahi, Honey-Dew, Pōhutukawa and Rewarewa. But these 2 young talents believe that Manuka honey has had the limelight for a while, and thought it was about time Manuka moved over and shared the stage. 


So in June 2020, the Buzz Club was established. 


The co-founders, Morris and Eaton, have just launched their first product – the light and refreshing Session Mead which is brewed from Native Kamahi Honey – one of the best honey the globe has to offer. 

Session Mead is a type of alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and sometimes with various fruits, spices or grains. The Buzz Club’s Session Mead combines Native Kamahi Honey with Hawke’s Bay Lemon which gives it a natural fruity and floral flavour. A light honey note with the fresh citrus twist makes Buzz Club the perfect afternoon, summer drink. 




Located right here in Christchurch, Buzz Club is naturally gluten free and has below 1.1g sugar per 100ml, with 5.5% Alc/Vol, in every 330ml can. That’s a buzz!




The Buzz Club is currently targeting the alternative and inquisitive side of the 23-35 year olds who are generally socially and ethically aware. When they are not tied down at work, their weekends tend to be spent attending concerts/festivals, and on occasion, escaping the city to reconnect with native NZ.


As well as being health conscious, these individuals already have interest in alternative alcohols which make the low-sugar Session Mead perfect for their weekend hangouts.


The Buzz Club aims to show New Zealand, and the rest of the world, that all our country’s native honey is capable of becoming awesome products. By growing awareness and recognition for the potential apiculture diversity, Buzz Club hopes to encourage more innovative uses of NZ’s native honey. Thus, creating a sustainable industry.


Now that’s the buzz.



Introducing Wilbur Morrison


Edward Eaton (left) and Wilbur Morris (right), co-founders of Buzz Club.


Why did you decide to embark on your startup journey?

Together, we saw today’s climate as the perfect time to launch the revitalisation of mead in NZ following trends of rising demand of alternate alcohols coinciding with the pressing need to sustain the apiculture industry. 

As well we both grew a passion for brewing mead and the awesome product it is. The challenges the startup journey has put us under, although at times frustrating has made us want to carry on with the start up journey.


What is the most enjoyable part of your startup journey so far? 

Being able to see our hard work pay off and the product on shelves. The journey hasn’t been plain sailing but the reward of having something we created on shelves is one of the most rewarding things. 


What is the most challenging part of your startup journey so far? 

One of the most challenging parts for us has been problems arising that we did not know would. This has meant we have been adaptable to new obstacles and not afraid to bend how we work to get around these issues (remaining open minded).

As well we have always had ambitious goals, however we have had a shoestring budget. So coming up with innovative ways to achieve our goals with low cost has been interesting to say the least.


What are your biggest lessons you have learned in your startup journey so far?

Adapt. Adapt. Adapt. To be adaptable in a startup is key. With all the planning in the world there will always be problems that were not planned for. A lot of the time these adaptations are risky, however we must adapt to achieve our start up goals. 


What would you have done differently if you are given the chance to start over your startup journey?

Not stickered cans! Keeping investment cost low is awesome but it decreases the start ups ability to have economy of scale so increases price per unit. So a bit more money up front bootstrapping would have resulted in higher returns in the first brew.

Wellness startup Calm Pipe promotes healthier lifestyles through smoke-free pipes

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

Founded by Scott Pearson and Heather Pearson, Calm Pipe helps people quit smoking by providing vape-free, smoke-free and nicotine-free pipes. Starting out with a team of just two, the idea for this wellness startup was first established in 2019, starting with Ōtautahi Christchurch as the testing market. Through innovative pipe technologies that encourage deep breathing and mindfulness, the co-founders aim to not just change their customers’ bad habits but also reduce smoking addiction on a societal level.

Calm Pipe’s early adopters are social smokers who want to quit and are looking for a healthy alternative. Most people who relapse find themselves doing so as a result of stress, and depression in their lives. Calm pipes help calm their minds through deep and slower breathing, hence support them through moments when they’re most vulnerable to relapses.


Introducing Heather Pearson


Why did you decide to embark on your startup journey?
Calm Pipe has an interesting backstory. Years ago, Scott and I spent a year in Colorado and found ourselves on the edge of the Hayman Forest Fires. To help threatened homes, we cleared scrub and vegetation but we’re getting dust and smoke in our lungs. We wondered … is this what smokers and the people around them face on a daily basis? At this moment, we started to discuss a design for a device that would mimic the hand to mouth habit without all of the other stuff that goes along with smoking.

What is the most enjoyable part of your startup journey so far?
Listening to our customers and hearing the success stories has been absolutely brilliant. We know Calm Pipe isn’t the solution for everyone but it gives people another option. The success stories feed our motivation. We’re a pretty awesome team with loads of future plans and products in the pipeline… no pun intended 🙂

What is the most challenging part of your startup journey so far? Why?
The most challenging thing so far would have to be time and budget. I think most startups would have similar challenges. It takes a lot of time to line everything up and with a small budget you find yourself doing most of the work yourself, we’re constantly needing to upskill. We’re pretty lucky being in the Te Ōhaka Startup Incubation Programme and having access to some pretty awesome experts

What are your biggest lessons you have learned in your start up journey so far?
One of our biggest lessons so far in our startup journey is quick and efficient decision making. A small decision at the start could have a big impact in our future outcomes. We found it helpful to always bring our decisions back to our company values. What is our purpose and where are we heading?

What would you have done differently if you are given the chance to start over your startup journey?
Our first product is in the shape of an old school pipe, but at the same time, it directs fresh air into the lungs. It’s a really healthy alternative. Unfortunately, we’re currently not allowed to advertise due to the shape or form factor. It’s always important to consider any barriers to market when you’re designing a product. The good news is that we’re heading into our next design sprint to add to our collection of products. Stay tuned!

Te Ōhaka hosted Australian High Commissioner Patricia Forsythe

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

We were honoured to host the Australian High Commissioner, The Honourable Patricia Forsythe at Te Ōhaka – Centre for Growth and Innovation.

Hon. Patricia Forsythe had the opportunity to hear from Partly and Pyper Vision – two startups who are meaningfully engaged with Australia through investment or activity – as well as to meet with the Te Ōhaka community all of whom are keen to drive their ventures beyond NZ borders. 

It was clear throughout the engagement that Australia is a very attractive market for many New Zealand startups. With strong similarity in language and culture, it’s the perfect entry point to the global market for many startups, especially ones that plan to expand further into the US and Europe market. Whilst a few startups in the Te Ōhaka Incubation Programme such as Komodo Wellbeing, Pyper Vision, and Blerb are already in the Australian market, we believe that there are more opportunities to facilitate more connections with investors, partners and customers in Australia. 

Ministry of Awesome Chair, Lloyd Mander, was on hand to discuss the opportunity of greater collaboration and connectivity by establishing mutual beachheads for startups in both markets.   

We are grateful to have had a fruitful engagement with The Honourable Patricia Forsythe, and hope that this is the starting point of many more meaningful connections and partnerships with the Australia startup community.