KiwiConnect is building global bridges to connect world-class talent, impact capital, and high-tech innovation to the fast-growing New Zealand startup ecosystem.

 
Our mission is to advance projects and nurture pioneering communities that contribute towards a more beautiful world.

We are a group of passionate entrepreneurs and change-makers with experience founding and scaling technology companies. Our mission is to advance projects and nurture pioneering communities that contribute towards a more beautiful world. We work with a range of people and organisations, whom are passionate about using their talents to help realise this vision. We believe firmly in the power of business to develop meaningful solutions to the world's biggest problems.

We provide personalised support to exceptional individuals who want to live, work, explore, invest, or otherwise engage in New Zealand. We see the country as a uniquely innovative and dynamic ecosystem, that is well-poised to develop leading-edge technologies, ventures and ideas to make a lasting positive impact.

At heart, KiwiConnect is a relationship platform. If you wish to work in New Zealand, build an enterprise, invest in exciting opportunities, or establish a base here, we would love to hear from you!

 

Our values

  • We take a long-term approach to building and nurturing communities.

  • We value authentic human connections and relationships.

  • Our motivation is to help realise a better world.

  • We strive for excellence and practical results.

  • We have a deep reverence and love for the natural world.

  • We seek to develop cultural bridges with respect and humility.

  • We’re playful, adventurous, and unconventional.

 

Media

KiwiConnect Fostering Startup Growth - Stuff 

Kiwis Out To Inspire Others At Annual Kea Roadshow - The New Zealand Herald

Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Want To Connect Kiwi Startups With The Rest Of The World - Yahoo News 

More Than Sheep, Trees And Honey Bees - The Wireless 

Silicon Valley Boys Sam Altman And Scott Nolan Say They Will Be Looking For Cool Kiwi Startups To Invest In - Idealog 

New Zealand Has All Elements To Be Like Silicon Valley, Say US Experts - The New Zealand Herald

New Frontiers Festival Recap: As It Happened - KiwiConnect blog

KiwiConnect hosts the annual New Frontiers festival, designed to spark conversations about integrated and innovative solutions to global problems.

The KiwiConnect Team 


Yoseph Ayele

Born in Ethiopia, Yoseph considers himself a global citizen. Since the age of 14, he's lived in six countries and visited almost every continent, and had the opportunity to learn five languages.

His missionary parents instilled in him a spirit of service that he carries to everything he does. He is passionate about people, education, entrepreneurship, and building global bridges. He loves being in nature and believes that as humans we are capable of regenerating our environment through smarter farming and conservation practices.

Yoseph studied leadership and social change at Harvard University. While on a fellowship at the University of Cambridge, he researched how financial institutions can make positive social and environmental impact. He also researched how to build entrepreneurial ecosystems while based at the Victoria University of Wellington.

He is part of the Operations team at KiwiConnect and spends significant time building strategic relationships throughout New Zealand. Prior to that, Yoseph lived in San Francisco where he helped grow Inflection by building its teams.

Yoseph loves his new life in New Zealand, a land he proudly calls home. He lives on a sustainable farm 30 minutes north of Wellington, and enjoys running, yoga, cooking for friends, and waking up to the sound of birds singing.


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Charlotte Hayes

Charlotte remembers at age 7, having a moment of shared understanding with a cooped-up elderly chicken in a factory farm, and realising not all was right with the world. This was further enhanced upon taking the chicken home and watching it discover the joy of earth-scratching for the first time.

In more recent years Charlotte has found her aha moments in various corners  of the globe. She's worked on Hollywood feature films in Europe and rap videos in Rwanda, produced advertising in London and taught piano from a builders van in Sydney. Most recently she's returned to her roots of jandals, feijoas and hobbits to coordinate a string of successful programmes within Wellington's burgeoning Social Enterprise scene.


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Tai Kenning

Tai is a multidisciplinary designer with over 15 years of experience in technology start-ups. Working with unique vision in Brand Design, Visual Design, UI/UX Design and Creative Direction, Tai has built a reputation for developing strong branding and highly successful design solutions.

Tai has recently shifted from the world of product development to focusing on how design can be used to help create a more beautiful, peaceful and sustainable human-to-planet-relationship. Tai is a world traveler, scuba diver, percussionist, artist, runner and proud son of two Northern California singer-songwriters.


