Startmate’s New Zealand expansion plans continue with the Australian startup accelerator making its first local appointment, making Auckland-based Ryan Walker its community and partnerships associate.
In his first months in the role, Walker is visiting key startup hubs across the twin island to ensure the Kiwi startup ecosystem is primed to leverage Startmate’s global network of mentorship, investment and industry leaders.
Walker’s previous experience includes founding the networking and resource hub Startup Wellington, building a 300-strong community in three months. He signed onto Startmate as as the Accelerator’s S21 cohort is underway, with Auckland-based Cropsy Technologies, Christchurch-based Komodo Wellbeing, Dunedin-based CodeLingo and Gisborne-based JobLoads forming the organisation’s second New Zealand group.
Startmate Principal Lauren Capelin said Walker’s role will focus on better supporting the New Zealand startup ecosystem at ground level, while also plugging founders and operators into a broader regional ecosystem of startup ambition to lay the groundwork for global success.
“Ryan brings a strong understanding of the NZ startup landscape to Startmate and the enthusiasm to help us supercharge the country’s brightest founders and operators through the Accelerator and our ever-expanding Fellowship programs,” she said.
“We are thrilled to have one of the NZ tech industry’s best ecosystem builders helping us to support the existing infrastructure, as well as lay down new foundations within the community.”
Walker said the shift to remote and online means that Startmate’s programs can have an impact in regional New Zealand.
“What I love about the Startmate community is that there is no gatekeeping or limitations, only ambition-raising for the country’s best entrepreneurs, investors and startup talent, creating an inflection point in the maturation of our local startup ecosystem. Startmate is here to help Kiwis succeed, and I’m really excited to be part of that process,” he said.
It’s been a year since Startmate announced its expansion into New Zealand including the first local cohort for the accelerator’s program.
Startmate’s Kiwi alumni include Chatterize, an online language education platform which last year raised $1 million to roll out its AI-enabled chatbot in China; Pyper Vision, an aerospace startup creating drone-mounted fog dispersion systems; and ZeroJet, an electric jet propulsion company offering a green solution for the maritime industry’s pollution problem.
The four companies receive investment of NZ$75,000 at their latest valuation.