About the Challenge

The University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs’ Challenge provides up to one million dollars annually for investment in growth-oriented SMEs.

Since the launch in 2009, made possible by a generous $4 million gift from Kiwi philanthropist and businessman, Charles Bidwill and a further 1 million dollars from an anonymous donor, 20 companies have been awarded funding – companies, we believe embody the excellence and ingenuity of New Zealand’s best entrepreneurs.

Funding is provided in the form of a loan and possibly some equity warrants offered on terms more favourable than those prevailing in the market for companies of a similar age, stage and risk profile.

“There’s no better way to invest in your company’s success, than to find and engage with someone who’s been where you’re going and done before what you’re doing!”
– James Madelin, Enlight

CF+ Fund


Rewarding innovation and tenacity

The Challenge believes in rewarding entrepreneurs who have demonstrated tenacity and innovation in capital raising The CF+Fund is making up to $150,000 available to match significant investment raised by up-and-coming entrepreneurs through approved crowd-funding platform, Snowball Effect. Equity crowdfunding is a new process in New Zealand. It enables Kiwi companies to raise funds by offering shares to the New Zealand public.

Applicants to the CF+ Fund must raise more than $250,000 via the crowdfunding platform. The Entrepreneurs’ Challenge will invest on the same terms being offered through Snowball Effect www.snowballeffect.co.nz

Applicants cannot be property or banking related, and must have half or more of their capital raise target committed on the Snowball platform, Mr Cross says. There must be at least five investors with capital committed, and debt and shareholder loans must not exceed 25% of the capital raise. The companies must have established governance structures, such as a board of directors or advisers.

Side Quote “The companies we are directing this offer of investment to must be positioned for international expansion, rather than be New Zealand-centric,” Greg Cross Chair EC Investment Committee.

*Please check criteria for eligibility



Connecting talent with wisdom

The power of good governance and experience is an invaluable asset for young entrepreneurs. The opportunity to learn and work alongside someone who can add insight to strategy and the key building blocks that are the platform for growth of any company and entrepreneur that has big plans for their future.

Whether it’s raising capital, entering international markets, or recruiting new talent as you build out your leadership team, the right advisor or director can bring their skills, experience and their networks to the table. If you are looking for ways to take your business to the next level this could well be the next step you are looking for.

The EC-35 Fund is making up to $100,000 available to entrepreneurs who are 35 years of age or under (as at 1 Jan 2015) to fund the appointment of a world-class advisor or executive director for a three year term to enable business growth. The business must meet the same criteria as those entering the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge.

The eligibility criteria of the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge applies. However to enable the best young kiwi entrepreneurs to success, the criteria will be applied with greater flexibility – albeit the majority of the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge entry criteria will be met. If you don’t meet the criteria, tell us and explain why we should back you.

“The value gained through spending time with senior firm partners when I was just starting out at 22, cannot be overstated. The wisdom and insight gained back then – just listening and learning from the best has, without a doubt, benefited my entire business career.” – Charles Bidwell  


Key Benefits


The benefits for the successful applicants will include:

    • Access to funding of up to $1m for 3 years, on favourable terms, for growth and development
    • The opportunity to work with the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Investment Committee and to receive expert feedback
    • Mentoring from highly experienced and successful entrepreneurs and business executives
    • Profile and publicity at all stages of the Challenge
    • Widespread recognition as a company with significant potential
    • Access to the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge and the University of Auckland Business School’s networks and entrepreneurial ecosystem
    • The opportunity to benefit from engaging with the Business School, which includes access to students and graduates as potential interns or employees, its capability building programmes, consulting projects and access to expertise of UABS academics and The ICEHOUSE.

Terms of Funding


Terms of Funding

The University of Auckland Business School and Charles Bidwill are looking to create a fund that is self-sustaining and that stimulates the growth of New Zealand’s SMEs for many years to come.

To do so, the Challenge will require that the funds be repaid by the end of the third year of the investment. In recognition of the favourable terms the Investment Committee will be looking for some upside at maturity – either through a termination super payment or equity participation that recognises the value of the benefits received or equity participation. The Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Investment Committee will invest up to $1 million per annum in one or more companies at their discretion.

Terms and conditions will be negotiated with successful applicants on a case-by-case basis depending on funding needs, the risks associated with the business and other relevant factors that the Challenge and the applicant determines.

The Entrepreneurs’ Challenge conditions will include the following:
  • Quantum: negotiable but no less than $200k and no more than $1m
  • Duration: three years
  • Interest rate: negotiable – but more favourable than that prevailing in the market for companies of a similar age, stage and risk profile
  • Security: negotiable – but normally unsecured
  • Principal repayments: timing negotiable – but must be repaid by end of three years
  • Equity participation: may be required in the form of straight equity, warrants or rights of conversion. 



The Entrepreneurs’ Challenge was born out of a generous $4 million gift from Kiwi philanthropist and businessman, Charles Bidwill and a further 1 million dollars from an anonymous donor.

A passionate supporter of New Zealand now based in London, Charles was born in the Hawkes Bay and went to secondary school at Christ’s College in Christchurch. Early in his career, Charles began a B.Com at the University of Auckland, but later abandoned study for the excitement of the trading floor. Over the next three years Charles travelled through stock broking firms in Australia, the United States and the UK. He returned to New Zealand to rejoin his old firm, which became Statham, Kay, Bidwill & Co. In 1966 at the age of 26, Charles became a member of the Auckland Stock Exchange.

Notably at that time, Charles actively championed the legal case by, then pirate station, Radio Hauraki who were broadcasting from a ship in the Hauraki Gulf. He underwrote a public issue of shares to obtain a broadcasting licence and as a result, private radio was born in New Zealand.

In 1969, Charles formed his own Auckland based share broking firm, Bidwill, Wakeman, Paine & Co. By the beginning of the 1980s, Charles teamed up with investment banker Alan Gibbs, and for the next ten years he was prominently associated with several of the country’s most successful companies including Ceramco, Bendon, Baycorp and Steel & Tube.

During this period he was a member of the Business Round Table, a foundation Member of the Sports Foundation, and was on the organising committee of the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games.

Since 1997 Charles has been based in the UK and continues to work in foreign exchange and bonds. Charles continues to be a passionate supporter of The Entrepreneurs’ Challenge. 


A tourism chain, pet food company, photographic equipment developer and financial services firm have each won a share in $1 million to help them expand their businesses overseas.


  • Avertana


    Takes what no one wants and turns it into the things everyone needs. 

    • Avertana: Takes what no one wants and turns it into the things everyone needs.

    • Avertana Profile

      Avertana’s technology turns industrial waste into a suite of valuable minerals and chemicals used in paints, paper, water treatment, plastics, fertilizer and building materials, with no residual waste. Avertana makes these products more cheaply and with less environmental impact than existing methods.

      The technology replaces existing manufacturing methods that emit chemical wastes and CO2 . The company’s unique, patented process will first be commercialised in New Zealand, then rolled out globally.


    • Avertana Judges Comments

      The most amazing science based company to come out of NZ since Lanzatech and it’s no surprise that the founders are all alumni and pursuing a similar vision of converting industrial waste into high value products through a unique patented process.

      Hugely exciting to have the opportunity to take equity in a company that could well go on to make a big difference to the planet.

  • Data Insight


    Delivers actionable insights and game-changing value through data.

    • Data Insight: Delivers actionable insights and game-changing value through data.

    • Data Insight Profile

      The growth of the digital, social and mobile space (combined with cheaper storage in the cloud) has resulted in a growing volume of ‘big data’. This data is so valuable that it is likened to the ‘new oil’. But much like oil, data needs to be extracted, refined, modelled and productised in order to create value.

      Data Insight enable their clients to extract maximum value from their data and have innovated data through their own digital solution called Valocity.


    • Data Insight Judges Comments

      Carmen V is a business women on a mission turning masses of data into literally gold for Data Insights customers in the Property sector in ANZ.

      The company is growing rapidly and has exciting plans to productise its platforms and the EC investment fund will get them there faster.





    Failure is a part of life, but not trying is life’s biggest failure.

    • STQRY: A mobile visitor information app tailored to museums and arts organisations.

