The Pick:2017 Winners

After four long and intensive months of validating and refining their business ideas, our finalists of The Pick:2017, Northland's business ideas competition submitted their portfolios and pitched to the panel of judges.

We are proud to present the five SUPREME AWARD winners as well as the recipients of the Top Innovation, Commitment, Youth and Judges Choice Awards. Thank you to our mentors and sponsors of this event.

Supreme Award Winners

Matt Lewis

Live to Print »
Matt Lewis - Whangārei

General category, Open section

Biobased creative ink and paint as a replacement for acrylic. Safe for people, environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Read more

Live to Print
Matt Lewis - Whangārei

General category, Open section

Biobased creative ink and paint as a replacement for acrylic. Safe for people, environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Visit the website →

Matt LewisI am a Northlander from Whangārei with a background of working in the creative industries, I am also an avid community volunteer and a long time trustee for two local charitable art organisations.

My work in creative involves using a lot of acrylic consumables for printing and painting and through this exposure, I quickly learned of the lack of sustainability and the negative impact that these liquid fossil plastics are having on our natural environment, which ultimately contributes to the fouling of our water systems, land resources and oceans.

There are many artist acrylic products available to us, the reality is that acrylic plastic is an energy intensive by-product of the petrochemical industry, and when manufactured with other toxic chemicals these non-renewable plastics can be added to water, so disposal is easy - just rinse away with tap water which usually means it ends up going straight down the sink.

Conscious of the unhelpful part I was playing by using these persistent pollutants, I began working on an innovative solution to create a replacement. A new biobased product has been formulated that fulfilled the minimum goal to be safe for people, environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Being a part of The Pick 2017 has been an exciting and incredibly productive journey. The competition was highly professional, very demanding and required a great deal of direct customer interaction. Rising to the challenge resulted in an amazing amount of valuable data that not only proved the need for the solution, the research exceeded expectations in so many useful ways which will ultimately be the key to launching a successful business.

  • Live to Print
  • Live to Print
  • Live to Print
Akudos

Akudos »
Richard Brookes and Wairere Iti - Waipu

General category, Maori section

Akudos is a cloud based awards management system, designed to streamline the awards process from beginning to end. From initial setup, collection of nominations and supporting material, managing judges and the entire judging process through to the collation of the final results.

Read more

Akudos
Richard Brookes and Wairere Iti - Waipu

General category, Maori section

Akudos is a cloud based awards management system, designed to streamline the awards process from beginning to end. From initial setup, collection of nominations and supporting material, managing judges and the entire judging process through to the collation of the final results.

Visit the website →

AkudosRichard, Abdullah and Wairere (Wai) all worked together at an Auckland based digital agency for several years before forming Akudos in 2016.

The three were inspired to create their own company that not only better aligned with how they wanted to live and work, but how they envisioned others could work as well. They wanted the opportunity to build products meticulously and properly; products that automated repetitive tasks to allow people to focus on more important things at work or home.

The Akudos Awards System is a simple yet all-encompassing awards management platform that streamlines awards processes from beginning to end. From the initial setup, collection of nominations and supporting material, managing of judges and the entire judging process through to the collation of the final results.

Akudos is a software as a service or SaaS product with a feature set designed to handle large-scale industry awards with ease, yet is simple enough for small social or community awards to setup and use. It has already been tested in the field by three high profile early adopter clients and has received high praise.

Having previously been focused heavily on developing the product our participation in The Pick has helped us to develop the business itself, it has helped put us in a strong position for gaining further investment. Being a winner of The Pick extends our access to valuable services and expertise, it also gives us a permanent base in the Orchard in Whangarei.

Akudos has also been named as one of 10 early stage businesses selected for the Kokiri accelerator programme dedicated to the development of early stage Māori businesses created by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Callaghan Innovation along with Creative HQ, Robett Hollis, Crowe Horwath and EY Tahi.

Akudos
Sarah Hewlett and family

Hewlett Point Coarse Wool Concepts »
Sarah Hewlett and Chris Coffey - Mata

Rural category, Open section

We're going to help change the global perception of coarse wool into one of a high value, decorative and functional architectural material. We will meet the needs of architects and interior designers for innovative products.

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Hewlett Point Coarse Wool Concepts
Sarah Hewlett and Chris Coffey - Whangārei

Rural category, Open section

We're going to help change the global perception of coarse wool into one of a high value, decorative and functional architectural material. We will meet the needs of architects and interior designers for innovative products.

Visit the Facebook page →

Sarah Hewlett and Chris CoffeyWe are Sarah Hewlett and Chris Coffey.  Our business name, Hewlett Point, is also the geographical location of our family farm, where our sons are the 7th generation. We both grew up in the Whangārei area. Like many young people from Whangārei, we moved away to study, work and travel, returning at a later time.

Our business idea is to create a range of felted wool products, predominantly from our strong Romney wool. Romney wool is 33 – 37 microns and is traditionally used as carpet wool. As farmers, we’re frustrated with the low price and lack of interest in strong wool. Because we have some artist in us, we’d like to transform our strong wool into some interesting and unique items - kind of like spinning straw into gold – (except that we’re felting)! Our products will have the added advantage of being natural, traceable, chemical and dye free, as well as having other qualities which are inherent in wool.

We’ve entered The Pick for guidance, contacts and support in areas such as marketing. We’re looking forward to being innovative with our design, perhaps collaborating with some other creative minds and reminding people of the great qualities of all wool, including how good it can look. We believe there is a huge amount of untapped potential– maybe we can help make a change so that farmers can be paid a better price for their strong wool!

  • Hewlett Point Coarse Wool Concepts
  • Hewlett Point Coarse Wool Concepts
  • Hewlett Point Coarse Wool Concepts
  • Hewlett Point Coarse Wool Concepts
  • Hewlett Point Coarse Wool Concepts
Toby and Libby Evans

Clever Things »
Toby and Libby Evans - Mangawhai

Rural category, Open section

Changing the way people live on tank water with a smart tank device and integrated software.

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Clever Things
Toby and Libby Evans - Mangawhai

Rural category, Open section

Changing the way people live on tank water with a smart tank device and integrated software.

Toby and Libby EvansToby is a technologist & software developer and Libby a marketer. We really wanted a small community, rural/beach life for our kids so we made Mangawhai our home 18 months ago - and we love it here.

Having spent the last 17 years working tech and marketing industries we're always looking for opportunities to bring technology to places and industries that would benefit from it - where it hasn’t been done before or has been done, but not particularly well.

Since moving to Northland we’ve seen a few such opportunities. This is the first time we've lived on tank water, and we quickly became frustrated with not knowing how much water we had in our tank and how long it would last. So, we searched for an smart, affordable product - but found nothing suitable, so we decided to build our own.

This is the first solution we see being part of a company created to design and manufacture internet connected devices that help us with our everyday lives.

And while the software side of this endeavour Toby’s jam - building hardware has been quite a new experience, with many roadblocks and successes. My office has always just been a desk and laptop, and now is filled with cables, circuit boards, sensors and solar panels.

This is one of the reasons we entered ThePick:2017. We felt the business support to help get this idea off the ground would be invaluable, and we look forward to the next few months hustling to get this product ready to market.

Armstrong Whanau

Stay Native »
Te Ara and Chanelle Armstrong (Son and his wife), Pam Armstrong (Mum) and Chala Armstrong (Sister) - Whangaruru

Tourism category, Māori section

A platform where you can browse and book indigenous experiences.

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Stay Native
Te Ara and Chanelle Armstrong (Son and his wife), Pam Armstrong (Mum) and Chala Armstrong (Sister) - Whangaruru

Tourism category, Māori section

A platform allowing tourists to engage with indigenous people and places.

Visit the website →

Visit the Facebook page →

Stay Native teamWe are a whanau business passionate about Maori development. We knew we wanted to be a social enterprise - equally about profit, people and planet - and we knew we wanted to be in the tourism space. So we got together and we thought about what we love seeing when we travel. We always love to learn about but the land and the indigenous people, and we value authentic and meaningful interactions.

Coming home to Northland it's clear to see that we are incredibly blessed to live in a naturally beautiful area with authentic cultural experiences right here on our own doorstep. Pipi picking, horse riding through the bush, waking up before sunlight to dig the pit for a hangi - these are genuine, authentic native experiences, and they're right here in Northland! So we came up with Stay Native, a website where locals can share these experiences, and meaningfully connect travelers to our land, to our culture, and to our people.

Stay Native is a website where visitors can browse and book authentic cultural experiences. Maori culture and values are central to the New Zealand brand. We want to move maori tourism products from performance-based to experiential, which research suggests is what international visitors want. By doing so, we not only address tourist pains, but also provide opportunities for employment of iwi members to enrich the delivery. In it's own right it creates success in terms of gainful employment, job opportunities and growth.

Being a part of The Pick gave us an opportunity grow from an idea, to a legitimate business. We were supported with workshops, mentors, and an awesome team of facilitators who really pushed us to develop our idea. They saw potential in us and, when necessary, they gave us the push we needed to keep going.

Additional Award Winners

Sprout team members

Youth Award

Sprout »
Eamon, Garth, Keziah and Kelsie - Kerikeri

Food & Beverage category, Youth section

A Young Enterprise Scheme business, bringing the world to your window sill through their gourmet gardens.

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Eamon, Kelsie, Keziah and Garth from Westmount School - Northland Campus Kerikeri

Food & Beverage category, Youth section

A Young Enterprise Scheme business, bringing the world to your window sill through their gourmet gardens.

Visit the website →

Visit the Facebook page →

Sprout team members

We are Sprout- the team bringing the world to your windowsill. Our Gourmet Garden is taking customers on a journey to healthier and more productive lives.

Our product consists of a stylish, reusable crate branded with our logo, 3 durable terracotta pots, a selection of 3 herbs customised to a cuisine and a custom-made magazine with recipes and care instructions. To enhance the customer journey, a subscription to our monthly newsletter, featuring new recipes, interesting facts & information on when to replace your herbs is sent out monthly. For more images and details as to our product see our website; www.sproutnz.co.nz where customers can buy direct.

We have attended the Auckland Food Show where we were able to build up a database, interact with customers and get in touch with celebrity chefs. To date, Celebrity Chef Simon Gault has endorsed our product via a live Facebook feed videoed in his restaurant Giraffe. Our product was also presented in each of his cooking demonstrations at the Food Show where he has endorsed our product in front of a live audience.

As a team, we hope that being part of the pick 2017 can help us to build on the combination of skills and knowledge that we have, and continue to add to our success in this year’s YES competition

  • Sprout
  • Sprout
  • Sprout
Jo, Jo and Jules

Commitment Award

A Graceful Undertaking »
Jo, Jo and Jules - Whangārei

General category, Open section

A Graceful Undertaking, after death care and funeral services. A fresh, new approach to after death care and funeral arranging, offering you the freedom to do it your way.

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A Graceful Undertaking
Jo, Jo and Jules - Whangārei

General category, Open section

A Graceful Undertaking, after death care and funeral services. A fresh, new approach to after death care and funeral arranging, offering you the freedom to do it your way.

Jo, Jo and JulesWe are three local women, Jo Samuel, Jo Moselen and Jules Palmer, and together we are A Graceful Undertaking Ltd, where our fresh, new approach to after death care and funeral arranging offers you the freedom to do it your way

Together, we have shared friendships over many years. Through these years we have found ourselves instinctively drawn to support our families and friends to create, organise and present unique, honest, family-led funeral celebrations and we have often talked about getting more involved in this type of work, wanting something for after-death care that we couldn’t find available in our community, something more sensitive, personal, empowering and natural. This has lead us now to make a collective commitment to put the effort in to define and establish a new service, available for Whangarei and the wider Northland community.

When a death occurs you're dealing with intense emotions, while needing to quickly begin to make the best decisions for your situation; when it's hard to know if you understand all the options, the costs and what is actually needed; it can be stressful and challenging.

A Graceful Undertaking takes an Opt In approach to embalming whenever possible and offers natural, non-invasive options; has a transparent fee structure; takes a fully customisable approach - as determined by the family, not by us; has a policy of maximising the use of environmentally sustainable practices and materials; and offers open information sharing - aiming to demystify the topic and question the conventions by encouraging gentle and courageous conversations about death.

Our aim is to support engagement and facilitate creative, personalised solutions that best reflect the uniqueness of every life lived.

Being part of The Pick has helped us to clarify our thinking and to drill down on the core issues associated with starting this new venture - collectively we've learned heaps and been encouraged heaps!

  • A Graceful Undertaking
  • A Graceful Undertaking
  • A Graceful Undertaking
Sonja Potts

Commitment Award

Native State »
Sonja Potts - Whangārei

Health & Wellbeing category, Open section

Publishing a planner-meets-journal that provides a more wholistic sense of day-to-day organisation. A space for sacred scheduling. A place where women will get to know themselves through their own cycles and rhythms.

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Native State
Sonja Potts - Whangārei

Health & Wellbeing category, Open section

Publishing a planner-meets-journal that provides a more wholistic sense of day-to-day organisation. A space for sacred scheduling where women will get to know themselves through their own cycles and rhythms.

Native State on Facebook →

Native State on Instagram →

Sonja PottsHi, my name is Sonja Potts. I grew up 40% in Nuhaka / Mahia / Wairoa / Gisborne / Hawkes Bay, 20% on a sailing boat / at sea, and the remaining 40% in the Bay of Islands / Northland.

I came up with my business idea in the middle of the night. I couldn't sleep while it whirled around my head. I had to get up and write a rough-as-guts plan. The basis of my idea is a planner-meets-journal specifically designed for women that provides and encourages sacred scheduling. This idea was born entirely from a need of my own and, as it turns out, is one that can be adapted for anyone to apply in their life. When I shared my idea with trusted people, I was met with a resounding "I want one too!". So here I am. Making it happen.

I entered The Pick because I'm no island, and I have no desire to be. I want support. I want mentoring. And I want to be able to enjoy all the facets of my business idea while having others to get excited with. Being part of this competition will also give me some much-needed structure and goals to work towards.

