Each year, Kea draws from a rich network of high flying global Kiwis to make over 1,000 connections for New Zealand businesses. Wherewolf and Asili are two ambitious Kiwi companies Kea has helped connect this past month.
Wherewolf is an award-winning app for adventure tourism operators to manage guests and customer data. Wherewolf is growing their remote and US teams and sought connections to tech company founders in the US who could share their insights. Kea connected Wherewolf to Shaun Donaghey, Founder and CEO of Generator, a Fintech company based in Los Angeles.
Who are Wherewolf?
Co-Founder Ben Calder had the idea for Wherewolf while running a bar crawl business in Queenstown using “clunky” paper and clipboards. Ben joined up with Co-Founder Wulf Sulter to develop the app, which replaces paper check-ins and clipboard waivers. With Wherewolf, guests can check-in via tablets and sign digital waivers and operators can log guest data, follow up with guests after their visit and gain insight into their business through the app’s analytics dashboard. Wherewolf has customers around the world, including 4WD tours, paragliding operators and helicopter tours, among others.
Who is Shaun Donaghey?
Shaun Donaghey is Founder and CEO of Generator, which provides digital Fintech solutions as well as consulting services for tech companies, particularly those looking to enter the US market. Shaun has a wealth of experience in tech, business development and growing startups, having worked with a number of young companies through Generator. Prior to Generator, Shaun was Chief Operating Officer for Payment Express in Auckland and Los Angeles, as well as General Manager at Intergen.
How did Shaun help Wherewolf?
Shaun spoke with Wherewolf and shared his expertise on growing tech teams and the US market. Wherewolf and Shaun now have an ongoing relationship, as Shaun also offered to help Wherewolf with their hiring process give further advice.
“Shaun was awesome. Super nice, friendly and informative. Offered to help with interviewing any final applicants in-person if I was in NZ and offered to help with ongoing advice and feedback.” - Ben Calder, Wherewolf Co-Founder.
Through Kea’s network, Wherewolf spoke with Generator CEO and Founder, Shaun Donaghey. Shaun shared his insights into growing a tech business and entering the US market. As a result, Wherewolf received valuable advice and now have an on-going relationship with Shaun.
Asili is a collaborative design platform that works with East African artisans and contemporary designers to create ethical homeware, using sustainable materials. Asili was looking for connections with designers, as well as experts in homewares or goods distribution. Kea connected Asili to World Class New Zealander Peri Drysdale, Founder and CEO of sustainable apparel company Snowy Peak, which owns globally popular brands Merinomink and Untouched World.
Who are Asili?
Hamish Davies and Eve Penny founded Asili in 2017, with the aim to produce quality, ethically designed homewares that provide a sustainable, fair income for the East African artisans that produce them. Pieces are made from responsibly sourced materials, such as soapstone, waste horn and reclaimed olivewood. Asili calls their pieces ‘modern artifacts’ as they are handmade and one of a kind, such as their soapstone and olivewood bowls and tumblers made from waste horn.
Who is Peri Drysdale?
Peri is one of NZ’s most successful entrepreneurs, having founded Snowy Peak, which produces high quality innovative luxury fibre blend knitwear. Snowy Peak is known for pioneering possum and wool blend fibres in the 1990s, when it launched Merinomink. As Snowy Peak expanded, Peri became concerned with the environmental impact of the apparel industry. She then founded sustainable fashion brand Untouched World, which became the first fashion company in the world to be given permission to carry the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD). Peri is also chair of the Untouched World Charitable Trust, which runs sustainable leadership programmes.
How did Peri help Asili?
Peri met with Hamish and Eve and introduced them to other members of her Snowy Peak team. Peri shared her insights into running a sustainable business and shared ideas for the charitable side of Asili’s business. Hamish and Eve were really impressed by Peri and said their meeting was a definite success.
“Peri was great, really helpful across the board. She had some great advice around approaching agents & distribution channels as well as general tips for the early stages of the business.”
As well as sharing helpful business advice, Peri was also interested in seeing some of Asili’s products. After visiting Peri and receiving her team’s feedback, Snowy Peak and Asili are discussing how they could work together in the future.
Through Kea’s network, Hamish and Eve of Asili met with Peri Drysdale of Snowy Peak. Peri shared insights into product distribution as well as running a sustainable business and charity. As a result, Hamish and Eve received valuable advice and are discussing potential opportunities for Snowy Peak and Asili to work together.
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