    • STQRY Profile

      STQRY is a mobile visitor information app tailored to museums and arts organisations to inform and engage visitors in real time. With over 350 clients – including Auckland Museum, Wellington Zoo, Seattle Art Museum and the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco – the app has reached 250,000 unique monthly users, and is aiming for a million by the end of next year.

      STQRY’S intuitive content management system allows organisations to easily upload and administrate multimedia information and in doing so, provide visitors unprecedented and engaging experiences.


    • STQRY Judges Comments

      2015 update: Area 360 (A winner last year as Stqry) and our first follow on investment ever as we took a small part of their latest funding round alongside US VC Madrona.

      The big winner in 2014 Stqry is probably the youngest company to take out an EC award.

      They blew the judges away with how quickly they have built a unique solution that is winning them deals with some of the most prestigious museums in the world. The underlying technology makes them a hugely valuable company who will undoubtedly attract the attention of some of the big companies in location based services.

  • 90-seconds

    90 Seconds


    Success is guaranteed – all you have to do is go hard, get smarter and never give up.

    • 90 Seconds: The world’s first cloud video production service.

    • 90 Seconds Profile

      90 Seconds is the world’s first cloud video production service that allows brands and agencies to commission, shoot, edit and review high quality video content anywhere in the world. With a global community of shooters and directors, 90 Seconds has offices in Auckland, London, Sydney, Tokyo and

      Singapore and to date has produced over 4,000 videos in over 30 countries for over 500 global brands including Paypal, L’Oreal, Sony and Barclays.


    • 90 Seconds Judges Comments

      A great story of pivoting and persistence as they have built a global business with a virtual team of video artists able to deliver high quality content in multiple

      countries to large corporates operating in many countries off the back of their sophisticated online platform.

  • TranscribeMe



    Entrepreneurship is a discipline, a mindset, and a direction to make something that hasn't existed before.

    • TranscribeMe: An online transcription service converting audio content to accurate text.

    • TranscribeMe Profile

      TranscribeMe allows customers to record and transcribe on the go. Offering free secure cloud storage, the app uses speech recognition technology plus the assurance of professional transcribers to convert audio files into accurate text.

      Successfully servicing clients in the education, market research, customer service, legal and healthcare sectors since 2011, TranscribeMe was awarded Top Tech Startup New Zealand 2013 and Best Startup Silicon Valley 2014.


    • TranscribeMe Judges Comments

      The first winner of our young EC award. Alexey the founder of TranscribeMe is the embodiment of a University of Auckland Entrepreneurial alumni. Seizing the opportunity to recruit an experience advisor

      to help the company go to the next level. TranscribeMe is definitely one to watch.


  • Rose & Thorne Design


    Create comfortable, affordable underwear with a premium aesthetic.

    • Rose & Thorne Design: Create comfortable, affordable underwear with a premium aesthetic.

    • Rose & Thorne Profile

      A 100% employee-owned lingerie business based in Auckland, Rose & Thorne’s team is dedicated to creating premium products that look and feel luxurious without the big price tag. Launched in November 2011, the company has since sold more than a quarter of a million pieces of lingerie to women in New Zealand.

      Rose & Thorne designs are based on ‘Forgiving Fit’ and ‘5 Perfect Shapes’ technology, offering wearers breakthrough comfort. The company’s unique approach means that product prices are half what you would expect to pay for equivalent quality.


    • Rose & Thorne Judges Comments

      Taking on the established players in the Lingerie market with simple values and a clear design ethic is the secret to Rose and Thorne’s future success. Take a proven team, creativity, networks and persistence and this is a brand we are going to hear a lot more about

      in the future. Co-founder Stefan Preston has shaken up the major brands in this market before, so he knows how to disrupt the competition.

  • EcoStock


    Converts food waste into stock feed.

    • EcoStock: Converts food waste into stock feed.

    • EcoStock Profile

      Working with some of New Zealand’s largest food manufacturers, Ecostock sustainably diverts around 42,000 tonnes of food waste from the landfill each year and turns it into feed for farm animals – an enterprising initiative that is proving to be both environmentally sound and financially beneficial.

      Passionate about preserving New Zealand’s natural beauty, EcoStock believes that by reducing the amount of food sent to landfill, it is making a measurable difference in maintaining New Zealand’s beauty.


