Meet the judges for NZ Startup Bootcamp 2020


This year’s judging panel for NZ Startup Bootcamp is a powerhouse of business nous! With pros from four very different corners of the business world: CEO & Founder of Valocity Global and Data Insight Carmen Vicelich, peanut butter nutter and Fix & Fogg founder Roman Jewell, Blackbird Ventures partner Samantha Wong and Auckland University of Technology's head of entrepreneurship and innovation Martin Bell.

We asked them the same three questions so you can get to know them a bit better.

Read on to find out how Carmen solves complex issues with data, if Roman has a nut allergy, why Samantha isn't a famous michelin-star chef, what musician Martin has an encyclopedic knowledge of, and more.

Carmen Vicelich:

Carmen is not your typical anything - a powerhouse entrepreneur who has built two multi-million-dollar, international data and technology businesses in just five years at the same time as balancing life as a wife and mother of four young children.

She was named a finalist in the 2016 ‘Women of Influence’ awards and won the Auckland University Business School’s ‘Entrepreneurs Challenge’ award in 2015. She has also been a finalist in the ‘EY Entrepreneur of the Year’ awards.

In 2018 one of Carmen's businesses, Valocity, was recognized as one of five finalists in the global general category at the global fintech awards in Singapore, as well as a finalist for the Fintech Hackcelerator.

Carmen is also a published author, having launched ‘The Data Revolution’ in late 2017.

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

I wanted to work with technology and data to solve complex problems and when I looked around the market no one was doing what I wanted to do; solving some complex issues that hadn’t changed in a long time. I started Data Insight, which started helping large businesses and government that had lots of data and no insights, and we then built Valocity which leverages data and technology to streamline the mortgage and valuation process.

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

I'm looking forward to sharing some of the lessons learned and top tips that I never knew and giving back to support and inspire our future businesses, while enjoying the diversity of the start up community.

Tell me something not everyone knows about you?

I speak three languages.

Roman Jewell:

Six years ago, Roman started Fix & Fogg with his wife Andrea when they were expecting their first child. Previously both lawyers, they made the choice to leave behind the corporate life and dedicate their time and energy to creating something meaningful, sustainable, and delicious. They decided to make the best butters.

They love that they make every jar of Fix & Fogg from start to finish in their factory in Wellington. From designing their labels to their carefully blended peanut butter, they're completely hands-on throughout the entire process.

They think their award-winning butters are so popular because people can taste the difference in a product that’s handmade by humans who care about quality.

Their peanut butter has now won awards in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

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

Making peanut butter was really a hobby I had that grew into a passion, which then snowballed into a business.

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

Helping, sharing, being inspired and connecting with entrepreneurs from all over New Zealand.

Tell me something not everyone knows about you?

I'm allergic to peanuts (just kidding!) - I love taking my kids camping. We try to get away most weekends to different spots around Wellington.

Samantha Wong: