Hillfarrance, a New Zealand based venture capital firm with offices in Auckland and the Waikato, has appointed a new general partner, Aisha Ross (Ngā Ruahine, Ngāti Ruanui, Te Atiawa, Taranaki, and Te Whakatohea).
Ross is one of the few Māori working in the venture capital space. He was most recently the Director of the Innovation and Development Group at one of New Zealand’s largest tertiary education organisations, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
As the director, he led a dedicated team who focuses on bringing new innovations to market that create value and opportunities to develop the start-up eco-system and economy in Aotearoa.
These innovations include the establishment of Ahikōmako – the Centre of Māori Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Pākihi, which is a series of workshops offered nationally with a focus on assisting Māori small businesses to grow sustainably, and Kōkiri, a Māori technology accelerator focused on developing early stage Māori technology ventures with a global focus and high-growth potential to scale and grow.
Ross says it is an exciting time to be joining Hillfarrance.
“The Māori business sector continues to grow, year upon year. I look forward to working with Rob Vickery and the team to support the start-up eco-system in Aotearoa – with a focus on enabling more start-ups to develop and reach their potential.
“Māori are natural entrepreneurs but often struggle to attract capital to their businesses. With the support of Hillfarrance, these start-ups will have the ability to join the growing number of Māori tech companies making their mark on the world stage.”
Vickery welcomed Ross’s appointment. “Having known Aisha for some time, I have seen first-hand his expertise and passion for empowering entrepreneurs to build sustainable, successful businesses that embrace and project te ao Māori.”
Hillfarrance has invested in Kwotimation, a SAAS start-up who completed Kōkiri in 2020. Kwotimation’s vision is to help save tradespeople and customers time, money and stress through providing accurate and timely online quotes for work.
Hillfarrance most recently invested in another Kōkiri team, The Granary, who are developing next-generation software that will deliver quality customer solutions and experiences, and shorten the development of making content.
Ross holds a number of director and trusteeships and has an MBA from the University of Waikato, along with a Master in Applied Technological Futures from Tech Futures Lab.