    • EcoStock Judges Comments

      The biggest winner in the history of the EC. Their CEO and founder Andrew was rated as one of the most impressive entrepreneurs to have participated in the program. Creating value out of someone elses waste

      food is a big opportunity and one which will make a big difference to the world we live in.


  • Manuka Health


    Given by nature, proven by science.

    • Manuka Health: Given by nature, proven by science.

    • Manuka Health Profile

      Manuka Health produces and sells natural health products based on bioactive compounds sourced from New Zealand’s unique native flora and fauna. Manuka honey (anti-bacterial), propolis (anti-tumour) and green lipped mussel (anti-inflammatory) provide the health platforms for the business.

      Manuka Health guarantees 100% pure bioactive ingredients are used in the products it makes and harvests.


    • Manuka Health Judges Comments

      “Manuka Health is an example of a unique New Zealand company using unique Kiwi-flavoured products found only in this country to offer a unique health and beauty experience to customers across the world.  

      We believe that the current strength and future potential of Manuka Health will see it successfully launch throughout the globe and represent New Zealand positively.”

  • Neat Meat


    Superior meats at your place in time for dinner.

    • Neat Meat: Superior meats at your place in time for dinner.

    • Neat Meat Profile

      Auckland-based family business Neat Meat has a stable of premium brands that offer only the best to its customers. Brands such as Angus Pure, Wakanui, Firstlight and Harmony Organic are satisfying an ever discerning retail market.

      Established in 2001 to raise the standard of meat supply to New Zealand’s retail and food service industries through superior products and service, Neat Meat is now recognised for its quality offerings… winning the highly coveted ‘steak of the decade’ at New Zealand’s ‘Steak of Origin’ awards.

      From its humble origins in a beat-up 1986 Subaru Legacy, to today’s Parnell retail store, Neat Meat aims to create a business model that works globally, by offering a new type of export opportunity through clusters and cooperation.


    • Neat Meat Judges Comments

      “Nothing says ‘New Zealand’ in restaurants overseas quite like top meat products, and family business Neat Meat is a company that has already successfully recognised that and entered the market strongly with its range of superior products and services.  

      We believe the company has huge promise in offering new types of exports both here and overseas, plus opportunity to collaborate with other producers offering the best of this country.”

  • Pacific Rubber


    Pacific Rubber: A sustainable producer of high quality recycled rubber.

    • Pacific Rubber: A sustainable producer of high quality recycled rubber.

    • Pacific Rubber Profile

      If you’ve ever worried about what the world is doing with its waste tyres, you’ll love what Auckland-based Pacific Rubber, a green company, is on schedule to accomplish.

      New Zealand’s recycling record for end-of-life tyres is poor – in fact, just 15% of the four million tyres are recycled each year, compared with 90% in the United States, with the bulk discarded in landfills or incinerated.

      Pacific Rubber aims to materially reduce our landfill problem by reusing 10,000 tonnes of waste annually, taking care of half the North Island’s waste tyres within the next two years by converting them into rubber crumb that can be utilised in synthetic sport fields, road surfaces and a variety of other industrial applications.


    • Pacific Rubber Judges Comments

      “With the aim of reducing nearly three-quarters of the North Island’s waste tyres within two years, Pacific Rubber ticks all the boxes for innovation, entrepreneurship, unique philosophies and unlimited potential.  

      We are impressed with the range of products it currently offers, and believe the company is a sustainable producer within a growing industry that will stamp its mark on the world.”


  • K9 Natural


    The Christchurch-based raw dog-food producer, is the fastest-growing manufacturer in the country according to Deloitte, with 800 per cent growth in the past three years.

    • K9 Natural is a developer and manufacturer of top quality pet food.

    • K9 Natural Profile

      It seems an incredible fact that from observing the grey wolf in its natural Alaskan habitat, a company was conceived and developed. But that’s exactly what happened when K9 Natural Food chief executive Geoff Bowers came across wolves on a three-month sabbatical with the British police in Alaska and observed their feeding patterns.

      Once back home, he introduced a raw natural diet to the 500 police dogs under his command, and saw a significant increase in health and performance.

      After moving to New Zealand in 2003, Geoff and his wife Diane have continued to develop K9 Natural in Christchurch with two other directors passionate about dogs and their wellbeing, in a bid to create a truly natural, balanced, convenient and affordable raw food diet for dogs and cats.