My idea is proving VERY different so one challenge is that there's no ready-made templates or answers to my seemingly endless queries. It's keeping things VERY interesting and a learning curve for most involved.

I’m most looking forward to being able to use my "life's work" (all the ideas, experiences, and people I've encountered in my 26 laps around the sun) to create something to help other women. I adore having a creative outlet and I adore helping women see their magic!

Being a part of The Pick has helped me to connect with other start-up businesses to compare notes and share the rollercoaster ride. It has connected me with a great mentor and enabled me to have BIG conversations about REAL issues and pain. It has also helped me to see that the most important part is to commit to doing the work and showing up. Thank you!

Jamie Harrison

Judges Choice Award

Haumanu Urban Farm »
Jaime Harrison - Kerikeri

Food & Beverage category, Māori section

Haumanu Urban Farm is a whānau run vertical urban farm located in Kerikeri New Zealand. We specialise in producing local, high quality and fresh microgreens for restaurants and home cooks.

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Haumanu Urban Farm
Jaime Harrison - Kerikeri

Food & Beverage category, Māori section

Haumanu Urban Farm is a whānau run vertical urban farm located in Kerikeri New Zealand. We specialise in producing local, high quality and fresh microgreens for restaurants and home cooks.

Visit the Facebook page →

Jamie HarrisonKia ora, I am Jaime and I grew up in Kaitaia and currently live in Kerikeri. I have lived in Northland for the majority of my life.

I have two beautiful girls, Anahera who is 3 years old and Kateao who is 10 months old. I am studying through Massey University by distance towards a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Maori and a minor in linguistics and te reo maori. I will then continue to study for a post graduate degree in policy and education. I love Northland and hope to work towards creating a better future for those in Northland.

I love to cook for my whānau and provide healthy food that also looks great. I struggled to find microgreens that I saw on instagram and read about in health blogs. I was also fustrated at paying $5 for one lettuce in the middle of winter. I have always enjoyed gardening and decided I should grow my own microgreens. I soon realised that other people were searching for local and healthy salad options that had mega flavour.

My business idea is an urban farm that produces microgreens. I specialise in growing high quality local microgreens. They are locally grown using innovative techniques to reduce the impact on Papatuanuku. Urban farming allows me to deliver the fresh greens as timely as possible with little transportation. I grow them vertically at my home using energy efficient led lights. I use led lights as they use little power and they produce a small amount of heat so I can stack the greens closer together. Rich fertile soil that I use will be composted and put into a worm farm to be reused.

Once the business is financially stable I hope to have a social business aspect to help the local community. There are a few avenues and ideas that I have but will need further time to improve these.

Being a part of The Pick has helped me to fast track my business idea to a business that has regular customers. I have been able to learn valuable business knowledge that I had no idea existed and met with like-minded and motivated people to encourage and support my journey. The timeline set out also gave me goal posts to work towards and accelerated the pace in which I worked. In 3 months I went from having an idea to having branding, an accountant, suppliers, restaurant customers and selling at farmers markets. All of this with no prior business experience and thanks to the knowledge and encouragement from all those involved with The Pick.

  • Haumanu
  • Haumanu
  • Haumanu
Shaun Gregory

Top Innovation Award

Aqua Mould Systems »
Shaun Gregory & partners - Kaeo

Rural category

Aqua Mould Systems is a Northland Company that is automating the oyster industry and allowing farmers to brand their product on a global scale.

Read more

Aqua Mould Systems
Shaun Gregory & partners - Kaeo

Rural category, Open section

Aqua Mould Systems is a Northland Company that is automating the oyster industry and allowing farmers to brand their product on a global scale.

Shaun GregoryHi I’m Shaun Gregory and my business is Aqua Mould Systems. I’ve been living in Northland for 23 years and wouldn’t change a thing.

A large company in N.Z recently spent 3 million dollars trying to build a machine to open oysters, only to fail because oysters varied too much in shape.

I came to the assumption that, rather than trying to build a complex machine around inconsistently shaped oysters, why not try to grow a uniform shaped oyster instead.

This led to me growing oysters in a recess. One thing that seems to happen with new innovative ideas is that when you open a door it quite often leads to more doors being opened. I am also now working on engraving the moulds with a brand so that it grows into the oyster.

The reason we choose to enter The Pick:2017 is to showcase a great innovative idea that can benefit Northland, whilst having the chance to add value to our company with what The Pick:2017 has to offer, such as pairing us with relevant mentors/sponsors and network connections.

There have been many challenges with this business idea, as there is nothing else out there to compare with. Also, dealing with a live animal makes things very challenging as you have to learn the animal inside out and most data that is collected takes a full season (12 -18 months) to get results from.

