At Flick Electric Co. We’re always scouring New Zealand for inspiration from amazing innovators and educators who are committed to building a better Aotearoa. Here is a selection of pieces from our #FlickLife Friday email about amazing kiwis we crush on.


Rothy’s

By now, we’re all pretty aware that the fashion industry, and ‘fast fashion’ as it’s known, is a massive polluter, and has a large impact on climate change. We’re being told to buy less, buy quality and buy local.  Well, Rothy’s shoes aren’t local (they come all the way from San Francisco) but here’s three things they definitely are: well made, timeless and sustainable.  And fashion lovers have got Stephen Hawthornthwaite and Roth Martin, the creators of Rothy’s shoes, to thank for that. They’ve created beautiful, comfortable, low-maintenance ballet flats that are made entirely from recyclable and recycled materials. Using a 3D knitting process (which takes only 6 minutes and effectively means there’s zero waste!), the shoes are constructed from recycled water bottles! The shoes are environmentally responsible, elegant (take a look – they’re just GORGEOUS), as comfy as a sneaker, and can be thrown in the washing machine. We’d love to see more of this sort of innovation in the fashion industry, and especially here in NZ. Bring it on!


Auckland Community Fridge

‘Take what you need. Leave what you don’t’. Simple words for a simply brilliant idea. Worldwide, food wastage is a huge problem, and it seems a ridiculous problem to have when there are also millions of people without food. But Auckland’s Community Fridge, which opened November 30, is solving that problem one sandwich at a time. The Community Fridge, located in Griffiths Gardens, is a place where those who have excess food can leave it for those who need it. It’s a concept that’s taking off around the world in order to address the issues of wastage, poverty, and inequality within communities. Individuals, groups, and businesses are encouraged to leave their food in the fridge, and anyone who needs the food can take it – for free. The fridge is open 24 hours a day and is checked twice daily by a team of volunteers. It’s all been done according to NZ’s health and safety regulations, so the volunteers are trained in food safety, as well as how to keep the fridge clean. Obviously, there are rules around what can be left inside; for example, items must be free of mould, and tinned or canned food must be unopened. It’s all pretty straight forward really. We LOVE this idea and we’d love to see it gain momentum throughout the rest of the country ASAP – what better tone to set for the new year than one of giving and sharing?


Billie Jordan

You’ve probably heard of the famed Hip Op-eration Crew (also known as the World’s oldest dance troupe) who hail from Waiheke Island – they’ve won multiple awards and become a beacon of inspiration for many aged people. But the group was actually the brainchild of the very interesting and inspiring Billie Jordan. A child-abuse survivor who has suffered depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, Billie is a strong advocate for elderly rights, with a passion for helping the elderly stay positive, motivated and active, and encouraging them to do more and be more at a stage of their lives when, traditionally, society tells them to slow down. After leaving Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake (she had lived there for 8 weeks when the earthquake struck), she settled on Waiheke Island, taught herself hip-hop from Youtube clips, recruited elderly neighbours and started up the Hip Op-eration Crew. Of course, the story of The Hip Op-eration Crew, and Billie’s positive influence on the members, is now pretty well immortalised thanks to the media. But she hasn’t stopped there: she’s created Discover Me Travel, an international travel business with a focus solely on aged travellers and experiences to suit them. Not only that, she’s a popular guest speaker, was named in the MNZM Queens Honour List 2016 for services to the elderly and dance, as well as being the 2016 NEXT NZ Woman of the Year.  Apparently Hollywood agrees with us all, and they’ve acquired the rights to make a film about Billie’s life – WOW!


Phil&Teddy Bears

If you’ve ever had a child in hospital, you’ll know how scary and nerve-wracking it can be for them (and us adults too!). But the Surgical Research Trust, in partnership with NZ juvenile brand phil&teds, is making things a little bit easier for Kiwi kids facing surgery, playing gift-bearers (get it?!) and delivering them ‘phil&teddy’ bears. The bears, dressed in surgical gowns, are ‘adopted’ by each child, and even come with their own little adoption certificate.  The programme is in its fourth year, having delivered thousands of bears so far, with the main goal of providing children with a bit of furry relief from the stress of the hospital environment and their upcoming surgery. It also has a huge, positive flow-on effect to families and hospital staff. But aside from being a cute and cuddly toy, the bears also act as props for surgeons to explain surgical procedures to the children. This year there’s a whole new batch of bears (and there’s thousands of them!) being delivered to children at Christchurch, Waikato, and Wellington hospitals, with kids at Christchurch hospital being the most recent recipients last week. What an awesome initiative!


First Cut Ventures

Young minds are the future, and that’s certainly true for new businesses and startups here in NZ.  First Cut Ventures, formed by a group of young minds themselves (all students or former students of the University of Auckland), was created in order to help connect young founders – that’s the under-30s – with mentors and investors, and to grow the startup ecosystem here in NZ. Set up in May 2015 and based in Auckland, the company is supported by ICE Angels, NZ’s leading startup support and investment company. First Cut Ventures is the only angel fund in the world to solely support, and be run by, students and young founders, and it aims to answer all the tricky questions that newbies might find confusing, and then bridge the gap between young entrepreneurs and investors. One of its primary goals is to bring young founders out of the woodwork and into the spotlight (they helped uncover Spalk, who we featured in Tech Of The Week two months ago). They’ve got some high quality mentors on board, including Shane Bradley (founder of GrabOne), Jamie Beaton (founder of Crimson Consulting and one of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs) and Jonathan Mason (former Fonterra CFO). First Cut Ventures also focuses on introducing top-notch students to the world of angel investments, including decision-making, due diligence and networking with fellow entrepreneurs and investors. They’re proving to be a success so far, raising $60,000 in their first round of funding. It’s certainly an exciting time for startups in NZ!


Heilala Vanilla

If you’re a foodie, you’ll know the importance of top quality vanilla products for cooking and baking. The fake stuff (that’s your vanilla essence) just doesn’t cut it if you’re after that authentic, richer vanilla flavour, and the delicate colouring of the vanilla seeds and pod. But the story of Heilala Vanilla was not borne out of an initial love for vanilla. Rather, it came from founder John Ross’ love for Tonga.  After holidaying in the Kingdom, he returned to provide aid following a large cyclone.  As thanks for his help, a local family gifted him a plot of land in the village of Vava’u, with one clause – the land was his to provide jobs to locals. With a fair bit of research behind him, John and his family, including daughter Jennifer Boggiss (now the Managing Director), as well as the local Tongan family who gifted the land, established a vanilla plantation, which now produces the world’s most awarded vanilla and vanilla products. The plantation has created a number of jobs in the village of Vava’u, as well as implementing infrastructure, and has plans to go even further by partnering with vanilla growers in the Cook Islands and Madagascar. Not only that, but they’ve also established the Heilala Vanilla Foundation, a registered charitable trust which promotes fair trade and sustainability in Vava’u, as well as supporting local projects and people. The Heilala team are growing, manufacturing and marketing top quality vanilla while also backing the community that supports them – and we think that’s sweet as!