      Shunning laboratory animal testing and proud of its honesty and integrity, K9 Natural believes it produces the world’s best food primarily replicated from that in the natural environment for our most loyal companions. All food is tested upon some very important individuals, Geoff says…his own pet dogs who double as ‘taste-testers’.

      The company’s commitment to the wellbeing of pets extends to helping dog owners understand their pets’ behaviour and needs, so that both pet and owner can enjoy a happy, mutually beneficial relationship. In five years, the company hopes to have driven sales substantially by setting up a team in the North Island and the United States.


    • K9 Natural Judges Comments

      “K9 Natural Food was recently announced as the fastest-growing manufacturer in New Zealand by Deloitte, which said it had achieved almost 800% growth in the past three years.

      The company is developing its website and looking to employ a social media staff member, and appears to be doing everything right to become one of this country’s great global manufacturers of its genre.”

  • enlight


    An Auckland-based award-winning design company dedicated to the creation of practical inventive products for photographers.

    • enlight is an award-winning design company dedicated to the creation of practical inventive products for photographers.

    • enlight Profile

      Ask enlight chief executive James Madelin what it means to win the Challenge and his answer is short and to-the-point. It is proof, he says, that smashing international markets isn’t rocket science…all you really need is some hard work, a Skype account and the odd plane ticket.

      In five years’ time the company hopes to be selling products that are wellknown to every photographer, boast a profitable broad product range in photography and software, and have strong IP, branding and social networks which attract offers from acquirers.


    • enlight Judges Comments

      “enlight has a proven international distribution pipeline, strong online strategies, international media relationships and a solid platform that its exciting new product ioshutter will build upon.

      It is now launching products for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that will offer never-before-available functionality from affordable shutter release cables.

      There is no end to the dedication and potential of enlight to take on the world and exceed what it hopes to achieve.”

  • KlickEx


    KlickEx, Auckland-based financial services company, brings banking systems together and aims to be the ‘operator of choice’ for customers around the world.

    • KlickEx is a financial services company that brings banking systems in different countries together.

    • KlickEx Profile

      Born as a global business, KlickEx has already seen rapid growth, and considers its success in the Challenge this year has not only shown its credible business potential but showcased a business model that appeals to investors as well as customers and partners.

      Chief executive Robert Bell says the company – which provides cheap, real-time domestic and sophisticated cross-border remittance networks between banks, customers, small businesses and out to mobile phones across the South Pacific and around the world – seeks to be the operator of choice for customers across the world and is already book-building huge numbers of ‘emerging alternative’ financial service clients.

      In five years’ time, the company hopes to acquire a global banking licence, cover 40 different currencies, expand the business to new dimensions, and take KlickEx public.


    • KlickEx Judges Comments

      “KlickEx is an extremely impressive company with potential to take its offerings around the world with very little comparative competition.

      Its vision is inspirational, and we believe it will achieve its aspirations to become the operator of choice, particularly within the South Pacific, and grow exponentially as it does so.”

  • Jucy Group


    One of Australasia’s leading and fastest growing independent tourism brands, Jucy Group operates more than 1700 late-model vehicles throughout New Zealand and 200 campers in Australia.

    • JUCY Group is a leading independent tourism business in Australasia.

    • JUCY Group Profile

      JUCY plans to become an international success by offering consumers the opportunity to experience JUCY throughout their travel experiences in the United States and Europe. Chief executive Tim Alpe says the company’s goal is to see JUCY become an international tourism phenomenon, and give people who love the company’s service delivery the opportunity to experience that throughout the world.

      He and brother Dan developed the company after working for their dad, the owner of Maui campervans, by cleaning vehicles for pocket money as children, and say the company’s growth has been unbelievable since launching on September 12, 2001…one day after 9/11.

      JUCY’s brand is based on Richard Branson’s Virgin brand, and the brothers hope their company name will become a similarly recognised household moniker in Australasia. Within five years, the company hopes to have campers in different locations globally, or even JUCY air transportation and accommodation in the foreseeable future.


