• Soda Inc

Meet the speakers for NZ Startup Bootcamp 2020

The speakers for this year's NZ Startup Bootcamp are set to fuel some entrepreneurial fire. We thought we'd introduce them to you before the event so you can get a taste of what's to come.

Our inspirational line-up is composed of LetsPlay.Live Founder and Director - Duane Mutu, Nature & Nosh Co-Founder Kylie Rae, and Little Yellow Bird Founder and CEO - Samantha Jones.


Duane Mutu

Duane Mutu is widely regarded as one of the leading esports voices and personalities in the Australasian region. He speaks extensively around the globe on esports and gaming. Having previously worked on the publisher side of gaming for over 10 years with heavy hitting brands like Ubisoft, EA, Warner Brothers, Disney & THQ, he more than understands how the gaming eco system works. He now sits on the esport side of the fence having founded leading esport company LetsPlay.Live (LPL) which was acquired by Sky City entertainment and has grown to be one of the largest esport companies in Australasia.


He is a founding board member of the NZ esport federation, is a media expert having regular slots on mainstream media outlets like breakfast TV and is a TV and online gaming host.


Prior to launching LPL, Duane was one of the founders of New Zealand's first action sport TV channels - GARAGE TV.


What got you into your line of work and how did you end up where you are?


Life has a funny way of coming full circle if you give things enough time. There were many jobs and people I worked with in the early years that eventually led to me being able to create my businesses. So always work hard, be fair and diligent as you never know what the future brings. Don’t burn bridges. I am firm believer in what will be, will be.


What are you looking forward to getting out of the NZ Startup Bootcamp?


Just meeting some new faces that are excited about their life journey and hopefully I have something to offer to the attendees. I want to be involved to share some insights that I learnt the hard way and give back to the next batch of up and coming startups.


Tell me something not everyone knows about you?


My wife and I were meant to be on the Block NZ season 1, but a week or so before it started we found out my wife was pregnant and we couldn’t go on. Nobody knows that!


Kylie Rae

Leaving University with a Business Marketing and Communications Degree, Kylie began her career in the corporate world, working in New Zealand and then London, for several years. She built her skills in marketing strategy, relationship building, writing, event planning in education and local government and working for communication agencies. Coming from a family of small business owners, she had the entrepreneurial bug and knew she wanted to start a business of her own one day.


The corporate life didn't do it for her. She yearned for a calling that merged her love for the outdoors, marketing and business. After many months hiking around the globe with her husband, the idea for Nature & Nosh was born. Shortly after returning to New Zealand, the idea shaped into a business attracting international clients, working with global trade and balancing mum life with growing a young business.


What got you into your line of work and how did you end up where you are?


Cheating with this, but here's the story of us that answers the above: https://www.natureandnosh.co.nz/page/about-us/


What are you looking forward to getting out of the NZ Startup Bootcamp?


I'm looking forward to sharing a couple of little dirty secrets about starting a business and some real talk with some lessons I've learnt so far. I want to share my ups and downs and hope everyone can take something out of it. It's going to be inspiring talking to the teams and hearing the great business ideas and I'm sure I'll pick up a few tips too. I'm also excited for a night out to be honest, with a 10 month old I don't often get the chance!


Tell me something not everyone knows about you?


I can shear a sheep in high heels. OK the heels part is a lie, it just sounded more impressive. But I definitely can shear a sheep. My university part time jobs were working in the shearing sheds and milking cows.


Samantha Jones

Samantha is the Founder and CEO of Little Yellow Bird, a uniform company, providing their customers with complete transparency and their workers with safe jobs and fair pay. Little Yellow Bird was founded in 2015 when Samantha was only 25. In five short years she has grown the business to become one of New Zealand's most well known that champion sustainable and ethical production and now supplies over 400 organisations in New Zealand, Australia and the USA with their uniform requirements. In 2019 Little Yellow Bird raised half a million dollars via an equity crowdfunding campaign to grow their impact.


Samantha's background is in Supply Chain Management and she served as a Logistics Officer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force for six years before setting up Little Yellow Bird.

Samantha has a Masters in International Security and a Masters in Engineering Management, is an Edmund Hillary Fellow and was recognised as New Zealand's Young Innovator of the year in 2017. She has also been a finalist in the Women of Influence Awards in both 2017 and 2018 and won the Supreme Award at the Sustainable Business Network Awards in 2019.


What got you into your line of work and how did you end up where you are?


I was in the military as a Logistics Officer and noticed a gap in the market when I couldn't find ethically made corporate apparel, so started making my own about five years ago.


What are you looking forward to getting out of the NZ Startup Bootcamp


I'm hoping to connect and meet with a bunch of people creating some unique solutions to some of the worlds pressing social and environmental challenges.


Tell me something not everyone knows about you?


I don't have an answer for this one, sorry =)

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