Ash Peters

This week our inspirational spotlight is shining bright on a woman with a mountain-biking mission.  She’s Ashley Peters, the unofficial ambassador for mountain biking here in Wellington, and she hopes to bring her love of two wheels and tough trails to the rest of the country. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Ash came to NZ in 2005 on an exchange – and fell so much in love with the place that she’s still here! She’s 110 per cent dedicated to the mountain biking industry, as the founder of Wellington’s Revolve cycling club for women and director of the registered charity Word, which teaches children the skills of mountain biking and aims to foster confidence, friendships and a love of the outdoors at the same time. She also manages her business JoyRide, running skills-based courses for riders of all levels around the trails of the Wellington hills. With course names like ‘Turns and Berms’, ‘Rough Stuff’ and ‘Hops and Drops’ you can bet you’re in for an adventure. And as if that’s not enough, word on the street is that Ash also bakes a mean chocolate chip cookie!  We’ll take one for the team and volunteer as taste-testers…


Dr Catherine Mohr

You may not be familiar with her name, but if you’ve had prostate surgery recently, chances are you’ve been worked on by the robot she helped build. Dr Catherine Mohr, a trailblazer for scientists, Kiwis and women, is Vice President of Medical Research at high-tech company Intuitive Surgical in Silicon Valley, which specialises in developing surgical robotics. She’s been heavily involved in the creation of their internationally-acclamied da Vinci robot, which is used to carry out minimally-invasive surgeries such as prostatectomies. Now a surgical robotics technologist (that’s a mouthful!), Dr Mohr was born in Dunedin but moved to the US with her family as a child, later earning a degree in Science and Mechanical Engineering, followed by a Masters in Robotics at MIT. At the same time her keen interest in sustainability led her into building and racing solar cars around the world and then a job at AeroVironment developing vehicles and aircraft that run on alternative fuels. She worked there for nine years and was made head of engineering before she’d even turned 30.  After noticing a gap in the market for an expert in both engineering and surgery, Dr Mohr headed to Stanford Medical School, where she’s now a Consulting Assistant Professor in their department of Surgery. She’s the valuable scientific advisor to several startup companies in Silicon Valley as well as here in NZ, and a popular conference speaker on surgical robotics, innovation, leadership and women in science. Not only that, she has a number of medical patents to her name, and has written well over a dozen academic articles. In 2014 she was inducted into New Zealand’s Hi-Tech Hall of Fame, and was also named a “World Class New Zealander” by the NZ Government for her work putting NZ on the medical map. We think she’s pretty darn amazing!


Karma Cola

If we said the word ‘Cola’, you’d immediately think of Coca-Cola, right?  After all, it’s the world’s most popular soft drink and brand. But did you know that the Cola nut, which Coca-Cola was named after, doesn’t feature in Coca-Cola at all? Nowadays the Cola colour and taste is made artificially from caramel flavour and phosphoric acid, a process which entirely bypasses the communities that produce the nut.

But Karma Cola, the Kiwi company who also brings us All Good Bananas, has taken the road less travelled to produce its craft Cola soft drink, the aptly named Karma Cola (they also produce a selection of other craft soft drinks).  They’re using actual Cola nuts grown in the Gola Rainforest of Sierra Leone.  The nuts are grown and harvested using traditional methods by the people of the Boma and Tiwai regions, in a country that still suffers the effects of civil war, and most recently, the Ebola virus (though it’s officially been free of the virus since March this year). The nuts are grown organically as well as being ethically traded – which means that the people who farm the produce are also being paid fairly for it.  Karma Cola (previously known as All Good Organics), founded by Simon Coley, Matthew Morrison and Chris Morrison, also set up the Karma Cola Foundation, which ensures that a percentage of each bottle sold goes back into the Boma and Tiwai communities. So far the Foundation has funded some pretty neat projects, such as fixing and joining two bridges, sending 60 young children to school annually, helping 4 women set up business, and improving 25 acres of forest farm.  In 2014, Karma Cola was named the Fairest Fair Trader by Fairtrade International – now that’s good karma!


First Steps Himalaya

We never cease to be amazed by the kind-hearted, change-making Kiwis we discover in our search for #FlickLife inspiration.  This week’s superstars are the folks at First Steps Himalaya, a charity set up to bring quality education to the young people of rural Himalayan communities. It was founded by Scottish-born, NZ-based Fionna Heiton and her Nepali husband, Durga Aran.  Fionna first visited Nepal for charity work in 1989 and has spent many years there since; it’s where she and Durga met, and where their twin children were born. They were motivated to set the charity up to help the young Nepali children who face tough education barriers from the get-go: there it’s common for mothers to leave their toddlers alone to fend for themselves while they work in the fields, and there’s little opportunity for that essential early learning (not to mention the risks the children are exposed to being left alone). There’s also poor nutrition, lack of quality education and resources, young motherhood, and high rates of school dropout.  First Steps Himalaya runs education projects for early childhood and primary education to help foster a love of learning in children, as well as teacher training programmes to improve teaching quality.  They also work on improving learning conditions for the children, who are usually taught in classrooms with dirt floors and very few resources.

A major source of fundraising for the charity is their travel-based business Beyond The Clouds, which offers inspiring journeys with experienced guides through Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.  All proceeds from the journeys go toward funding First Steps Himalaya.  Time to lock in that trip to the Himalayas!


Pomegranate Kitchen

Here at Flick, we love our food!  And we love the food culture of NZ, with its global inspiration and ties to our diverse range of people – so we’re super excited about the launch of Pomegranate Kitchen this month!  Located in Wellington, Pomegranate Kitchen offers delivered meals and catering cooked by former refugees.  The company was founded with culinary decadence of international influence in mind, and aims to help local refugees who are keen to be a part of, and give back to, the community.  At present, the company employs four refugees: all women who have lived, worked and cooked in places like Indonesia, Syria, Egypt, Ethiopia and Afghanistan.  Pomegranate Kitchen supplies culinary training (in conjunction with partners Dine Academy), and in return the women share their vast food knowledge, and methods and recipes from their former nations. They currently have a pop-up pod at Moore Wilsons on Tory Street, Wellington from 10-23 October, and they’re also running a PledgeMe campaign to help the business get up and running.  Pomegranate Kitchen promises to bring Wellington a menu of delicious food that is vibrant, fun and nutritious, and inspired by the women who create it.  We can’t wait!


Kiwis 4 Cambodian Kids

Education in all its forms is pretty darn crucial to human development.  Just ask John and Denise Burton, who, grateful for their own opportunities in life and searching for ways to give back, founded the charity Kiwis 4 Cambodian Kids in order to bring education to the poorer, rural areas of Cambodia.  The country still suffers the impact of Pol Pot’s horrific reign during the 1970s, where anyone with an education was viewed as a threat to the Communist rule and killed. Of 20,000 teachers, it’s believed that only 2,000 survived the Pol Pot regime.

