Scholarship finalists

The 12 finalists in the running for one of 4 trips to the Business Retreat are...

We had hundreds of entries for the four Nurture Change scholarships being given away in conjunction with Fairfax. There were a huge variety of entries and some fascinating reading - thank you to all of those who took the time to enter and share their story with Steve Pirie (my Nurture Change business partner) and I. We have finalised a short-list of 12 companies and people, which is three per scholarship category. It was really difficult and we got down to a Top 25 and then "whittled them down" to a Top 12. We wish the following 12 people the best of luck in their quest to be in Fiji at Nurture Change on November 2nd to 6th with the great line up of speakers, learning, networking and fun (and chill time). The winners will be agreed over the next few days and published next week. So the shortlist is (in no particular order)…


James Crow of Nice Blocks and Little Island Creamery

After getting bored trying to make ethical energy drinks with his mate Tommy, these guys cracked their mission to create a better summer treat for their families. It has gone quite a bit better than their humble initial aims we suggest. These guys cut no corners with ingredients or their team. If you have not tried a Nice Block or Little Island (coconut ice cream and dairy-alternative coconut milks), we suggest you do and perhaps you will never look back.

Gene Turner of Law Hawk

Gene is one of those disruptive types in the law and procurement industry… He wants to change the way lawyers work, first in New Zealand and then overseas. His software Law Hawk provides advanced online automated legal documents to lawyers and procurement professionals and his plans are to make access to some types of legal services a lot more affordable via Law Hawk. Early days for his business but we look forward to watching where Gene ends up in the future.

Marina Hirst Tristram of Tasman Bay Food

It looks like innovation is part of the culture at Tasman Bay Food with their team of over 50 people from factory floor through to board level constantly trying to improve things. In 2015 they won the NZ Food Awards Business Innovation and Export Innovation categories, and 2014 the Frozen category. Export sales seem to be going through the roof. They live to create new products for consumers around the world. Which parent has not bought "Juicies" for their kids?


Anya Anderson of Red Seed

Red Seed offer an innovative software as a service training solution to retailers that changes behaviour in their frontline people, and has increased the bottom line of customers on average 11 per cent over three years (very impressive). Based in Christchurch and now also in Sydney, Anya has some big aims to go global and knows that at Nurture Change, she would learn from some of the best around and have the time to work on her business.

Diana Beaufort of Reds Hairdressing

Diana runs her hair salon that has won awards for both business achievements and creative work since opening in 1993 (that is 23 years in business - impressive in itself!). Diana has trained over 50 hairdressers and plenty of past team members now own their own salons. Diana has an innovative streak to her as well and we expect she is a lady with exciting things up her sleeve.

Charlie Phillips of Queenstown Resort College

We love what Charlie and his team have created. With tourism being so important to NZ, QRC is a leading tourism and hospitality management college with campuses in Queenstown and Paihia (what great locations to learn and be inspired in). With its residential courses, it has some great value adds and care to help students succeed to the maximum. We were impressed by how QRC has adapted its educational model to benefit "youth at risk" also. Nice one Charlie and company!


Tom Kroch of Enablr

We were impressed with the number of major risks Tom has taken to get his business Enablr to where it is today. Enablr is a consulting business that helps retailers increase their revenue through sales and sales management training. Tom has achieved a lot for an under 25-year-old. Tom must not sleep as he runs a group of like-minded people wanting to take their businesses to the next level and in addition, he has some innovative ways of holding people accountable.

Sebastian L. Dennis of Perx Technologies

Sebastian is a smart, driven guy who has been involved with successful local e-com start up Storbie in the past and is now head of content and digital marketing at Perx Technologies in Singapore. We were impressed with how much Sebastian had achieved for an under 25 year old and with the fact he was living and working overseas in a successful company going places, furthering his abilities.

Ryan Everton of Globelet

At 20, whilst at Otago law school, Ryan started Globelet. Four years on, Ryan has built a thriving business that eliminates disposable cups from major events across Australasia. He has built reusable washing systems to eliminate waste and a closed loop local recycling facility in Christchurch (it would be fascinating to see its set up!). What a great way to drink wine and beer from a super cool Globelet cup. Ryan has big aims to be eliminating disposable waste way beyond major events. Great progress in four years Ryan. We look forward to seeing what you can achieve in 2020!



Geoff Cranko of Strategy Design and Advertising.

Geoff has done a great job of building Strategy over the past 14 years. They now have 5 offices (including Sydney and Tokyo) and a team of over 100 people at this service design led advertising agency. Geoff has guaranteed that if he were lucky enough to attend Nurture Change, it would benefit the entire Strategy team for future generations – that really resonates with us.

Gareth Berry of Unleashed Software

Gareth is a passionate CEO and believer of Unleashed's potential as a game changer for SMEs through powerful, real time inventory management. I personally have some of my business coaching clients on Unleashed and it is a really valuable tool helping them to run better businesses. From humble beginnings in the Massey University eCentre, it now has 1,920 customers in 80 countries, 52 staff across NZ, US, Australia and most recently the UK. This year the Huffington Post highlighted them as a top 10 tool for small business. Impressive and where will Unleashed Software end up?

Brent Edwards of Go Hockey

Brent has launched a business model to sell hockey gear to Kiwis in a cost affordable way whilst having a fantastic range. We were impressed with the many different sales approaches that Brent uses in his business and his grass roots hockey passion and obvious drive in servicing the needs of the hockey community in New Zealand. He even helps players and clubs sort get scholarships towards their cost of equipment.


We will be announcing the scholarship winners for each of the above 4 categories next Sunday. We do not envy ourselves in having to choose four winners from the above 12 companies and people who are a reflection of some great things happening with NZ businesses. Well done to these 12 for making it this far!

The Nurture Change Business Retreat is for business owners, senior managers, entrepreneurs and their teams looking for new ideas, space to think on their business, inspiration, relaxation and connection with others from the business community. Attendees will likely get to have some great business, health and wellness conversations with some of the 14 incredible speakers, like Hamish Carter, Diane Foreman, Jeremy Moon, Murray Thom, Mike Carden and lots of others. Details online at 

The 4 scholarships that Nurture Change and Fairfax are giving away are worth around $4500 each. Each scholarship to Nurture Change in Fiji at the 5-star InterContinental from November 2 – 6, covers airfares for one person, four nights accommodation, including breakfast, lunch & dinner (excluding drinks), access to the speakers, health and wellness and morning fitness sessions and question and answer sessions with business leaders.


 - Originally published in the Sunday Star Times and on

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