Zino 2018 New Kiwis Challenge
Announcing the top 5 of migrant founded startups in the Zino New Kiwis Challenge
Last week ten migrant entrepreneurs and their teams faced a panel of judges, Dragon’s Den style, in their quest to win the Zino New Kiwis Challenge, and capture a package of prizes and support to help them take their businesses to the world.
This is an annual competition, which aims to recognize the rich resources that new migrants bring to New Zealand, and the opportunities this offers to build a better future by opening up international markets in Asia and beyond to New Zealand entrepreneurs.
During the morning at Prestige Law’s beautiful offices, the top 10 pre-selected teams pitched their ideas to the high calibre jury, including:
- Dr Andreas Mershin, a renowned physicist at the Center for Bits and Atoms in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
- Wendy Kerr, Director of the Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, University of Auckland;
- Ken Erskine, Co-founder of 88Kiwis, and previously Director of Startups at The Icehouse;
- Simon Ansley, Investment Director, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise;
- Uli Wiehle, an exited entrepreneur and co-founder of Flying Kiwi Angels;
- Ferris Lu, a founding partner of Zino Ventures;
- Matthew Houtman, Managing Director Pioneer Capital;
- Dana McKenzie, an active angel investor here and abroad;
- and David Wang, rotating CEO of Zino Innovation Hub.
More than 25 of New Zealand’s experience entrepreneurs and business committed to mentor and guide the teams, in preparation of their pitch to the judges.After a whole day of judging, and robust discussion of the merits of each team, the jury selected the top 5 teams, who will go on to the next round, where prizes include a place for three teams on the Zino China Trip in November.
The Top 5 teams were announced later that afternoon, at a workshop with around 60 early stage investors, supporters and ecosystem leaders, at Bizdojo Parnell. Here are the happy semi-finalists:
Avice – Wearable tech to monitor muscle health, providing real time feedback during weight training exercise.
Geo AR Games – Getting kids off the couch and physically active through augmented reality games – educational AR gaming.
Swibo – Gamification of rehabilitation / physiotherapy exercise to increase compliance and track progress through recovery.
Zino is an organisation focused on creating new value for New Zealand, by supporting businesses to achieve their growth potential in Chinese speaking markets, with capital, networks and advice. We do this in two ways:
- Zino Ventures raises angel and growth capital for investment in promising Kiwi companies;
- Zino Innovation Hub is building a network of services and support for Kiwi businessesseeking help to take their business global.Zino is led by a group of Chinese migrants living in New Zealand, who are passionate about growing great companies here in New Zealand.
The Top Ten Challengers
New Kiwis Challenge by the numbers…
42 companies entered the New Kiwis Challenge
16 countries represented in the founder teams
Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, China, Germany, Holland, India, Iraq, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Thailand, UK, Uruguay, USA
10 companies selected for the next round
Wide sector range including VR/AR, consumer products, edu-tech, trading/e- commerce, wearables, sports-tech, tourism & travel
28 mentor volunteers, many of them successful Kiwi migrants themselves