Startup Dunedin Announces Challenger Series Finalists

Deloitte, Gallaway Cook Allan, Grow Dunedin Partnership and Enterprise Dunedin congratulate the finalists of the 2018 Startup Dunedin Challenger Series and are delighted by the calibre of the applicants.

Judges have selected three finalists from 71 applications and Startup Dunedin Community Manager, Casey Davies-Bell says both the quality and quantity exceeded expectations.

“All of the judges commented on the extremely high quality of applicants. It’s fantastic to see startups from a variety of backgrounds, innovating in a variety of fields. Selecting only three made the judges’ decision that much tougher.” says Casey.

All 71 applicants completed written applications which were used to shortlist the top 20. These 20 then pitched to a panel of judges in a dragon’s-den-style pitch night.

Startup Dunedin emphasised that there was a wealth of support in Dunedin for all of the startups that applied. Casey highlighted programmes such as Co.Starters and Audacious, as well as co-working spaces Petridish, Innov8HQ, Regus and The Distiller, as some of the key places startups can seek help.

The Challenger Series begins on the 6th of August and features mentoring from some of Dunedin’s top business leaders including; Chris Hopkins, CEO, Scott Automation and Robotics; Zoe Hobson, Managing Director, Runaway; Kyle Murdoch, Managing Director, NHNZ; Jonny Mirkin, CEO, nomos one and Nigel Bamford, CEO, Escea. Each finalist will also receive $15,000 worth of support including $5000 credit with Deloitte, $5000 credit with Gallaway Cook Allan, $2500 to spend on flights and $2500 to spend on marketing.

Industry and Government have collaborated to establish the Challenger Series. This includes Enterprise Dunedin (part of Dunedin City Council), Grow Dunedin Partners, Startup Dunedin, Creative HQ, Callaghan Innovation, Deloitte and Gallaway Cook Allan.

Deloitte Partner, Mike Horne said Deloitte has always seen the startup scene as critical to NZ’s economy. “Deloitte’s Fast 50 programme and, particularly, the Rising Star category demonstrates this. Being able to further support pre-seed startups through the Challenger Series is a natural fit for us.”

Gallaway Cook Allan CEO, Matt Gorman said Gallaway Cook Allan’s history with Dunedin’s most innovative companies stretches back to the founding of Otago. “Like they have in the past, startups will also be our city’s future. Through the Challenger Series, we will get in-front of startup journeys earlier, allowing us to lend our expertise, experience and understanding to tomorrow’s leaders.”

Enterprise Dunedin Economic Development Programme Manager, Fraser Liggett said startups are playing a key role in boosting Dunedin by providing employment and increasing incomes.

“Enterprise Dunedin and Grow Dunedin Partners are pleased to be working with the startup community and supporting this initiative. We are sure Challenger will be a success and hope the winners of this competition will be among our leading companies in the future,” Fraser said.

The three finalists are:

The Pet Bistro

The Pet Bistro provides overnight delivery of real food for pets based on veterinarian knowledge and moves away from dry kibble and highly processed meats that can cause a significant amount of pet health issues.


Elixir provides specialist healthcare professionals access to patient records using modern portable devices such as iPads and iPhones, without being tied to their desk or laptop. This is done through cloud practice management systems rather than the current legacy system.

Paper Not Foil

Paper Not Foil is a sustainable alternative to using tin foil in the hair industry and the first of its kind in the market. While solving a significant waste issue they also cut costs for their clients.


**This article was provided through a newswire and does not express the views or opinions of 61-Bit.

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Startup Dunedin Announces Challenger Series Finalists
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