First Table, CEO and Founder
Mat was on the Foundation's tech delegation to Indonesia in 2018
Mat is CEO and founder of First Table, a restaurant discovery website that offers 50 percent off the first table of the night. First Table helps businesses fill seats at a usually quiet period in the evening. First Table has launched in 50 cities, including Australia and the UK, and has just launched in Indonesia. Mat has also been involved in multiple companies before First Table, including NZ By Bike which is New Zealand’s leading cycle tourism guide, as well as Stay Here, a holiday home management and marketing company.
CEO, Yu Mei
In 2018, Jessie travelled to Thailand as part of the Foundation's fashion delegation
Jessie is founder and CEO of Yu Mei, a leather goods label focused on leather bags and accessories. Jessie describes the label as the creation of understated luxury.
In 2014 Jessie won the AMP National Scholarship Award and has gone on to show her collections at Fashion Weeks in New Zealand, Melbourne, Shanghai and Paris. Yu Mei now sells internationally throughout 32 fashion boutiques in New Zealand and Australia as well as through Yu Mei’s global e-commerce platform.
Jessie started Yu Mei while at university and her first bag, the Braidy bag, was inspired by a friend who wanted to carry around all the paraphernalia required for university life. Jessie has interned for Karen Walker and Akira Isogawa.
Fix and Fogg, owner
Roman was part of the delegation that travelled to the Philippines as part of the Foundation's food and beverage visit
Roman is the owner of Fix and Fogg, an artisan food producer that makes handmade peanut butter alongside strong social and environmental values. They are accredited by Conscious Consumers for their commitment to recycling and reducing food waste and regularly donate their highly sought after products to a number of local charities.
Roman’s background is in commercial law and he had previously practiced in Australia and New Zealand before making the switch to peanut butter. His peanut butter has recently won several culinary awards in New Zealand. Outside of peanut butter, Roman is also a keen supporter of the Wellington social entrepreneurship scene.
Aotea, CEO and Founder
In 2017, Tama travelled to Malaysia as part of the Foundation's food and beverage delegation
Tama is the founder and CEO of Aotea, a range of herbal and wellness remedies inspired by traditional Maori health practices.
Aotea’s hand-made tonics and skincare products use native New Zealand plants like kawakawa and kumarahou and are unique to New Zealand. Key ingredients are sourced locally on Great Barrier Island, Tama’s home, and his vision is to provide a sustainable industry for the people there.
Tama is a lawyer by training and a New Zealand sprint champion – he is the 2015 New Zealand Men’s National 400m Champion. Aotea was a winner of the Novel Ingredients Category at the recent New Zealand Food Awards.
Adrien was a member of the fashion delegation that visited Thailand in 2018
Adrien Taylor is founder of Offcut, a company which uses fabric offcuts to make hats and caps. He founded the company after a 2015 visit to his father’s curtain warehouse in Christchurch where he saw a room full of discarded pieces of brand new fabric. After learning that the company sent them to landfill, he decided to repurpose them into hats.
Offcut has since worked with some of New Zealand’s most iconic brands, such as Swanndri, to produce collaboration hats. All Offcut Caps are handmade in New Zealand and a tree is planted with every hat sold.
Adrien is passionate about sustainability and waste minimisation and believes in using business to raise awareness and take action on climate change and resource waste. He is also a former TV reporter and documentary filmmaker. His most recent documentary, filmed in Bangladesh and funded by the United Nations, features a former New Zealand Prime Minister and was awarded Best Foreign Film at the American Conservation Film Festival 2016.
Bonnie Goods, Founder
Bonnie travelled to Indonesia with the Foundation and a group of fellow food and beverage entrepreneurs in 2016
Morgan is the founder of Bonnie Goods, an artisanal oatcake maker. The idea for Bonnie Goods came about when Morgan lived in Scotland and came across the Scottish national cracker – the oatcake.
A keen baker from a young age, Morgan developed her own oatcake recipe – sourcing locally from all around New Zealand before selling in local markets. Bonnie Oatcakes, which are made by hand in a small bakery in Auckland, are now stocked in stores all around New Zealand and recently won a 2016 Cuisine Artisan Award.
Product quality recognition by way of the Cuisine Artisan Awards is highly-coveted among food producers and consumers in New Zealand.
Little Yellow Bird, CEO and Founder
The Foundation took Samantha to Thailand in 2018 with a group of fashion entrepreneurs
Samantha is the founder and CEO of Little Yellow Bird, a uniform and apparel company. Samantha sees Little Yellow Bird as much more than just a uniform company, providing their customers with complete transparency, and their workers with ethical employment opportunities.
Little Yellow Bird now supplies over 100 organisations in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. All products are made with natural and sustainable fabrics which can be traced right back to the farming level.
Samantha's background is in supply chain, having served as a Logistics Officer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. She has been the finalist for Wellingtonian of the Year and New Zealand Women of Influence and was recently named Young Innovator of the Year. She is also an Edmund Hillary Fellow.
