Aisha Ross
NEW APPOINTMENT: Hillfarrance Venture Capital general partner Aisha Ross.

Hillfarrance Venture Capital, in which Company-X is an investor, has announced the appointment of new general partner Aisha Ross.

Ross (Ngā Ruahine, Ngāti Ruanui, Te Atiawa, Taranaki, and Te Whakatohea) 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, where he led a dedicated team focused on bringing new innovations to market.

These innovations include the establishment of Ahikōmako, the Centre of Māori Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Pākihi, 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 said it was an exciting time to be joining Hillfarrance.

“The Māori business sector continues to grow, year upon year. I look forward to working with [Hillfarrance founder] 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 said, “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. I am delighted that he is joining our team as a General Partner and bringing his unique skill set to our growing portfolio and the wider Aotearoa start-up economy.

Hillfarrance has invested in Kwotimation, a software as a service (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 (from the 2021 cohort). The Granary is 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.

He brings a wide network of business contacts and strong relationships developed throughout his extensive background working in private, public, and iwi/Māori sectors. He joined Hillfarrance on July 2.

Hillfarrance has offices in Hamilton and Auckland.