    • JUCY Group Judges Comments

      “We couldn’t help but be impressed by this company and its larger-than-life owners. The Alpe brothers are quintessential Kiwi entrepreneurs, and their success is infectious to the staff that they surround themselves with.

      We believe they have what it takes to be world leaders within the tourism industry, which we all know is very important to New Zealand’s economic future.”


  • Biomatters


    Biomatters combines expertise in genetics and bio-informatics software development, positioning the company at the forefront of computational biology internationally with its flagship software product Geneious.

    • Biomatters is the leading bioinformatics software for molecular biology and animal husbandry.

    • Biomatters Profile

      A privately-held company with headquarters in New Zealand, Biomatters boasts a highly-skilled board and management team across science, software development and business.

      The company combines expertise in genetics and bio-informatics software development to create a unique blend of Kiwi ingenuity and global savviness. This has positioned Biomatters at the forefront of computational biology internationally with its flagship software product Geneious.

      Having established Geneious as a leading software application used in more than 900 universities and institutes in more than 60 countries across the globe, Biomatters now plans to launch an enterprise version of Geneious later this year to extend its business reach into the pharmaceutical and biotech markets.

      To support this major product release, Biomatters is planning to significantly increase its sales and support presence in North America, initially with the opening of a full-time in-market office on the east coast of the USA.


    • Biomatters Judges Comments

      “Biomatters has developed a superb level of intellectual property in relation to its chosen field, and it’s done that within New Zealand and using New Zealand-educated skills.  The product is able to compete at the highest levels globally, evidenced by the use of the company’s software products in leading universities and research centres (such as Harvard and the Smithsonian). 

      In addition, it’s competed on the open global market for those customers.  Biomatters’ products also represent weightless exports for New Zealand…a meaningful direction for this country as it moves to more fully compete within the OECD.”

  • Biotelliga


    Auckland based bio-agritech company Biotelliga uses fungi to develop biological pesticides for the horticultural industry.

    • Biotelliga is an Auckland-based bio-agritech company that uses fungi to develop biological pesticides for the horticultural industry.

    • Biotelliga Profile

      Auckland-based bio-agritech company Biotelliga uses fungi to develop biological pesticides for the horticultural industry.  On the company’s 2010/11 plans is a new plant which will enable it to expand its production base at a faster rate. 

      Biotelliga is in the process of building the largest commercial production centre for fungal-based entomopathogens and natural metabolites in the Southern Hemisphere.


    • Biotelliga Judges Comments

      “Biotelliga represents the classic New Zealand-styled innovation that has enormous benefits for our crop farmers and those around the globe.  The company’s non-chemical insecticide has huge potential in a world where chemical sprays are fast becoming inappropriate for human health. 

      Its products are proving very successful in the battle against whitefly on tomatoes, kiwifruit and flowers, and it has achieved an ability to source, use and prepare fungal material which can be sprayed on crops that are then able to be consumed within several hours.  Biotelliga is at the leading edge, with innovation that is truly and significantly beneficial to New Zealand and the world.”

  • Piako Gourmet Yoghurt


    Proudly new Zealand made, Piako Gourmet Yoghurt, having dominated the local market is now stocked in London’s luxury British department store Harrods.

    • Piako Gourmet Yoghurt is 94% fat free, gluten free, includes health benefits and is proudly New Zealand made.

    • Piako Gourmet Yoghurt Profile

      Winning a share of the funding pot is what Auckland-based food manufacturer Piako Gourmet Yoghurt calls ‘huge’. It means the company is on the cusp of transitioning from a small family business to a more substantial financial contributor to the New Zealand economy.

      Piako will plow funds into capital expenditure, development and operating costs whilst setting up in the United Kingdom, and hopes to be producing overseas by the end of this year.

      It will also provide the spring board, momentum and confidence to spur on the implementation of growth plans over the next phase of Piako’s existence. The company is hoping its top quality yoghurt will be on shelves at Harrods and Waitrose by Christmas.


    • Piako Gourmet Youghurt Judges Comments

      “Piako Yoghurts has demonstrated a tremendous ability to compete with a product whose origin goes back 100 years. It has established a new product in New Zealand, which is an incredible achievement because we are a highly discerning marketplace when it comes to dairy products.

