heroines: WOMEN IN TECH
EZEL KOKCU- FOUNDER,PASSPHERE
Ezel Kokcu is a 25 year old serial entrepreneur on to her third startup. Passphere is an analytics registration platform for expos, conferences and large scale events.
Ezel also co-founded STQRY; an exploration app for museums and cultural sites. She grew STQRY to over 60 people, raised over $7 million in VC funding, with over 800 global customers before selling the company in 2016.
Entrepreneurship, raising capital, scaling business, challenges of startups.
SARAH JENNINGS - COO, STRETCHSENSE
Sarah Jennings is the COO at Stretchsense, the global supplier of soft, stretchy sensors whose mission is to democratise wearables by making cutting-edge R&D accessible to everyone. Sarah takes us on her journey from academia, to getting her foot in the door in new tech, to becoming the COO.
RACHEL STREVENS -
FOUNDER AND CEO, INVSTA
Rachel is the Founder & CEO of Invsta, a New Zealand FinTech company that provides a range of innovative digital wealth and digital asset investment management solutions to financial service businesses globally. Having previously spent 10 years as a wealth adviser for a number of large financial institutions, she was excited to leap headfirst into the world of FinTech and entrepreneurship, and loves being at the cutting edge of new technology within financial services. Rachel has recently been appointed to the Executive Council for FinTechNZ, and is excited to see so many cool things happening and the growth of the FinTech sector within New Zealand.
mELISSA FIELD - FOUNDER - lOOP
Melissa is a qualified primary school teacher and mother of three delightful (and very busy) boys. Frustrated with the complexity of finding children’s activities online, Melissa took a giant leap from teaching to app founder, to bring you LOOP.
LOOP gives you the ability to search hundreds of children’s events, activities and much more all in the palm of your hand. With its easy to use functions, Melissa hopes you spend less time scrolling and more time with your family.
The pros and cons of investment.
Designing an app
The importance of due diligence
JENENE CROSSNAN - FOUNDER - FLOSSIE.COM
Founder of Flossie, a UX software company that reduces booking abandonment and increases revenue by streaming the user experience. NZ Market place: 60k+ customers across Australia and New Zealand, with revenues over $5 million. UK Software Products: launching in the UK early 2019 $6 million raised, investors include Stephen Tindall, Theresa Gattung & Rob Campbell. I founded the original influencer marketing agency, Bloggers Club Ltd (representing How To Dad and 400+ others), closed in January 2019. Founded nzgirl.co.nz in 1999 and retired in 2018. Sold 18 Ltd in 2004. Current Trustee & Founding Director of Simplicity, a non-profit Kiwisaver fund. I’m a digital entrepreneur; specialising in predicting, understanding and developing technologies to underpin the evolving consumer behaviour.
Incremental Investment Strategies
The power of conversation and networking
ALYONA MEDELYAN - FOUNDER - THEMATIC
Alyona Medelyan Ph.D. is the CEO of Thematic, an AI-driven customer insights solution backed by YCombinator. Thematic helps companies improve customer retention through insights from customer feedback and was founded in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2016. Customers include ManpowerGroup, Vodafone, CBRE, AtomBank and Air New Zealand. Alyona holds a PhD in Natural Language Processing (NLP) from University of Waikato and is the author of 25 peer-reviewed publications. She frequently speaks on this topic at Data Science, AI and Customer Experience conferences. She now lives in San Francisco with her husband (and co-founder) Nathan Holmberg, as well as their two children. @zelandiya
Topics Discussed: YCombinator, Scaling into your customers markets, Investment