I guess the thing I am looking forward to the most, is giving something back to the industry that has been my livelihood for over 20 years. I have meet some amazing people on the way and would like to see N.Z lead the world in this sector.

  • Aqua Mould Systems
  • Aqua Mould Systems
  • Aqua Mould Systems
  • Aqua Mould Systems

Other finalists

  • 1

    Duane Wells - Whangārei

    Food & Beverage category, Open section

    Non-Dairy Ice Cream (dairy, egg, gluten, nut and fat free!)

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    Duane Wells, Whangārei

    Food & Beverage category, Open section

    Non-Dairy Ice Cream (dairy, egg, gluten, nut and fat free!)

    Duane WellsIn 1980, Lindsay and Terrie Wells established a persimmon orchard in Kauri, 10 minutes north of Kamo. Their son and daughter, Duane and Bronwyn entered the family horticultural business called NTL Horticulture, in the early 2000’s.

    Seeing opportunities in persimmon based value added products, NTL began working with food technologists in 2012 to establish a shelf stable persimmon puree. When processed in a unique way the puree displayed characteristics that when placed through an ice cream making machine produced a frozen fruit whip that resembled high quality ice cream, however, was dairy, egg, gluten, fat and nut free.

    WellKit Foods International (WFI) was established in March 2017 which was the joining of the Wells family and Andrew Kitson who has an extensive ice cream marketing background and is an expert in establishing business trade in Asian countries.

    In the past 3 months WFI has progressed very quickly in producing a commercially viable frozen fruit whip formula and is now concentrating on building a solid business foundation so to get the frozen fruit whip range to global markets. The greatest challenge that has surfaced in the development of this project is understanding the frozen desert sector that we collectively have had little experience.

    WFI entered The Pick to be part of an energetic programme and to be challenged in the way that we are thinking in while developing the company. The vision of persimmon having an indulgent quality associated with ice cream while being inherently healthy due to the nutritional content of fresh fruit is an exciting prospect to take to the world. We are hoping that being part of The Pick will expand our horizon and help our focus in building another world class Northland company.

  • 2

    Wendy Mason - Kerikeri

    Tourism category, Open section

    Forage and Savour - discovering Northlands artisan food and wine, people and culture and the natural environment.

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    Wendy Mason, Kerikeri

    Tourism category, Open section

    Forage and Savour - discovering Northlands artisan food and wine, people and culture and the natural environment.

    Wendy MasonMy business idea is to run premium foraging tours in the Bay of Islands. ‘Forage & Savour’ will provide a truly authentic experience, bringing together the beauty of our food, wine, people, culture and natural environment. On these tours we will gather ‘fine food’ as well as ‘wild food’, while meeting the people behind the food and hearing their stories along the way. Tours will feature a gourmet meal using our foraged ingredients.

    I was born in New Zealand but grew up overseas, mainly in Guatemala, Italy and England. My mother is from Awanui and I have had a connection with Northland all my life. Even when living overseas we travelled widely and returned to Northland regularly to visit family. I am passionate about this area and recently came to live permanently near Kerikeri with my husband, daughter, dogs, cat and horse.

    So, having recently moved to a new Northland permanently, I needed a new job… but I had this business idea in my head. I think the timing is perfect, both for me and for a tourism/foodie business like ‘Forage & Savour’, and being selected as a ‘Pick’ finalist has given me the encouragement to ‘go for it’.

    I’m really looking forward to the start-up business support, networking and mentorship being offered to the Pick businesses by Northland Inc. This will guide me and help me make connections for setting up and promoting my business where it counts.

    I am looking forward to many things to do with setting up this business, including:

    • The opportunity to showcase the fabulous food, wine, people, culture and natural environment of the Bay of Islands.
    • Promoting and supporting existing artisan producer and grower businesses and building relationships with the people behind them.
    • Promoting and building awareness of our Maori culture and history and building relationships with local Maori people. Offering employment to local people.
    • Promoting a message of sustainability and conservation – an understanding of kaitiakitanga.
    • Operating my business in a sustainable way and partnering with like- minded businesses.
    • Giving visitors a unique and memorable NZ experience – involving them in learning about, foraging for, tasting, cooking and eating our local food, in our beautiful environment.
    • Providing an experience that goes well beyond visitors’ expectations, so they go home and talk about it and become ambassadors for Northland and all we have to offer.
  • 3

    Mel McMinn and Terry Johnson - One Tree Point

    Food & Beverage category, Open section

    Nitro Coffee and Tea products.

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    Mel McMinn and Terry Johnson - One Tree Point

    Food & Beverage category, Open section

    Nitro Coffee and Tea products.