      The endorsement by Fonterra in distributing the products to major supermarkets in this country – something that was beyond the company’s resources – shows that Piako is a perfect fit for what benefactor Charles Bidwill wanted for the Challenge…it has a hands-on, can-do attitude in a company with strong family links that has cleverly branded its products in Britain and has successfully achieved a lofty ambition – to be stocked at Harrods.”


  • Outpost Central


    Outpost Central’s highly innovative smart water meter technology helps customers monitor and manage their water resources while reducing waste and costs.

    • Outpost Central is an Auckland-based smart water meter technological developer.

    • Outpost Central Profile

      Outpost Central develops smart water meter technology to help customers monitor and manage their water resources to reduce costs.  By connecting water meters to the Internet, Outpost Central provides detailed and timely information on consumption patterns to help manage water use, reduce leaks and meet regulatory obligations.

      Outpost has delivered solutions in Australia with major water utilities, large commercial customers and in more than 1000 Australian schools, and typically achieved a reduction in water consumption of 20% with large users. Outpost Central is New Zealand’s third fastest growing technology company, with 75% of its revenue from exports, and has plans to be the global leader in smart water meter technology.


    • Outpost Central Judges Comments

      “Outpost Central is particularly exciting for The University of Auckland, as its two founders are both young graduates (engineering and commerce) with complementary skills and a focused approach to future success. 

      The company offers highly innovative ideas in a very important sector that will become more and more critical with the passing of time and the impact of lessening natural resources, and so offer huge opportunities for Outpost Central.  We believe in its potential internationally.”

  • Allpress Espresso


    Since 1987, Michael Allpress of Allpress Espresso, has been guiding New Zealanders through their coffee-drinking education. He’s now taking quality fresh roasted coffee to the world.

    • Allpress Espresso is an Auckland-based coffee roaster.

    • Allpress Espresso Profile

      Since 1987, Michael Allpress – owner/operator of Allpress Espresso – has been guiding New Zealanders through their coffee-drinking education, and in 2000, he formed a partnership with his long-time friend, restaurateur Tony Papas, to take quality fresh roasted coffee into the Australian market where they are now firmly established. 

      Michael says the timing is now perfect for Allpress Espresso to give London coffee drinkers the chance to experience the very best in coffee. 

      “Kiwis and Australians have been telling us for years about the lack of ‘good coffee’ in London,” Michael says. “With the combined knowledge Tony and I have accumulated over many years, and the research we have undertaken during this time, we now feel ready to introduce the highest quality espresso to the biggest village in the world.”

      Tony adds: “Having already successfully exported the business to Sydney and Melbourne reassures us that we have the skills and dedicated people required for undertaking such an ambitious project.  It also tells us that coffee drinkers around the world are always looking for that exceptional coffee experience.”


    • Allpress Espresso Judges Comments

      “Allpress Expresso has an excellent balance of business skills in terms of sourcing its product, enhanced roasting technologies and the way it has its processing facility next to its cafe, which serves as a real-life demonstrator of its products. 

      It was the company’s formula and structural approach that really won us over, and we believe they will overcome the many hurdles they will face in the United Kingdom, just as they have done in Australia, to emerge as a successful new entrant to the market.”

  • Senztek


    Senztek is the leading manufacturer of hot water heating control technology in New Zealand and is taking its innovative solutions to solve energy efficiency challenges to the rest of the world.

    • Senztek is a manufacturer of hot water heating control technology.

    • Senztek Profile

      Senztek is the leading manufacturer of hot water heating control technology in New Zealand and aims to maintain this position by continuing to introduce world-class innovative solutions to solve energy efficiency challenges.

      Senztek has already gained a significant market presence in Australia, and aims to take this technology to other markets including the UK and Europe.  Senztek is passionate about its technology and its ability to grow export markets, and thus become a substantial niche player on the world stage.


    • Senztek Judges Comments

      “Not only does Senztek manufacture most of its products in New Zealand, it also assembles them here before exporting them to Australia and beyond.

      This company is very successful already, and is poised for even more escalation of business in Australia, which is looking at banning the use of electricity for domestic hot water systems where solar is a viable alternative.

      It is looking at opportunities in markets that have not attracted the attention of existing manufacturers, and we will watch its progress with great interest.”