SAY HELLO TO OUR 2017 COHORT - Lightning Lab


Introducing the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator Participants

The day is finally here, we have confirmed our participants for the New Zealand Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator for 2017!

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017 cohort


We are thrilled to have all these teams on board and we’re looking forward to reporting back on their journeys throughout the Programme. So without further ado, we invite you to learn about the inspiration and goals for each of the teams in the Q&As below.


FinTech Vertical: Insurance
CEO: Calum MacLeod
Solution: An online platform to bring clarity and management to small to medium business’ insurance policy management.

Small and medium businesses dread the inefficient and time-consuming process is of getting insurance policies in place. Insurely is a platform with complementary robo-advice engine to help eliminate inefficiencies in the insurance market and to provide management and organisation around policies. Welcome to Calum MacLeod, Gopal SA, and David Pine!

Q. What inspired you to create Insurely?

A. 8 months ago I started to realise how painful it is for the average business owner to obtain insurance for every area of the their business. The valuable time wasted filling endless forms and paperwork, the many face-to-face meetings, the complexity of not actually knowing what you are paying for and what exact circumstances you can claim for and can’t claim for… the list goes on. We want to take as much of this pain away from the business owner as we can when it comes to selecting and managing all of their insurance requirements.

Q. What are your goals for your time in the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator?

A. We’ve assembled a strong team and it is our goal to build an MVP and have paying customers on board by the end of the program in order to raise capital on Demo Day.


FinTech Vertical: Wealth Management
CEO: Brooke Anderson
Solution: An accessible digital platform that makes it easy (and maybe even a little addictive) to invest.

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017 sharesies

New Zealanders have poor saving and investment behaviour. Sharesies is an investment platform where people can invest small amounts of money that are then aggregated and invested. Welcome to Leighton Roberts, Sonya Williams and Brooke Anderson!

Q. What inspired you to found Sharesies?

A. We all had different reasons to start Sharesies. However, there were three common factors that have made us jump:

  1. The timing is right
  2. the problem is real, and
  3. we’re passionate about fixing it now!
Q. What are you most looking forward to about the programme?

A.  Fast paced learning and hustle! We have 3 months to create a product and company so exciting people are willing to invest in order for us to really bring our vision to life.

Q. Where do you hope to be in five years time with your startup?

A.  Leading a large NZ-founded success story where we’ve improved the distribution of wealth, increased financial literacy and growing in overseas markets.


FinTech Vertical: Asset Management meets PropTech
CEO: Tal Meser
Solution: An on-demand platform allowing landlords to manage their property for a fraction of the cost of a property manager.

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017 flatfish

Flatfish helps landlords communicate and deliver the best service for their tenants through an online platform that facilitates maintenance for their rental properties. Welcome to Tal Meser and Florian Sänger, the duo behind Flatfish!

Q. What inspired you to start Flatfish?

A. We experienced first-hand the frustrating and disjointed communication and services provided by many property managers to tenants and landlords. This inspired us to create Flatfish, an on-demand platform allowing landlords to manage their property for a fraction of the cost while providing an excellent service to their tenants.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator?

A. The Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator excited us with the credible mentors and partners that we could work with to scale Flatfish. We look forward to building strong relationships, growing our customer base, and raising investment on demo day.

Q. Where do you hope to be in five years time with your startup?

A. We envision being established in a number of International markets. We hope to be the solution tenants and landlords think about when they are looking for the best renting experience. Our vision is to live in a world where tenants and landlords Rent Happy.


Fintech Vertical: Financial Literacy
CEO: Judith Cambridge
Solution: The AccountingPod platform provides each learner with a real-life business in a real industry to build their financial literacy.

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017 accountingpod

How do we deliver effective and fun financial education in the digital age and respond to the need of “Future of Work” in a digital age? Welcome XingDong Yan, Michael Ng and Judith Cambridge, who are reimagining financial education with AccountingPod!

Q. What inspired you to create AccountingPod?

A. We are Chartered Accountants in public practice. Helping SMEs to grow is in our DNA. Financial Education and Literacy is a huge part of the growth mindset. We believe SMEs will continue to play a very important role in the future of work and future of business. We created our startup, AccountingPod to reimagine financial education to educate the future of work and future of business.

Q. What are your goals for your time in the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator?

A. We’re looking to accelerate our growth in NZ market, raise capital to execute our expansion plans in Australia and the U.S.

Q. Where do you hope to be in five years time with your startup?

A. Our aim is to become the dominant financial education platform, globally.


FinTech Vertical: Wealth Management
CEO: Andrew Montague
Solution: An affordable, modern wealth management platform that helps people reach their savings goals.

Investful is sophisticated, personalised portfolio management for everyone. Investful’s mission is for everyone to have the freedom to do the things they love. Nice to have you on board Andrew Montague and Carl Douglas!

Q. What inspired you to create Investful?

A. After finishing University and working for a few years, I found saving for a house extremely difficult. Why did I have so little money compared to other people? And why weren’t my savings, in particular my Kiwisaver, doing well? That’s when I started looking into the fees and costs involved with saving. The robo-advisory field is upending the financial industry and Kiwi’s should have access to this low fee offering so I approached Carl and we started building Investful.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator?

A. Going at the venture full-time! It’s going to be so exciting. We’re really looking forward to getting something in the hands of our customers ASAP.


FinTech Vertical: Lending
CEO: Priyesh Tiwari
Solution: Innovative health savings programme to support people from all income groups to participate in a savings and rewards programme that promotes a healthy lifestyle and timely access to healthcare professionals.

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017 healthyaz

More than 1.2 million New Zealanders report difficulty in making payments for routine care and many of them struggle despite a number of subsidy schemes run by the Government. HealthyAZ is proposing a closed loop mobile wallet for healthcare related products and services. We’re excited to have Priyesh Tiwari, Sophie Tiwari and Kiri Jones join the 2017 Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator.

Q. What inspired you to start HealthyAZ?

A. As health science researcher and physician, I encounter patients on a daily basis who report difficulty in seeking timely medical care because of financial reasons. Digging a bit deeper we discovered that as many as a quarter of New Zealanders report difficulty in meeting their out-of-pocket expenses when visiting their primary care providers, dentists, or making payments for prescription medicines. The problem is worse in developing countries.

It is really saddening to see people get very sick with problems that could have been easily managed if they saw their GP on time or took their medications as prescribed, but did not do so because they couldn’t afford the payments. The patients, their caring doctors and pharmacists all shared with us that existing products in the market such as insurance, credit cards, loans and standard savings accounts do not really help. There must be a better way to help socioeconomically disadvantaged people other than offering perpetual charity.


FinTech Vertical: Payments
CEO: Sulu Fiti
Solution: Using blockchain technology to radically reduce the cost of sending money across borders.

Remittance fees are too high for Pacific Islanders. With its key features of transparency, trust, security, and de-centralisation, blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the traditional remittance industry. Welcome to Sulu Fiti, Felix Watkins and Victor Vae’au!

Q. What inspired you to create your startup?

A. There were two very key factors for myself and my co-founder Victor Vae’au when we entered into this startup journey – firstly, we want to help our Pacific Island community by significantly lowering remittance fees, and secondly, there aren’t enough Pacific Island business leaders in NZ. It’s our aim to change that.

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017 liberac

Q. Where do you hope to be in five years time with your startup?

A. There is an altruistic, almost humanitarian aspect to the way in which we are entering into this venture, and at the forefront for us is helping the Pacific Island community. In the future, we hope to be in a position where we can mentor other Pacific Islanders who are looking to get into the startup scene.

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