John and Denise, with their combined skills in farming, special education, soil conservation and community projects, set up the charity in 2012 to bring education, new learning methods, technology and internet to the very poor, rural communities of Cambodia. Kiwis 4 Cambodian Kids runs in partnership with with NZ-based High Tech Youth who have experience in establishing high-tech learning centres in under-served communities in NZ, the Pacific Islands and Hawaii.  At the moment they’re working in the Preah Dak region, located in the UNESCO Angkor Wat World Heritage Park, where they face challenges such as low incomes, few opportunities, lack of clean water and toilets, high infant mortality and women and child trafficking. They’ve got a heck of a task before them, but it’s their firm belief that access to education and technology will eventually lead to economic development and self-sustaining communities – and, most importantly, give hope and empowerment to the generations of rural Cambodians that had so much taken from them.


The Loyal Workshop

And on the topic of ethical purchase, here’s one truly amazing business for you!  Meet The Loyal Workshop, a small leather-goods company based in Kolkata, India, founded by two Kiwis with the goal of freeing local women who are trapped in the sex industry. Paul and Sarah Beisly dreamt up the idea for the business on a visit to Kolkata in 2002, and by 2012 they, along with fellow Kiwis Harry and Mandy Croucher, had recruited five women from the local red light district as employees. The company now has a total of 11 women working with them, each an artisan in her own right, handmaking beautiful, quality leather items such as satchels, wallets and belts. We’re introduced to the women by name on The Loyal Workshop website, and it’s clear that each has her own story of sadness and trauma. But now, thanks to a business founded on the kindness and compassion of people, each woman also has a story of freedom and hope, and it’s another touching example of New Zealanders changing the world, one person at a time. We love it!


Seek Shelter

Homelessness is, sadly, becoming more and more of an issue here in NZ. Rent for private homes is high, waiting lists for HNZ can be long, and shelters are running out of room. SeekShelter, a very new startup (created in July this year, and named NZ Startup Of The Week earlier this month), is hoping to help combat the issue of overflowing temporary accommodation by creating a web application that keeps track of shelter occupancy in real-time.  The idea is that all shelters in an area can use the app and work together to share occupancy levels.  That way, if someone arrives at a shelter in desperate need of accommodation and there is no room, they can be referred to a shelter that can help.  SeekShelter is the invention of CEO MJ Brodie, who after many years volunteering in emergency housing, recognised the need for an easier, more effective way to help those looking for a roof over their head.  Next for SeekShelter is to provide the general public access to shelter occupancy levels, to extend the service to civil defence emergencies, and to allow for approved members of the public to offer shelter in their own homes, like an “Airbnb for emergency accommodation”.  A great idea that will tackle a huge social issue here in NZ – inspiring stuff!


Vodafone NZ Foundation

Vodafone is putting its business and technological know-how to good use through its registered charity Vodafone NZ Foundation, founded to encourage and support young Kiwis in reaching their full potential.  At the moment, entries are open for their Technology Development Grants, which aim to support and develop technological solutions that are connected with local charities, and that will also benefit NZ youth by addressing youth development issues.  The selected projects will also ideally have the potential to be explored in the global market.  Initial grants provide recipients with $15,000 over four months, giving them time to develop and explore ideas and opportunities, and also includes mentorship from a Vodafone mastermind (no, not a Vodafone ninja!) to bring their ideas to life. Entries will close at 5pm on the 21st of September, 2016, so time is ticking!  Check out Vodafone NZ to see if you and your organisation are eligible.


Elephant Stripes

Have you ever struggled to find luggage that’s good quality, good looking AND kind to the planet?  Two kiwi girls found themselves in this situation whilst planning a trip through Asia.  So they started their very own online store, Elephant Stripes, where you can find stylish luggage and travel accessories.  Not only did the founders, Jordan and Francesca, build their business from the ground up (which is no easy feat!), they’ve done so while keeping a serious stance on sustainability – ensuring the business is sustainable on a financial, environmental and economic level.  With minimal eco-friendly packaging, a bag-for-bag donations programme and involvement with the Ashla-Maia Foundation, they not only sell great product, but you can rest easy knowing that when you buy from them, your money is going to a brilliant business with a social conscience.


Sue van Schreven

Last week the finalists for the 2016 NZ Women of Influence Awards were announced, in a list encompassing some seriously inspiring and amazing women. The Awards aim to identify, recognise and celebrate the work of our most influential women across 10 categories, ranging from Arts and Culture, to Diversity, to Rural.

Sue van Schreven, CEO and Founder of Orphans Aid International, is a finalist in the Community/Not for Profit category, and deservedly so.  Sue has been involved in charity work and fundraising most of her adult life, and in 2004 she started Orphans Aid International, along with her husband Carl, to help the 150 million orphaned children around the world.  It’s a staggering number and an enormous task, but one she and the team at Orphans Aid International feel extremely passionate about.  They currently have projects in India, Romania, Russia and Uganda, providing help in many and varied ways, like finding loving and caring homes for neglected children in Romanian institutions, providing food and basic medical needs to children living in the rubbish piles of Kolkata, running 4 schools and funding much-needed surgeries.  Here at Flick we’re in awe of what Sue’s doing and we wish her, and Orphans Aid International, every bit of success!


SuchCrowd

Continuing with this week’s #FlickLife Friday theme is the neat little startup company SuchCrowd, recently featured in NZ Startup of the Week. Born from a ticketing system, SuchCrowd helps artists and event holders predict attendance early enough to gauge whether their event is worth running (and you can even use it to manage private events!). Ticket sales are crowdsourced so events only run if the target sale is reached – which means the risk of making no profit (or worse, a loss!) is removed. SuchCrowd has an 81% success rate from over 45 events, and their own research shows that selling tickets via SuchCrowd decreases spending on promotion and ticket pre-sales (which is ideal if you don’t have the production budget of Beyoncé and U2).  Check them out, and start planning your next big event… risk-free!


ZeroPoint Ventures

It’s a pretty exciting time to be a Kiwi.  We’re a nation bursting with grand ideas, inventions and entrepreneurs.  But the traditional way of starting a business was to find and secure investors willing to fund your project – and handing over a portion of control at the same time – long before you knew whether you had a business worth sustaining. So how do you create a profitable, sustainable business without relying on investors, and without losing control?  New company ZeroPoint Ventures, founded by Dan Khan and Sam Bonney (of Lightning Lab fame) has filled the gap by offering a new venture capital business model, which lends start up businesses money that is only repayable when – and if – they hit the $1 million mark.  Dan and Sam also offer their extensive experience through coaching and support, and right now they’re looking for candidates within the business-to-business, Software-as-a-Service industry.  If this sounds like you or someone you know – well, what are you waiting for?!