    Mel McMinn and Terry JohnsonThe Two Ravens are Terry Johnson and Mel McMinn. Terry, aka Professor Nitro, grew up in Kaikohe and Mel is an expat Yank who has been in NZ since 2003. We were developing our business idea when we saw the advert for The Pick: 2017 and thought it was perfect timing, so we entered.

    We like to think we can make an impact on people, giving them a terrific flavour experience while also helping them make a healthier choice. Quality of life has a lot to do with quality of food and we believe we can give people a solid premium product at an accessible price.

    We’re trying to do something new, so finding connections, mentoring and publicity are our priorities.

    The world is slowly waking up to the fact that the contents of the average drinks cabinet is a mixture of slow and fast acting poison. From the traditional high-sugar sodas to the modern energy drink freak show there is a lot to be concerned about. Then there is the notion that inventing some chemical that pretends to be sugar is ‘healthy’ with zero calories and zero unintended consequences. Outside of this there is water and weakly flavoured water. Enough! We’re adults, don’t treat us like we idolise Willy Wonka or Mother Teresa. Give us flavours with the sophistication of wine and without the nonsense. Nobody is making what we want to drink, so we’re making it ourselves. We’ve been cold brewing coffee and tea at home for years, so that was a natural place to start.

    The technical process of producing a ready-to-drink packaged nitro coffee is a little daunting. Nitro coffee is a major hit overseas so the process is fairly well understood but the equipment is expensive. We then have the issue of introducing a new product and educating our customers. This will require some clever thinking to do with a limited budget and will involve much social media.

  • 4

    Haim and Sadra - Mangawhai

    Food & Beverage, Open section

    Bean Brothers - Gourmet organic hummus and bean dips.

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    Haim and Sadra - Mangawhai

    Food & Beverage category, Open section

    Bean Brothers - Gourmet organic hummus and bean dips.

    Bean Brothers"One fine day in Aotearoa an Iranian and an Israeli met at a potluck around a plate of hummus. They laughed and chatted about the idea of making hummus together. It wouldn’t be just any hummus, but one that would surpass anything they saw on the shelves. The idea took hold and from that day they’ve been working together to create a selection of deliciously flavoured, irresistible bean dips."

    This story is the essence of our brand – Handmade peacefully in Mangawhai by an Iranian and an Israeli.

    Sadra (Iran) is a brand strategist and marketing person with over 15 years’ experience in the design and creative industry. Sadra also has experience in Sales and IT.

    Haim (Israel) is the man on the ground. He has delicate taste buds and great sensitivity to flavour. With Sadra's input, he has craft 5 delicious recipes that get people hooked if they dare to try them. He has experience working in the kitchen and is the overall driver for product innovation.

    After selling at farmers markets since Oct 2016, the critical feedback received demonstrates a perfect market fit for this product. The New Zealand hummus market is stagnant and missing a higher-end, artisan range. Bean Brothers will give the market an energy injection it so desperately needs.

    We are now in the time of transition from selling at farmers markets to selling in shops. In order to achieve growth we need to scale our production and improve our systems. We've done enough research to know that, with the right factors (skills, time, and investment), our product will fly off the shelves once it hits supermarkets.

    This is why we have entered The Pick:2017.

  • 5

    Minnie-May Niha - Ngunguru

    General category, Youth section

    Minnie Mayd'. Giving unwanted fabrics and clothing a new lease on life.

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    Minnie-May Niha - Ngunguru

    General category, Youth section

    Minnie Mayd'. Giving unwanted fabrics and clothing a new lease on life.

    Minnie-May NihaHi I’m Minnie-May. I was born in Kawakawa and raised in the beautiful Whangārei Heads where I spent majority of my childhood. When I was 14 I left Whangārei and moved to boarding school, Epsom Girls Grammar in Auckland. I’m still living in Auckland finishing off my bachelor’s degree but will always call Northland my home and my happy place.

    How I came up with Minnie-Mayd clothing boutique all started as a passion for designing and creating new garments to wear for myself. Being a student I didn’t have much money to spend on fabrics so I opted at looking through 2nd hand shops for a cheaper alternative, where I could spend less and give fabrics and 2nd hand clothing a new lease on life. From there I was able to create unique, one off pieces that no one else had. Friends and family started noticing my unique pieces and wanted in on the garments. So that’s where I got the idea to start producing and selling my garments for all New Zealanders to get their hands on.

    I entered The Pick: 2017 to firstly give it ago and thought there’s no harm in trying and see if my idea was as unique as I thought it was. I wanted to gain a wider knowledge in the business industry. Also to gain exposure and meet the right people in hope they can point me in the right direction as to what else I could do with my idea.

  • 6

    Yvette Parker - Whangārei

    General category, Open section

    "Design in a Box". A new idea to expand an existing interior design business.

