Network with NZ’s Brightest CEOs… for FREE!

Jan 20, 2020 | 6 min read
Hello world! I'm Niesh's Head of Student Engagement and I run our ON Event Series. My expertise ranges from food all the way to sharing knowledge on how to make the most of your student experience.


Do YOU believe that you’re a future leader and change maker? If yes, we are looking for YOU.

Our Vision for ON: Entrepreneurship Series

ON aims to create a network of student leaders and change makers with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our goal is to help students tap into crucial skills and networks to further their career.

In 2020, Niesh & Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development is proud to present our ON: Entrepreneurship Series which will give YOU the chance to join our Lunch with an Entrepreneur Workshops and our annual Gen Z startup competition, ON: Pitch.


What will happen at the workshops?

Joining 50 other inspired students, the Lunch with an Entrepreneur workshop will see you enter a fun filled day at a collab working space in Auckland.

You can expect:

  • A half day workshop that will give you an insight into the skills that are highly sought by employers across the globe. With engaging workshop activities inspired by rapid growth companies such as Amazon and Google, this is not your typical workshop.
  • 1 lucky student will have the opportunity to pitch their business idea and receive feedback from the entrepreneur.
  • The guest entrepreneur will give you a look into the highs and lows of their career journey. The day will be wrapped up with a fully catered lunch, giving you the chance to network with the entrepreneur in an intimate environment.

Who are we looking for?

We only have 50 limited spots per workshop! In your application, show us you’re a student who has a passion for searching for opportunities with the mindset of constant learning and growth.

The Entrepreneurs

Jae Yoo, CEO and Founder of Niesh

Friday 21st February (9AM – 1PM), Grid AKL / John Lysaght

Jae Yoo

The man, the myth, the legend…

In 2015, Jae had $10 in his bank account. A struggling student, he had the choice between buying a Kebab or printing his past papers to pass his exams. He chose to eat and nearly failed his exams… He decided at that moment, “money should never be a barrier between students and their education.” Using his own money he launched FRINT which later re-branded into Niesh, New Zealand’s largest student platform hosting over 60,000 students.

A man of few words and many beers, Jae is also the co-owner of popular Auckland CBD bar Seoul Night. Jae rarely does public speaking and will be sharing his experience as a young entrepreneur with no degree under his belt.

Simon Watson, Co-Founder & Director of Urbanaut Brewing

Friday 20th March (9AM-1PM), GridAKL / John Lysaght

Urbanut Brewing Simon Watson
Simon Watson, Thomas Rowe, Bruce Turner (left to right)

Urbanaut brewery lies in the heart of Kingsland, making craft beers in the epicentre of hipster culture. Made for global citizens who have a lust for travel, Simon and his two Co-Founders take inspiration from cities across the globe and have made landmark decisions such as ditching glass bottles for canned beer (a much more eco-friendly option). Creating delicious concoctions, Urbanaut will make you feel like you’re globetrotting in Bogota or Copacabana.

Prior to settling down with Urbanaut, Simon was also the Director at Evoke Developments. A firm that specialised in the renovation and development of high quality residential homes. In addition to dabbling in the sports hospitality industry with Experience Group, one of New Zealand’s largest hospitality providers for major sporting events.

Vic Crone, CEO of Callaghan Innovation

Saturday 28th March (9AM – 1PM), GridAKL / John Lysaght

Vic Crone

Apart from claiming to be “Mick Jaggers 8th cousin”, Vic’s claim to fame lies not only in her rock star lineage but her rock star leadership abilities.

Before starting her position at Callaghan, she has held leadership positions at Xero, Chorus, and Contact Energy (just to name a few). Her passion for leading New Zealand into a new age of innovation has shifted the entrepreneurship ecosystem and shown Kiwi’s that despite coming from down under, we can create great success on a world stage.

Stewart Sherriff, Former CEO of 2degrees

Wednesday 15th April (9AM – 1PM), Te Haa O Manukau

Stewart Sherriff

How often can you meet a Telco legend who has been in the business for over 25 years?

Stewart has headed Telco companies from Hong Kong to Ireland, and prior to jumping on the plane for New Zealand he held the position of Senior Vice President and CTO at Trilogy International Partners (2degrees parent company). Now retired, he has left a legacy behind that saw him build the 3rd largest Telco in New Zealand 2degrees.

His experience in the C-suite will give you a valuable insight into the struggles and challenges that leaders have, but more importantly how to deal with them.

Rachel Taulelei, CEO of Kono

Wednesday 13th May (9AM – 1PM), B:HIVE Takapuna

Rachel Taulelei

An entrepreneur, C-suite executive, and recipient of multiple national awards. Rachel has made permanent marks in the primary industry for over 20 years, establishing herself as a true ‘unicorn’.

She has grown Kono NZ to become a Top 100 New Zealand Food and Beverage Company, built her own company Yellow Brick Road, and currently sits on many advisory boards as a firm believer in service leadership. A recipient of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and 2019 Kea World Class NZ Award. Her humble attitude towards business and steadfast passion towards Maori entrepreneurship will be an inspiring session to listen to.

Does this opportunity intrigue you? Keep up to date with our Facebook and Website for our upcoming launch!