Rebecca Mills

Rebecca Mills builds strategies that create a brighter future for the wellbeing of people and the planet. Rebecca is an expert at using a regenerative lens with the established outcome of competitive advantage. She is experienced at activating high impact, transformative and scalable models for entrepreneurs and business, cities and entire countries.

In December 2011, she dedicated 2 years of her career to help build what is now known as The B Team. Rebecca is excited that we now have the opportunity to centralise and self-organise at a speed and scale unimaginable only a few years ago. Rebecca is founder of an ‘Art For’, an art collective which finds, buys and shares ownership of mostly contemporary art.


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Brian Monahan

Brian studied at Harvard University with a dual-concentration in economics and psychology, but left after his sophomore year to start Inflection with his brother Matthew. Eight years later, Brian now serves as a hands-on board member and the “Chief Idea Guy” of the growing 250-person company. Throughout his tenure, Brian has worked across a wide range of departments, including: online marketing, corporate finance, acquisitions (on both sides), business analytics, user-interface design, and human resource management. He currently focuses on marketing, corporate culture, and strategic planning.

“Bmo” will sometimes take the mic for hip-hop “flowetry” to convey his passionate vision for a more just and sustainable world (and New Zealand's potential role within it).

At KiwiConnect, Brian sits on the Investment and Business Development teams. He’s keen to connect with entrepreneurs, business leaders, financial stewards, government officials, artists, organic farmers, full-stack software developers, clever Kiwi builders, and you... to find ways to work together in co-creating solutions for a brighter future.


Matthew Monahan

Raised in the Midwest, Matthew is an active student of entrepreneurship and technology. After dropping out of college, Matthew joined forces with his brother Brian to create Inflection, an identity management company headquartered in Silicon Valley. Matthew serves as CEO of the organization and focuses his time on product development and team-building.

Matthew was attracted to New Zealand by its natural beauty, kind-hearted people, and exciting potential for positive impact. Matthew is on the Investment team at KiwiConnect, helping to bridge connections with Silicon Valley and working to develop new models for capital allocation. He shares his thoughts on the nonprofit sector at www.namaste.org.


Shannon Royster

A California native, Shannon has found greener pastures with her family in New Zealand. The amount of time she spends in Wellington is clearly revealed by the thickness of her children’s Kiwi accents. Shannon graduated San Diego State University with a Bachelors Degree in Hospitality & Global Tourism Management. Since then, she has been working alongside some of the world’s most brilliant minds and directly instrumental in the 20x growth of a Communications startup in Santa Monica.

Working as the Marketing Coordinator for KiwiConnect, Shannon brings experience and expertise in Content Development, Internet Marketing, and Event Managment. She is passionate about travel, yoga, sustainable design, water conservation, and living well. One day Shannon hopes to get beyond the ferry station at Picton and properly experience Wanaka and Queenstown. For now, she and her family are growing organic veggies in their garden and living on a farm with a goat, a cat, and an internet connection.


Alina Siegfried

Originally from the Bay of Plenty in the North Island, Alina is KiwiConnect’s resident master storyteller. She believes passionately in the power of story to connect people with each other, the land and their communities, with a particular interest in the psychology of storytelling. Alina’s career has followed a squiggly line that has taken her into the realms of district planning, environmental education, ski instructing, policy development, collective governance, communications and a brief, unexpected foray into construction.

Alina loves to travel, with adventures spanning from Antarctica to Northern Canada (Canada was colder). By night, she shadows as her alter ego, Ali Jacs, performing spoken word and slam poetry to audiences all over the country. These days Alina mixes work with play, using poetic and storytelling elements developed through her poetry career, to share the innovative and inspiring happenings of impact-based New Zealand ventures.

 

Contact Us

If you're interested in living, working or investing in impact-based ventures in New Zealand,  we would love to hear from you! 

  • If you're interested in working in New Zealand, connect with us here.
  • If you are interested in investing, building or moving a company, or partnering with KiwiConnect, get in touch.

KiwiConnect Ltd
Enspiral Space
Level 2, 89 Courtenay Place
Wellington 6011
New Zealand


This website features photos taken by Trey Ratcliff, Stuck in Customs