The all-day October 14 Christchurch conference will feature several of NZ’s top women
founders to inspire and connect with the next generation of women-led startups.
July 26, Christchurch: Women will start, shape, and build the future of Aotearoa industry, but
change needs to come faster.
That’s the rallying call for Electrify Aotearoa, an all-day national conference taking place in
Christchurch, October 14. Spearheaded by Ministry of Awesome and Blackbird Ventures, the
event brings together Aotearoa’s leading founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and early-stage
startups for a day of inspiration, strategy, and connection.
“Many of our country’s most important high growth startups are woman led and we need many
more women to follow suit to ensure our country’s future success and leadership on a global
stage. Electrify Aotearoa is designed to send an electric shock through the startup community
and get more of our inspiring wahine turning their big ideas into world changing companies,”
said Marian Johnson, CEO of Ministry of Awesome, and organiser of the Electrify Aotearoa
Globally, women only represent one in every four startup founders, despite research showing
women-led startups are more capital-efficient, achieve 35% higher return on investment, and,
when venture-backed, bring in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies.
“We’re partnering with the Ministry of Awesome to encourage more ambitious Kiwi women to
take the leap into startups. By showcasing women founders and operators at different stages of
their journey, we are hoping to inspire others with tales of courage and triumph,” said Samantha
Wong, General Partner at Blackbird Ventures.
Electrify Aotearoa will help establish a foundational network for women entrepreneurs, New
Zealand’s top investors and venture capital companies, and the nation’s most successful
women entrepreneurs. This network will help them form a pathway for more women founders to
activate and succeed with a powerful community supporting them.
The conference will involve keynotes and masterclasses led by mavens of the tech industry
including Sharesies’ Brooke Roberts, Yabble’s Kathryn Topp, Outset DeepTech’s Imche Fourie,
and Theresa Gattung,NZ Lead for SheEO, and Chair of Women in Entrepreneurship at the
University of Auckland Business School. Together they will share personal stories, showcase
vulnerability during challenging times and roadmap future woman entrepreneurs’ success.
The event is being backed by some of New Zealand’s most important organisations for the
startup and innovation ecosystem, including MBIE, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Growth
Capital Partners, and AWS.
Electrify Aotearoa will take place on October 14, at Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch. Full
details are available at www.electrifyaotearoa.co.nz
022 413 1596
About Electrify Aotearoa
Electrify Aotearoa addresses the global, national, regional, and local women founder gap by
providing role models and success stories to inspire and activate the wāhine of New Zealand.
● Theresa Gattung – cofounder of My Food Bag, chair of Global Women, chair of Aotearoa
Centre for Enterprising Women at the University of Auckland Business School
● Brooke Roberts – Sharesies
● Kathryn Topp – Yabble
● Kaye Maree Dunn – Ahau
● Suse Reynolds – Angel Association New Zealand
● Imche Fourie – Outset Deep
● Emily Blythe – Pypervision
● Amber Marie Naveira – The Granary
● Kaila Colbin – Boma
● Maria Jose (MJ) Alvarez – NZGCP
● Lauren Peate – Multitudes
Electrify Aotearoa partners
● Ministry of Awesome
● Blackbird Ventures
● Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
● Callaghan Innovation
● New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP)
● Hillfarrance Venture Capital
● Angel Association New Zealand
● University of Canterbury Centre for Entrepreneurship
● Territory 3
● Icehouse Ventures
● Epic Innovation
● University of Auckland Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
● Canterbury Angels
About Ministry for Awesome
Christchurch-based Ministry of Awesome exists to drive startup and innovation growth and
success in Aotearoa. The organisation works with ambitious startups to provide incubation,
mentorship, and access to the investor networks, commercial partners, and professional
services they need to succeed.
Less than three years since launching, Ministry of Awesome’s incubator, Te Ōhaka (the Nest)
has become firmly established as a fulcrum for Christchurch’s fast growing startup ecosystem,
helping generate millions in investor capital, and creating nearly 100 high-skilled jobs within the
About Blackbird Ventures
Blackbird is a venture capital firm whose mission is to invest in wild hearts, with the wildest
ideas, right at the beginning. The Blackbird team does this by raising venture capital funds,
investing in the best startup companies and helping them succeed. The company has more than
a billion dollars under management and a portfolio of over 70 companies including some of the
most successful Australasian startups such as Canva, Zoox, SafetyCulture and Culture Amp.
Blackbird has a $60M fund dedicated to investing in Kiwi founders building world-class