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    Yvette Parker - Whangārei

    General category, Open section

    "Design in a Box". A new idea to expand an existing interior design business.

    Yvette ParkerHi! I’m Yvette Parker – the owner and designer at Studio Y Interior Design. I was born and raised in Whangārei and after completing high school the world beckoned, and the next 13 years were spent living and travelling throughout various parts of NZ and countries overseas. However, Whangārei has always been ‘home’ and I mean it when I say, “I love it here!”

    On a personal level, I am a mother to two sweet little girls and a wife to one supportive husband who doubles as my silent or sometimes ‘not so silent’ business partner! I am a qualified Interior Designer. I LOVE what I do! I am down to earth. I am creative, unique and like to think outside of the box – although my ideas for The Pick are going to be focused on inside the box!

    My proposed business idea is ‘Design in a Box’ – which is creating awesome room designs that contain everything you need to have a beautifully styled room. All you have to do is order a design, anticipate the excitement of your box, and upon arrival, unpack your box and style the room with all the fabulous goods according to the design layout. It couldn't be simpler!

    As an experienced home stager for Studio Y Interior Design, I would create spaces that are cohesive, beautiful and welcoming. I would often hear everyday people say “I wish my house looked like this” and “I buy things but they never match with what I already have” or “I’m too scared to purchase something in case it doesn’t look right”. Hence, the business idea “Design in a Box” was born. These pre-packaged design boxes means clients are saving money and time by ‘getting it right the first time with professional advice from a qualified interior designer’ – which happens to be the business motto behind Studio Y Interior Design.

    I entered The Pick 2017 as this idea has been in the pipeline for two years, and I feel The Pick 2017 will help me put wings to this idea and get it off the ground, giving me direction as well as learning from their experience and helpful business tools. I am excited to be working with The Pick to take this idea from a concept into a profitable business.

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    Les Bore - Ahipara

    Tourism category, Maori section

    New Zealand Surf Experience, a community focused surf programme for tourists.

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    Les Bore - Ahipara

    Tourism category, Maori section

    New Zealand Surf Experience, a community focused surf programme for tourists.

    Les BoreLeslie was Born and raised in Auckland and moved north to settle 10 years ago. Rose is from Brisbane Australia and moved to New Zealand 5 years ago and fell in love with the far north.A friend at the Te ahu centre Kaitaia mentioned that Northland Inc run a program to help people get started in business and we thought why not give it a try.

    NZSE’s business model is based on a work half/pay half scheme, whereby the traveller pays half the cost of the week-long surf experience and the other half is paid in volunteer labour. The benefits of this model is that it makes the cost of the experience affordable for most travellers, but most importantly it provides a way for the travellers to make a meaningful contribution to the local community.

    We came up with this idea when we opened our home up to young international travellers from the Organic Woofing Society. We realised the modern, young traveller is looking to experience something real. Something that helps them learn about themselves and grow as a person aswell as the satisfaction of making a difference in an eco-friendly way.

    Our visitors to date have shown an insatiable appetite for learning about Kiwi culture and way of life. Whilst our business is in its infancy, it is showing real signs of growth. Our values are deeply rooted in community wellbeing and we feel the local economy will grow if we work together. It’s very clear that the new age tourists are passionate about positive community/environmental projects. We have faced numerous challenges to date in different areas from marketing to finances and web design but we are excited and really looking forward to getting some professional advice and the satisfaction of making it work through our involvement in The Pick.

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    Nicola Bradburn - Mangawhai

    Health & Wellbeing category, Open section

    A locally sourced and made plant based supplement line.

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    Nicola Bradburn - Mangawhai

    Health & Wellbeing category, Open section

    A locally sourced and made plant based supplement line.

    Nicola BradburnNicola grew up on a dairy farm in Northland near Maungatoroto and Glen went to Tikipunga Primary in Whangārei before moving to Hamilton and Wellington for high school. We met in Wellington and came back to Northland nearly six years ago when we moved to Mangawhai to create an eco-accommodation and health destination called Tara Retreat www.tararetreat.co.nz.

    Nic has worked as a health practitioner for two decades and has a vision of creating natural health products that help as many people as possible in New Zealand and the world improve their quality of life. Glen is a yoga and movement instructor who is interested in consciousness, healthy living and the human experience. Both believe herbal remedies have huge potential to help people in all walks of life improve their state of mind, and hence quality of life.

    Our range of nootropics seeks to provide people with more clarity and awareness, so the natural plant-based supplements can be seen as “antidotes to the ills of modern life”. They may help enhance performance at key times in people’s lives, such as job interviews, speeches , exams or focusing on important projects or competitive events, or aid in relaxation and the formation of proper sleep and energy cycles. This is our vision - to provide a safe and alternative way of addressing the key dis-eases of the 21st century - stress, depression and anxiety and do it in a positive and proactive way. We also envisage using the gut healing power of native plants to simultaneously work on the gut-brain link for optimal mind-body health and performance.