KidsCan

Many of us take for granted having access to basic hygiene products like soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers, and tampons.  But for thousands of New Zealand children and teenagers this lack of access, each and every day, is very real, and manifesting itself in school absenteeism, skin and dental conditions, and low self esteem. In 2015, charity KidsCan were funded a one-off grant from the Ministry of Social Development to create sanitary packs for the 568 schools throughout NZ who receive KidsCan support.  Over the last 3 months, they’ve given out 4000 packages to youth in need, and they’re currently seeking further funding to keep the project going.  The call for help was also taken up by Labour Youth Affairs spokesperson Louisa Wall, in conjunction with the Salvation Army’s Foodbank Project, who have created the Women’s Hygiene Bundle to help needy secondary school and university students.  You simply donate $15 to purchase one hygiene bundle.  Kiwis helping Kiwis – now that’s inspirational.


1 In 3 Be Free

A new, socially-driven app has been created here in New Zealand to inform and help women in abusive relationships.  Called 1in3 Be Free – a reference to our statistic that one in three Kiwi women will experience some form of domestic violence in their life – the app is the brainchild of Inner City Women’s Group, a not-for-profit organisation that helps women affected by violence.  Because domestic abuse can take many shapes and forms, it can also be hard to identify, so a main goal for Inner City Women’s Group was to create an app that would highlight the different – and often dismissed – ways that abuse can occur, including financial threats, restricting contact with friends and family, stalking, and taking control of social media.  The app asks the user to complete a basic survey to screen relationships for potential areas of abuse, and then links her directly to local support services – a small tool to help bring about big change.


Ethique Beaty

As consumers, we’re well aware of the environmental damage caused by our daily disposal of plastic.  We know it lasts for hundreds of years, and we know that there is a ridiculous amount of it (50 million bottles each year in NZ alone, to be exact). But what can we do about it?

One Kiwi entrepreneur has found an ingenious solution (after spilling her shampoo in the shower and wondering why it needed to be bottled in liquid form), creating solid beauty bars with biodegradable wrappers which can be disposed of in your compost. Brianne West’s beauty company Ethique uses 100% naturally-derived, ethically-sourced and sustainable products to create solid cosmetics such as shampoo (even dog shampoo), conditioner, face wash and laundry soap.  Ethique started life from Brianne’s kitchen, but thanks to its popularity (as well as funding from a hugely successful PledgeMe campaign), the business is now based in a Christchurch laboratory – and quietly taking the world by storm.


Thought Wired

A world in which everyone can communicate regardless of disabilities is what inspires Auckland-based enterprise, Thought Wired. Their brain-sensing technology, nous, takes the form of a lightweight headband that detects thought patterns and translates them into signals for people with profound disabilities. Beyond communication, the technology could interact with any piece of equipment that can be controlled by a computer, opening a world of possibilities for over 6 million people worldwide with physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy and motor-neuron disease. Thought Wired has successfully trialled the first version of nous and will be launching a Pledge Me Equity campaign in August with the goal of reaching the global marketplace. Sign up online to follow Thought Wired’s progress.


Chris Parkin

Arts patron and philanthropist Chris Parkin is the founder of New Zealand’s first national drawing award, The Parkin Prize. For the past four years Chris has been stumping up his own money to offer a cash prize of $20,000 to the winner of the award, as well as $500 to each of 10 Highly Commended entrants. The competition was founded to address what Chris viewed as a lack of recognition for drawing in this country, even by sections of the arts community. The award has empowered talented artists and has grown to become one of New Zealand’s most prestigious art competitions over the years. A free public exhibition showcasing the 2016 finalists will be held at The Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington from August 2 – 28. Be sure to check it out if you’re in the capital!


The Float Project

With an abundance of water surrounding New Zealand and a record number of drownings reported this year, it’s more important than ever that kiwi kids learn to swim. The Float Project, a Lion Foundation Young Enterprise group from St Cuthbert’s College in Auckland, is aiming to offer free swim survival lessons to children in low decile schools whose parents can’t afford to pay for private lessons. Float are currently accepting donations to get the initiative off the ground, with money going toward coach and transportation costs. Head to their Give A Little page to donate now and help kiwi kids learn to swim.


Stories

The story behind Wellington’s Stories cafe is all heart. One of a number of New Zealand’s container cafes set up for a higher purpose, Stories partners with Zeal, a charitable organisation focused on developing creative skills in young urbanites. Most critically, Stories offers youth the chance to gain experience behind a counter in a consumer-focused environment. For student and barista-of-9-months Lola Graham-Wiggins, being able to go to the supportive environment of Stories every day after school has helped her develop as a person. ‘Working here has definitely helped me to be more confident, it’s given me so much confidence!’ Try a Stories coffee on lower Cuba St Wellington, or at their sister cafe, Georgia on Victoria St Wellington. They’re good!


Plyhome

We are super inspired by Hutt Valley based Anna Gilhooly and Euripides (Rips) Cassels for their groundbreaking high tech, hand-finished and eco-friendly furniture for kids. Their start-up ‘Plyhome’ literally enables kids to slot together their own furniture without screws, tools or DIY nous. Plyhome’s prototypes include a high-level bassinet that later transforms into a standard height bed for toddlers. As the child grows, the bed doubles as a couch, tech space or reading nook with add-ons including an outward facing bookshelf. What’s even more inspiring is the non-toxic, bees-wax coated material protected without plastic or foam packaging. Everything is 100% NZ owned, designed and manufactured – this duo deserve a massive thumbs up!


Wellington Shoebox Christmas

For families of the 1 in 4 NZ kids living in poverty, Christmas time can be tough. Financial pressures make the holiday season less about food, family and fun, and more about the stress of pulling ends together. Since 2014, Wellington Shoebox Christmas has been bringing boxes of joy to kids in low decile schools who may not feel the magic of Christmas in the same way as their peers. Calling on generous kiwis, Wellington Shoebox Christmas coordinates the collection and delivery of thousands of gifts in shoebox-sized packages to Wellington kids who may otherwise go without. If you’d like to help, sign-up online to be matched with a child. You’ll buy or make them a gift for their shoebox, wrap it, name it and deliver it to a drop-off point near you. Wellington Shoebox Christmas will do the rest.


Eat My Lunch

For long time readers of #FlickLife Friday, Eat My Lunch will need no introduction. A social enterprise modelled on the ‘buy one, give one’ concept, Eat My Lunch was founded to tackle the issue of child poverty in NZ, giving one lunch to a Kiwi kid who would otherwise go without, for every lunch purchased by you.

It has been a busy 1st year for Eat My Lunch. They’ve provided 150,000 lunches to children in need, put an Innovation Council’s Innovation Hero award in the cabinet, and on June 13 are set to launch as the very first campaign on crowdfunding website PledgeMe’s new lending platform, PledgeMe.Lend. Their goal is to expand outside of Auckland and Hamilton, their first target region being Wellington – we cannot wait!


