Startup Folk – A New Series of Events for Budding Entrepreneurs
May 11, 2018
by Anna

Startup Folk – A Series of Events for Budding Entrepreneurs

WNT Update

To kick off the series, WNT Ventures welcomes presentations from three entrepreneurs who are at various stages of the entrepreneurial journey. The speakers will provide an overview of their experience of the entrepreneur’s journey, which tends not to be a straight road, rather it is made up of peaks, troughs, plateaus and pivots with the finish line, if there is such a thing, being fairly subjective.

While not designed to detail WNT Ventures’ process, the presentations may provide insight into how WNT Ventures can support startups throughout their journey.

When: 5.00-6.30pm, 15 November 2018
Where: Basestation, 148 Durham Street, Tauranga
Cost: Free

To register and for more information, please click on the following link, or alternatively contact


Matt Watkins – Co-founder of Onesixone Limited (SoundSwitch)

“How best to make mistakes”

As co-founder of recently acquired Onesixone Limited, Matt Watkins has had first-hand experience in making it through to the finish line. Matt will share his story and insights, so that others might be inspired to achieve their goals, whilst avoiding some of the same mistakes.

Matt Watkins is the co-founder of one of WNT Ventures’ first portfolio companies, Onesixone Limited. Onesixone developed an innovative technology, called SoundSwitch, which provides DJs with the ability to integrate lighting and live audio. SoundSwitch, which is now being used by some of the world’s best DJs in over 30 countries, recently achieved a successful exit after being acquired by American based company Denon DJ, a leading manufacturer of premium DJ products and solutions.

Brendan Darby – Co-founder and CEO of MaramaLabs (CloudSpec)

“Navigating the obstacles from the lab to the real world”

Getting fundamental science out of the lab and into the real world can be a rocky journey. Co-founder and CEO, Brendan Darby, will share the MaramaLabs story. Brendan will provide insights into what the founders have learned along the way, whilst transitioning from academia to industry, and will detail what’s in store for the future for this exciting technology that aims to change the way cloudy liquids are analysed across multiple industries.

Physicist, Brendan Darby, is co-founder and CEO of Victoria University of Wellington spin-out MaramaLabs and co-inventor of their flagship technology “CloudSpec”. Brendan’s background is in spectroscopy, where light is used to understand the properties of materials. Brendan has a passion for translating cool, cutting edge science into real world applications.

Laura Faulconer – WNT Ventures Investment Manager

“Tales from the cheer squad at the finish line”

With extensive experience working alongside deep tech startups, Laura’s presentation will be focused on some of the best and worst experiences that she has seen founders go through as they try to find and cross the finish line.

Laura Faulconer is a founder, investor and mentor in deep tech startups, vetting hundreds of investment opportunities over 10 years in the industry. She specialises in medical devices and health technologies more broadly, having founded two well-known medtech accelerator programmes in Australia – MedTech’s Got Talent and The Actuator.