    We entered The Pick to get help and ideas for marketing and to make connections in the wellness industry to gain a better understanding of research, product development and production. We are looking forward to gaining inspiration and insights from media and marketing workshops as well as focus and accountability from working with mentors.

    We are in the early research and planning stages so no challenges yet. Mostly looking forward to making connections, broadening our minds, getting pushed beyond our comfort zones and taking a product from concept stage and making it a reality!

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    Dot and Thomas Rauahi + whanau - Whangārei

    Health & Wellbeing category, Māori section

    Ruby's Rongoa - natural oils, ointments and wai ora.

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    Dot and Thomas Rauahi + whanau - Whangārei

    Health & Wellbeing category, Maori section

    Ruby's Rongoa - natural oils, ointments and wai ora.

    Dot, Irene grew up in a town called Port Hedland Western Australia came back when they were 12/13. Ruth is our mother, Ruby is Ruth's mum, our grandmother.

    Thomas grew up in Motatau & moved to Otangarei Whangārei, which is where we all still live in Otangarei. Taitokerau is our home.

    Our business idea has always been in our whanau and it’s become a passion that we naturally do when we get the time; we are always taking off to the ngahere (bush) to pick rongoa (plants). In the last year or so we have been giving our rongoa to whanau & work colleges who keep coming back and now we need to keep up with the demand of the RONGOA. We believe that nature has directed us on this journey.

    The journey to grow our passion into a business is time juggling with work, moko's, whanau & pets but that's where we need to delegate & organize now.

    We entered The Pick: 2017 to gain skills, mentoring and just giving us a push along to be able to make this idea a reality and stay on track. When we saw the competition, we thought “that's us let’s give it a go”.

    We look forward to our passion becoming a reality and running a successful whanau business that creates employment & training for the people. Most of all meeting new people and sharing knowledge.

    Noreira Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou Tena Koutou Katoa (therefore thank you everyone).

    A te wa(see you again), Dot & Thomas Katene, Irene Blyth and Ruth.

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    James Mclean - Kamo

    Rural category, Open section

    Spray on weed suppressant.

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    James Mclean - Kamo

    Rural category, Open section

    Spray on weed suppressant.

    James McleanHi I’m James McLean. I was born and raised here in Whangārei, disappeared for a few years then came back for good to raise my family with my wife, Kylie.

    As a landscape Architect I always like to be innovative and try new things when it comes to landscape design. One thing that I am all too familiar with is the pain and struggle that is weed mat. It blows away in the wind, it is difficult to apply before or after planting, most weed mat is not biodegradable and leads to issues down the line, it is a frustrating product with no real alternative other than hand weeding.

    I came up with the idea for a spray on weed suppressant after watching hydroseeding and thought the same technology should be applicable with a weed suppressant. In concept this should eliminate a number of issues we face with traditional weed mat.

    I entered The Pick as I thought it would be a good idea to get some assistance to get my idea moving and start looking at development.

    I am looking forward to creating a product that will revolutionise the way we landscape.

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    Marcella Maihi - Kaikohe

    Health & Wellbeing, Māori section

    An academic youth mentoring service enhancing opportunities for rangitahi.

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    Marcella Maihi - Kaikohe

    Health & Wellbeing, Māori sectionn

    An academic youth mentoring service enhancing opportunities for rangitahi.

    Marcella MaihiHi I am Marcella. My business idea, Mā Te Huruhuru derives from the whakatauki Mā Te Huruhuru ka rere te manu. Aligned with the nature of our business this can be likened to all of the huruhuru or feathers one young person requires to become strong, culturally grounded leaders in the future.

    I was born in Whangārei but raised in Manurewa as a result of the urban drift movement. Myself and some of my siblings returned to the North to be closer to dad once he passed away. Here we established some strong connections with our marae, whanau, culture and the community of Kaikohe.

    Coming from a large family and particularly being among the youngest in my whanau I learnt at an early age that serving others especially those less fortunate was fulfilling and something I was good at. The idea of a youth hub was to provide a service to rangatahi that would support them into education or employment because I know, in my future, I want to see more Maori in leadership roles, in powerful positions where they have a presence and a foot in to influence positive change for Maori.

    I never actually thought my idea would go anywhere due to it being a social enterprise however I am here now and am looking to make the most out of it. Meet new networks, receive some awesome mentoring and learn some new skills along the way.

    The biggest challenge would be turning this idea from something that requires constant funding into a self-generating entrepreneurial organisation that can sustain itself without losing the true purpose and mission which is to nurture the rangatahi in Northland to become strong, confident leaders of tomorrow through supports, guidance and direction.