Maree Carson

Maree Carson was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition when she was 16 and was told she will eventually go blind. At 31, Maree has no peripheral or night vision and has less than 5 per cent overall vision. But Maree is not letting her impairment get in the way of her dream – to run a marathon. Since joining Achilles New Zealand(which provides Kiwis with disabilities the opportunity to participate alongside able-bodied athletes), Megan has been selected to represent Achilles at the New York marathon in November. Us Flicksters are really inspired by Maree’s attitude and wish her all the best with training as she prepares for her big day!


Stacey Shortall

Stacey Shortall has a huge heart and was the more than deserving winner of the Westpac Women of Influence Community and Not-for-Profit Award last year for her work helping women and children in the justice system. She also began the Who Did You Help Today movement, working to connect skilled individuals with not-for-profit community projects. Shortall firmly believes that creating connections and building communities can bring about change by enabling people to ask for help and get it.


Women Who Get S**t Done

A self-proclaimed geek, lover of beer and Wellington’s authority on long-lasting lipstick, Amber Craig is our influencer of the week. She’s a change agent for corporate innovation, culture transformation and technology who has worked with leading companies such as ANZ, Westpac and Telecom, but we love her for her role as co-organiser for the ‘Women Who Get S**t Done’ unconference.

Designed to bring together a network of diverse and passionate people who identify as women, the unconference is an opportunity to share ideas, learn, and discuss topics as directed by the attendees themselves. We’re excited to see the innovation that stems from bringing together such a collection of diverse, yet like-minded women. Read all about the WWGSD unconference here.


Uplift Project

Flick developer, Olivia recently introduced us to Uplift Bras, an organisation that since 2005 has sent over a million bras to women in disadvantaged communities all over the world.  Uplift Project collects new and second hand bras and sends them wherever they have requests, using biodegradable packaging.  Recently they’ve been collecting for Fiji and have a shipment ready to go, but there’s still a whole heap of other organisations in need and Flick wants to help.  We’re heading to Auckland next week for the High-tech awards and would love to take a collection from Wellington. So if you’re in Wellington and can spare a bra, crop top (non-wire) and/or new underwear, drop us an email before 5pm, Wednesday 18 May and we’ll arrange a drop off time. Not in Wellington? There’s drop-off points around the country, or there’s alway post – who said we don’t need snail mail anymore?!


Sarah Jane Parton

Sarah Jane Parton is a New Zealand artist and academic currently on an Asia New Zealand Foundation artist’s residency at Rimbun Dahan, just outside of Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia.

Since arriving in Malaysia, Parton has been an incredible ambassador for New Zealand, organising aid and helping homeless, sick and malnourished Rohingyarefugee families (primarily women and children) living on the streets of Kuala Lumpar. The Rohingya are stateless – as a persecuted Muslim minority they are denied citizenship in their homeland of Myanmar, and without identification documents from their home country it is nearly impossible to become citizens elsewhere.

Sarah has set up a Give A Little page to help the families she is working with, with the bulk of donations going towards providing care, medicine, food, shelter and clothing to a particular family with nine children all suffering malnutrition and severe scabies.

Her experience is informing a moving image art project which she plans to exhibit when she returns to New Zealand later this year.

You can read more about the Rohingya in this piece from the New York Times or listen to this Radio New Zealand story.


Jackie Clark

Jackie Clark is an extraordinary example of someone using social media to drive real world change.

In 2013 Clark started volunteering with an Auckland refuge to collect donations of key items that women fleeing domestic violence need.  Over the past three years she has established a formidable Twitter presence which has blossomed into an IRL network of women working together to support the refuge (they’re known as “the aunties”). Clark and the aunties use Twitter daily to source donations of the things the refuge needs, and to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Clark’s single-minded focus on the women her and her team of aunties help is truly inspiring. If you want to support the aunties’ work, you can find out about what they need on their website.


The Generosity Journal

Some time back we featured Pat Shepherd, founder of the One Percent Collective, in #FlickLifeFriday. Since then, we’ve partnered with One Percent Collective to help them publish the second issue of The Generosity Journal, a magazine created to showcase stories of good deeds and inspirational projects in New Zealand.


Jessica Venning-Bryan

Flick is full of inspiring team members who typically fly under the radar, so this week we decided to dedicate Inspiration Station to our Head Cheerleader (aka GM Brand) Jessica Venning-Bryan.  Jessica was recently profiled in Marketing Magazine, sharing her thoughts on how to launch a disruptive brand in a competitive market dominated by big, well-funded companies.  As you’ll know from our Flick Yourself campaign, we believe in more diversity in advertising and especially making more meaningful connections with woman consumers, and it’s Jessica’s team that’s leading the charge. In her spare time she runs Cultivate Mentoring Lab – a mentoring service for women at the start of their careers – and she was recently appointed to the Board of NZ’s first crowdfunding business PledgeMe.


Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko took out the University of Auckland 2016 Young New Zealander of the Year award. Her incredible ability and dedication made her the youngest ever, number 1 ranked female professional golfer at the young age of 17. Previously named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, Ko continues to be a great role model in her field.  She was also recently named in ESPNW Impact25 list of athletes and influencers who’ve made a great impact on women in sports.


Dr John Hyndman and Ivan Batistich

Dr John Hyndman and Ivan Batistich took away the Sanitarium Innovator Of The Year Award 2016 for their development of the HYVAN, an anaesthesia machine for use in developing countries. While volunteering in the Pacific, Hyndman saw that there was a real need for a more simple, reliable, compact and affordable anaesthesia machine – so he teamed up with engineer, Batistich to make it happen. Twelve years, four prototypes and a World Federation of Anaesthesiologists Innovation Award later, the HYVAN is now being manufactured in Christchurch. What a fantastic duo they are!


Sam Judd

Co-founder and CEO of Sustainable Coastlines, online columnist for NZ Herald and advisor for UNEP, Sam Judd is an amazing Kiwi who we think deserves a shout out.  Since childhood Sam has had a passion for the environment, particularly for keeping the ocean clean and litter free.  This has led Sam to his current roles plus all the extra things he finds energy for – like building an environment education centre in Auckland from waste materials!  Inmates from a local prison are building the centre, while earning qualifications for their work.  Sam gets a huge thumbs up from us for the amazing contribution he is making to New Zealand life.


Shay Wright

Recently named on Forbes’s 30 under 30 Asia ‘Social Entrepreneur’ list, 26 year old Shay Wright is a young leader who shows great promise. He co-founded Te Whare Hukahuka, an organisation with the vision of reversing the cycle of poverty; focusing on empowering indigenous community organisations, their leaders, and people as a whole. Shay’s work has now impacted 220,000 Maori families and helped to train 500 indigenous leaders. He intends to extend these efforts into other areas in hopes to reduce cultural inequality within society. We’re hugely impressed with this young kiwi making a difference!


The Misprint Co.