Triip.me, Co-founder and COO
Ha Lam visited New Zealand in 2018 as part of the Foundation's sustainability visit for Southeast Asian entrepreneurs
Ha is co-founder and COO of Triip.me, a tech platform that connects people looking to experience local culture with those who are looking to offer specially designed tours.
Currently the platform is in 100 countries and 655 cities around the world, with over 4,500 hand-picked tours including 30 in New Zealand.
Ha is passionate about sustainable development, specifically the protection of each country’s natural, artistic, archaeological and cultural heritage.
Ha has received multiple awards, including a Forbes Asia’s ’30 under 30’ in 2016, and a UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ‘Celebrating Her’ award for Empowering Women in Tourism in 2017.
Rags2Riches, President and Founding Partner
Therese is president and founding partner of Rags2Riches, a fashion and design house that empowers community artisans in the Philippines.Rags2Riches, now nine years old, is considered one of the most …
Therese is president and founding partner of Rags2Riches, a fashion and design house that empowers community artisans in the Philippines.
Rags2Riches, now nine years old, is considered one of the most successful and pioneering social enterprises in the Philippines with three outlets in major Filipino malls and customers all around the world.
Working and training over 900 Filipino community-based artisans, Rags2Riches has fostered sustainable partnerships with these artisans as well as premier Filipino designers who re-imagine and interpret their work to appeal to people all around the world.
Therese enjoys fostering sustainable partnerships, curating indigenous and handmade products from all over the world, and creating positive impact through design and social entrepreneurship. She has a number of awards including being the youngest recipient of the Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service for 2010, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum 2012, one of Schwab Foundation’s 24 social entrepreneurs of the Year 2013, and Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs for 2015.
Co-founder and community director
Rafael is co-founder and community director of Make A Difference (MAD) Travel and the Circle Hostel. MAD Travel provides community based, sustainable agri-adventure tourism and works closely with Fili…
Rafael is co-founder and community director of Make A Difference (MAD) Travel and the Circle Hostel. MAD Travel provides community based, sustainable agri-adventure tourism and works closely with Filipino indigenous groups. Circle Hostel is a chain of hostels focused on the surfing community. Outcomes of this work include the reforestation of 3,000 hectares of land, as well as creating a food security model empowering indigenous groups in the Zambales province.
Rafael is also involved in his family’s sustainable construction materials business (AVD), a volunteer at Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm and the co-founder of The Plastic Solution, a social enterprise which aims to help build a plastic free economy. His projects have been featured on Al Jazeera, CNN and BBC, and his teams have won multiple awards, including Coca Cola’s Sustainable Travel award.
Pipiltin Cocoa, CEO
Tissa visited New Zealand in 2018 as one of group of food and beverage entrepreneurs
Tissa is the CEO of Pipiltin Cocoa, a bean to bar, single origin, chocolate company, sourcing direct from farmers in Bali, Flores, Aceh, and East Java. Direct sourcing allows Pipiltin to support the sustainability of cocoa farming by working with farmers to promote sustainable practices as well as paying suppliers 40-50 percent more than market price.
Pipiltin has four stores in Jakarta and supplies across Java and Bali. It has also recently begun to export to Japan and Singapore. In preparation to founding Pipiltin, Tissa became a Master Chocolatier, studying in Switzerland. Prior to founding Pipiltin, Tissa was a corporate lawyer.
CricketOne, Co-founder and Business Development Manager
Bicky is the co-founder and business development manager at CricketOne, an agricultural company that produces sustainable and affordable protein from crickets.CricketOne breeds crickets inside 40-foot…
Bicky is the co-founder and business development manager at CricketOne, an agricultural company that produces sustainable and affordable protein from crickets.
CricketOne breeds crickets inside 40-foot containers, allowing them to farm all year. They feed the crickets with cassava leftovers, saving feeding costs and waste while shortening production.
CricketOne has had early success in raising money through accelerator programmes and VCs in Vietnam and in Europe. Bicky is a finalist for the Young Social Entrepreneur Award (for Asia and the US) in October 2018 in Singapore. Prior to founding CricketOne, she also co-founded another venture-capital-backed agriculture technology startup.
Fingertalk Enterprise, Founder and CEO
Dissa came to New Zealand as part of the Foundation's 2017 visit for social enterprise entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia
Dissa is founder and CEO of Fingertalk Enterprise, a social enterprise with the mission to connect hearing and deaf people in Indonesia and to reduce unemployment among the country’s deaf youth. Dissa was inspired by a volunteering trip to Latin America where she visited a café staffed entirely by deaf individuals, Café de Las Sonrisas. Fingertalk currently provides 25 job opportunities for deaf people through a café, car wash and workshop and is working with a restaurant chain and transportation company to match deaf talent with other employment opportunities.
Prior to founding Fingertalk, Dissa worked at Credit Suisse Singapore as an Equity Analyst and has a Master of Professional Accounting from the University of New South Wales.
Dissa is a language enthusiast and speaks Indonesian, English, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic. She signs Singapore Sign Language (SgSL), American Sign Language (ASL) and Bahasa Isyarat Indonesia (BISINDO).