Telecom NZ changes its name, launches Spark My Potential crowdfunding initiative


By Kat Jenkins (with Crowdfundvibe staff writer)
from Multitude

On Friday 8 August Telecom New Zealand changed its name to Spark New Zealand. At the same time the renamed Spark Foundation announced the launch of a flagship new crowdfunding initiative, Spark My Potential.

The new platform is a zero fees, pledge-based website where selected candidates are able to access expert crowdfunding coaching, opportunities for increased public profile, and – in some cases – matched funding from Spark. It’s an extension of hugely successful online fundraising platform givealittle, which the Spark Foundation purchased in 2012.

As Spark NZ CEO, Simon Moulter, effuses, givealittle is changing the way New Zealanders fundraise. Since 2012, donations on the site have grown to more than a million dollars a month and we’ve just celebrated our biggest month ever in July. We want to build on this incredible platform and do more to help New Zealanders realise their dreams and achieve their goals.”

Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve been coaching a lineup of candidates for this platform. It aims to help raise funds for projects that really leverage the potential of an individual. Project owners wishing to get on Spark My Potential must first launch a project on givealittle. Once launched, you need to prove your crowdfunding genius – you need to start raising your funds before your project is transferred over.

Until midnight, Monday 11 August, every pledge made to the 11 worthy initial candidates will be matched by Spark, up to their funding goal. I’m excited about these projects. Having worked pretty closely with them for the last 3 weeks to get their projects up and going, I can tell you that these people are hard-working and dedicated.

So with that, here’s a summary of the 11 initial Spark My Potential projects. I have a lot more information over on my blog.

Jezza Williams: Tetrapelgic adventurer from North Canterbury looking to complete the London to Mongolia Rally, Project Mongol Rally; Target: $22,000

Ricardo Christie (seen in advertising campaign): Gisborne Surfer hoping to join the ASP World Championship Series, Project: SurfPro; Target $5,000v635430651656500000-e51637e9-cb07-4272-973c-a38100389af7-320

Hayley Yu: Auckland University student on a mission to launch her own sustainable social business. Project: Let’s Eat; Target, $4,800

Chris Ofanoa: Auckland dancer crowdfunding to become a full time apprentice at the New Zealand Dance Company, Project: NZ Dance Company Apprenticeship; Target: $35,000

• Scott Granville: Author from Hamilton looking to publish a children’s book, Project Charles the Magnificent Pony; Target: $3,000

• Zac and Josh Lyon: Adventurers from Hamilton, the 22 year old twins are looking to be the first New Zealanders to conquer the world’s four polar ice caps. Rob Hamill is their mentor, Project: 4Caps, Target: $35,000

• Iain Finer: Christchurch university student crowdfunding to test his rocket he built. Project: Rocket Science Dream Launcher; Target: $7,000

Amber Lenihan: Hamiltonian with a dream to create a business producing natural perfumes. Project: Circe Parfum; Target, $10,000

• Scott Savage and Colleen Pugh: Creative couple from Dunedin with a goal to take their Tiny Travelling Gallery to London and Los Angeles. Project: Tiny Travelling Gallery; Target, $2,500v635430673668000000-e34644f6-9cca-41bc-add7-a3810042ae62-320

Jess Berenton- Shaw: Wellington Mum creating a line of organic children’s clothing. Project: Muka Kids; Target, $5,000

Jacob Morris: Talented musician from Christchurch looking to produce his first EP at the age of 16. Project: Debut EP; Target, $10,000


If you are a New Zealander who is interested in being part of the Spark My Potential programme, you can find more information at, or you can join the conversation at


Get regular insights on Asia Pacific crowdfunding in your Inbox

Like some regular insights on
Asia Pacific Crowdfunding?

Sign up to our newsletter