We recently met the founders of The Misprint Co. who, simply, reckon repurposing before recycling is common sense (did you know that most of NZ’s paper recycling is optimistically sent to China!?).  So, the team of design school grads have launched a service that collects a company’s non-confidential paper waste, and returns it to them as beautiful branded office stationery – we’ve already set up our collection box right next to the office printer.  They also have a gift line that can be purchased directly from their website.  We love the collision of great design, smart business, and environmental consciousness!


Penny Nelson

This week Penny Nelson finishes up as Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council, to become Deputy Secretary for the Environment.  During her tenure she has tirelessly championed the mainstreaming of sustainable business practices in New Zealand, growing the membership of SBC from 35 businesses in 2011 to 84 today (including Flick).  SBC now represents a third of private sector GDP, and in collaboration with academia, government and the non-profit sector, is leading transformational projects across ecosystem services, youth employment and sustainable leadership.  Penny is a true unsung hero of better business.


Peter Beck

Unimpressed by his first visit to NASA, Peter Beck knew his role in this world was to redefine the space industry.  He’s a driving force behind improving our access to space, We’ve broken down the barriers to the sea and the air and the land, and it’s time we really started to utilise space.’ he said in an NBR interview last year. He founded and is CEO of Rocket Lab, who are striving to make space commercially available, and have signed a deal with Spire Satellites to launch up to 12 satellites into orbit in the coming two years. Plus last year, Peter was awarded New Zealand Innovator of the Year – we think he’s pretty o-for-oarsome!


Ruth McDavitt

Initially a volunteer of Summer of Tech (SoT) and now CEO, Ruth McDavitt  has tech start-up in her blood. The true crux of SoT – and what gets Ruth out of bed in the morning – is the opportunity to get more employers engaging with up and coming tech talent; and creating positive first-work experiences for tech grads. She’s passionate about championing women in tech and providing career guidance and mentoring for New Zealand’s future CTOs.


Kendall Flutey

Kendall Flutey was recently placed 16th in StartUpDaily’s ‘Top 50 Australian and New Zealand Women in Tech‘, 2016.  Banqer provides schools resources to teach kids financial literacy skills. The program has a number of modules that educate students about bank accounts; tax; interest rates and insurance. The initial idea was pitched by Kendall to her team at StartUp Weekend, 2014 and they won! Kendall is an inspiring figure for women considering their career path, particularly those interested in web development.


Adrien Taylor

Ex 3News environment reporter Adrien Taylor has ventured into start-up land, founding Bamtino, a bespoke furniture company, and Offcut Caps. It’s his vision for Offcut Caps that we especially love – the caps are made from fabric offcuts that would otherwise end up in landfill, and through the company’s partnership with Trees For The Future they’re also planting a tree for each cap they sell. The caps are currently sold out but a new batch is landing in their online store in the next two weeks. You can sign up to get an email when they’re available.


Guy Ryan

The winner of last year’s Young New Zealander of the Year award, Guy Ryan has been involved in many ventures, his latest being Inspiring Stories Trust and its programmes, Live The Dream and Festival for the Future. With a passion for innovation, social enterprise and creativity, Guy founded Inspiring Stories in 2011 aiming to help young kiwis combat the issues facing the world in twenty-first century. To date, the Trust has involved more than 5,000 young kiwis in its programmes.


Vivien Maidaborn

Vivien Maidaborn, currently the CEO at UNICEF NZ is passionate about social innovation and enterprise. She’s worked with PledgeMeLifeHack and Enspiral and was a co-founder of Loomio. Loomio is an online platform to facilitate collaborative decision making, and has enabled more than 75,000 individuals collaborate on 25,000 decisions. Many of Vivien’s projects reflect her personal mantra that ‘a group of people with diverse experiences and perspectives will come up with solutions better than any one person ever could’.


Rachel Taulelei

Businesswoman and entrepreneur, Rachel Taulelei was recently made a member of “The NZ Order of Merit” for services to the food and hospitality industry. Rachel founded Yellow Brick Road Ltd – a company that led change in the NZ fishing industry with an innovative, sustainable business; she’s on the board for Grow Wellington – where she also acts as a mentor to many start-up companies in Wellington; and she co-founded the not-for-profit society that runs City Market, Wellington.  We’re more than impressed with Rachel’s contribution to our local community!


Benjamin and Elise Johnson

We’ve recently had the pleasure of getting to know the multi-talented Benjamin and Elise Johnson, when they agreed to try and make our team of tech-heads look good in a set of company snaps under their commercial photography banner PIVOT. But Benjamin and Elise really inspire us because of their philanthropic work. Their non-profit organisation, The Free Store, collects surplus foods from cafes and restaurants around Wellington at the end of every day and makes it available to the those in need at their container ‘store’ in the city. Check out their website if you’re keen to donate or volunteer.


Abby Damen

We were lucky enough to have Wellington actress Abby Damen star in our new video about load shifting, that we launched on our website this week. When Abby’s not on set, she’s working on Saving 2050 , a website that aims to educate and inform about the impact your food choices have on animal welfare, the environment and personal health. With delicious seasonal recipes, thought provoking articles, and a complete focus on conscious consumption, we reckon this site is a must have in your favourites bar!


Lani Evans

With a passion for helping people help one-another, former CEO of Thank-you Payroll Lani Evans immerses herself in endless projects that work to bring about change and create positive outcomes for Kiwis. Among other commitments, Lani is currently the Vice Chairperson of Action Station, a digital community that enables people to collaborate on issues they are passionate about, and she’s the Strategy and Grants Lead for the  Vodafone NZ Foundation. And, in the spirit of the holiday season, she believes in generosity and hugging – sounds good to us!


HeForShe

UN women has brought HeForShe, its movement for gender equality, to New Zealand. HeForShe highlights the increasing support from men all over the world for combating discrimination against women, and encourages men and women to unite and support each other for the benefit of humanity as a whole. Globally, more than half-a-million men have already committed to HeForShe – you can too by making a donation, buying a t-shirt or simply showing your support online .


Natasha Lampard

Natasha Lampard co-founded Webstock, NZ’s premier digital symposium which celebrates its 10th birthday in February 2016, and Lil Regie the event platform that makes Webstock a seamless experience for guests.  An inspiring feature of the next event is the addition of a childcare, making the event more accessible to parents in technology.  And Natasha’s contribution to the community doesn’t stop there – she recently created Extraordinary Tales of Strength & Daring an inspiring speaker event from which all proceeds went to the Wellington Women’s Refuge.


Jonah Lomu

Earlier this week, we lost a national treasure, Jonah Lomu, after a 20 year fight with kidney disease.  Jonah was an inspiration to aspiring rugby players as well as his peers and was an international ambassador for humanitarian charity Unicef and for New Zealand sport. In 1994, Jonah became the youngest ever All Black (1994 – 2002) at the age of 19, playing 63 tests and scoring 37 test tries. In recognition of his achievements, he was inducted to both the International Rugby Hall of Fame and the World Rugby Hall of Fame.


