Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Te Ōhaka-based COVID-19 Wellness Project Goes Down Well With #HackTheCrisisNZ Judges

Ara Institute of Canterbury's Kakahura building in Christchurch

Christchurch’s high-growth startup hub Te Ōhaka - a partnership between Ara Institute of Canterbury and Ministry of Awesome has recently had a reason for pride in their founders today. Out of almost 800 entrants from up and down New Zealand, Wanderble, a Te Ōhaka-based start-up – in partnership with Riposte, another start-up venture - came away with a stunning second-equal place win at the NZ wide #HacktheCrisis event during the weekend beginning April 17th.

‘Hack The Crisis’ - a 48-hour start-up challenge taking place in more than 30 countries - was designed to elicit innovation for a post-COVID world. With more than 950 participants formed into 55 virtual teams, the groups worked throughout the weekend to solve COVID-specific problems. #HacktheCrisisNZ quickly became New Zealand’s largest collaborative start-up event with final entries judged by Vic Crone from Callaghan Innovation, Sir Stephen Tindall, and mental health advocate Mike King.

Wanderble and Riposte teamed up to create a novel wellness product that combined Wanderble’s guided audio mindfulness experiences with real-time wellbeing tracking enabled by Riposte's social posting tools and machine learning technology. This means that app users can see not only proof of the positive effects of their own mindfulness practice but also that of other groups and teams such as in those in the workplace. Data of this kind could be used to bolster individual and group wellbeing and resilience in the face of not just COVID but on an ongoing basis in the future.

Wanderble is one of 23 high-growth start-ups currently based out of the Te Ōhaka - Centre for Growth & Innovation located at Ara Institute’s central city campus.

As lock-down conditions set in, Wanderble had already released a free 28-day mindfulness-during-isolation course, while Riposte was employing its social feedback app designed to allow communities to collectively monitor their wellbeing using quick daily check-ins and machine learning technology.

“Before #hackthecrisis, Wanderble was already a fantastic start-up engaged in addressing wellbeing and resilience for workplaces but this really adds a powerful proof element to the platform and - It’s so cool that #hackthecrisis has brought together two start-ups from opposite ends of the country!” says Marian Johnson, chief executive at Ministry of Awesome.

Wanderble co-founder Kris Herbert says, “Mindfulness has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve immunity so it’s a great time to introduce these tools to people. We can connect our communities to make them stronger and more resilient - because it’s unlikely this will be the last crisis our country faces.” Riposte co-founder Debs Hancock added, “Our mission is to make it easier for communities and organisations to measure the wellbeing of people so they can provide more relevant and timely support.”

While ‘Draw This!’ which uses story-telling and art to build connections throughout New Zealand won the competition overall, judges praised the Riposte-Wanderble team, saying “This is an awesome team that has leveraged what they already have to achieve a lot over the course of the weekend.”

With awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues already on the rise and an increased focus globally on effective ways to assist with these, the mindfulness sector - and potentially this start-up team - seem poised for success.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


National: National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart

National will provide a $10,000 cash payment to businesses that hire additional staff as part of our commitment to keeping New Zealanders in jobs, National Party Leader Todd Muller and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith have announced. Our JobStart ... More>>


DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>


Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>


ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>


Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>


RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>


Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>


Auckland Airport: Thousands Of Kiwis Travelling For Queen’s Birthday Weekend

Confidence in domestic travel is beginning to steadily ramp up, with thousands of Kiwis travelling within New Zealand for Queen’s Birthday.
Nearly 400 flights will be operating to and from Auckland Airport over the long weekend... More>>


Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A

Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>


RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>


Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>


Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>