Mawera Karetai

Mawera Karetai was a finalist in last year’s Fly Buy’s mumtrepreneur awards,  is an ultra-sustainable mum of four and co-business owner of AIM Limited with her husband Dave Barrett.  Through her multiple businesses, spanning sustainable pest eradication, eco-tourism, and wild cooking, and modelling sustainable living in her own family, Mawera aims to educate, inspire and promote lifestyles that are good for people and the environment. Her code for living is all about respecting the law, land, flora, fauna and the rights of others.  You can hear more from Mawera on yesterday’s Jesse Mulligan show on Radio NZ.


Kris Ericksen

We’re fans of great design here at Flick, and love the work of one of our Flicksters Kris Ericksen. He’s spent the past four years developing Plato, a versatile lighting system designed to spark creativity and give consumers what they need to create unique, stylish lighting to suit their home.  The business is currently using Kickstarter to get Plato off the ground, with $9,631 already raised. And it gets better – Eriksen has also entered the World of Wearable Arts (WOW) twice using Plato to create garments, coming second in 2014 and a finalist in 2015 with his entry Tane’s Korowai.


Gosia Piatek

Wellingtonian Gosia Piatek has turned her passion for fair trade into a globally successful fashion label called Kowtow , which only uses certified organic and fair trade cotton.  Piatek’s drive to build a commercially and ethically powerful business was inspired by her parents, who left communist Poland as political refugees in 1985, arriving in New Zealand with two children and just two hundred dollars.  You can read Viva’s interview with Gosia here .


Malcolm Rands

Malcolm ‘Ecoman’ Rands, is the man behind ecostore, a pioneer of health and sustainability, an organic gardener and social entrepreneur who took the business of green, global.  Now ecostore is the first manufacturer in the world to convert all its bottles to a plastic made from sugarcane, which captures CO2 from the atmosphere, stores it in the plastic thereby reducing atmospheric carbon and New Zealand’s carbon footprint.  What’s more, it’s recyclable. Read more here .


Vanisa Dhiru

Vanisa Dhiru says ‘giving is a way of life’ for her, and she exercises that promise through a range of leadership roles, including as Chair of Inspiring Stories Trust; Vice President of National Council of Women of New Zealand; and Leadership Advisory Panel member of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. She is an expert in digital inclusiveness and as Executive Director of 2020 Trust is charged with managing and promoting digital literacy initiatives that engage schools and communities in the digital world. Listen to Lynda Chanwai-Earle as she follows Vanisa firing up students at Victoria University to become leaders and givers too.


Sir John Kirwan

This week is Mental Health Awareness week, so we thought it was apt to sing the praises of Sir John Kirwan. Not only is he an All Black legend, but in recent years he’s helped raise awareness of depression in New Zealand.  Mental health is becoming less of a taboo subject thanks to the positive role-modelling of people like JK, who have been open about their own struggles and strategies to achieve wellness.


Anna Guenther

Early in her entrepreneurial journey Anna Guenther said ‘crowdfunding will change the world’, and three years later, look where we are.  Globally thousands of projects, ideas and dreams have been achieved via crowdfunding platforms and Anna’s PledgeMe is New Zealand’s poster child.  As well as helping bring 886 projects to life (at today’s count!), Guenther has inspired thousands of Kiwis at her many talks. We’re especially inspired by her business-is-a-team-game philosophy. In a recent interview she commented, “I’m hiring people who are smarter than me in a lot of ways so it’s better for them to tell me what we’re doing… I’m okay working with people and not feeling like you have to own a project.”


Marianne Elliott

Wellington’s wonderful Marianne Elliott is a restaurateur, author, human rights activist, and Director of ActionStation – a place to “enable the large community of Kiwis with shared progressive values to take powerful, coordinated action on urgent issues we care about”. The wonderful work Marianne does is documented on her website , or you can read about her experiences working for the UN in Afghanistan in her book Zen Under Fire.  Marianne ‘played favourites’ with Radio NZ’s Kim Hill a few months back – listen here.


Pat Shepherd

Pat Shepherd, the man behind One Percent Collective, has many talents – music photography, portraits, graphic design – as well as a passion for simple acts of generosity. In 2010, after reading Princeton ethicist Peter Singer, Shepherd decided to set up a way for New Zealanders to donate a small amount of money – 1% of their income – which, when added together, could effect real change. The One Percent Collective supports six charities on a quarterly basis, and donors can select which charity their 1% goes to. So far, $147,000 has been raised through the platform.


Olivier Lacoua

New Zealand Sign Language is used by more than 24,000 New Zealanders and became an official language in April 2006. So why don’t we use it more often?

CQ Hotels in Wellington’s Cuba St is bucking the trend by being the first hotel and restaurant to launch a sign language menu with symbols guests can follow to order their meals. They also have a handy sign language dictionary available on iPads in the restaurant, which searches for your word and displays a diagram of how to sign it.

General Manager Olivier Lacoua is the inspiration behind the deaf dining experience, part of a personal drive to make the community more inclusive of deaf people. He’s also hired four deaf staff in the restaurant and is offering New Zealand Sign Language training to all staff.


Jess Noone

Jess is completing her Bachelor of Design Innovation at Victoria University and has been interning with us at Flick for the past few weeks. She approached us in the hope of getting some real world experience that will put her one-step-ahead of her graduating class. She has some serious user-experience smarts that we are tapping into, plus we’re hugely impressed with her initiative and drive. If anyone is looking to employ a superstar graduate we’d be happy to connect you with Jess.
And if you are ever approached by a student wanting to intern, take them up on the offer! Around 40% of unemployed young people have a tertiary qualification. As a community we have a shared responsibility to help young New Zealanders to find meaningful work in exciting Kiwi businesses.


Alex Hannant

Alex Hannant has had a long career leading sustainability and partnership projects in the UK and now in New Zealand where he is Chief Executive ofĀkina. Ākina is a reo Māori word used as a call for bold action, and under Alex’s leadership the social enterprise incubator has brought a number of transformative projects to life including Bikes in Schools, Conscious Consumers, SkyPath and Rekindle.

We greatly admire the work Alex and his team do, helping to build self-sustaining organisations that apply commercial strategies to tackle complex problems in the world. They run social enterprise clinics throughout the year, all over New Zealand. You can register your interest here.


Professor Geoffrey Horne

On the theme of health and ground-breaking research, this week we celebrate Professor Geoffrey Horne – a nationally renowned orthopedic surgeon, member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to medicine, and founder of the Wellington-based Surgical Research Trust.

Professor Horne set up to the Trust in 1991, initially to support the undertaking of research in the Department of Surgery of the Wellington School of Medicine. Today, the Trust also supports research in several surgical departments throughout New Zealand, giving researchers the opportunity to further medical and surgical knowledge by funding their chosen research projects.


Lillian Grace

Lillian is CEO, Founder and a trustee of Figure.NZ(formerly Wiki New Zealand), a collaborative website making data about New Zealand truly accessible to everyone. She believes that to get the best outcomes for New Zealand the citizenry needs to make informed decisions, starting with great information.

By pulling together public sector, private sector and academic data about New Zealand into a single platform, and presenting it in a clear and visually compelling way, Lillian and her team are giving people the tools they need to fully participate in our democracy. Awesome! . Follow her on Twitter.


DOT.loves data and so do we

At Flick, we love data. Chief Flickster Steve often blurts out squeals of happiness and drools over data, charts and numbers. We’ve been lucky enough to work with the #CleverFlickers at DOT.loves data and, quite frankly, their minds blow ours.

DOT.loves data join the dots to help organisations win. Simple. They say: “Raw data smarts matched with storytelling creates value that can be understood and actioned. We all come from one of these two worlds.”

With a mix of these two worlds, their Wellington office houses some data scientists and some creative storytellers – together, they strive to make the complex world of data simple. “Data, and data companies, have for too long drowned people in volume in order to sound smart. To us, the real smarts are to make and express data in the simplest way possible.”

DOT.loves data build data products and undertake data service assignments on a global scale – this time last year they were four focussed chaps, now they’re 13 people (not unlucky for them!) and flying by the seat of their pants. Follow them on Twitter.


Vaughan Rowsell

We wholeheartedly salute the guys at Vend! They just won the Gold Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year 2015 at the American Business Awards. Well done guys!

It all started with a chap who wanted to make the world a better point of sale (POS). Vaughan Rowsell is Vend’s Founder and CEO, a self-confessed lover of retail (and moustaches), but hater of antiquated POS systems. So, in 2010 Roswell introduced the world to Vend – “POS software retailers love to use”.

Their very first customer was a bicycle store called Velo. Vaughan visited, listened, learned and then designed the software to work for them. This truly customer-centric approach remains part of Vend’s DNA and Velo are still a customer! Follow them on Twitter.


Tom Harding

So here’s the thing, Snapchat was boo-hoo-ed by plenty of people initially – including our very own digi-guru Nic – but who now admit it’s pretty damn good! Kiwi Tom Harding saw its potential from the start though, and created mish guru making it easy for brands, agencies and artists to manage Snapchat accounts online. He and the team recently upped sticks and headed to the States to grow their smart tech business, and are turning heads there. You can read more about their adventure via StopPress

Follow them on Twitter.


Rachel Morris

Hastings born Rachel Morris is the Executive Editor for the brand new Huffington Post channel ‘Highline’, and is part of the driving force behind this new digital home for long-read journalism. The ‘Huff Post’ is one of the most significant global media channels and we are mighty proud to have a fellow Kiwi at the helm.

The editorial team says: ‘Think of it as a magazine that only runs cover stories—big, ambitious pieces intended to change the way you see the world or influence the course of policy. Investigations will take months, essays will be finely considered, the subjects we choose to write about will feel urgent and essential. At the same time, we’ll be experimenting with the many tools that become available when no paper or staples are involved. Our goal is as straightforward as it is difficult: We want to publish stories that stay with you.’

The goal is to stir discussion, debate and uproar – look out for a host of gritty, challenging and solid stories that last the mile, rather than the second. Rachel and team encourage readers to comment, share and challenge too – we’re excited to see how this new platform pans out!


Dr Lance O’Sullivan

2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr Lance O’Sullivan, is renowned for his incredible work improving health outcomes for children in Northland. Last week he expanded his innovative, free ‘tele-medicine’ scheme to Auckland, working with Pukekohe North School to treat students with persistent skin conditions. Trained volunteers use an iPad to take photos of the affected skin and send them to Dr O’Sullivan in Kaitaia, where he diagnosis them remotely. He then dispatches a script for the right medication back to Liddells Pharmacy in Pukekohe which fills the prescription free. Forty-one of the school’s 190 students have been identified as having untreated skin infections in the first week of the programme.


Sam Lee and Ben Bodley

Kiwi co-founders of meMini, Sam Lee and Ben Bodley, believe that capturing amazing moments on video shouldn’t be hard, so they’ve made it easy. meMINI™ is a revolutionary miniature, wearable HD video camera, with a big difference. The meMini camera is always-on but lets you rewind time and save only the best moments.

meMINI is the world’s first wearable camera with recall. Recall allows you to save moments after they happen – because we understand that the best moments in life tend to happen without warning. We want one for capturing all those awesome moments of #FlickLife!


Milan Reinartz

Milan Reinartz is an entrepreneur with a passion for digital innovation and emerging media. He’s the founder of Wellington based Postr, an Android application that allows users to hire out their phone’s lock screen.

The app delivers full screen advertisements direct to the phone owner and rewards them with Pocket Money that can be cashed out straight to the their bank account. Their mission is to create real connections between consumers and brands on mobile and reward everyone along the way.


Mark Finch

Mark Finch is a Kiwi inventor who has spent the last six years developing the core technology for ‘I Measure U’.

This Auckland company has developed a monitor that provides real-time feedback on the impact your knees experience when running. This feedback can be used to monitor the cumulative load on joints, movement and performance and gives runners the ability to adjust technique to improve performance and prevent injuries.

By fusing sensor data with physics-based computational models to provide robust and actionable measurement information, Finch’s innovation has the potential to transform how athletes perform. Amazing!


Jackson Wood

Every employer wants their team to be safe at work, but on-the-spot impairment testing is almost impossible. But Jackson Wood and the crew at Ora Safety and Health are onto it with their ground breaking screening tool for safety sensitive workplaces.

The quick and simple test works out a worker’s approximate blood alcohol content based on a modified version of the Widmark formula and makes adjustments based on the user’s height, weight and age Pretty cool, huh? Check out the B.A.C. Calculator here!  Ora Safety Health has quickly built an established presence in New Zealand and is looking to expand globally.


Ian Wright

It’s a little known fact that a kiwi – Ian Wright – co-founded Tesla Motors with Elon Musk back in 2003. Ian is a farm boy, an engineer by training, and now the owner of California based Wrightspeed.   Experts in vehicle electrification, Wrightspeed is revolutionising the medium-heavy trucking industry and the emissions it generates. They’ve got a hefty contract to convert the Fed Ex fleet, and we’re sure that’s just the beginning for this inspiring kiwi innovator.

Hear Ian talk to Kathryn Ryan about Wrightspeed on Nine to Noon


Dr Michelle Dickinson, aka NanoGirl

We’ve been fans of the brilliant Dr Michelle Dickinson for a long time. Her alter ego – NanoGirl – dedicates a tonne of time to getting yougsters excited about the world around them by making science relevant and fun! You can watch her TedX Auckland talk below. Dr Dickinson’s nanotechnology interview series with Mark Sainsbury is also superb listening.

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